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H.M. Submarine Triumph (sunk 1942)


Lantern Swinger
I have recently been researching my family tree and have came across a relative I have never heard about before who served in the Submarine Service in WW2.

His name was Lieutenant Robert W D Don, and he was my great uncle. He served aboard HMS Triumph (N18) which was in the First Group of the T-class submarines.
She sunk by an unknown cause (assumed an Italian mine) in January 1942 while near Cyclades in Greece. All 59 crew were lost.

Lieutenant Don was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with 2 bars.

I am looking for any help or guidance on were to find out more information about my relative and/or the submarine he served on.

Cheers :)
Hello Don,

Your great uncle was a very courageous man. The following information is available via the search facility of the online London Gazette:

Midshipman Robert W D DON RN of HMS Exeter was gazetted on 23 February 1940 for the award of the DSC for his actions during the Battle of the River Plate. "Midshipman Robert W. D. Don, Royal Navy; who, throughout the action showed great calm, resource and initiative, specially in running hoses into the burning Marines' barracks, in fighting a fire over the lower steering position, and in rescuing the wounded." (London Gazette Issue 34796 published on 20 February 1940. Page 3 of 8.)

Lt Robert William Douglas DON DSC RN of HMS Triumph was gazetted on 20 January 1942 for the award of a bar to his DSC "For courage, skill and resolution in successful Submarine patrols". (London Gazette Issue 35424 published on 16 January 1942. Page 1 of 4.)

Lt Robert William Douglas DON DSC RN was gazetted on 5 May 1942 for the award of a second bar to his DSC "For daring, enterprise and devotion to duty in successful patrols in H.M. Submarines." (London Gazette Issue 35545 published on 1 May 1942. Page 1 of 4.)

Commonwealth War Grave memorial details for Lt Robert William Douglas DON RN are available here.

There is also an entry for him on the Unit Histories website.

If you don't already have a copy of your great uncle's service record, it may be possible to obtain one using the instructions available on this page of the Veterans UK website.


Lantern Swinger
Thanks so much Naval_Gazer, that is some very inspiring information.

My only relative alive who met him was my grandfather, who was just 13 at the time he died and he knew very little about him.
The only information I found was through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, but I will now get his service records as soon as possible.

So far this is the only member of my family who has served in the RN, and I could not be more proud.

Cheers again.
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