HMAS
Mallow

HMAS Mallow
Class
Flower Class
Type
Minesweeper Sloop
Builder
Barclay Curle, Glasgow, Scotland
Fate
Sunk by explosive charges off Sydney on 1 August 1935
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 1250 tons
Length 267 feet 9 inches
Beam 33 feet 6 inches
Draught 11 feet 9 inches
Performance
Speed 16.5 knots
Range 2000 miles at 15 knots
Complement
Crew 79
Propulsion
Machinery 1 set of triple expansion inverted and 2 cylindrical boilers
Armament
Guns
  • 1 x 4-inch gun
  • 2 x 3-pounder gun

HMS Mallow was a Flower class (Acacia type) sloop built for the Royal Navy. She was constructed by Barclay Curle at Glasgow in Scotland and launched on 13 July 1915.

During World War I, HMS Mallow operated primarily as a minesweeper in the Mediterranean. She took part in the rescue of survivors from the SS Persia (sunk by U-38) on 30 December 1915 off Crete and also rescued survivors from the French vessel Djemnah, which had been sunk off Libya by UB-105 on 14 July 1918.

HMAS Mallow
HMAS Mallow as a Naval Reserve training vessel.

In company with her sister ships Geranium and Marguerite, she sailed to Australia in mid-1919 to sweep mines, laid by the German raider Wolf, in New Zealand waters. The three ships arrived in Sydney on 8 June 1919 and then proceeded to New Zealand waters to sweep the minefields laid by Wolf off North Cape and in the Cook Strait. On completion of their work in New Zealand waters all three ships conducted sweeping operations off Cape Everard, Victoria during 8-20 September 1919. Wolf had laid mines in Bass Strait during 1917 and it was thought that all had been swept or destroyed in 1917-18, but mines were found in February and June 1919 thus prompting the new sweeping task. During their mine-sweeping operations one German mine was located and destroyed.

On completion of this task all three ships were paid off into reserve, at Sydney, on 18 October 1919 and subsequently presented to the RAN, by the Admiralty, for use as mine-sweeping training vessels. Mallow remained in reserve until re-activated during the period 7 August - 4 September 1923 to conduct mine-sweeping training in Broken Bay, Jervis Bay and off the port of Newcastle. On completion of this training period she was placed in reserve again.

Mallow was commissioned on 4 June 1924, under the command of Commander Rupert Garsia, RAN, as the group ship for all ships in reserve in Sydney. She was effectively the depot ship and administrative headquarters for the personnel maintaining the several RAN warships held in reserve in the port of Sydney. Mallow was decommissioned on 30 November 1924.

HMAS Mallow
Left: HMAS Mallow at Cockatoo Island Dockyard.  Right: HMAS Mallow alongside at Garden Island, Sydney.

Mallow was twice recommissioned briefly, during February-April 1925 and September-November 1925, as a training ship for Sydney based naval reservists. Mallow was decommissioned on 20 November 1925 and placed in reserve in Sydney. In 1927 she was moved to Western Port, Victoria and placed in reserve there.

She was again used as a training ship for annual naval reserve training cruises during July 1927, February 1928 and March 1929. The remainder of her time was spent in reserve at Western Port. She was docked at Williamstown Dockyard during 11-31 March 1930 and 27 April - 7 May 1931 for routine maintenance.

In late June 1932 Mallow was towed to Sydney and dismantled later that year at Cockatoo Dockyard along with her sister ship Marguerite. Her hulk was used as a gunnery target and finally sunk by explosive charges off Sydney on 1 August 1935.