The HMS Cossack Association
Picture Gallery, and Illustrated History


HMS Cossack badge

Many of the following pictures have been supplied by members of the HMS Cossack Association. Where appropriate, other pictures have the copyright information, otherwise the Association should be contacted regarding reproduction of any of these images.

PICTURES OF LO3 (also known as GO3 and FO3)

* Click on the small image to view the full sized picture. *

HMS Cossack (L03) Port side

HMS Cossack - L03

HMS Cossack(LO3) Starboard side

Courtesy of HMCS Haida Association

HMS Cossack_LO3




{short description of image} Finn and Cecilie Nesvold at HMS COSSACK's 2001 Reunion. Cecilie is dressed in her pretty traditional Norwegian costume, which was much admired.

Sokndal's gifts to the HMS COSSACK Association. These were brought from Norway by Finn Nesvold and presented during his speech at the Association's 2001 Dinner.

{short description of image}

Left to Right.

The Biography of Captain Heinrich Dau, the Captain of the ALTMARK.

The illustrated greeting. Details of the greeting in the picture is shown below.

Video of the 60th Anniversary commemoration of the freeing of the ALTMARK's prisoners by COSSACK


The municipality of Sokndal greets the 2001 reunion of the HMS Cossack Association with hopes that the arrangement will be successful.

We hope that the connection between the HMS Cossack Association and the municipality of Sokndal can be maintained in the years to come.

We have a common historical link through the event in Jössingfjord February 16. 1940. This event was an important victory for the British navy and the British spirit in the beginning of the War, and it was an important event in the Norwegian history.

It was an honour for a good Norwegian to be called a Jössing during the war, and it referred to a pro British attitude in the struggle against the German occupants - the event in Jössingfjord became a symbol of resistance and hope for freedom

The appellation 'Jössing' was originally coined by the editor of 'Sverige fritt' (Sweden free) - a pro-German paper, to denote pro-Nazi sympathisers. But the Norwegians turned it round to denote the opposite and were proud of it. They also provided it with their own content,

Jössing = Jeg Önsker Staten Styrt Ifölge Norges Grunnlov.

(Jössing = I want the state ruled according to Norway's Constitution.)

Taken from 'Folklore Fights The Nazis' by Kathleen Stokker.

Royal Norwegian Navy Senior Officers visit Jossingfjord Memorial - April 2005.

Left to Right :Captain Hans Christian Smith-Sivertsen, Vice Admiral Leonhard Revang, Admiral Torolf Rein, and Rear Admiral Egil J. Eikanger in front of the Memorial.


HMS COSSACK arrives at Leith in Scotland, on 17th February 1940, laden with the rescued Merchant Navy men from ALTMARK {short description of image}
An Ambulance stands by for any casualties on board the ship, or even from the enthusiastic welcoming party {short description of image}
HMS COSSACK comes alongside, her crew finding it difficult to work the berthing wires and fenders {short description of image}
The ex-Prisoners pour over the gangway, eager to set foot ashore after the cramped conditions of their imprisonment, followed by the even more cramped journey home in HMS COSSACK {short description of image}


Olav Rothli, the last remaining Norwegian engineer who helped repair COSSACK at Skelfjord

HMS COSSACK, Skelfjord,1940, Olav Rothli - on T-Shirt

{short description of image}


Morten Hansen who made us aware of Olav's story and read his speech for him at the reunion dinner, where he also presented us with the flag and the 'Optimist' shown below

{short description of image}


Ladies and Gentlemen! I want to thank you for the invitation, and that I could be a member of this association. Many years has gone by since HMS Cossack was in Skelfjorden in Lofoten, but I did never forget this incident, it was like an adventure for me. I have often wondered how life went on for the crew onboard this legend of a ship after I took part in the repairing after the battle of Narvik.

I was about 19 years old at that time, and only a year later the Cossack was back in Lofoten in what we call the Lofotraidet 4 of March. After this raid many civilians got arrested by the Germans, including me. I was sent to a prison camp in the south of Norway called Grini and I got prisoner number 119. The German SS officers who questioned me didn't know anything about my trip to Skelfjord, if they had known I would probably have ended my days in front of a firing squad. But I kept my mouth shut about that, and told them stories about nothing until they released me four months later.

When I left Skelfjord I was given some biscuit boxes and about 40 pounds of butter (by HMS COSSACK). I brought this gift with me to Kbelvåg, my brothers and my sister was very glad for this. There was a lot of metal fragments inside the biscuit boxes, but we sorted it out and we made a velltasting porage of it!

We will talk a lot these days, I don't see so very well any more, but there is nothing wrong with my ears. I have looked forward to this meeting a long time, and it is my first trip to the United Kingdom.

So once again, thank you so very much.

The Greetings

{short description of image}

Click for larger version

The Optimist

{short description of image}

The Flag

{short description of image}



During the night of 23 October 1941 the COSSACK, while escorting a UK bound convoy from Gibraltar, was hit just forward of the bridge by a torpedo fired by U-563. Captain Berthon and 158 of his Officers and men were killed.

The survivors were picked up by HMS LEGION, HMS CARNATION and the Free French Ship COMMANDANT DUBOC.

As the COSSACK was still afloat she was reboarded, the fires were put out and bulkheads were shored up. The ship was lightened by throwing loose equipment, ammunition etc. overboard. Working under Commander (E) Halliwell, the Engineering Officer and senior survivor, they managed to get the main engines going again, although they could only proceed stern first, heading back to Gibraltar very slowly. A tug, the TAMES had been despatched from Gibraltar, which was a long way away.

Later that day , 24 October, an enemy plane appeared and COSSACK and CARNATION opened fire and drove it off. The weather worsened and all the hands were taken off for the night.

0845 the next morning the party returned to Cossack and at 1300 the TAMES escorted by HMS JONQUIL arrived. A heavy wire was secured round the after gun mounting and THAMES commenced towing her, stern first, at 1500.

At 1900 the next day, she was noticeably lower in the water and the remaining men were taken off by JONQUIL.

The following morning, 27 October, the weather worsened and the conditions made it impossible to reboard her, and at 1043 she sank.

It had been a fighting end to a fighting ship, but her name and thankfully some of her crew live on, a good number of whom are members of our Association, as are some of crews of the other ships involved.

To read some of the survivor's stories, Click here:

*Click on the small picture to see the larger one*
COSSACK, bows missing, badly damaged and dead in the water. {short description of image} Port side seen from one of the rescue ships, bow missing. {short description of image}
A view of the starboard side. Towing party on the stern. {short description of image} Under tow by the tug TAMES, shortly before she sank. {short description of image}

The tree that was planted at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, was in memory of Lieutenant H.W.M. (Bill) Rose the First Lieutenant of HMS COSSACK (LO3). In addition to that he was quite well known in literary circles for his published poetry. It is also to commemorate the others who died on LO3. It is situated in the large Royal Naval section there.

{short description of image}

The Memorial Plaque, inscribed:
'Planted in tribute to Lieutenant H.W.M. (Bill) Rose and to the other 158 officers and men who died in HMS COSSACK on 23rd October 1941
This plaque was commisioned by the HMS Cossack Association to commemorate all those who served in
HMS COSSACK (LO3) 1938 - 1941
HMS COSSACK (D57) 1945 - 1959'

{short description of image}


* Click on the small image to view the full sized picture. *

HMS Cossack (D57)

HMS Cossack - D57

HMS Cossack (D57) - Plans

D57 plans

D57 RD 1 Paying off pennant flying round about the end of 1947-49 commission.

D57 RD 1 Paying Off

D57 RD 2 Trials off Malta, November 1945

D57 RD 2 Trials

D57 RD 2 Trials off Malta, November 1945

another view

{short description of image}

D57 RD 2 Trials off Malta, November 1945

the final view

{short description of image}

D57 RD 3 After modernisation. No longer flottilla leader.

D57 RD 3


* Click on the small image to view the full sized picture. *

The story can be found on the History page.

{short description of image}

Sheerlegs rigged to transfer passengers
{short description of image}

Ladies first! Jack ignores the weather!
{short description of image}

Forward sheerlegs in action. Fisherman'S boat abandoned.

{short description of image}

Alternative route, walk ashore clinging to a line.
Rescued troops alongside COSSACK at Keelung: {short description of image}


* Click on small image to view full size picture *
Ship's Company - John Wood and shipmates {short description of image}
Rounding Cape Horn 4 March 1873 {short description of image}
Photo by Alfred Winters, Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town, Australia {short description of image}

 Master Chief Kenneth W Reichert
* Click on small pictures for enlargement and the button for the story*

The start of the ceremony with the Honor Bos'n and Side Boys piping The Side as the Captain arrives. The Color Guard stands ready also.

The call for ex-Sailors to stand and be recognised. I stand while my wife, Pam , and daughter in law, Yvette, look on.

The Ceremony of Passing The Flag. Kenneth on the left about to receive it.

The Shadow Box documenting Kenneth's 30 year career in the USN.

Having received his Honourable Discharge, Kenneth is piped Ashore.

Kenneth and a happy Claire walk away on completion of the Ceremony.

If anyone has any other pictures which they would like to be included in this gallery, I would be delighted to receive them. Please email them to me (via address below) as Gif or Jpg files if at all possible, otherwise, let me know if you have something, and I'll do my best to arrange for them to be 'scanned'. Also, if anyone has any further information on any of the pictures shown, please let me know.

For information on how to join the Association, click here: How to Join

If you have any questions or comments regarding the gallery, or pictures or background information to contribute, please E-Mail to Peter Harrison: 

HMS Cossack Association

The HMS Cossack Association is a non-profit making organisation.

Return to Back to Home page

Designed by Rob Bartholomew, and maintained by Peter Harrison