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Biographies & Memoirs

John Allibone - The Miracle Year of HMS SleuthRead
How could Sleuth win the Gunnery Efficiency Trophy when it did not have a gun? How could Sleuth knock a barrage balloon out of the sky whilst proceeding at 120 feet and towing a submerged X Craft?

Lieutenant Douglas Ramsden Attwood, DSC, Royal Navy ReserveRead
Douglas Attwood was born in Ulverston in Lancashire (now in Cumbria) on 18th Jan 1892. He was the son of Alfred Attwood (a Mechanical Engineer with Rio Tinto - and the Vice Consul at Huelva, Mexico) and his wife Annie Ramsden Attwood - nee Marley).

Admiral Sir Claud Barrington Barry KBE CB DSORead
Claud Barry was born on 17 July 1891 in Weston-Super-Mare where his parents were then living. He was the eldest of two brothers; the younger, Stephen, became a Naval Captain. Claud's parents were Charles Edward born on 23 February 1859 and Maud P Low, the daughter of a Bristol timber merchant. Charles' elder brother was Admiral Sir Henry Barry, who died in 1908 and who must have had an early influence on Claud.

Ray Berry - Me and SubmarinesRead
A few weeks ago, I was given some pictures of old submarines. One of the pictures started bells ringing, which prompted me to help our editor out with a short article, which may or may not interest some of you, and tell something about my service.

George Fagan BradshawRead
George Bradshaw was born on 6th Dec 1887 and he joined the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet at the age of thirteen. He was promoted to Midshipman on 15th Jun 1904 and to Sub Lieutenant on 15th Aug 1907.

Albert F Brown - Human TorpedoRead
The lad they tried to make a Steward; and out of about 400 lads that tried to get into the job I was the only one that got through and did a successful operation

Donald Henry Brown, CPO1, MMM, CD2Read
It is with deep sadness, yet immense pride, that we, his family, announce the 'crossing of the bar’ of D H "Buster" Brown on 11th April 2020. Born in London, England on 30th June 1941, he immigrated to Canada with his mother in 1946, and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He began his military career by joining the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in Winnipeg in 1954, prior to his enlistment in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1958 as an engineering mechanic

Eddie (Buster) Brown, HM Submarine Truant.Read
Eddie (Buster) Brown, HM Submarine Truant

Edward William BudgenRead
Edward William Budgen – or Ted as we all knew him - was born in Redhill in Surrey on 18th August 1934. After leaving school Ted joined the Railways and became a locomotive fireman. Later he joined the Royal Navy and, on 10th November 1954, he joined the submarine depot HMS Dolphin at Gosport 'for Submarine training'.

Captain Michael Lindsay Coulton (Tubby) Crawford DSC & BarRead
Captain Crawford died on 28 June 2017, one day after his 100th birthday. He was the last surviving commander of a submarine in the "Fighting Tenth" submarine flotilla.

Hugh Lamberton Donald O/N P/228142 Able Seaman (LTO)Read
Hugh Donald volunteered for Submarines on 6th Feb 1917 and was 'requisitioned' on 15th May 1917 - joining HMS Dolphin 'for Submarine Training' on 29th Apr 1917. This was followed by a draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Vulcan originally 'for the Spare Crew' but then 'for Submarine E35' on 29th May 1917.

Capt Charles Nixon-EckersallRead
A charismatic submariner whose calmness averted a catastrophe when his vessel suffered an explosion off Gibraltar.

Rob Forsyth - My Life As A Cold War SubmarinerRead
My father was in the Navy during the Second World War and when he was on his way back, I can remember standing with my mother at the gate, asking, "What does Daddy look like?" He arrived wearing his uniform, at which point, aged five, I decided I wanted to join the Navy.

Lieutenant Commander Thomas GodmanRead
Whilst researching WWI Submariners I established the following information about Thomas Godman from the Navy Lists and his Naval Service Record

Memories of Donald (Buckwheat) HarrisRead
While reading an old edition of the Submariners News I noticed a name in the Xmas greetings column that brought back a few memories of my time in the 4th squadron based at Hunters bay in Sydney. That name was Buckwheat Harris or to give him his proper name Donald John Nathaniel Harris (according to buckwheat).

Petty Officer 1st Class Albert George HodderRead
Petty Officer 1st Class Albert George Hodder was one of the crew of Submarine HMS E11 who is reported to have died in an accident on 4th Feb 1915.

Frederick Robert Knight O/N 235787 (Ch)Read
Frederick Knight was born on 3rd Mar 1889 at Romford in Essex. His address on joining was given as 24, Shakespeare Road, Romford. On leaving school he was employed as a Warehouse Boy. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class at HMS Boscawen on 6th Feb 1906 and was rated up to Boy 1st Class on 6th May 1906. On 18th May

Derek LillimanRead
Joined the 'Andrew' in 1944 at HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness (ex Butlins Holiday Camp) to be 'kitted up' and finally to HMS Ganges at Shotley as an HO (Hostilities Only). Halfway through Basic Training as a Seaman, the 'conscripts' on the course where shipped away into the Army leaving only the volunteers.

Robert John LockyerRead
This biography was compiled after some information and copies of letters and a diary were sent to me by John Howe a colleague in New Zealand. Some documents about Robert 'Bob' Lockyer had been sent to him by a relative of Robert now living in New Zealand. Robert joined Submarines in early 1914 served on Submarines D4, D3 and E17 before being interned in Holland after E17 was lost after running aground off the Dutch Coast.

Lieutenant-Commander Canon Rupert LonsdaleRead
Rupert Lonsdale had the unhappy distinction of being the only British warship captain to have surrendered his ship to the enemy in the Second World War.

Cmdr John LorimerRead
Submariner who helped to mortally damage Tirpitz and spent six months in solitary confinement.

Captain Michael LumbyRead
Submarine skipper who wreaked mayhem on axis shipping

Hugh Richard MarrackRead
Hugh Marrack was born on 5th Jul 1888 and he joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet on 15th Jan 1903. He was promoted to Midshipman on 15th Jul 1904 and to Sub Lieutenant on 15th Oct 1907. Sub Lieutenant Hugh Marrack was appointed to HMS Mercury at Portsmouth 'for Instruction in Submarine Boats' on 15th Aug 1908. He was appointed to HMS Mercury 'for Submarines' on 1st Jan 1909. In August 1909 he was appointed to HMS Bonaventure at Queenstown 'for Submarines'

John Monan - A Shotley BoyRead
Anyone trained at Shotley was considered a first class seaman. The training and discipline were considered very strict and although we hated it at the time, it was always with a certain amount of pride that one said, 'Of course, I was a Shotley Boy.'

Bill MorrisonRead
Bill's prime Cause Celebre has resulted in his being included in the Guinness Book of Records as having made the deepest unaided ascent from a sunken submarine. He has other claims worthy of recognition, he was among those officers and men who trained many of the crews who joined the Twelfth Submarine Flotilla during WW2. This Flotilla consisted of X Craft and Two Man Chariots. It was based at Port Bannantyne on the Isle of Bute. The HQ was known as HMS Varbel.

Wartime Memoirs of Coxn Oscar MothRead
A survivor Of K13 - It must "be clearly understood, by all those who read my War Experiences, that, they were only written under pressure from my relatives and also the Friends I made during the Great War. They all tell me that my experiences are so varied that they deem it my duty that I should try and write them in Book Form. I think myself, that my effort should prove very interesting to everyone and instructive to the younger generation.

The Pomeroy's A Submariner FamilyRead
The submarine careers of the Pomeroy's was researched by Barrie Downer after the story about the Pomeroy's, the Dorset Branch of SOCA and the Tramps Ball was found by Peter Schofield in a 1964 Navy News

Chief Petty Officer Coxswain Gordon SelbyRead
Gordon Selby, who 'Crossed the Bar' in Australia on 21st March 2007, is known to a whole generation of RN Submarine Officers by virtue of his being the Coxswain of the Submarine Officer Training Corps with the Royal Navy from 1950 until 1959.

Frederick William Simpson, DSMRead
Frederick William Simpson was born in Hull, Yorkshire on 7th October 1904. His father was a hairdresser by trade but, during the Great War served in France with the RASC. It was whilst his father was on the Western Front that his mother died of TB. Bill Simpson, as he was known to his friends, was brought up by an aunt. He sold newspapers and firewood to make a little money and help buy his clothes.

Alan West - HMS ExplorerRead
Alan joined HMS Explorer in 'refit' at Barrow in Furness shortly before the Submarine moved from the Graving Dock to a berth at the in the Dock System at the Admiralty Development Establishment, Barrow (ADEB). The 'refit' completed in August 1959 after a slight delay owing to a fire in the Turbine Room - caused by a VSEL Coppersmith working with a blow lamp in a cramped bilge space. Alan's comment 'Nasty.'

Melvyn Whymark's Memories Of HMS ValiantRead
HMS Valiant's crew were pioneers of the nuclear age, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Russians beneath the ice of the Arctic Ocean. Melvyn Whymark, from Clacton, was one of the men who served aboard her.

Roll Of Honour