Submarine Affray Memorial at Gosport


Book Reviewer
Posted from information received from Billy D.

Tis me again from the far and distant South West, I'm waggling a 'Begging Bowl' on behalf of the HMS Affray Memorial Trust Fund, let me explain, a chap called Martin Allen, son of dear old 'Bert' Allen, a past President of the Essex Branch of the Association when I resided in that neck of the woods (late 80's/early 90's), Martin over his informative years growing up must have had to listen to Bert's tales of stories as we are all guilty of spinning to our own family and circle of friends (swinging the lamp so to speak), and the sad tale of the Affray must have been the topic of conversation at some point, this stuck in Martin's mind and in his later years, decided to do something for dear old Bert and his lost shipmates.
Bert was a crew member of the Affray but was landed for whatever reason before she slipped and sailed from Pompey for an exercise on the 16th April 1951 carrying quite a few extra bods onboard, trainees etc; 71 sailors and 4 marines. Wikipedia can reveal all, as you'll be aware, the Affray was found in Hurds Deep off the Island of Alderney (Channel Islands) and last year a Memorial Stone Plinthe was unveiled on Alderney with 7 Association Standards on Parade to commemorate the sinking 61 years previous, Bert was earmarked to lay a wreath but unfortunately 'Crossed the Bar' in the January of last year. The Plymouth Branch President (John Edgell OBE RN) who was ComDevFlot at the time (now retired) was invited over to lay a wreath and give a speech (can be veiwed on You Tube), The total was somewhere in the £30ks of which Martin put in £25k of his own personal monies in, this year with planning permission secured by the Gosport Borough Council, there will be something along the same lines on the Gosport side of the water quite close to the ferry/marina on the morning of 16th April 2013, in site of what was HMS Dolphin (our Alma Mater).
What's been organised so far is that Martin has booked accommodation of some 42 rooms I think in the Holiday Inn Express which is situated in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth (On the grounds of what used to be HMS Vernon). The proceedings are due to commence at 09.30 on the morning of the 16th and on completion, a lunch being served over in the Submarine Museum, confirmation of final arrangements can be sought through Martin Allen himself.
We here in Plymouth have raised a fabulous amount of money from the SM2 Sunshine Squadron Reunion held on the 02nd March just gone, a sum of £964.82, cheque despatched last week, still awaiting a letter of acceptance/receipt.
Could you please put to your membership this e-mail requesting a donation of any amount please to help ease the springs of this monumental task if you so deem it a worthy cause, for that, I thank you one and all.

I hope all the other attached e-mails carry through to give you a feel of what's gone before, if not, visit SM2 Sunshine Squadron There's shed loads of bits & bobs on the site.

Thanking you in anticipation.

B. Dob.

PS. The details to send any donations are as follows :- Alderney Trustees Limited, The Old Presbytery, Les Rocquettes, Alderney, GY9 3TF, Channel Islands, made payable to “Affray Submarine Memorial Trust”.
Finally, both the start and end of HMS AFFRAY’s last voyage has been acknowledged.

Today, being the 62nd anniversary of the loss of HMS AFFRAY,the other Memorial Stone (placed at the nearest point of her ill-fated departure from Fort Blockhouse) was unveiled in a very moving and well-attended ceremony at Gosport’s Millennium Walkway; approx 100yds south along the Esplanade from the Ferry Terminal.*

3 days ago - Memorial Stone positioned: HMS Affray memorial installed in Gosport - Local - Portsmouth News

Today’s Coverage: BBC News - Gosport memorial to HMS Affray submarine tragedy victims

BBC News - HMS Affray submarine memorial unveiled in Gosport


* Visit, pause and reflect - The cause of that tragic loss of 71 Submariners and 4 RM SBS remains uncertain yet successive governments have refused to re-open the inquiry into her loss...

hms affray

HMS Affray (P421) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Book Reviewer
Foster wasn't the Jimmy, he was one of the year's officer trainee class who were all lost. Mary Foster (as she still was until 1973) was my neighbour 1970-5. Her son had just started in the Navy.

Not used by the BBC was the clip of underwater TV film from HMS Reclaim showing AFFRAY's name plate and proving that she had been found. I was still at school when this all happened so this must have been on a cinema newsreel.

Nobody knew we had underwater TV before this. ISTR that the Snort mast was broken implying that a merchant ship had knocked it but others more knowledgable might be able to comment on this.

Previously Pathe had this:
THE SEARCH FOR 'AFFRAY' - British Pathé (bits were used by BBC tonight).


"the submarines snort mast had broken off at a point 3 feet above the deck. the break was so clean that defective material was suspected;....... the mast was recovered and sent to portsmouth. Laboratory tests confirmed the suspicion that a weakness in the metal had been responsible. .... The fact the snort mast was deffective did not in itself explain why it had broken off"

"it is unlikely that what really happened to affray will ever be known with certainty."

beneath the waves. A.S Evans 1986.

A Very interesting read and cheap second hand I recomend it .
evans - beneath the waves - AbeBooks

Affray sank before even my parents were born those who died in her will be remembered.


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