Repulse file photo [1736]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassRenown-class Battlecruiser
Commissioned18 Aug 1916
Sunk10 Dec 1941
Displacement26,500 tons standard
Length794 feet
Beam90 feet
Draft27 feet
Speed31 knots


ww2dbaseHMS Repulse, a 26,500-ton Renown class battlecruiser, was built at Clydebank, Scotland. Completed in August 1916, she joined the Grand Fleet following post-trials modifications and operated in the North Sea for the remainder of World War I. The light protection of this class of two battlecruisers was a considerable cause for concern and, soon after the Armistice, Repulse received an extensive refit. This significantly increased her armor, and her displacement, which rose some six-thousand tons. The work was completed in 1922, after which the ship began a peacetime career of fleet operations and long-distance cruises.

ww2dbaseIn 1933-36, Repulse was again modernized, emerging with improved deck armor, a hangar and catapult for aircraft, and a greatly increased anti-aircraft gun battery. She operated with the Home Fleet in the North Sea and Atlantic during the first two years of the Second World War, taking part in the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941. Later in the year she was sent to the Far East, accompanying the new battleship Prince of Wales. The two ships arrived at Singapore just before Japan began the Pacific War. As soon as hostilities commenced, both steamed northwards to intercept a reported invasion force. While returning to Singapore on 10 December 1941, Repulse and Prince of Wales were attacked by Japanese high-level bombers and torpedo planes. Repulse was moderately damaged by bombs early in the action and was later hit by several torpedoes. After receiving this heavy underwater damage, she sank rapidly, followed less than an hour later by the Prince of Wales.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Battlecruiser Repulse Interactive Map


Repulse in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom, circa 1916-17; note Forth Bridge in backgroundRepulse, photographed circa 1916-17Aerial view of HMS Repulse, Aug 1918Aerial view of HMS Repulse, Aug 1918
See all 27 photographs of Battlecruiser Repulse

Repulse Operational Timeline

18 Aug 1916 Repulse was commissioned into service.
2 Dec 1941 HMS Repulse arrived at Singapore.
10 Dec 1941 Japanese submarine I-58 spotted British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse off British Malaya, launched five torpedoes, but all of them missed; beginning at 1117 hours, Japanese aircraft began to attack. Overwhelmed, HMS Repulse was sunk at 1233 hours (513 killed), followed by HMS Prince of Wales at 1318 hours (327 killed); destroyers HMS Electra, HMS Express, and HMS Vampire rescued 1,862 survivors. On land, the British commanders dispatched the 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Gurkha Rifles regiment to Changlun and Asun in northern British Malaya to counter the Japanese advance; contact was made at Changlun at 2100 hours, where two Japanese tanks were destroyed before the Punjabi troops fell back toward Asun.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. PatM says:
19 Dec 2006 01:18:14 AM

Pete, I dont know why youre being so modest-this is impressive. Makes for a nice reference.
2. Al Charlebois says:
4 Jul 2017 11:49:07 AM

My wife's Grand father Frank Earl Butler served on The Repulse during WW2. He apparently was a CPO. Could you please advise how I may learn more about his service?Thank you
23 Sep 2018 09:33:17 AM

My uncle was killed on the Repulse when they were attacked at sea 1941his name was Pat McStravick. I would love to know if there's any images of the crew anywhere just to keep the memory alive. Thanks mary
4. Steven ford says:
28 Oct 2018 12:25:33 PM

My uncle Arthur willoughby was on hams repulse as a boy and won a boxing medal 1925 and then went on to hms sovereign 1934 and won medals for water polo and was in Mediterranean fleet I have his medals and am trying to trace his navy career I believe he was a prisoner of war by the Japanese any info would be greatly appreciated
5. Peter Lupton says:
30 Oct 2018 03:06:20 PM

Although i am almost sure that he is not a relative as my late Father never mentioned him, i would love to know what happened to my namesake Leading Seaman Peter Lupton DMX66802. Has anyone got any idea the best way for me to do this? It looks like he survived the sinking but i would love to know what happened to him after this. I wonder if he returned to the UK to fight on or whether he was in Singapore when it fell??? Thank you for any assistance.
6. Mr P T Newby says:
11 Nov 2018 07:16:25 AM

My Uncle Harold Edward Newby was killed on the Repulse 10th December 1941, he was Leading Stoker & his age was only 21. He was the only one never to return from the vilage of Arkholme in Lancashire in the Second World War.
We will Remember them, God Bless them All who died.
7. Mr P T Newby says:
11 Nov 2018 07:18:41 AM

My Uncle Harold Edward Newby was killed on the Repulse 10th December 1941, he was Leading Stoker & his age was only 21. He was the only one never to return from the vilage of Arkholme in Lancashire in the Second World War.
We will Remember them, God Bless them All who died.
8. Anonymous says:
10 Mar 2019 09:45:26 AM

Researching husbands family tree and I have come across Clifford John Taylor who was a crew member on the HMS Repulse and survived. I would love to hear from anybody who has any more information of any lucky survivors. Many thanks.
9. Mrs P Bennett says:
14 Apr 2019 12:29:44 PM

Very interesting & humbling to find information of this ship & its crew. My late Grandmother's brother died on that day 10 December 1941. Writer Leslie James Jackson. Rip.
10. Lucy Atkins says:
28 Aug 2020 08:01:30 PM

Thank you for sharing this information. Today I discovered a distant relation died on HMS Repulse; Peter Robert Anstey from Devon England. He was only 17 years old and buried at sea.
11. Thomas Buchanan says:
4 Jan 2021 09:17:33 AM

What happened to able seamen Thomas Brown .he was aboard hms repulse in 1941
12. Graham Fenton says:
8 Aug 2021 01:07:34 PM

Hi looking for information on my dad who sailed on the Repulse on the convoy escorting the nations gold to Canada in 1939.
My dads name is Robert William Fenton. Any information would be really appreciated.
13. Joan Williamson says:
14 Aug 2021 04:27:23 AM

My uncle George (Morris), who was a Royal Marine, with the rank of Sergeant was aboard the Repulse when she sunk, I was told, I am trying to confirm this. He was a survivor, and was not taken by the Japanese. Does anyone have any information on him
14. Marty says:
23 Feb 2022 12:39:59 PM

my 2 uncles Walker brothers were lost on this ship they left a lasting impression of heros
15. Kirsty says:
8 Nov 2022 04:27:12 AM

There is the potential that my great grandfather served on the Repulse in 1941. Can anyone advise on how I find out if he did and if he did whether he survived or not?
16. laurence river says:
6 Mar 2023 05:43:46 PM

my father served on hms repulse does any one remember him
17. Michael Wadley OAM says:
23 Mar 2023 04:39:46 AM

My father, Alfred Wadley, was a Royal Marine, Sergeant Gunnery Instructor and was in charge of one of the 16 inch turrets. He was caught up in wire cables when she sank and injured his legs. He was rescued by HMAS Vampire and went to hospital in Singapore. He was evacuated just before the Japanese invaded. He was awarded the DSM for his actions during this battle.
18. Sharon Cockayne says:
22 May 2023 06:40:51 AM

My grandad was on the Repulse when she was attacked, he was rescued but then taken to a POW camp we think somewhere in Borneo, just trying to find out crew lists and any other information to help my dad with some research on what happened.

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Search WW2DB
More on Repulse
» Farncomb, Harold

Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Malaya and Singapore

Battlecruiser Repulse Photo Gallery
Repulse in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom, circa 1916-17; note Forth Bridge in background
See all 27 photographs of Battlecruiser Repulse

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

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