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SSome like it coldome like it cold
Class:ass: Trafalgarrafalgar-class Fleet
Pennant number: S92
Motto: Esto perpetua – be
Builder: Vickers, Barrow-in-
Laid down: June 6, 1981
Launched: March 17, 1984
Commissioned: October 5,
Displacement: 4,740 tons
(surfaced), 5,200 tons es
Length: 280ft (85m)
Beam: 32ft (10m)
Draught: 31ft (9.5m)
Speed: c.32 knots
Complement: 130
Propulsion: 1 x Rolls Royce
PWR nuclear reactor; 2
x GEC turbines; 2 x WH
Allen turbo generators; 2 x
Paxman diesel alternators
Armament: Tomahawk Block
IV cruise missiles; Spearfish
Facts and figur
THIS, believe it or not, is not an
home in Devonport going through an wilds of Dartmoor and a team-building ‘grit’ (the RN’s word du jour) at the submarine.
unusual sight.
extended readiness period. exercise. Tal-y-bont outdoor leadership training She was one of the legendary
No, in her quarter-century history,
That drew to an end in the autumn, Small groups were expected to centre. T-boats which were the backbone of
Her Majesty’s Submarine Tireless has
but having been alongside for more navigate themselves around the bleak On a less-physically-demanding the Silent Service during the mid-20th
paid quite a few visits to the top of the
than 12 months, a few cobwebs needed landscape before reaching their final level, some of Tireless’ men headed Century.
shaking off the Tireless deeps. destination (the added incentive: it to the boat’s affiliated town of Rugby, Ordered as part of the 1941
And just for good measure she’s
A ‘whole ship training week’ was was the Plume of Feathers pub in calling in on the local Sea Cadet unit programme to replace losses and
been to the other end of the globe; not
devoted first to instruction about Princetown...). (appropriately TS Tireless), Brooke bolster the fleet, she was launched in
under Antarctica obviously, but at least
resuming life on board a nuclear- It’s not the only bit of physical School to give a talk on life in the March 1943 but commissioned with
to the icy waters off South Georgia.
powered submarine, before the deeps exercise/team building the Tireless Silent Service and face a Q&A session less than a month of war in Europe
The Devonport-based boat paid
climbed down the ladders into Tireless submariners knuckled down to during from pupils, and the civic offices to see left to run.
three visits to the North Pole in the
for more practical exercises. their boat’s overhaul. Rugby’s deputy mayor. Instead, Tireless was sent to the Far
first six years of her life.
That meant dragging submariners An 11-strong team took part in the And back in Devonport... The boat East – but war with Japan was over by
She was there again in 2004 and,
out of their normal compartments Nijmegen March – a four-day 103-mile is preparing to return to sea after her the time she arrived in theatre.
most recently, in 2007 (the work at the
aboard and putting them somewhere trek around Holland (well, at least lengthy hiatus under the watchful Instead, she took part in a ‘show the
Polar cap is cunningly titled an Icex –
they wouldn’t usually work – before it’s flat...). In preparation for that, the eyes of the Flag Offi cer Sea Training’s flag’ tour of the Pacific – a tour which
ICe EXercise).
showing them how to react to an submariners had undertaken a two- submarine wing, before a spell of BOST proved very popular and cemented
There’s been nothing as magnificently
emergency at that spot. day tramp around the Oxfordshire and, ultimately, deploying. the feeling that the first Tireless was a
desolate for the Tireless submariners
The ‘whole ship week’ was the first countryside (which isn’t quite as flat). Tireless is earmarked to serve until ‘slap-happy ship’.
to witness recently, alas.
time the entire Tireless crew had been On top of that, a 16-strong team of 2013. She paid off in the mid-60s and was
The boat spent much of last year at
together. So, to help faces old and new senior and junior rates was despatched Only one previous RN warship has broken up in 1968.
bond the submariners headed to the to the Brecon Beacons to fi nd some carried the name Tireless – also a Picture: PO(Phot) Terry Seward
Lt Frederick Hindes and
Chief ERA ‘Sam’ Hine, AM
THE sacrifices of the Silent Service in WW2 are The crippled submarine settled in barely 50ft
often eclipsed by the terrible toll suffered by the of water. Her first lieutenant, Lt Frederick Hindes
U-bootwaffe. demonstrated a “calm demeanour”, issued “clear
Four out of five German submariners were lost orders” and “maintained perfect discipline”.
in the second global conflagration. There were 64 people still aboard Truculent,
The odds Britain’s deeps faced were barely including 18 shipwrights and engineers from
better: in 1943 and 1944, two out of three boats Chatham dockyard. Hindes ordered all of them
did not return from patrols. aft and then determined that escape, rather than
Indeed, throughout the war, more than 80 waiting to be rescued, was the best course of
submarines were lost to accident or enemy action.
action. There they split into two groups. Hindes
In the war’s aftermath, the Admiralty sought directed the escape in the stern section, a near
to increase the odds of survival and set up a namesake oversaw the ascent from the engine
committee under a former submarine depot ship room.
(HMS Medway) and a carrier (HMS Formidable) Chief ERA Francis ‘Sam’ Hine was coming to
commander, Capt Philip Ruck-Keene. the end of his 22 years’ service. He had survived
When it reported, many of Ruck-Keene’s the loss of HMS Saracen; after ten hours in the
recommendations were acted upon – the most water, he’d been picked up by the Italians and
visible of which is the escape tower which spent the rest of WW2 as a prisoner.
dominates the Gosport seafront. Hine allocated the limited number of breathing
The Admiralty was faster to introduce some sets to the weakest swimmers, outlined the
suggestions than others; Ruck-Keene wanted escape drill, then ensured that he was the very
to see insulated survival suits for every man. last man to leave the compartment when it
Three years after his recommendation, the suits flooded.
were only slowly reaching the boats. Such Frederick Hindes was the first man to leave
sluggishness would help condemn three score the aft compartment – but not by choice. He was
men to their deaths. blown violently out of Truculent as the escape
HMS Truculent was a boat with a fine record – hatch was opened. He was
she had served with distinction in the North Sea never seen again.
and Far East during WW2. Nor was Sam Hine found.
She continued to serve after the war and as Like most of the men who
the 1950s began, she emerged from refit at escaped the sunken boat,
Chatham. he died of drowning or
January 12 1950 had been a day of successful exposure in the January
trials in the Thames estuary. After dark this night. Just ten men who
fateful Thursday she began to make her way had risen to the surface
back to Sheerness on the surface. of the Thames were
Also heading down the Thames that night was saved; the immersion
the Swedish oil tanker Divina, bound for Ipswich, suits recommended by
then her native land. Philip Ruck-Keene would
Truculent’s crew saw her – three lights shone probably have reduced the
brightly on the tanker. But the submariners were death toll dramatically.
convinced Divina was not moving. Frederick Hindes and SamSam
By the time they realised the merchantman Hine had acted correctly. The The
was moving, it was too late to avoid a collision. conduct of every man aboarrd,d,
COUNTER-piracy patrol, 1908-style – courtesy of the archives of the Imperial War Museum. Sailors
For a few seconds, the submarine was impaled the citation for the twoo
from cruiser HMS Philomel pose with Arab (standing) and Afghan (seated) pirates and gun-runners in
on the Divina. The two vessels separated, submariners’ Albert Medall
the Arabian Gulf in July 1908. The ship had been despatched to Aden to pick up troops before heading
Truculent heeled to port before righting herself stated, “was in full accord
for British Somaliland (part of present-day Somalia) to suppress an uprising. After landing the soldiers,
briefly, then sank rapidly by the bow. with the great traditions of
the cruiser took up station in the Arabian Sea and prevented gun-runners and pirates aiding the rebels.
The party on the fin was swept into the the Royal Navy, but the
(HU 103199)
Thames; five were picked up within an hour splendid example set by Lt
suffering from the effects of exposure and Hindes and CPO Hine was
■ THIS photograph – and 9,999,999 others from a century of war and peace – can be viewed or
purchased at, by emailing, or by phoning 0207 416
hypothermia. beyond praise.”
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