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: 59 | January 2018

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Hello everyone and a Happy New Year to you all!  Welcome to ‘In Depth’ No. 59.  The Front Cover picture this Issue is one of the last pictures taken of the Crew of the ARA SAN JUAN – the Argentinian Submarine recently lost in such tragic circumstances.  Many of us will have posed for similar photographs in the past.  Looking at all the smiling faces it is difficult to believe what happened to them just a short while later.  At this time, the exact circumstances are unknown and the submarine has not yet been located.  We can but offer our most sincere condolences to the families.  On Page 5 you will find the Statement from the Defence Secretary and the names of the Crew of the ARA SAN JUAN.

Many of you will have heard that the Australian Navy’s first Submarine - HMAS AE1 - has finally been found – 103 years after she was lost in unknown circumstances in the Bismarck Archipelago.  This has finally brought some measure of closure to the UK, Australian and New Zealand descendants of the AE1 Crew.

Another submarine recently found is the WWII minelayer HMS NARWHAL – lost 77 years ago and now, unexpectedly, located by a Polish team looking for one of their own submarines -the WWII ORP ORZEL.  NARWHAL is lying some 140 miles east of Aberdeenshire and now more UK families now know where menfolk are!

Thank you to all those who have provided input to this Newsletter – in particular, Richard Channon who has provided an update on the Issue 58 article about HM S/M X-2 and Stan Goold who has identified some of the crew in the HMS ARTEMIS photo in the same Issue.  Bob McGuiness sent in information about a cluster of WWII RN Submarine wrecks located off the coast of Tunisia – some not yet positively identified.

You will find all the usual articles in this issue – WWI Submarine losses, Books, the K26 story etc.  As ever please read and enjoy.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome - but why not send in your story?  All Submariners have at least one to tell!

Barrie Downer


Issue No. 60 of IN DEPTH is due for publication on 1st April 2018.

Contributions for the next Issue should be with the Editor by 15th March 2018 to ensure your story/article is considered.

Please note my new E Mail address of

Chairman’s Report

Friends and Fellow Submariners,

It hardly seems like twelve months since last Christmas and here we are again rushing headlong into the festivities promising as we do each year that we will be better prepared next year!  Whether you are rushing around like a headless chicken or laid-back and cool I hope you and yours have a fantastic Festive Season.

The main event since the last issue of In Depth was of course our annual Service of Remembrance back in early November.  This day is a very important date on our calendar, a time to pay tribute to our colleagues who have gone before and are on the Eternal Patrol.  For reasons we are all aware of we now hold this important Service in the gardens of The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple where we construct a traditional Drumhead Altar at which we lay our wreaths.  On completion of the service the wreaths are collected and 'marched' across the road by a platoon of Serving Submariners and laid at the National Submarine War Memorial in a dignified and proper manner.

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The VIPs in front of Drumhead Altar and Branch Standards

The event this year was attended by over 500 submariners, serving and non-serving.  This is without doubt the largest attendance to date and we were pleased to welcome representatives from other country's Submarine Service including American, Canadian and French.  This event is now a major item on the calendar of the Submarine Family.  It was very gratifying to see so many young submariners present many of whom were still training.  We should always ensure that these youngsters feel welcome.  After all they are our future.

In the west cloister of Westminster Abbey is a monument commemorating officers and men of the Submarine Service of the Royal Navy, the Commandos, and all ranks of the Airborne Forces and Special Air Service.

It was designed by the sculptor Gilbert Ledward, with three bronze figures in stone niches, with the dates 1939 and 1945 on tablets between.  The models for the figures were serving members of the forces – the submariner was modelled on Leading Seaman Reginald Read, the Commando on Company Sergeant Major Ayres, and the representative of the Parachute Regiment was Corporal Howard Elliott.  The memorial was unveiled by Winston Churchill on 21 May 1948.

Beneath the sailor is a bronze plaque with two naval badges and the inscriptions:

“To the Glory of God and in memory of the officers and men of the Submarine branch of the Royal Navy who have given their lives both in peace and war”.  “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”.

Beneath the soldier are two badges and the inscriptions:

“To the Glory of God and in memory of all ranks of the Commandos who fell in the Second World War 1939-1945”.  “They performed whatsoever the King commanded”.

Beneath the airman are two badges and the inscriptions:

“To the Glory of God and in memory of all ranks of the Airborne Forces and Special Air Service who fell in the Second World War 1939-1945”.  “These were mighty men of valour”.

Below the SAS section a small memorial to men who served in the Long Range Desert Group was unveiled in 2013 - they supported the SAS in the early days.

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Monument in west cloister of Westminster Abbey

I was privileged to attend the annual Memorial Service which takes place in the vicinity of the Monument on the Saturday of our Remembrance weekend and lay a wreath on behalf of the Submariners Association.

I would like to thank everyone who managed to attend the events on the Submariners Remembrance Weekend in London.  I know that many more of you will also have attended Remembrance Day Parades and services in your home towns.  Well done for that.  We must never forget those who have gone before us!

The deadline of 31st December for nominations of volunteers to become members of the NMC is rapidly approaching as is the cut-off date for any amendments to the Rules and Constitution.  All of you should be aware of this by now and I have to tell you that to date the number of candidates for the positions on the NMC is very low indeed!  Why is that?  I know from personal experience that there are many in our membership who are vociferous and quick to criticise and yet when the opportunity to actually contribute and make a difference presents itself – they become the silent service again!  The only qualifications required to become a member of the NMC is that you must be a Full Member of the Association, be willing to work towards the common good and wellbeing of the Association and accept that sometimes the best you can hope for is to do the least wrong thing!!  So please, step up to the plate, engage!  Get your name to the National Secretary before the deadline.

Have you booked your accommodation and menu choices for the annual Reunion which will take place at the Premier Best Western Yew Lodge Hotel over the weekend of 23rd to 25th March.  The National Council Conference will be on Saturday 24th March.  I would advise you to book as soon as you can so that you do not miss out on this great weekend.  An opportunity to meet up with 'old' oppos and spend some quality time spinning a few dits whist consuming your favourite beverages!

The winter weather is now with us and I would ask each, and every one of you to take care and stay warm!  And don't forget to check on any elderly neighbours in your vicinity.  Just a couple of minutes of your time can really make a difference to someone on their own at this time of the year.

I wish you all a very safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.

In the meantime

Keep on Keeping on.

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest InDepth No 59



Official Newsletter of the Submariners Association

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

Issue No: 58 | October 2017

InDepth58 1



Hello Everyone. Welcome to ‘In Depth’ No. 58. Thank you to all who have contributed to this Issue. I have included the First Sea Lord’s ‘Open Letter’ to the Daily Telegraph upholding the good work done by the Royal Navy in general and the Navy’s recent and on-going support to the Caribbean Islands and Territories in particular. You will find reports on the recent Dundee Submarine Memorial Parade, the unveiling of a new Memorial to the WWII HMS OLYMPUS and her crew in Malta, HMS ASTUTE’s recent return to Operations, the ‘Paying Off’ of HMS TORBAY, a report on the recent NATO Submarine Rescue Exercise and an item about the new Managing Director at the BAE Shipyard.
John Clayden has provided a brief on the new Submarine Advisory Group to the National Museum of the Royal Navy - on which Group Ted Hogben is the SA Representative.There is an article on the Centenary of the tragic loss of the Battle Ship HMS VANGUARD during WWI.  There are two items from Australia about crew members of HMA Submarine AE2 in the Gallipoli Campaign and two items from Branches – Cyril Raines reports on the Kingston Upon Hull Veterans Weekend and the Barrow Branch reports on a joint charitable donation with HMS AUDACIOUS to a Barrow Primary School.

There is an article on the Centenary of the tragic loss of the Battle Ship HMS VANGUARD during WWI. There are two items from Australia about crew members of HMA Submarine AE2 in the Gallipoli Campaign and two items from Branches – Cyril Raines reports on the Kingston Upon Hull Veterans Weekend and the Barrow Branch reports on a joint charitable donation with HMS AUDACIOUS to a Barrow Primary School.You will find all the regular items – New Joiners, Members ‘Crossed the Bar’, Submarine Losses of WWI and the next Chapter of ‘K26 – The Steam Submarine’.
Amongst other items I have included two Obituaries of well know Submariner Officers – WWI Submarine CO Commander ‘Tubby’ Crawford - who died at the age of 100 and Commodore Lawrence (Laurie) Brokenshire.
Hopefully you will find something in this News Letter of interest. As ever please read and enjoy. Comments and suggestions are always acceptable – but polite comments only please!


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 59 of IN DEPTH is due for publication on 1st January 2018.

Contributions for the next Issue should be with the Editor by 15th December 2017 to ensure your story/article is considered. Please note my new E Mail address which is

Cover Picture:   Wreaths laid at the Dundee Memorial on Saturday 9th September

Chairman’s Report

Friends and Fellow Submariners,
The summer months are now behind us and on reflection it wasn't too bad a summer here in good old UK, especially when you compare our weather with that of the so called 'tropical paradise' areas of the world. We are very fortunate that we don't really have any extremes in weather on a regular or annual basis. So, when you are sitting with your oppos enjoying a pint, spinning dits and moaning about the British weather, spare a thought for those who have lost everything in their tropical paradise.
Keith Bishop: It would be wrong not to mention the recent passing of our Membership Secretary, Keith Bishop. Keith ‘Crossed the Bar’ in the early hours of 1st August whilst staying the night with his friend Ian Atkinson to break his journey home from an NMC meeting.
Keith's passing meant that there had to be a re-assignment of roles within the NMC to ensure we functioned in a proper and sustainable manner.
So, the following changes will take place with immediate effect and continue through to the NCC in March.
Jim McMaster will take on the role of Chairman/Secretary
Nigel Mellor will take on the role of Treasurer by 'double-banking' Ian Atkinson
David Woolterton is co-opted on to the NMC in the role of Membership Secretary. [This is in accordance with R & C, NMC Standing Orders paragraph 2 (f)]
Ian Atkinson will take on the role of Dolphin Branch Secretary.
In the intervening time, we now seek volunteers to take on the following roles on a permanent basis, taking effect from the date of the NCC in March 2018
National Secretary - Terms of Reference available on request
National Treasurer - Terms of Reference available on request
National Membership Secretary
Anyone interested in any of these roles and wishes to volunteer should send their names to Chairman/Secretary. A panel of NMC members will assess the suitability of all volunteers.
Embankment Parade Sunday 5th November 2017.
Once again, the event this year will take place in the gardens of Middle Temple. Several members have asked why we no longer hold this very important annual event at the location of the National Submarine Memorial on Victoria Embankment. There is no one single reason for this but in fact a combination of circumstances. We discussed the matter in detail with the relevant authorities in London, the Police, TfL and London Events Manager and the outcome is that it is just not feasible to have the Service as we used to do. The installation of the Cycle Super Highway immediately in front of our Memorial and all along the Victoria Embankment has reduced the width of the dual carriageway to such an extent that shutting of one side is no longer sufficient to allow traffic to flow freely. To allow us sufficient space would require the shutting down of at least 10 streets! This would need a lot more police to manage this situation and the cost would be £5,000 - £10 000 which we would have to pay. Totally prohibitive at the upper estimate. Another consideration is the number of people who now attend this prestigious event. Because of the new road conditions those attending would be stretched right along the Embankment to such an extent that it would be meaningless for those at the extremities. A minor point is that they have now installed an ornamental lamp post immediately in front of the monument which would make it difficult to form up and hold the service. If these were not enough to hinder us the police reminded us that security would be incredibly difficult with the now favoured tactic of terrorists to drive a vehicle directly into crowds. Imagine if you can the chaos that would cause with the VVIPs who attend our Service.
So, I'm afraid the Service of Remembrance is not going to take place at our Memorial. The Middle Temple gardens are situated immediately across the road from the Memorial so we can lay our wreaths there with some dignity on completion of the formal service.

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This is not the best place for us to have a lamp post!

Those who have attended the event in these gardens will know that although there is more than ample space for the parade to muster there is a limited space for seating. For that reason, the seating we do have is reserved for those who really do require one, i.e. due to infirmity, disability or age. Could I please ask that you ask all of your members attending if they are in need of a seat, we have set aside a disabled seating area but are limited by numbers. If you know if anyone that fits this need please let Nigel Mellor know before the event. Contact Nigel on .
Submarine Oscars Evening:
Have you purchased your ticket yet for this event? The date is Thursday 5th October 2017 and the venue is the WO & SR Mess HMS NEPTUNE. Tickets cost £15 per person and this will get you a 'welcome' drink on arrival, three course meal, table wine and coffee, live entertainment - comedian and live music, and of course the presentation of well-earned awards. This event has been very well publicized so I don't need to go into any more detail. However, if you do require more information or wish to book your ticket please contact CWO Andy Knox on Base extension 6276 or Dress Code for the evening is 'Black Tie'! Don't leave it too late or you will miss your chance to take part in a special night.
Annual Reunion 2018:
By now you should have received the relevant paperwork for this very popular annual event. Please get your Reunion accommodation and menu requirements in to Iain Mackenzie as soon as possible. If you have not received the information then contact your Branch Secretary now and ask him why he has not sent it to you. The venue this year is the Yew Lodge Hotel, Packington Hill, Kegworth, Derby, DE24 2DF and will be held over the weekend of Friday 23 March to Sunday 25 March.
I look forward to meeting up with you all. Remember, this is an opportunity to meet up with old oppos some of whom you may not have seen since Nelson was a boy, a chance to share a pint or three and spin those dits! Book now - you won't regret it.
National Council Conference (NCC) 2018:
It's that time of year again when I remind you that the NCC will be held on the Saturday of the Reunion weekend. I would encourage every branch to send a Delegate to this important gathering and ensure that you have your voice heard on matters affecting the running of YOUR association.
Each year there are two places available on the NMC and this year is no different. These places are open to all Full Members of the Association so if you think that you can make a difference and would like to take an active role in running the Association get your name and short CV to me by the closing date of 31st December 2017. I can be contacted on . This is your chance to contribute.
The post of National Chairman is also available this year but this position is limited to those who are presently or have in the past served on the NMC. I know that there has been a lot of discussion regarding finding me a role when I step down after two stints of being the Chairman but I can now inform you that I am not obliged to step down as previously thought - there has been a very embarrassing misunderstanding of the Rules & Constitution. I am eligible and I will be putting my name forward for re-election to the post of National Chairman in 2018. I won't bore you here with all the details of the R & C misunderstanding but I would be very willing to discuss with you if you wish. However, I would suggest that prior to this you check the Minutes of the NCC meeting held in 2011!!
The date of 31st December is also the cut-off date for any Proposals for any amendments, changes, alterations, additions to our Rules & Constitution. These proposals must be with the National Secretary in writing by that date. Each Proposal requires a Seconder. If you require any further information or advice on this matter please contact me and I will help where I can.
The cold wet months of winter are now upon us so once again I would ask that you all wrap up well, keep warm and dry and look after yourselves and don't forget to check up on the welfare of our older members or the neighbours who live close-by. It will only take you a minute or two but will make a big, big difference to them.
In the meantime

Keep on Keeping on.

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest InDepth No 58

InDepth 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 InDepth No 59

InDepth No 58


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

Nigel Mellor Esq
17 Wyke Way
Shropshire TF11 8SF
07427 159476
N. Mellor Esq

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

Barrie Downer Esq
37, James Watt Terrace
Barrow in Furness
LA14 2TS
01229 820963
B. Downer Esq

InDepth Newsletter

A full copy of the previous version can be downloaded from Here: InDepth No 58

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