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Women Serving in Submarines

There has always been much concern about whether women should serve in Submarines and Submariners to a man, have always said 'No Way'. However it seems that without us realising it (women serving in Submarines) has been going on for years! George Meadows has highlighted a case that he knows of!

George's Story



S. 1320 i (Rev. July 1963)
H.M.S. OSIRIS. Trot Movement, l June 1969

Control Room
Helm P.O.R.El. Orpen
Echo Sounder R.E.A Dicker Panel E.R.A.
Danks Log Cook Cox

Accom Space
P.O. Stwd Meadows
Fore Ends Mrs. Meadows
Motor Room L.E.M. Beadle
E.M. O'Hara
After Ends M.E. McCubbin
M.E. Terry

Engine Room L.M.E. McNab

Casing A/B Able
A/B Douggan
E.M. Johnson
M.E. Eker
M.E. Hemmingway

In June 1969 George was serving in HMS Osiris (SM3 at Faslane). On Sunday 1st June 1969 Osiris was at Great Harbour, Greenock for degaussing. It being a Sunday and George being duty (and the PO Steward) he decided to invite Mrs Meadows down the boat for lunch. Anyway a storm was brewing up and a Signal was received recalling Osiris to Faslane. By this time it was not possible to get Mrs Meadows off the boat - or anyone else on board.

A quick count of heads showed that the Duty watch was one short of a crew for a trot move - except that Mrs M was still on board! No problem - a quick brief on how to use the intercom and to give a shout if anything untoward was seen or heard and Mrs M suddenly became the Duty Fore Endy for the trip back to Faslane.

No problem here then, a full crew was available. Only snag was, on arriving back at Faslane a berth was allocated in the 'Red Area' - Polaris berths 1 & 2. Now try explaining to the Police Guards at Faslane why there was a lady onboard on arrival in Faslane, in the Red Area, on a Sunday and without a Pass!

George has proof that this story is a true dit. He has a copy of the Trot Move Signal dated 1st June 1969 listing the Trot Move Crew - Fore Ends……… Mrs Meadows! She thinks she should have got the OBE for this but was more likely to receive the BEM (Bathrooms Etc. & Mess Decks!)


And Another

A 2nd case of women at sea in Submarines occurred during 'Trial Caraway 1986' on the AUTEC Range in the Bahamas. During this trial there was a Tigerfish Torpedo firing exercise with HMS Turbulent, HMS Conqueror (the firing Submarines) and HMS Avenger (the target).

A team of WRNS Analysts from the Submarine Tactics and Weapons Group (STWG) at Faslane was based on Andros Island. During one of the Firing Phases the 2nd Officer WRNS in charge of the team (2nd Officer Trish Bramhill) and one of her Leading WRENS (Sue Woods) joined Conqueror to observe the firings and to take the records back ashore at the end of the day for analysis.

For various reasons they both had to remain on board over night (the transfer off had been cancelled) and had to sleep on camp beds in the Sonar Cab Space with a sentry posted to make sure they were safe! All was well and they were transferred off the following day

    - Submariners obviously aren't what they used to be!



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