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: 74 | October 2021


Photo:  The Families Weekend 2021– The Group Photograph


Hello again everyone.

Well, I hope you are all getting back to normal (or what goes for normal at the present) and getting on with Branch Meetings and Branch business.  I know some Branches have been holding Zoom Meetings to keep in touch but there is nothing like having proper ‘face to face’ get-togethers with your ‘oppos’ and having a few pints and, perhaps a tot or two.

So what have your NMC been doing recently?  Ian Vickers has been continuing the Monthly Secretaries meetings on Zoom to keep everyone up to date with Association business as well as circulating information to all Branches and Members.  A Working Party (four NMC Members) has been looking into our Voting processes to see if there is a better way of doing things.  Another Working Party is looking at all aspects of The Submarine Family (TSF) to see how best the Submariners Association fits in with their plans.  Then, of course, there has been the organisation and conduct of the recent successful Family Weekend at Kegworth - mainly by Iain Mackenzie but assisted, where necessary, by Andy Knox and others - I have included some photos in this issue.  Iain has also been progressing the planning for the 2022 Conference and Family Weekend which will be in Leicester.  Some information about the venue and the costs is at Page and the Booking Forms will be distributed via Branch Secretaries in due course.

The Membership Secretary, David Woolterton, has developed the new Membership Database and rolled it out to the Branches – I hope you are all using it - as well as continuing to update the Database such that all changes in existing Members details and those of New Joiners are recorded accurately and promptly.  A request from David is for all Branch Secretaries to regularly review the contact details for their Members which get out of date very quickly!  All changes should be advised to him as soon as possible.  Additionally, as a member of the TSF Working Party he is liaising with the team setting up ‘The Submarine Family (TSF) Website and Database

The Submarine Family, although not yet ‘launched now has a logo:

In Depth No 74 2

The TSF Website although not yet complete has a TSF holding page at and the logo is now public.

Andy Bain, as well as his Treasurer responsibilities, is also our representative on the New Submariner Memorial Board.  Other duties carried out by NMC Member include Parade Marshall, National Standard Bearer, representing the Association on the COSM Board and on the RNRMC/SMF Grants Award Team.

So, as you will see the NMC is being kept very busy on your behalf.  One point I would like to make is that two NMC places are up for election to the NMC at every National Council Conference so if you think you can contribute towards the running of the Association you can always put your name forward.

Monday 6th September saw Association Members at the National Arboretum for the ‘Breaking Ground’ Ceremony at the site of the planned new Submariner Memorial.  This was a ‘limited numbers’ occasion with five (should have been six) Standard Bearers, half a dozen serving Submariners, Members of the Memorial Project, Captain Irvine Lindsay (Deputy Commodore Submarines) and representatives from the media.  The turf was cut by 100-year-old Diana Mayes, whose 25-year-old Submarine CO husband Lt Gordon Noll RN was the Commanding Officer of HM Submarine UNTAMED when it was lost with all hands in the Clyde on May 30th, 1943.  Joining Diana to break the ground was a young Chef, Jack McHugh, from HMS VIGILANT’s Port crew, one of the youngest qualified submariners in the service.  Gill Molyneux – widow of Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux GM RN and Patron of We Remember Submariners was also present. The speech was given by Deputy Commodore Submarine Service Captain Irvine Lindsay OBE RN.  News since the Ceremony is that the Fund Raising for the New Memorial has reached its Target figure - which figure includes the £5.0k recently voted by the SA Branches.  The Unveiling/Dedication of the New Memorial is planned for May 2022 and places have been allocated for 80 veterans – places to be co-ordinated by the Association.

Sunday 12th September saw the Bi-annual Naval Associations Parade in Whitehall.  The Submariner’s Association was invited to take part this year for the first time and was represented by me (as the National Chairman), Ian Vickers as National Secretary, Andrew Morgan as National Standard Bearer and by Standards and Members from several Association Branches.

The weekend 17th to 19th September saw an HMS VALIANT Reunion in Liverpool – with several Association Members attending and the weekend 1st /2nd October saw the first ever (and very well attended) UPHOLDER Reunion in Barrow.

Did you watch the TV Series VIGIL?  I did watch one episode but lost interest very quickly.  I think the producers and writers have been watching too much Star Trek with the Star Ship Enterprise and a bit of Doctor Who with VIGIL being a bit like a Tardis – normal size on the outside but enormous when on board!  It says something that the programme makers seem to have upset both the Serving and Veteran Submariner Community and the Faslane Peace Campers who all think that they have been misrepresented!  Much more realistic & truer to life was the HMS TRENCHANT programme which showed the warts & all picture of life and problems at sea in one of the older nuclear submarines.

What else?  HMS ASTUTE has been with the Carrier Group on the deployment to the Far East via the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean exercising with many friendly Navies on the way!  The first time an RN submarine has been in Far East waters for many a year!

The 4th Astute Class boat HMS AUDACIOUS was formally ‘Commissioned’ at Faslane on 23rd September.  I have included the press release from Faslane PRO in the Newsletter.

And, very recently, we hear that the Aussies are going to get eight Nuclear Boats and, in the process, have cancelled their plans to acquire the 12 ‘Short Fin Barracuda’ Boats from France.  How soon will we see ‘Aussie’ Submariners in our SSNs for familiarisation and training, will there be opportunities for exchange drafts and, will we see RAN Officers coming over for ‘Perisher’ Training once again?  Interesting times!

Two other pieces of news of interest to Submariners – Contracts have been let to enable Concept & Initial Design work to commence for the ASTUTE Class replacement (already!) and its propulsion system – even before the last ASTUTE boat has been completed.  The other news is that the MoD has bought Sheffield Forgemasters – the business which is the Contractor/Supplier for the large steel castings for the Astute’s and the Dreadnought’s and some overseas Navies.

Another piece of late news is that fundraising by the Submariner community for the families of the crew of the Indonesian Submarine KRI NANGGALA has now reached its target of £53.0K and action is in hand via ‘We remember Submariners’ to get the monies to the families as soon as possible.  COSM, with the Indonesian Ambassador will be laying  wreath at the Embankment Memorial on 7th October.

After our much-reduced Ceremony last year our Submariners Remembrance Ceremony at the Temple Gardens and the Embankment will be going ahead as normal this year on Sunday 7th November.  I hope to see many of you there!

Well, that’s more than enough from me!  Thanks to everyone who has sent in items for this issue.  Take care everyone and make sure you get both of your ‘Jabs’ – not forgetting your’ ‘Booster jabs and the Flu jab when you are called forward!.


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 75 will be published on 1st January 2022.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th December 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 74

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 74

In Depth No 73


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 73

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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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