Oxley (P55)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: O Group 1a
Fate: HMS Oxley was torpedoed, in error, by HMS Triton (Lieutenant Commander Hugh Patrick de Crecy Steel, Royal Navy) in the North Sea (off Norway) on Sunday 10th September 1939. HMS Oxley had accidentally strayed into the patrol area allocated to HMS Triton and had failed, for various reasons to respond to challenges.

The Submarine Crew included a large proportion of Reservists, some of whom had served in Submarines in WWI, had only just been recalled for further Active Service.

There were only two survivors – the Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Harold Godfrey Bowerman and Able Seaman Herbert Gluckes C/J105279

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Built for the Royal Australian Navy.

On their delivery voyage to Australia in 1928, Oxley and Otway encountered very severe weather in the Bay of Biscay which badly strained their engine columns, forcing them to remain in Malta for several months whilst British experts repaired the damage.

After useful service in the Royal Australian Navy, the two vessels were transferred to the Royal Navy in 1931 where they served in the Home Flotilla

Related Pages
HMS Oxley sunk by HMS Triton
Lieutenant-Commander H P de C Steel, Royal Navy, HMS Triton testimony given at the Board of Inquiry into the circumstances of the loss of HMS Oxley

Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Banks, John Alfred Thomas  Able Seaman  C/J110100    31
Bargrove, Richard Ernest John  Chief Petty Officer  C/J41545    40
Bishop, John James  Able Seaman  C/SSX 18445    24
Bonnett, Harry Douglas  Chief Stoker  P/K62458    38
Had 3 service numbers SS121568 (1916), J49198 (1919), K62458 (1925-1939)
Burgess, Herbert Donald  Electrical Artificer 1st Class  P/M33700    39
Butt, George Albert  Stoker 1st Class  C/KX 76126    33
Coppinger, Robert Patrick  Lieutenant      29
Davis, Horace Edward  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 86668    22
Dicker, Robert  Petty Officer  P/JX 125939    29
Dover, William Alfred  Signalman  C/J113040    30
Farbrace, Percy John  Leading Seaman  C/J108523    31
Faux, Frederick William  Leading Seaman  C/J112436    30
Foster, George  Leading Stoker  P/KX 75831    36
Francis, Alfred Richard  Chief Petty Officer  C/J34250    40
Fuller, Albert James  Telegraphist  P/J106465    32
Ganderton, Robert  Leading Stoker  C/KX 75550    31
Graham, William  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 49892    29
Gregory, Peter Francis   Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 83851    24
Groom, Ronald Albert  Petty Officer Telegraphist  C/JX 133959    25
Gynes, Frank Arthur James  Petty Officer Steward  P/LX 20007    32
Henderson, Gordon John  Able Seaman  C/JX 134554    24
Hickey, Campbell James  Petty Officer Cook  M38178    33
Holt, Harold  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 76324    32
Hopkins, William James  Able Seaman  P/J101323    34
Hunter, Walter George  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76701    32
Jackson, John Willie  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76978    31
Jenkins, Harold Leslie  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76754    35
Jordan, Michael  Stoker 1st Class  P/K66610    34
Launders, Edward William   Leading Telegraphist  C/JX 138235    23
Livesey, Hezekiah  Leading Stoker  P/KX 78377    30
Lound, Reginald Calvert  Stoker 1st Class  P/K61407    35
Manley, Frederick Kirk  Lieutenant      30
Lieutenant RNR
Martin, John Herbert  Stoker Petty Officer  D/KX 76524    31
Miller, Cuthbert  Leading Stoker  P/KX 76722    33
Mingay, Alfred George  Petty Officer  C/JX 129665    28
Mitchell, Cyril Robert  Engine Room Artificer 1st Class  C/MX 45921    34
Mockett, Jack  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  C/MX 50823    31
Morris, Robert Henry  Leading Stoker  C/KX 76732    32
Palmer, Wilfred Hinton  Sub Lieutenant      22
Pickering, William  Able Seaman  D/JX 142446    21
Robertson, Robert William Crossman  Warrant Engineer  (Ex M37038)    33
Sanders, Nathaniel  Able Seaman  P/J73151    38
Stevenson, Laurence  Able Seaman  P/J100806    34
Thomas, Reginald Alfred Sherborne Hammond  Leading Telegraphist  P/JX 111595    30
Tiley, Frederick James  Leading Seaman  D/J109077    32
Underwood, Arthur William  Telegraphist  P/J10048    33
Waters, Charles Leslie  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 84422    24
Watson, William Bradford  Able Seaman  D/J105736    33
Webb, Harold Edward  Able Seaman  P/J 111488    30
Wilson, Henry Ronald  Leading Seaman  P/JX 131810    26
Woodward, Leslie  Leading Seaman  P/J97242    34
Worth, William Norman  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  D/MX 51189    26


24-08-1925 : Laid Down
29-06-1926 : Launched
22-07-1927 : Completed
28-08-1938 : HMS Oxley arrived at Dundee.
25-08-1939 : HMS Oxley departed Portsmouth for Dundee.
04-09-1939 : HMS Oxley departed Dundee for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South-West coast of Norway near Stavanger.
10-09-1939 : HMS Oxley sunk off Obrestad, Norwegian coast, south of Stavanger - torpedoed in error by HMS Triton.

Submarines Oxley and Triton were patrolling off Norway and had been in regular contact when Triton spotted an unidentified submarine off the coast of Norway. Believing it might be Oxley a number of signals of recognition were flashed by Triton. No reply was forthcoming and after several challenges Triton fired two torpedoes that struck the submarine and sent her to the seabed. Triton closed in on the area and found three survivors. A Board of Enquiry found that Oxley was some way out of position and that Triton had acted correctly and was not culpable for the sinking


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Otway (N51)