A charitable grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has enabled staff and trainee submariners from the Royal Navy Submarine School to honour their forbears who lost their lives beneath the waves.

The group of nine trainees, who are currently undergoing their Submarine Qualification course, attended the annual memorial service thanks to a £550 grant, in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, Commodore-in-Chief of the Submarine Service, who took the salute.

The names of the 167 submarines lost during war and in peacetime since 1904, and who are now on eternal patrol, were read out as the Last Post was played. 

This year’s service was held at Middle Temple Gardens. Rear Admiral John Weale OBE, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines and Rear Admiral Submarines, was also in attendance.

Funding for wreaths formed part of the charitable grant. Among the wreath layers, was Leading Seaman Chris Andrews who is due to leave the service.

"First time" representing the Submarine Service

During their weekend in the Capital the group also attended a Remembrance Service at Westminster Abbey. Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering Submariner) Mears laid a wreath beneath the Submariner statue. A reading was carried out by ET (WESM) Lynton during a private service in the Cloisters and the trainees were later able to reflect in a quiet moment around the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. 

Training Officer Warrant Officer 1 Jeff Crawford said: “This is the first time that they have been able to represent the Submarine Service in uniform and they have been amazed by the public’s warm response to their visit during the whole weekend and have come to understand what it means to be a submariner and the ‘Band of Brothers’ which they will shortly be a part of.”

In addition the submariners and their instructors were given access to the crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral to visit the tomb of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. A wreath was laid by ET (WESM) Kelly and the group observed a two minute silence on completion.

WO1 Crawford said: “The trainees have been inspired during this visit as Admiral Lord Nelson is the most famous person in Naval history and to be granted a private visit to his crypt has been overwhelming.”

About SMQ (South)

SMQ (South) at Devonport Naval Base is a satellite of the Royal Navy Submarine School at HMS Raleigh. During the 11 week intensive course the students are taught how the submarine's systems work as well as all the routines carried out onboard. They need to learn everything from the technical detail on how the boat dives and surfaces, to how the nuclear reactor works.

On completion of this stage of their training the students will move on to a period at sea on board an operational submarine where they put everything they’ve learnt into practice. Once they reach the required standard and pass the required tests at sea, they are presented with their dolphins, the coveted emblem of the submarine service.