An Old felt pennant 16" in length with a few 'nibbles' to the tail end. Wessex was a W-Class Destroyer ordered from Stephens of Govan, Glasgow on 3rd December 1941 with the 9th Emergency Flotilla. The ship was laid down on 20th August 1942 and intended to be named HMS ZENITH. However this name was changed as part of a rationalisation of names of both W and Z-Classes. Launched on 2nd September 1943 as HMS WESSEX she was the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, previously borne by a destroyer built in 1918 and lost in an air attack during May 1940. Build was completed on 11th May 1944. WESSEX completed refit in late August and sailed for Manus to rejoin ships of BPF which had returned to RN control after VJ Day. The ship was deployed for service in Japan and sailed for Tokyo from Manus on 4th September after refuelling. On arrival she assisted in operations to return allied nationals captured during hostilities and supported occupying requirements until 27th October 1945. During passage to Manus she rescued the crew of a mercantile which had run aground at Bougainville and arrived in Sydney on 9th November....she then sailed to Auckland and for refit by HM NZ Dockyard Devenport. The ship then sailed for UK ....was Paid-off during January 1946 she reduced to Reserve status and was laid-up in Reserve Fleet at Plymouth. During 1948 this destroyer was transferred to continue lay-up at Simonstown, South Africa. She was transferred to the South African Navy on 29th March 1950 and renamed JAN VAN RIEBEECK. She was modernised in 1966 and continued service until 1978 when put on the Disposal List and scrapped.
At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
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