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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.

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Roll of Honour

O Allen  Lieutenant (E)
J Alston  Lieutenant (E)
T Andrews  Sargent Royal Marine
G Ashley  Leading Stoker
J Barlow  Leading Steward
D Bartrup  Electrical Mechanician 1st Class
D Beddoes  Steward
D Bennington  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class
W Bilton  Lieutenant (E)
J Blackburn  Lieutenant DSC
O Bridges  Stoker
A Burberry  Acting Chief Petty Officer Stoker
R Cardno  Stoker
M Cole-Adams  Lieutenant (E)
A Cook  Leading Seaman
J Cooper  Petty Officer
R Curry  Stoker
F Denny  A/Elec
F Drury  Stoker
D Foster  Lieutenant
A Frew  Sub-Lieutenant
A Garwood  Sub-Lieutenant
H Gittins  Telegraphist
B Gostling  Stoker
W Green  Leading Seaman
J Greenwood  Lieutenant
W Harkness  Petty Officer
R Hiles  Stoker
A Hooper  Marine Royal Marine
E Horwell  Electrical Mechanician 1st Class
R Howard-Johnson  Sub-Lieutenant
A Irven  Telegraphist
D Jarvis  Marine Royal Marine
W Kirkwood  Lieutenant
R Lansberry  Lieutenant RNVR
G Larter  Stoker
G Leakey  Able Seaman
N Lees  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class
W Lewis  Stoker
W Linton  Sub-Lieutenant
W Longstaff  Sub-Lieutenant
C Mackenzie  Sub-Lieutenant
R Mackenzie-Edwards  Sub-Lieutenant
J McKenzie  Chief Engine Room Artificer
J Miller  Leading Stoker
H Nickalls  Sub-Lieutenant
R North  Sub-Lieutenant
P Pane  Able Seaman
G Parker  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class
D Pearson  Acting Petty Officer
A Ramplin  Stoker
R reston  Sub-Lieutenant
A Rewcastle  Sub-Lieutenant
J Rutter  A/RE
F Shaw  Lieutenant (E)
E Shergold  Corporal Royal Marine
F Smith  Cook
J Smith  Stoker
A Stewart  Able Seaman
J Strachan  Sub-Lieutenant
M Taylor  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class
N Temple  Stoker
J Thirkettle  Acting Petty Officer Stoker
J Treleaven  Lieutenant (E)
V Trimby  Acting Leading Stoker
R Tugman  Sub-Lieutenant
R Vincent  Steward
A Welch  Lieutenant (E)
R Whitbread  Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist
F Woods  Petty Officer Telegraphist
B Worsfold  Leading Telegraphist

Related Pages
Affray - Subsmash CommentaryRead
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
Affray RiddleRead
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.
Disaster Beneath the WavesRead
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.
Chief S/Ms theory about the loss of the AffrayRead
This is a recollection of a conversation with the Chief Stoker Mechanic of HMS Amphion in 1954.


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 Hurdís 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.


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