Saturday, September 3, 2011

HMS Malaya

During the world war 1, there were many people of Malaya, FMS, UFS or SS(Strait Settlement) donated for the colonial British government to fight the war in Europe. Some went as soldiers, others contribute their monies. Some donated war planes, some donated war ship. One of the war ship donated was under the name of HMS Malaya, named after Malaya, donated by FMS or Federated Malay States....HMS Malaya fight bravely in WW1, and continued fighting in the WW2...

In 1921, HMS Malaya visited Penang.

HMS Malaya
HMS Malaya was a Queen Elizabeth class battleship of the British Royal Navy, built by Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Company at High Walker and launched in March 1915. She was named in honour of the Federated Malay States in British Malaya, whose government paid for her construction.


In 1912, the sultan of Perak Sir Idris Mersid-el Aazam Shah suggested that the Council of the FMS should give to His Majesty Government, a gift of first class armored ship.

HMS Malaya, was built as a gift to the British Government by the Government and people of the Federated Malay States of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang, on a motion proposed in the Federal Council by His late Highness the Sultan of Perak in 1913, supported by His late Highness the Sultan of Selangor, and approved by all people in the Federated Malay States.

The motion was passed and the contract for building such vessel placed in the shipyard on the River Tyne Sterling pound 2,945,709 in 1913. The builder was Armstrong Whitworth. The ship was launched on 18-3-1915, and commissioned on 1-2-1916. It was under Captain Algernon D E H Boyle, who later become Admiral Sir Algernon Douglas Edward Harry Boyle ,K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O., the Fourth Sea Lord of Royal Navy from 1920 to 1924).

Name: HMS Malaya
Ordered: 1913
Builder: Armstrong Ship Builder, Whitworth
Laid down: 20 October 1913
Launched: 18 March 1915
Commissioned: 1 February 1916
Decommissioned: 1944
Struck: 12 April 1948
Fate: Scrapped


1916 - Jutland ( WW1)
1940 - Taranto ( WW2)
1940 - Calabria ( WW2)
1940 - Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1945( WW2)
1942 - Malta Convoys ( WW2)
1944 - English Channel ( WW2)
1944 - Operation Overlord (D-Day) ( WW2)


In World War I she served in Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's 5th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She took part in the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1916, where she was hit eight times and took major damage and heavy crew casualties. A total of 65 men died, in the battle or later, of their injuries. Among the wounded was Able Seaman Willie Vicarage, notable as one of the first men to receive facial reconstruction using plastic surgery and the first to receive radical reconstruction via the "tubed pedicule" technique pioneered by Sir Harold Gillies. Uniquely among the ships at the battle, HMS Malaya flew the red-white-black-yellow ensign of the Federated Malay States.

Jürgen Oesten speaking about his attack on HMS Malaya, that took place about 250 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands in position 20º02'N, 25º50'W. The battleship was part of the convoy SL-68.


1921- HMS Malaya under Capt HT Buller visited Malaya in the first months of 1921, calling at Port Swettenham, Singapore, Malacca, Port Dickson and Penang. Capt HT Buller(who later become Admiral Sir HT Buller) is the son of Admiral Sir Alexander Buller. Admiral Sir Alexander Buller, who as a captain of HMS Modeste, was involved in an expedition against the murderers of Mr James Birch, the British Resident in Perak in 1875. He was also in Penang on January 8, 1876 on board HMS Modeste. What a coincident....

In 1922 Malaya carried the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mohammed VI into exile. A new era in Turkish history began. Sultan Mohammed VI left on 18 November 1922 in the battleship HMS Malaya bound for Malta with his foreign advisers


In August-September 1938 she served in the port of Haifa during the Arab Uprising.


In World War II she served in the Mediterranean in 1940, escorting convoys and operating against the Italian fleet. On one occasion her presence in a convoy was sufficiently discouraging to the German commerce raiders Scharnhorst and Gneisenau that they withdrew rather than risk damage in an attack.

June 18, 1940. Giornale Italie No. 049. The island of Malta, claimed by Italy. Shown are ships of the Royal Navy (probably HMS Warspite, HMS Malaya, and the escort carrier HMS Eagle). An unveiling of a bust in honour of Fortunato Mizzi, founder of the pro-Italian movement on Malta.


She shelled Genoa in February 1941 as part of Operation Grog but due to a crew error, fired a 15" armour piercing shell into the south east corner of the Cathedral nave. The fuse failed to detonate

Convoy SL 67 was saved by the presence of the WW1 battleship HMS Malaya.

Under Sir Arthur Francis Eric Palliser. She was damaged by a torpedo from U-106 at on 20 March 1941 about 250 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. After temporary repairs were made she continued to the New York Navy Yard, where she was docked for four months.

On 9 July, under the command of Captain Cuthbert Coppinger R.N., the battleship left New York on trials and steamed to Halifax, Nova Scotia to provide protection for an urgent fast convoy. On this Atlantic crossing no ships were lost and Malaya arrived on 28 July in Rosyth

1941- 1943

Malaya escorted convoys from the UK to Malta and Cape Town until summer 1943.


Malaya was withdrawn from service at the end of 1944 and placed in reserve and served as an accommodation ship for a torpedo school.


Sold on 20 February 1948 to Metal Industries, she arrived at Faslane on 12 April 1948 for scrapping. The ship's bell can be seen in the East India Club, St James's Square, London.

Legacies of HMS Malaya

On 24 August, 1916 HMS Malaya was presented with a silver bell from the Federated Malay States, in a ceremony attended by the High Commissioner for the Straits Settlements, Sir Ernest Beach, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and Rear-Admiral Hugh Evan Thomas. Four smaller bells were made for the Captain, the Wardroom, the Gunroom and the Warrant Officers' Mess. Admiral Jellicoe rang the bell into service by sounding off eight bells.

The deactivated Battleship HMS Malaya ship's bells were allocated as follows:

The first watch bell was presented to the Perak (Malaysia) Council after a refit and was hung in the Council Chamber.

The second watch bell was presented to the Victoria Institute Kuala Lumpur on Malayan Victory Day, 12 September 1947 - the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the Japanese surrender - and remained there for 60 years until presented to the Royal Malaysian Navy in 2007.

In May 1950, a ship’s bell was presented by the The Royal Navy to the Malayan Naval Force as a mark of honour and appreciation for their service.

A further bell can be seen in the The East India Club at 16 St. James’s Square, London.

HMS Malaya & Malaysian Sports

When the Battleship HMS Malaya visited Malaya in 1920 the officers and men presented a "HMS Malaya Cup" for competition. It was decided to hold an annual tournament between teams representing the different States and Settlements in Malaya, ...( Tunku: a pictorial biography, 1957-1987, by Mubin Sheppard (Tan Sri Datuk), 1987) HMS Malaya Cup for football is later known as the Malaysia Cup, but HMS Malaya Cup for Rugby still remained until today.

Progress was slow up to the days of the 1st World War but the game in Malaya received a tremendous fillip from the visit of the battleship "HMS Malaya" and the presentation of the "HMS Malaya Cup". This trophy which was meant so much for the game in this country was presented by Captain H. T. butler and the officers of the battleship in 1921 on the occasion of the vessel's first visit to the land whose money built her during the war in 1914 - 1918.

During their stay, the ship's officers and crews engaged in a carnival programme of sport all over the country and it was rugby that they proved keenest and most proficient. They played five games during their stay. They were beaten by Selangor 05 - 03 and Ipoh District 03 - 00 but they beat Singapore 11 - 00, Malacca 20 - 04 and Negeri Sembilan 05 - 03. So the honours were with the visitors. After the ship departed, the officers sent to the Chief Secretary, FMS, and the two trophies which are known as the "Malaya Cup". One for rugby and the other for football. They were given perpetuity for annual competitions.(Malaysia Rugby Union official website)

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