In Depth & News Letters

In Depth & News Letters



Official Newsletter of the Submariners Association

Patron: Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL

Issue No: 65 | July 2019

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Photo:  RASM lays the Wreath at the HMS THETIS Memorial Service on 25th May 2019


Hello again to everyone from sunny (but cool) Barrow-in-Furness.  Welcome to In Depth No. 65

I was just about to send out this Newsletter when news came in about the tragic accident on the Russian Navy submersible LOSHARIK whereby up to fourteen Russian seamen died and more are in hospital.  I felt that it was necessary to recognise that the accident had occurred and include some limited details in this Issue.  It is yet another reminder to us all about the need for eternal vigilance in all Submarine operations and the risks to which Submariners of all nations are exposed.  Our sympathies go out to the families of those lost.

For this Issue I have had to delve into my records to find enough items to include as not too many submissions have been sent in from Association Members.  There are a couple of press releases from HM Naval Base Clyde, a BAE report on their take on CASD50 and some Submarine reports from the internet and from the Newspaper reports - including the Daily Telegraph Obituary for Admiral Sir Peter Herbert who was the first Commanding Officer of HMS VALIANT.

There were several notable anniversaries in June which merited a mention – the 80th anniversary of the loss of HMS THETIS with the loss of 103 passengers & crew and the 100th anniversary of the loss of Submarine L55 - with all hands - during the Royal Navy  ‘Russian Intervention’ in 1919.

Now we are into July I can also report the 48th Anniversary of the introduction of ‘Submarine Dolphins’ into the Royal Navy – replacing the previous ‘Sausage on a Stick’ sleeve badge which some of our older readership will remember.

The Submarine K26 Serial is continued, there is a book review – but only the one this time – a book on K13 written by Submariner Keith Hall plus there are all the usual regular items included – so there should be plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Please read and enjoy this Issue of In Depth – your story can appear in the next or future issues - all you need to do is to write it down and send it by either E Mail or Snail Mail – my contact details are on this page.  Sending in your stories and articles make my job as Editor easier – all I have to do is file them away and fit it into the next Issue.

You can also let me know about events being planned by your Branch or provide reports on events which have taken already place or on Branch Members who have done something special or merit particular recognition by others!


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 66 will be published on 1st October 2019. Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th September 2019 – please make sure I get them in time!

Chairman’s Report

Friends and Fellow Submariners,

As I sit in the sunny summer weather up here in the west of Scotland, I am very aware that some of the country, particularly in the South East, Norfolk and Lincoln areas have been subjected to some really serious rainfall. I am particularly concerned that some of our much older members may require some assistance if they are in the flooded areas.  Even if they do not need physical help sometimes just a familiar face popping in to see them and check on their welfare is a great comfort. So, if you are in these affected areas, please spare a thought for our older comrades.

The CASD50 Service of Thanksgiving held in Westminster Abbey on 3 May was a well-attended success. The Abbey was full as the great and the good of the Submarine Service and indeed the entire Royal Navy and families assembled to give thanks for the work carried out by everyone involved in the deterrent. It should be noted that these CASD50 celebrations are not exclusive to those who served on the Polaris and Trident boats. The invitation to attend events is aimed at all submariners.

On completion of the Service in the Abbey we made our way across the road to the QE Reception Centre where we all mingled and chatted and enjoyed some lunch. HRH the Duke of Cambridge attended both venues and spoke to several people there.  As I said, a good event.

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The next event in the CASD50 celebrations is the Ceremonial Divisions to be held in HM Naval Base Clyde on Friday 5 July.  This grand affair will have a VVIP  guest.  There will be a Veterans platoon of 22 men formed up and ‘inspected’ by the appropriate people. Following divisions there will be a reception and capability demonstration.

Shiny Bomber Pins: I think most of you will know by now about the new shiny Deterrent Pins which are awarded to serving personnel who have completed 10 or more deterrent patrols.  Many of you have asked if they will become available to veterans and the answer is that they are not available at this time.  Unlike the pewter version, these have not been mass-produced and therefore are not in ‘Slops’.  However, the Command Warrant Officer Taff Care is actively seeking a means of sourcing sufficient numbers to allow us to distribute them to the worthy recipients. I will keep you informed on any progress in this matter.

Preparatory work being carried out with the objective of seeking to register as a charity has been progressing as planned.  By this time every one of you should have received a copy of the draft document which gives details of the key points we have reached.  I would emphasise that it is a ‘work in progress’ but is the basis from which we expect and intend to develop our strategy as we progress. Of course, there will be changes, mostly minor I hope, as well as more specific detail in some areas as we progress through this procedure.  It would be unrealistic to expect such a document to be perfect at the first publication. A great deal of work has gone into reaching this stage and I hope you will feel sufficiently satisfied to support us as we wade through the bureaucracy of seeking charitable status.

This very important document was sent to all branch secretaries on 11 June with the request that they give it the widest distribution to their members.  If you have not yet been sent a copy, please ask your secretary for an explanation.  If you have any questions, please send them to me (in writing) and I will ensure that you receive the appropriate response.

Work has now started in the planning of this years’ Service of Remembrance which will take place in Middle Temple Gardens on Sunday 3rd November.  This is the most important day in our calendar, and I hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us to commemorate those who have gone before us. Thanks to the involvement and enthusiasm of the serving submariners this event gets bigger and bigger each year.

I trust you will all enjoy the forthcoming summer months. Remember, we have spent many years dodging the sun so take care in the good weather.

I hope to see you all soon.

Keep on keeping on


A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest In Depth No 65

In Depth Newsletter

Here is an extract of the latest In Depth Newsletter. A full copy of this and the previous version can be downloaded from these links in PDF Format.

Latest In Depth No 65

In Depth No 64


Rear Admiral Niall SR Kilgour CB

Jim McMaster
1, Blantyre Court
Bargarran, Erskine
Renfrewshire PA8 6BN
0141 571 4094
J. McMaster Esq

Vice Chairman:

Iain. MacKenzie Esq.
46 Almora Drive
G82 1AE
I. MacKenzie Esq

National Secretary:
Ian Vickers Esq
160 Bradshaw Meadows
Lancashire BL2 4ND
01204 308539
I. Vickers Esq

Stuart Brown Esq
14 Meadow Drive
Bury St. Edmunds
Suffolk IP29 5SB
07590 195295
S. Brown Esq

Membership Secretary:
David Woolterton Esq.
2 Thornton Close
SO24 9FE
01962 734940 or 07713448734
D. Woolterton Esq

Barrie Downer Esq
The Firs, Dundalk Street
Barrow Island
Barrow in Furness
LA14 2RZ
01229 820963
B. Downer Esq

In Depth Newsletter

A full copy of the previous version can be downloaded from Here: In Depth No 64

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The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty's Submarines.

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