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: 73 | July 2021

In Depth No 73 1



Hello again everyone.  I had hoped that, by now, most of these restrictions would be gone, we’d all have been jabbed, twice and things would be getting back to the ‘real normal’ instead of a halfway house,  However, that’s fifteen months now of Covid 19 - or is it A, B, C or D or perhaps it’s still the Indian Variant – Plus or otherwise!  Hopefully, the vaccine roll out will continue at a good pace and the hoped-for relaxation of the rules I spoke about last time will soon allow us all to get back to normal.  Once again we have had to cancel a ‘face to face’ NMC Meeting and go for Zoom instead.  Have you been able to hold any ‘normal’ monthly Branch meeting and social events?  Or are you all still stuck with Zoom Meetings?

Two NMC Working Parties are currently looking at (1) Voting arrangements for National Council Conference ‘Proposals’ and ‘Recommendations’ and other matters affecting the Association and (2) the Association’s options with regard to the Submarine Family/Submarine Fund.  These two Working Parties will report back to the full NMC in the near future to discuss their conclusions and the way ahead before presenting Recommendations to the Membership.

Following the recent tragic accident to the Indonesian Submarine KRI NANGGALA many fundraising initiatives have been set up by the wider Submariner Community to support the families.  Your NMC recommended a donation of £1,000 from National Funds to the collection of which £500 was paid over immediately.  I am proud to say the support of the Association Branches (in accordance with the new Rules voted in at NCC 2021) was then forthcoming for the second £500 donation and that was paid over on 25th May.  Full details of the transfer of the collected funds to the families will be advised in due course.  It is to be hoped that, with the previous experience with the families of the ARA SAN JUAN, the transfer of the funds will be much quicker this time.

Have you heard of the Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV)?  Much work is apparently going on with these Vehicles which, it is suggested may, in future fulfil many of the tasks currently undertaken by manned submarines.  They are the subject of an article on the BBC Website: by Michael Dempsey.  Ryan Ramsey – formerly Perisher Teacher - contributed to the article to give the Submarine Commander’s perspective.  I have been given permission to use the article in Association Newsletter and I have included it at Pages 18 to 20 - subject to use of the various attributions.

There is also an article about the identification of the wreck of HMS URGE on the seabed off Grand Harbour, Malta - divers have gone down to the remarkable depth of 112 metres to get the photographic proof of identity.  After two years of discussion and conjecture (and almost 80 years after the loss) the families now have the confirmation they have wanted for so long and know where their family members are resting.

I have included a number of Press Releases from the Media people at Faslane to give a flavour of what is happening in the Base and in the Serving Submariner world.  Although it is not mentioned, it is clear from reports that the length of the Patrols for our serving brothers and sisters are currently far in excess of what any of our veteran community have ever been involved in – not only the extra-long patrols - but the crews are also having to isolate for two weeks before leaving on patrol to make sure they are Covid clear.  Well done to all the crew members and their families – and hopefully, this situation this won’t continue for too much longer.

Not long now to the Families Weekend at Kegworth  20th to 22nd August.  Don’t forget that if you booked and paid last year your booking is still valid but make sure you confirm your attendance with Iain Mackenzie - if you haven’t done so already!

Three books for you in this issue – two available from Whittles Publishing of Dunbeath, Caithness and one from Amazon.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in items for this issue.  Take care everyone and make sure you get both of your ‘Jabs’ when you are due.


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 74 will be published on 1st October 2021.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th September 2021 – please make sure I get them in good time!


This Newsletter is published by the Submariners Association and is © 2021.  The opinions expressed in these pages are not necessarily the opinion of the Editor, the Submariners Association, the MoD, or the Submarine Service unless otherwise stated.  The Submariners Association may not agree with the opinions expressed in this Newsletter but encourages publication as a matter of interest.  Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated.  Otherwise the Submariners Association accepts no liability on any issue in this Newsletter.

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest In Depth No 73

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 73

In Depth No 72


Rear Admiral Niall SR Kilgour CB

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

Andy Bain Esq
5 Rydal Mount
07792 100896
A. Bain 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 72

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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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