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12 NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009
642
Triumph 2000 (and nine)
RETURNING to sea right
their own train, a Class 50 diesel
about now is the leaner,
locomotive named after them on
meaner, nuclear HMS
the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
Back to 21st-Century
Triumph, emerging from technology and six months of
the shadows after fi ve
intensive trials of man and machine
years.
(also known as “shakedown”) lie
Yes, it really is that long since
ahead before Triumph is given
the boat was last ‘out and about’.
the full Operational Sea Training
Since 2004 the boat has been
treatment by the nice bunch at
Armada d ................................15881588
in the hands of shipwrights
FOST. Dover ...................................1652
and engineers in Devonport
She’s due to be rededicated Portland ..............................1653
undergoing a multi-million-pound
around March or April and will
Gabbard ..............................1653
LOP – Long Overhaul Period.
be ready for deployment by the
Scheveningen .....................1653
(They were certainly right about
middle of the year.
Lowestoft ............................1665
the ‘long’ – Ed.)
The nuclear hunter-killer is the
Four Days’ Battle ................1666
Orfordness ..........................1666
Why so long? Well, for a start
tenth warship to bear the name
Sole Bay ..............................1672
the boat’s nuclear reactor has been
and can trace her lineage back Schooneveld .......................1673
refuelled. Although she’ll return
to the early days of Elizabeth I’s Texel ....................................1673
for more periods of maintenance
reign.
Cornwallis’ Retreat .............1795
and upgrades over the next dozen
Of more recent Triumphs, two
Camperdown ......................1797
or so years, Triumph won’t need
stand out: a T-class submarine
Dardanelles .........................1915
refuelling again. Her reactor will
which served with distinction in
Malta Convoys ....................1941
Mediterranean ....................1941
keep going now beyond 2020.
the first half of WW2, and a post-
Korea ...................................1950
But the team didn’t stop
war carrier. Battle Honours
there: they’ve revamped pretty
The boat proved to be the
much every inch of the T-boat:
scourge of Axis shipping in 1941,
Motto: We shall triumph
weapons systems, engineering,
despatching merchantmen and Class: Trafalgar-class Fleet
mess spaces and bunks (although
the Italian submarine Salpa and submarine
disappointingly shipwrights
possibly crippling the cruiser
Pennant number: S93
couldn’t create any extra space for
Bolzano. Triumph fell victim to an
Builder: Vickers, Barrow-in-
the crew’s personal gear).
Italian mine off Greece in January
Furness
Some of this work, especially
1942. All hands were lost.
Laid down: February 2, 1987
Launched: February 16, 1991
The carrier, the ninth Triumph,
more recently, has involved the
Commissioned: October 2, 1991
was commissioned almost a year to
ship’s company. They’ve added
Displacement: 4,500 tons
the day that war in Europe ended. Length: 280ft (85.4m)
new friends to the list of affiliates
She spent most, though not all, of
Beam: 32ft (9.8m)
– the Worshipful Company of
es
her career in the Far East. She was
Draught: 5.8 metres
Upholders (an archaic form of
on station when the Communists
Speed: 32 knots
‘upholsterers’) and the Royal
attacked South Korea in 1950 and
Complement: 120
Star and Garter is now Triumph’s
Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR1
subsequently provided air support
chosen charity – and caught up
nuclear reactor;
for the landings at Inchon.
with old friends in Hinckley and
2 x GEC turbines; 2 x Paxman
Post-Korea, Triumph served as diesel generators
Newton Abbot (notably local
a cadet training ship, was used to
Sensors: Sonar 2072 passive
councils and Sea Cadets).
conduct trials for the revolutionary
and Sonar 2074 active and
A dozen crew travelled
concept of the angled flight deck
passive sonar, Type 2046 towed
somewhat further... the South
and finally served as a heavy repair
array, Type 2077 short-range
Island of New Zealand for a three-
sonar
ship for the final decade of her life.
week mountaineering expedition
Armament: 5 x 21in tubes for
She was broken up in 1981.
(cunningly titled Exercise Kiwi
Spearfish torpedoes, Tomahawk
cruise missiles
Summit – see page 8). ● A pre-refi t HMS Triumph
And, as you may have read in exercising with frigate HMS
Facts and figur
our July edition, the deeps have Northumberland in the Red Sea
photographic
HEROES OF THE ROYAL NAVY No.65
Lt George Belben, S/Lt David Evans,
PO Albert Stoker, AB Edward Nunn AM
BY THE late summer of 1918, the storm tide of catastrophic explosions.
the German Army had broken. The aft magazines were an entirely different
First on the Marne, then at Amiens, the Kaiser’s proposition. The initial blast and resulting fires
troops had been driven back, nay mauled. had cut the stern off from the rest of the
In what would become known as the ‘100 Glatton.
days to victory’, the Anglo-Franco-American As one official report stated “the ship could
armies delivered a succession of blows along have blown up at any moment”. That danger
the length of the Western Front, pushing the did not prevent an armada of cutters and small
Germans inexorably back to the borders of the craft bobbing around the monitor, picking up
Fatherland. survivors.
These blows would reach their climax in late But four men went further than simply picking
September with the assaults on the Hindenburg up comrades from the harbour waters. Lt George
Line and a lunge in Belgium to free the Channel Belben, S/Lt David Evans, PO Albert Stoker and
ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge. AB Edward Nunn clambered aboard the burning
To support that thrust along through Flanders, vessel.
the guns of the Dover Patrol would be required, They had no protective clothing, no respiratory
pummelling the enemy defences. masks, but undaunted they descended inside
To that end Dover harbour in September filled the ship and rescued two dozen sailors – despite
with a good dozen monitors – floating artillery to being beaten back on one occasion by the
support the land battle. flames.
The newest among them was the 5,000-ton The fire was not the only danger the quartet
HMS Glatton, bristling with 9.2in and 6in guns. faced, for lining up in the harbour was HMS
Glatton had been laid down on the cusp of the Cossack, preparing to torpedo the Glatton to
Great War for the Norwegian Navy. prevent her causing any more damage.
And like many vessels under build that summer Unable to do any more, the four men left the
she was commandeered by the Royal Navy... blazing hulk before first Cossack, then HMS
who promptly did little with her. Myngs sent torpedoes hurtling into Glatton’s
Only in the autumn of 1917 did work resume side.
on the monitor, work which was completed in The ship turned turtle, finally flooding her aft
the summer of 1918. magazines, sparing Dover further
After brief, successful trials in the North Sea, disaster.
the new ship arrived to prepare for the impending Half Glatton’s crew was killed, ,
push – but no man aboard her knew she was at least a quarter were injured,
already doomed. but the death toll would have
For in the bowels of the ship, hot clinker and been greater without the
ash piled up against the bulkhead of the 6in bravery of the four rescuers
guns’ magazine. who were subsequently
Slowly, remorselessly, the heat burned the awarded the Albert Medal.
magazine’s cork insulation, then ignited the They had displayed
wood lining. And, shortly before 6.30pm on “the greatest gallantry
Monday September 16 1918, the fire spread to and contempt of danger””
the cordite charges. throughout.
The blast shook the ship and shook the George Belben had already ady
AS BEFITS the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 2, this month’s delve into the archives of
great harbour – walkers enjoying a stroll along earned the DSC for his role in n
the Imperial War Museum features a queue outside a Royal Navy recruitment centre in the capital during
Dover’s seafront 500 yards away were reportedly the Zeebrugge raid. The letters
the summer of 1939. Despite Chamberlain’s promise of “peace in our time”, the Senior Service had been
knocked down by the power of the explosion. DSO would be added to his
gearing up for war since 1938 with partial mobilisation of the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Fleet Reserve
Powerful though the blast was, it did not kill name a generation later – but
and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. In September 1939 all RNVR, RNV(S)R and RNR were to report to
the Glatton. It did, however, cause fires to rage posthumously. He was killed
their depots for immediate posting. At the start of the war the Royal Navy consisted of 129,000 regulars
the length and breadth of the crippled warship. in command of HMS Penelope
with an additional 73,000 reservists. (HU 103968)
Salvage tugs moved in to douse the flames, when she was torpedoed
■ THIS photograph – and 9,999,999 others from a century of war and peace – can be viewed or
while the stunned ship’s company flooded supporting the Anzio operation
purchased at www.iwmcollections.org.uk, by emailing photos@IWM.org.uk, or by phoning 0207 416
the forward magazines to prevent further in February 1944.
5333.
012_NN_Sept.indd 1 18/8/09 12:44:33
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