HMS Chrysanthemum (1917)

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Chrysanthemum moored on the Thames (partly obscured by minesweeper HMS Glasserton) in 1987
HMS Chrysanthemum moored on the Thames (partly obscured by minesweeper HMS Glasserton) in 1987
Name: HMS Chrysanthemum
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth
Launched: 10 November 1917
Commissioned: 1917
Decommissioned: 1988
Fate: Scrapped, 1995
General characteristics
Class and type: Anchusa-class sloop
Displacement: 1,290 long tons (1,311 t)
  • 250 ft (76 m) p/p
  • 262 ft 3 in (79.93 m) o/a
Beam: 35 ft (11 m)
Draught: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m) (mean)
  • 4-cylinder triple expansion engine
  • 2 boilers
  • 2,500 hp (1,864 kW)
  • 1 screw
  • 260 tons of coal
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 93

HMS Chrysanthemum was an Anchusa-class sloop of the Royal Navy, launched on 10 November 1917. She received a Le Cheminant chronometer from the Royal Observatory on 15 May 1925.[1] After service in the Mediterranean, in 1938 she became a drill ship with Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) and then the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). She was sold in 1988[2] to private owners and subsequently scrapped in 1995.

Sea service[edit]

After convoy duty in the late stages of World War I, Chrysanthemum joined the Mediterranean Fleet, serving as a target towing ship, based at Malta. On 4 March 1927 Sir Walter Norris Congreve VC, the Governor of Malta, was buried at sea from her in accordance with his last request.[3] Chrysanthemum was also used at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 to rescue British nationals from Barcelona.

RNVR and RNR service[edit]

In 1938 HMS Chrysanthemum was docked permanently on the River Thames next to HMS President for use as a drill ship by the RNR. During the Second World War she was used as a boot camp for navy recruits. After the war she continued as an RNR base. There was even a rugby union club based on her. As a warship in Commission she correctly wore the White Ensign during her time as a drill ship of London Division RNR.[4]


As part of the move of the RNR to a new purpose built shore based drill ship HMS President in St Katharine Docks, London, Chrysanthemum was decommissioned. She was later sold to the charity Inter-Action in 1988.

Chrysanthemum was hired to Steven Spielberg for the boat chase sequences shot in 1988 in Tilbury Docks for the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. She was given the fictional name Tiber for the film. She was then laid up on the River Medway, where the brackish water rusted her hull so badly that she was scrapped in 1995.


  1. ^ Ledger of Receipts and Issues of Chronometers. Held by the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, UK. Le Cheminant chronometers Nos.18723
  2. ^ "Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve History". Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^ "SAM History". Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  4. ^ "United Kingdom: Royal Navy : Use of the White Ensign". Retrieved 27 May 2010.