HMS Mantis was the name given to the Royal Navy's Coastal Forces Base in Lowestoft.There were five Naval bases in Lowestoft referred to as “Stone Frigates” HMS Europa (Royal Naval Patrol Service) HMS Martello (Mine-sweeping) HMS Minos (Harbour Defence) HMS Myloden (Landing Craft Training for Royal Marines and Combined Operations) and HMS Mantis.
The Headquarters buildings for Mantis were on the Hamilton Dock, the vessels attached to Mantis the MGB's (Motor Gun Boats) MTB's ( Motor Torpedo Boats) and ML's (Motor Launches) used Hamilton Dock itself from where they set out for “E-Boat Alley”off the East Coast to engage the German E-Boats. Officers were billeted at the Royal Hotel (now demolished) and the crews were mainly billeted in requisitioned houses in the Grove Road area.
Following a visit made by J.P. Perkins DSC (an Ex HMS Mantis Officer) to the Lowestoft Museum Broad House the Museum had been given the HMS Mantis War Diary which started life as the War Diary of 7th Flotilla MGB's and 4th Flotilla MTB's which is now deposited with the Record Office Lowestoft Library. This semi official log book, written up by various officers over the years contains reports of action, and normal hum drum aspects of service life between actions, humour, and of course sorrow that war brings
Extract From War Diary of HMS Mantis
"E-Boats have been over several times this season and have been successfully engaged by our ML's. ML145 and ML150 had a ramming session with 3 E-Boats and succeeded in sinking one and damaging two others 16 prisoners were taken. Lt. J Thomas got a DSC. (Distinguished Service Cross) and Lt. R. Seddon mentioned in Dispatched"