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H6

Built By: Vickers (Canada)
Build Group: H Group 1
Fate: In 1940 she was scuttled at Dan Helder, salvaged by the Dutch and served as UD1 until March 1943.
The former HMS H6 as HNLMS O8
The former HMS H6 as HNLMS O8

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The sponsor for H6 was Mrs Campbel-McGregor, wife of one of the senior officials attending the construction at Montreal. The names of the sponsors are inscribed on the ship's bells some of which have survived including that of H6 Commissioning CO, Lt. Robert N Stopford, RN and 1st Lieut. D W Ryder, RN.

Submarine H6 was on patrol off the Dutch coast on 18th January 1916 when she ran aground on the island of Scheirmonikoog. Attempts to pull the Submarine off were not successful and it was decided to take off the majority of the crew. This was achieved with the assistance of the destroyer HMS Firedrake and, in all two Officers and ten Ratings were rescued.

The Commanding Officer and the remainder of the Crew stayed on board but were later taken off by the Dutch Navy and were interned in Holland at Groningen where they joined their colleagues from E17 for the remainder of the War, along with members of Hawke Battalion of the Royal Naval Division who had fought at Antwerp.

The crew was:

Officers:

  • Lt Robert Neville Stopford, DSC, Royal Navy*
  • Lt Dudley William Ryder, Royal Navy
  • Lt Cuthbert Leslie Brown, RNR

Ratings:

  • PO Coxswain Arthur Gibson O/N 179798*
  • PO Henry George Saunders O/N 194067
  • L/Sea Ernest Henry Ridding O/N 220966*
  • AB David William Cooper O/N 219705*
  • AB Leonard Dudley O/N 236955*
  • AB Frederick Albert Darvill O/N 236159
  • AB Cecil Hanks King O/N J790
  • AB Harry Chandler O/N J1795
  • Ordinary Telegraphist John Burnett O/N J26636*
  • ERA Thomas Harold Whitelaw O/N M22284*
  • ERA Joseph Manley O/N 272478 ERA Frank Keys O/N M5105
  • Stoker PO Frederick James Robinson O/N 308214*
  • L/Stoker Sidney Victor Hawkins O/N 308323
  • Stoker Arthur William Beebe O/N K11810*
  • Stoker John William Bath Beer O/N K4194*
  • Stoker William Fraser Elderfield O/N K10483*
  • Stoker Frederick Charles Davis, DSM O/N K11937

Note: The Submarine H6 names asterisked above are those men who were interned in Holland. They all returned home safely after the Armistice in November 1918

Dutch Service

The Submarine was later salvaged by the Dutch and then bought and commissioned into the Dutch Navy and served as HNLMS O8. They refitted her with knowledge gained from the interned German submarine UC-8. After UC-8 was bought from Germany O8 was equipped with UC-8's Zeiss periscope. During maintenance in October 1921, O8 sank in the harbour at Den Helder but only minor damage was sustained, she was repaired and continued service.

During the German attack on the Netherlands at the start of the Second World War O8 was still in Dutch service. Because of her old age it was decided to scuttle her.

German Service

After the surrender of the Netherlands the German forces were able raise O8 and found her almost fully intact. Germany took O8 into service as U-D1 and transferred her from Den Helder to Kiel. In Kiel she was used as training ship to train crews for the German U-boats. Because of her old age she was decommissioned on 23 November 1943. On 3 May 1945, she was scuttled in the harbour at Kiel.

Events

14-01-1915 : Laid Down
01-04-1915 : Launched
09-06-1915 : Completed
18-01-1916 : H6 became stranded on the Dutch Coast. The crew interned at Groningen.
03-05-1945 : Scuttled in the harbour at Kiel whilst in German service as U-D1
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