Affray (P421)

Built By: Cammell Laird (Mersey)
Build Group: A2
Fate: Lost on 16th April 1951 through flooding caused by fractured snorkel in Hurd Deep, off Alderney
HMS Affray as she was completed with Oerlikon 'bandstand' seen aft of the fin. Snort has yet to be fitted. The guard rails & stanchions are interesting - the authors failing memory recalls that the stanchions were left in place while at sea to provide identification during the Summer Wars where the fleet was divided into two opposing sides.
HMS Affray as she was completed with Oerlikon 'bandstand' seen aft of the fin. Snort has yet to be fitted. The guard rails & stanchions are interesting - the authors failing memory recalls that the stanchions were left in place while at sea to provide identification during the Summer Wars where the fleet was divided into two opposing sides.

Upload An Image Of This Boat

Related Pages
Affray - Subsmash CommentaryAffray RiddleDisaster Beneath the WavesChief Stoker Mechanics theory about the loss of the Affray
The relatives and the author are not the only ones who would like this mystery solved and I am sure so would the many who served at the time or later, on the sister ships of the Affray, but I don't want to know at the cost of bringing indignity to the remains of these men have no doubt that others with better technical qualifications and easy access to the archives would be able to more comprehensively review the loss of the Affray , but this is simply a commentary by a former submariner of the time on a recently published book about the loss
Sports divers using new deep water techniques have reached the wreck of the Affray, the Royal Navy submarine in which 75 sailors lost their lives almost 50 years ago in a disaster that remains shrouded in mystery.
HMS Affray was the last RN submarine to be lost at sea. At the time of her sinking, rumours about the cause of her loss circulated widely. Many were discounted once her final resting place had been found and the Official Inquiry's report had been published. However, speculation persists to this day as to the reasons why she sank.
This is a recollection of a conversation with the Chief Stoker Mechanic of HMS Amphion in 1954.

Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Allen, Osborn Harold  Engineer Lieutenant      24
Alston, James Hilton  Engineer Lieutenant      31
Andrews, Trever John  Sergeant (Royal Marine)  X 3263 (Ch)    26
Commandos on passage to beach drop off..(SBS)
Ashley, George Thomas Eric  Leading Stoker  P/KX 134325    28
Barlow, James Berytram  Leading Steward  D/LX 763226    22
Bartrup, Denis Graham  Electrical Mechanician 1st Class  P/MX 769278    24
Beddoes, David Benjamin  Steward  C/SLX 868218    19
Bennington, David Russell  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class  D/MX 58857    27
Bilton, William  Senior Commissioning Engineer (Civilian)      35
Blackburn, John  Lieutenant    DSC*  28
Commanding Officer
Bridges, Oliver Alfred Maynard  Stoker Mechanic  D/SKX 832096    21
Burberry, Alfred Henry  Chief Petty Officer Stoker  C/JX 157156    28
Cardno, Robert John  Stoker Mechanic  C/KX 769554    24
Cole-Adams, Michael Christopher  Engineer Lieutenant      23
Cook, George David  Leading Seaman  D/JX 163572    27
Cooper, John Harold  Petty Officer  D/JX 371976    24
Curry, Roy  Stoker Mechanic  D/SKX 790241    22
Denny, Frederick Charles  Chief Petty Officer Electrician  MX 745978    29
Drury, Frederick  Stoker Mechanic  D/SKX 854592    21
Foster, Derrick James John  Lieutenant      25
Frew, Anthony Arthur  Sub Lieutenant      21
Garwood, Alan Robert  Sub Lieutenant      21
Gittins, Harold  Telegraphist  D/SSX 661493    20
Gostling, Bernard Paul  Stoker Mechanic  C/KX 832123    21
Green, Walter John  Leading Stoker  C/KX 162120    27
Greenwood, Jeffrey Langdon  Lieutenant      22
Harkness, William Ronald  Petty Officer  P/SSX 15914  MID  35
Also as J/X 801036
Harris, Leonard Edwin Stanley  Stoker Mechanic  C/KX 841775    21
Hiles, Roy Gerald Graham  Stoker Mechanic  P/SKX 846398    21
Hodges, John Edwin Albert  Stoker Mechanic  P/SKX 850727    20
Hooper, Alfred Herbert George  Marine (Royal Marine)  X 6485 (Po    21
Commando on passage to beach drop off..(SBS). Also as X 6483 (Po)
Horwell, Eric  Electrical Mechanician 1st Class  D/SMX 834344    21
Howard-Johnston, Richard Geoffrey  Sub Lieutenant      21
Irven, Alan Harold  Telegraphist  C/JX 292902    25
Jarvis, Dennis William  Marine (Royal Marine)  X 4883 (Ch    21
Commando on passage to beach drop off..(SBS)
Kirkwood, William James  Lieutenant      26
Lansberry, Russell Cruddas  Lieutenant      27
Larter, Gordon Richard  Stoker Mechanic  P/SKX 852151    20
Leakey, George William  Able Seaman  C/JX 785105    22
Lees, Norman Charles Edwin  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 93541    25
Lewis, William David  Stoker Mechanic  D/KX 842311  DSM*  28
Linton, William Francis  Sub Lieutenant      21
Longstaff, William Anthony Comben  Sub Lieutenant      21
Mackenzie, Colin Ian  Sub Lieutenant      21
Mackenzie-Edwards, Roderick Petvin  Sub Lieutenant      21
McKenzie, John Labourne  Chief Engine Room Artificer  P/MX 57125  DSM*  38
Also as P/MX 75125
Miller, James  Leading Stoker  D/SKX 803506    22
Nickalls, Hugh Antony Hylton  Sub Lieutenant      21
North, Richard Frank  Sub Lieutenant      21
Pane, Peter Ronald  Able Seaman  C/JX 819786    19
Parker, George  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class  D/MX 66713    37
Pearson, Dennis Harry  Petty Officer  P/JX 371671    23
Preston, Robin Jocelyn  Sub Lieutenant      21
Ramplin, Alan  Stoker Mechanic  P/SKX 871876    20
Rewcastle, Antony Giles Candon  Sub Lieutenant      21
Rutter, Jack  Radio Electrical Mechanician  D/SMX 770424    22
Shaw, Frederick Miguel  Engineer Lieutenant      24
Shergold, Edward Norman  Corporal (Royal Marine)  X 5874 (Po)    23
Commando on passage to beach drop off..(SBS)
Smith, Francis Robert  Cook  C/MX 58198    30
Smith, John Douglas  Stoker Mechanic  C/KX 835006    24
Smith, Ronald Benjamin Brinkley  Leading Seaman  C/JX 157783    28
Stewart, Aanthony John  Able Seaman  P/JX 712811    22
Strachan, John Gordon  Sub Lieutenant      21
Taylor, Maurice George Edwin C.  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 715933    25
Temple, Norman  Stoker Mechanic  C/KX 527942    25
Thirkettle, John George  Petty Officer Stoker  C/KX 100698    29
Treleaven, John Monckton  Engineer Lieutenant      23
Trimby, Victor George  Leading Stoker  P/MX 816151    22
Tugman, Robin Terry  Sub Lieutenant      21
Vincent, Roy  Steward  C/SLX 771525    21
Welch, Albert George  Engineer Lieutenant      23
Whitbread, Reginald Arthur  Chief Petty Officer Stoker  P/KX 82925    37
Wood, Herbert James  Leading Electrical Mechanician  C/MX 745821    26
Woods, Frederick George  Petty Officer Telegraphist  P/JX 136971  MID  34
Worsfold, Benjamin James  Leading Telegraphist  P/JX 371780    24


16-01-1944 : Laid Down
12-04-1945 : Launched
02-05-1946 : Completed
16-04-1951 : HMS Affray left Portsmouth to take part in Exercise Training Spring with a training class of young officers aboard, her orders being to make a daily report between 9am and 10am each morning and to land a party of Royal Marines on any suitable beach in the patrol area during the night.

On the morning of the 17th Affray failed to report her position as required and rescue vessels were immediately put on alert as repeated attempts to call up the submarine failed. It was known that she had intended to dive 30 miles south of the Isle of Wight, so the search was concentrated off the island but the exact position of Affray was unknown. A number of vessels involved in the search reported faint Asdic signals and the submarine Ambush decoded a message stating, WE ARE TRAPPED ON THE BOTTOM but the Affray still could not be found.

On the evening of the 19th the Admiralty regretfully called off the search. While the search for survivors was now fruitless the search for the Affray was to continue.

In the middle of June, after nine weeks of searching, an underwater camera focused on the submarine's nameplate. Her final position proved to be 37 miles from her known diving position. She was lying on an even keel on the edge of a series of underwater chasms known as Hurd’s Deep in the English Channel. Divers could find no evidence of collision damage but noted that her radar aerial and periscope were raised, indicating that she must have been submerged when she foundered. Both hydroplanes were in the rise position indicating that attempts to raise the submarine must have been in operation before being finally defeated by the incoming water.

A reason for the disaster was however soon found when the snort mast was examined. A clean break was discovered 3 feet above the deck leading to the conclusion that metal fatigue had caused the loss, allowing water into the boat through a 10-inch hole. This was confirmed by tests carried out on the recovered mast at Portsmouth, all assertions as to a collision being quashed. Exactly what caused the snorkel to shear at the time it did will in all likelihood never be known.


This form is for you to comment on, or add additional information to this page. Any questions will be deleted. If you wish to ask a question or otherwise contact the Branch or the Webmaster. Please use the Contact Us page or ask your question on our Facebook Page

Please insert the result of the arithmetical operation from the following image:

Please insert the result of the arithmetical operation from this image. =


Note: All submissions are subject to webmaster approval prior to appearing on the page. As a SPAM prevention measure, any comments containing links to other sites will be automatically discarded

Auriga (P419)Anchorite (P422)