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 TritonRead
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
Born Kandy, Ceylon
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   
Butt, George Albert  Stoker 1st Class  C/KX 76126   
Coppinger, Robert Patrick  Lieutenant     
Crossman Robertson, Robert William  Warrant Engineer     
Davis, Horace Edward  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 86668   
Dicker, Robert  Petty Officer  P/JX 125939   
Dover, William Alfred  Signalman  C/J113040   
Farbrace, Percy John  Leading Seaman  C/J108523   
Faux, Frederick William  Leading Seaman  C/J112436   
Foster, George  Leading Stoker  P/KX 75831   
Francis, Alfred Richard  Chief Petty Officer  C/J34250   
Fuller, Albert James  Telegraphist  P/J106465   
Ganderton, Robert  Leading Stoker  C/KX 75550   
Graham, William  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 49892   
Gregory, Peter Francis   Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 83851   
Groom, Ronald Albert  Petty Officer Telegraphist  C/JX 133959   
Gynes, frank Arthur James  Petty Officer Steward  P/LX 20007   
Henderson, Gordon John  Able Seaman  C/JX 134554   
Hickey, Campbell James  Petty Officer Cook  M38178   
Holt, Harold  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 76324   
Hopkins, William James  Able Seaman  P/J101323   
Hunter, Walter George  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76701   
Jackson, John William  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76978   
Jenkins, Harold Leslie  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 76754   
Jordan, Michael  Stoker 1st Class  P/K66610   
Launders, Edward William Launders  Leading Telegraphist  C/JX 138235   
Livesay, Hezekiah  Leading Stoker  P/KX 78377   
Lound, Reginald Calvert  Stoker 1st Class  P/K61407   
Manley, Frederick Kirk  Lieutenant     
Martin, John Herbert  Stoker Petty Officer  D/KX 76524   
Miller, Cuthbert  Leading Stoker  P/KX 76722   
Mingay, Alfred George  Petty Officer  C/JX 129665   
Mitchell, Cyril Robert  Engine Room Artificer 1st Class  C/MX 45921   
Mockett, Jack  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  C/MX 50823   
Morris, Robert Henry  Leading Stoker  C/KX 76732   
Pickering, William  Able Seaman  D/JX 142446   
Sanders, Nathaniel  Able Seaman  P/J73151   
Stevenson, Lawrence  Able Seaman  P/J100806   
Thomas, Reginald A S  Leading Telegraphist  P/JX 111595   
Tiley, Frederick James  Leading Seaman  D/J109077   
Underwood, Arthur William  Telegraphist  P/J10048   
Waters, Charles Leslie  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 84422   
Watson, William Bradford  Able Seaman  D/J105736    33
Webb, Harold Edward  Able Seaman  P/J 111488   
Wilfred Hinton, Palmer  Sub Lieutenant     
Wilson, Henry Ronald  Leading Seaman  P/JX 131810   
Woodward, Leslie  Leading Seaman  P/J97242   
Worth, William Norman  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  D/MX 51189   


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)