Forward - in the Past & Present

Brief details of Royal Navy ships commissioned 'HMS FORWARD'


1804-1815     The first FORWARD was a 12-gun brig launched at Berwick, with a crew of 50, and a displacement of 179 tons. Length, beam and draught were 80ft, 22ft and 7ft. Sold in 1815.

1856-1869     The second FORWARD was a 2-gun screw launched at Northfleet, with a crew of 36 and a displacement of 236 tons. Length, beam and draught were 108ft, 22ft, and 15ft. Sold in 1869.

1877-1903    The third FORWARD was a 4-gun screw of 455 tons, launched at Barrow. Length, beam and draught were 125ft, 24ft, and 10ft. Sold in 1903.

1904-1921     The fourth FORWARD was a twin-screw ‘Scout’ Class cruiser, launched at Govan, with a legend displacement of 2860 tons, and 16,500ihp for 25 kts. Length, beam and draught were 379ft, 39ft, and 15ft. Sold for scrap 27 July 1921.

1939-1945     The fifth FORWARD was a 'Stone Frigate'. The shore-based Royal Naval HQ at Newhaven, paid off in July 1945.

1984-            The sixth FORWARD is another 'Stone Frigate'. On 6 October 1984, Birmingham Communications Training Centre was commissioned as HMS FORWARD. On 28 January 1986, HMS FORWARD was rededicated by The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne. In 1994, members of HMS MERCIA, Coventry, joined HMS FORWARD due to the closure of their unit. HMS FORWARD became a Reserve Training Centre with a permanent staff of seven.

HMS FORWARD Ship’s Badge

The 1984 HMS FORWARD Ship's badge incorporates a riding cap and hunting horn - emphasising the image of The Hunt and the traditional cry of ‘Forward’. In 1994 the ship became a Reserve Training Centre with a new badge. The ship's Commander sees no problem to our adopting their former badge depicting the riding cap and hunting horn that so fortuitously reflects the ‘communications and hunting’ aspect of HMS Forward (1939-1945). FORWARD is also the motto of the City of Birmingham, which hosts the present-day HMS FORWARD at Trafalgar House.


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