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Submarine Heritage Centre
Registered Address:
53 Red Oak Avenue
Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria, LA13 OLJ, UK
 
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HMS/M Parthian painting
 
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This painting was commissioned by Captain P J Walker Royal Navy, in memory of his uncle, Sub Lt J T R Walker RNVR, who was lost with HMS Parthian in the Mediterranean 1943.
Technical Data

Perseus crestPoseidon crest
Proteus crestPandora crest
Builder: Vickers Armstrong - Barrow-in-Furness
Pennant Numbers: Perseus (N.36), Poseidon, Proteus (N.29) Pandora (N.42).
Yard Numbers: 638 to 641.
Launched: 1929
Dimensions (in feet): Length 289ft Diameter 28ft Draught 13.5ft.
Displacement: Surfaced 1,760 tons, Submerged 2,040 tons.
Propulsion: Surfaced Twin diesels. 4,400 shp = 18 knots, Submerged Twin electric motors. 1,350 hp = 9knots.
Endurance: 8,500 nautical miles at 10 knots.
Armaments: Eight x 21 inch torpedo tubes, six bow two stern.
Complement: 53.
Notes: This class were the first to be fitted with the Mark VIII torpedoes, these torpedoes were to remain in service for over fifty years.
Historical Data

 
 

The entire class were sent to the China station on commissioning (1931). In 1940 all boats were sent to the Mediterranean to be based in the 1st Flotilla at Alexandria. As well as carrying out patrols against axis shipping, the boats carried much needed supplies to besieged island of Malta. The fate of these submarines is as follows:

 
 

Perseus

On 6th December 1941, returning from Malta to Alexandria, Perseus was patrolling off western Greece when she struck a mine and sank. Of the ships company of fifty-five, only six remained alive in the after-ends, including Leading Stoker John Capes. The six actually escaped using D.S.E.A., but only Capes survived swimming five or so miles to the shore of Caphalonia, he was rescued and looked after for eighteen months by Greek villagers, until taken off by an allied caique on the 1st May 1943. Leading Stoker John Capes was awarded the British Empire Medal.

Poseidan

On 9th June 1931, whilst manuoevering on the surface 20 nautical miles north of Wei Hai, Poseidon was in collision with the Chinese steamer Yuta. The boat sank in under two minutes. Some of the ships company escaped before the boat sank, whilst six from the forward end escaped using the new Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus (D.S.E.A.). No one escaped from the after end. In all, twenty-two lives were lost.

Proteus

The only boat in the class to survive the war. She served for three years in the Mediterranean from 1940 to 1943, where she sank twelve Axis transports. She was employed as a training boat in home waters, and was finally broken-up at Troon in Scotland in 1946.

Pandora

On 31st March 1942, Pandora arrived in Malta with supplies for the beleaguered Island including torpedoes for the Fleet Air Arm. Having discharged oil at Marsamxett she moved alongside at Hamilton Wharf to discharge cargo during the day, so that she could sail that night. During a heavy raid on the 1st April she received two direct hits and sank in less than four minutes, taking twenty five of her ships company with her.

 
     
 
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