Beckenham’s Own War Ship

Newspaper article from 1942 featuring a photo fo the HM Destroyers Sikh which was to become Beckenham's own was ship

Make this Beckenham’s Own Destroyer

Sikh’s Glorious Record

Beckenham’s Warship Week starts on Saturday February 21st [1942].  This aim is to raise £350,000 in gifts and savings,  by hitting this target Beckenham will raise the money to adopt a Tribal Class Destroyer, and will be permitted to adopt H.M.S. Sikh.  Other towns of like size have shown that the money can be raised.

It is up to every man, woman and child in Beckenham to make this week of February 21028 a resounding success, the symbol of which will be the fixing of Beckenham’s Coat of Arms to the bridge of that splendid ship, H.M.S. Sikh.

Let us look at the “Sikh” for a moment, both because she may be Beckenham’s ship, and because she shows how money can be made to flight.

She was laid down in 1936, when the fires of war which now flame in every continent already smouldered in Spain and China.

She was launched in 1937, the day after Italy left the League of Nations, and completed on October __th, 1938, a month after Munich, and a few days after the first large scale Japanese landing at Las Bay near Hong Kong.

Newspaper article from 1942 featuring a photo fo the HM Destroyers Sikh which was to become Beckenham's own was ship
H.M. Destroyer Skih - the famous ship which Beckenham will adopt if the target figure of £350,000 is reaised during Warship Week

So, when was came to us, she was ready for battle. A lean fleet vessel of 1.870 tons, mounting 8 guns of 4.7 inch calibre, 7 smaller guns and 4 tubes firing 21 inch torpedoes.


Soon she was in action, adding distinguished chapters to British Naval history.  On October 13, 1940, she took part in the annihilation of a German convoy and its escorts in the North Sea, less than three miles from the enemy coast.

In May of last year, it was a torpedo from the “Sikh” which wrecked the Bismarck’s steering gear, and made certain the destruction of that formidable battleship.

Just over 6 months later, “Sikh” in company with three other destroyers patrolling the Central Mediterranean at night, encountered a superior enemy force.  The “Sikh” led the attack, and within a few moments two Italian cruisers we ablaze.  An E-boat was also sunk, and a torpedo boat heavily damaged.

Such is the ship which Beckenham may adopt.  Such is the direct way which Beckenham’s Savings can contribute mightily to the enemy’s final and total defeat.  Let every citizen take this chance to make his money fight.


You are not asked to give simply to save.  And Saving is made both easy and profitable for you.  Study these five methods, and decide now which is most suited to your own circumstances.  Then go out and invest your money – for the credit of Beckenham!

  1. National War Bonds in multiples of £100 without limit, from Banks and Stockbrokers.  Repayable at par 1949-51
  2. Defence Bonds from £5 to £1,000 (Income Tax on the interest not deducted at source).
  3. Saving Certificates at 15/- (worth 20/6 in 10 years and no Income Tax) at the Post Office, chief stores, or through employees’ own Savings Groups or housewives’ street groups.
  4. Post Office Savings Bank.  Your money invested here is used by the State for war purposes, yet is always available to the depositor.
  5. 3% Savings Bonds.  Available in units of £100 or any higher multiple of £50 through any Bank or Stockbroker. No limit to holdings.

Bromley & District Times, 13th February 1942 (page 3)

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