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: 71 | January 2021

InDepth64 1

Cover Photo:  Commodore Jim Perks, CBE lays a Wreath at the National Submarine Memorial on Sunday 1st November 2020


Hello to everyone and may I wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2021 - despite all the current restrictions.  Hopefully, we will all be able to get back to normal before too long and - by that I mean ‘Normal’ as we all know it - and not the ‘New Normal’ which some keep going on about!

It’s very quiet here in Barrow in Furness, bur I suppose it is everywhere!  Yesterday Barrow was in Tier 2 of the restrictions and we woke up this morning to find ourselves in Tier 4 – much like the rest of the country!

This time last year we were all looking forward to a usual year’s programme with our Annual Reunion and Conference, our various Memorial Services and other Association events around the country plus National Services and Parades for the 75th Anniversary of VE and VJ Days.  As you all know most of these events had to be cancelled or re-arranged - as were almost all Branch Meetings and events.  The events which did go ahead were the Annual Submariners Remembrance Services at Westminster Abbey and at the National Submarine Memorial on the Embankment although it was on a very much reduced scale this year with only six Association Members and serving Submariners able to take part but, at least we maintained the tradition going back to 1921– see report on pages 7 & 8.  Many thanks are due to Iain Mackenzie - our National Vice Chairman - for all his efforts to ensure that despite continual changes in government advice the Ceremony could go ahead.  Iain has also been very busy in arranging, cancelling and rearranging the Annual Reunion again as government advice keeps changing – it a bit of a thankless task for him at the moment.

It looks like we will be continuing along the same lines of cancellations and rearrangements for the foreseeable future - alternative arrangements will be put in place wherever possible.  The National Committee are planning to hold this year’s Conference via Zoom and details of the arrangements plus the Agenda will be advised by the National Secretary in due course.

I have had a look at the New Year’s Honours List for 2021 and there are a few Submariners there - including Commodore Douglas Doull who received the CBE, Commander Darren Jon Mason who gets the OBE and Lt Cdr James Betchley with the MBE – congratulations to all three.  There may be a few more Submariners there and apologies to anyone I may have missed.

Another person who was suitably honoured this year was our past National Chairman who has been presented with a Submariner’s Association Patron’s Commendation.  Given the difficulties in meeting up over the last year this was eventually signed by our Patron – Lord Boyce – in the middle of the road on the Embankment - just before the Embankment Remembrance Ceremony and using the shoulder of our SA President – Niall Kilgour - as a desk.  Social Distancing properly observed of course!  Well done Jim McMaster – well deserved.  A scan of Jim’s Commendation is on Page 10.

COSM (Commodore Jim Perks) is keen that all areas of the Submarine Community (Serving and Veteran) support each other as much as possible and, during 2020 there has been progress on the setting up of the ‘Submarine Fund’ and the ‘Submarine Family’ and the Association now has Members attending the meetings of the relevant Committees and these Members will report back on progress to the NMC.  Additionally we have Representatives on the ‘Friends of the Submarine Museum Committee’ and have nominated a Representative for the Submarine Advisory Group to the National Museums of the Royal Navy.  As things develop the NMC will keep the Branches and the Membership fully informed.

In this News Letter you will find all the usual items including New and Re-joining Members and Crossed the Bar lists – not surprisingly the CTB list is a bit longer this time!  Also there are items on the Naming Ceremony for HMS ANSON, progress with the Dreadnought Programme, the Passing Out ceremony for new Submariners at Faslane – did you know that over 200 completed their ‘Dry Training’ for the ASTUTEs last year and have moved on to their ’Wet’ Training at sea.  There is also information on a proposed Cold War Museum in Devonport – hopefully the be centred around HMS COURAGEOUS.  However, no new books this time – my usual sources have been furloughed, quarantined or are working from home

As usual, once again, I must thank all those who have sent in items for the Newsletter – trying to fit it all in is challenging – but it makes my job so much easier when Members send me items and articles to publish!


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 72 will be published on 1st April 2021.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th March 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 71

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 71

In Depth No 70


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 70

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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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