10th Anniversary of HMS Valerian foundering in a hurricane off Bermuda
Type: Commemorative Cover
Date: 22nd October 1936
CDS: 22OCT36A IRELAND ISLAND BERMUDA / H.M.S. DRAGON 22 OCT 1936
Cachet: His Majesty’s Ship “Dragon” pays tribute to H.M.S “Valerian” on the 10th Anniversary of her foundering in a hurricane off Bermuda – October 22, 1926 with the loss of 103 lives “May They Rest in Peace”
Address: H.M.Hines, 318 W.Brookings St.’ Sioux Falls, S.D., U.S.A.
Stamp: National Cover Week KGV pictorial
About HMS Valerian
The Arabis-class sloop HMS Valerian was based at the HMD Bermuda. Built by Charles Rennoldson and Company, South Shields she was launched on 21st February 1916 and eventually foundered off Bermuda during Hurrican Ten of the 1926 Atlantic hurricane season on 22nd October 1926.
HMS Valerian was returning after providing hurricane relief in the Bahamas and was overtaken by the storm before she could make harbour. Unable to enter through Bermuda’s reefline, she fought the storm for more than five hours before she was sunk with the loss of 85 men. The British merchant ship Eastway was also sunk near Bermuda. Although the Valerian’s commanding officer, Commander Usher, reported that there was no sign of a major storm at 8am, when his ship was in sight of Bermuda, and when the British Army meteorologists at Prospect Camp measured the wind at 28 mph, by 10am, the winds had reached 95 mph. When the centre of the storm passed over Bermuda at noon, the winds dropped to 8 mph, then increased to 114 mph, whereupon the Army took down its anemometer to protect it. The Royal Naval Dockyard was being hammered and never took its anemometer down. It measured 138 mph at 1pm (about the same time the Valerian went down), before the wind destroyed it.