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: 67 | January 2020

InDepth65 1

Photo: The Way It Used To Be! – HMS MEDWAY Captain Cyril G B Coltart (Captain S4) - Ship’s Company Photograph taken at Shanghai on 26th April 1936.

(From an album compiled by Able Seaman Samuel Byron Webb O/N JX134373)


Hello again to everyone from Barrow in Furness!  Might I take this opportunity to wish all Members, their Families and Friends all the best for the New Year of 2020.

Firstly, an apology to Dolphin Branch Member Dave Cook who was incorrectly included in the ‘Crossed the Bar’ list in ‘In Depth No 67’ – Dave called me to say that, happily, he is still with us and, he is in good health.

In this Issue we have a contribution from the outgoing RASM, Rear Admiral John Weale, with a review of 2019 and a look ahead to 2020.

There has been a lot of discussion recently concerning ‘Charitable Status’ proposals for the Submariners Association.  This is referred to in both the RASM Report and the Chairman’s Dit.  I have also included the November Letter from RASM on the subject and the Chairman’s subsequent explanation – see pages 18 to 21.  It is for Members to make up their own minds on the subject.

The Front-Page photo is taken from a photograph album currently in my possession and for which I am trying to find a suitable long-term home.  The photos cover the 1934 to 1937 Commission of the Barrow-built Submarine Depot Ship HMS MEDWAY.  Able Seaman Samuel Webb included photos of Hong Kong, Singapore, Wei-Hai-Wei, Shanghai, Pekin, Manila and Japan so familiar to Submariners of a previous era.

I have included all the regular sections in this issue – New Joiners, Crossed the Bar, Serial, Book Review, Foreign Submarine News and several Obituaries.

Hopefully you will find something of interest to read

Finally, I must thank all those who have sent in items for this Newsletter although there have not been so many contributions recently– it makes my job so much easier if members send me ‘stuff’!



Barrie Downer


Issue No. 68 will be published on 1st April 2020.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th March 2020 – please make sure I get them in time!


This Newsletter is published by the Submariners Association and is © 2020.  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.

Chairman’s Report

Friends and Fellow Submariners,

A Happy, Prosperous, Healthy and Safe New Year to you and yours.  I hope you are all well and enjoying the memories of an excellent Festive Period.  I really do enjoy Christmas and I am not ashamed to say so, but I like Christmas at Christmas – not mid-way through November!!  The festive madness seems to start earlier each year, or maybe I am just getting old!  Bah, humbug…

Since my last dit, the annual Service of Remembrance has taken place in Middle Temple Gardens and was, as always, a great success.  I would like to thank everyone who managed to attend this most important event in our calendar and took this opportunity to remember our comrades who have gone before us.  We must never forget the debt owed to these brave submariners.  We will remember them.

The CASD50 Commemorative Year has now passed and it was a great success with the opportunity to celebrate the contribution made by our young submariners (and those not so young now!!) who play(ed) a major role in the defence of this great country of ours.  They and their families deserve all the recognition they get - and the thanks too!  I know we can never talk about what we do or when and how we do it but there is no harm in letting people know that something is being done on their behalf every single day of the year!  Not only the submariners but their families too, make this personal sacrifice and we owe everyone a great debt of gratitude.

Although the anniversary year has ended there is still an opportunity to purchase the excellent memorabilia produced for the event.

From coasters to cufflinks there’s something for everyone and all at a reasonable cost.

Proceeds from all sales are going to three charities; Military Vs Cancer, Erskine Veterans and Helensburgh Sea Cadets, so it is all going to good causes.

Merchandise available include:

CUFFLINKS                   £25

TIE PINS                        £10

COINS                             £10

LAPEL PINS                  £3

COASTERS                     £5

PAPERWEIGHTS          £60


BOMBER PRINTS         £65

For details on how to purchase this unique, quality merchandise contact:

You should all know by now that a brand-new charity was inaugurated towards the end of last year.  This charity is The Submarine Benevolent Fund and its objectives include the welfare of all Submariners (past & present) and their families, Submarine Ethos, and Submarine Heritage.  It is dedicated entirely to all aspects of the Submarine Service and personnel.

So, although the SA will not now seek Charitable Status there is now in place a charity which is exclusively dedicated to our needs.  RASM, in the process of starting this Fund has made a donation of £10K from the RASM Fund.  This is OUR charity dedicated to US and we will be given every assistance from RNRMC experienced personnel to ensure its success.  We in the SA are not obliged to do anything.  Be assured that no money from our National Funds has been transferred or requested.

However, I put it to you that it would be unthinkable not to embrace our new charity and support and promote it in any way that we can – but that is our choice to make and something for discussion at the appropriate time.

In the meantime, we as an Association can carry on as we are at present until such times as an acceptable way forward is put to the Membership for debate and discussion – probably at the NCC 2020.

No one is being forced down a road they do not wish to travel.

So, I would request that everyone reading this pauses for two marching paces and gives serious thought to this new charity and how it can work for all of us as it grows and develops.

The annual Reunion including the National Council Conference for 2020 will be held at the Yew Lodge Hotel, Kegworth. over the weekend of 27 to 28 March 2020. The conference itself will be on Saturday 28 March 2020.

The address of the hotel is: Yew Lodge Hotel, Packington Hill, Kegworth, DE74 2DF.

To view the hotel online:

Car Parking is right next to the hotel. NO CHARGE. (despite what it says on the website)

Reeds Leisure Club

Offering a range of options to burn off some energy or to simply relax and unwind.  The Club features luxurious fitness suite, 10 metre swimming pool, hot tub / spa, sauna suite, steam room, beauty therapy suite and lounge bar and terrace, all will help to get rid of that fuzzy feeling in the morning.  Use of the gym is free to hotel residents.

For much more detail on this very popular annual event and how to reserve your room and menu choices please refer to the Reunion Circular which all of you should have by now.

If you do not have the Circular, please contact your Branch Secretary and ask him why he is denying you the opportunity to meet up with your old oppos and share a pint or three with them.

Please remember that to be certain of getting the room you want you must apply ASAP.  Do it now, you won’t regret it.

I will sign off now, but please take care of yourself, your family and friends as the cold months creep up on us.  Wrap up warm and keep on keeping on.


A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest In Depth No 67

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 67

In Depth No 66


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 67

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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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