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#236391 - 9th Jun 2008 1:58pm Thetis - Thunderbolt
Alsbury Offline
Beginner

Registered: 9th Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Loc: Frome
Living now in Frome, Somerset, it is of note that during WW2 Frome adopted the submarine Thunderbolt - the 'resurrected' Thetis - and that the plaque commemorating that is now held on loan at the Submarine Museum. Sadly thunderbolt was lost in the Mediterranean during the war and thus the total loss of life of Thetis and Thunderbolt is significantly large.

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#236405 - 9th Jun 2008 2:48pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: Alsbury]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
There is a memorial and some info on the Thetis at the Birkenhead Priory, in St Marys Tower iirc.

smile

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#236413 - 9th Jun 2008 3:57pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: MattLFC]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Yes, Matt, you're right. There are 99 plaques on the stairs to the top of the tower, each one with the name of one of the dead.
I remember my dad told me he worked on the Thetis.

Cheers, Chris.
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Carpe diem.

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#236578 - 10th Jun 2008 8:46am Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: chriskay]
jonno40 Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1234
Loc: wirral
There are also several graves in Flaybrick relating to the Thetis disaster smile
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#238693 - 16th Jun 2008 12:09pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: jonno40]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
For those who haven't been there, here's some pics taken at the bottom of St.Mary's Tower at the Priory, in memory of the Thetis disaster. The small plaque is one of the 99 which line the staircase.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Thetis3.jpg

Thetis2.jpg

Thetis1.jpg


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#240708 - 27th Jun 2008 7:31pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: chriskay]
Sludge Offline

Member

Registered: 16th Dec 2007
Posts: 97
Loc: sleepy village , Roche Ferrae
Interesting , will have to pay a visit to the priory , i am interested in anything Laird related . Alsbury, have you any pics of HMS Thunderbolt ,would be interested to see anything you have cheers.
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Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.

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#240875 - 28th Jun 2008 6:04pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: Sludge]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
How did the 4 survive? And what actually happened to it?
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#240884 - 28th Jun 2008 6:41pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: DavidB]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


According to a report I read moons ago, the cause was an inner torpedo tube door being opened whilst submerged. There was a test cock fitted to the door. If it was open to the sea, a small jet of water would give the game away ie. DON'T open the door. The test cock was opened briefly and no water came out. The reason no water came out was that the small hole was blocked by paint/grease. Someone rightly thought the tube was dry (outer door shut). Wrong ! Outer door open and a LOT of Liverpool Bay came in when inner door opened.

Can't recall where/how the survivors avoided being drowned.

There was a right co*k up with delays in getting the rescue set up. The stern of the sub remained above the surface whilst HM Government/Admiralty etc. faffed about for days.

There must be a version of the report drifting around the internet somewhere. I think the sub was eventually beached off Anglesey. After all the not-nice recovery operations and repairs made, she was renamed, went off to war and eventually was mined in the Med. (I think)


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#240886 - 28th Jun 2008 6:42pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: DavidB]
Mark Online   Reading


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21062
Loc: Wirral
The Version i heard.

I think it was going out on sea trials with 100 soles on board
and it sank just out of the Mersey.

The cause was some paint on a value that prevented it from closing
and so it filled with water when underwater trials began.

It apparently sat with its nose up for some hours as the water and air settled in side.
The "Emergency" Hatch was a case of open once i dont think there was a middle chamber so anyone who did get out
was possibly part of that small group that went via the hatch,
but it also flooded the rest of the sub...


What i also heard was that there was the means in the mersey
to possibly save all soles by holding her with a barge,
and then either lifting or dragging her to shallow waters.

But back then any kind of Salvage / Save our soles operations
went via Portsmouth and the Admiralty.
And the word was they were told to do nothing until officers were
at the scene which was 8 hrs or so later. And in that time they
all died except for a few. Where as an order to lift or drag
could have had a different out come all together.

That's the version i heard but i know i could be wrong.
I found the Naval twist very interesting...
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#242442 - 10th Jul 2008 12:06pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: Mark]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


I have just been lent a book "Thetis - The Admiralty Regrets" by C.Warren & J.Benson.

A superb, detailed account of what happened. Told from evidence of the 4 survivors and those directly involved in the failed rescue attempts.

An excellent forward by Derek Arnold, son of one of the survivors.

Try and beg, borrow or whatever a copy. A sobering read !


Edited by Pinzgauer (10th Jul 2008 12:09pm)

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#335275 - 10th Jul 2009 3:00pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: ]
greasby_lad Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 17th Jan 2009
Posts: 146
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: Pinzgauer


An excellent forward by Derek Arnold, son of one of the survivors.


Derek Arnold will give a talk on HMS Thetis at Greasby library on Thursday 20th May 2010 at 7:30pm
Tickets 2.50

Also, there's a permanent Thetis exhibition at Fort Perch Rock.


Edited by greasby_lad (10th Jul 2009 3:02pm)
Edit Reason: FPR info added

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#336214 - 17th Jul 2009 7:02pm Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: greasby_lad]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5360
Loc: Birkenhead
As an ex pressure head myself I thoroughly recommend the presentation by Derek Arnold. Went to same on the last Thetis Memorial weekend in Perch Rock, exactly 70 years to the day she foundered. If you really want to know how we treat our heroes in this country then go to this presentation. I came away feeling ashamed and it still winds me up. Worth noting that Derek Arnold is the son of Stoker Walter Arnold, one of the survivors and he tells it as it was.
_________________________
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#367371 - 21st Nov 2009 8:59am Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: BandyCoot]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1413
Loc: New Brighton
Originally Posted By: BandyCoot
As an ex pressure head myself I thoroughly recommend the presentation by Derek Arnold. Went to same on the last Thetis Memorial weekend in Perch Rock, exactly 70 years to the day she foundered. If you really want to know how we treat our heroes in this country then go to this presentation. I came away feeling ashamed and it still winds me up. Worth noting that Derek Arnold is the son of Stoker Walter Arnold, one of the survivors and he tells it as it was.


As a still (just about) working "frogman" I must attend this presentation.

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#367392 - 21st Nov 2009 10:47am Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: Tatey]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5360
Loc: Birkenhead
The News came out recently that another sunken boat, Poseidon, had been raised by the Chinese out in the Far East. No bodies or artefects supposedly on board, yeah right! I knew one of the survivors off that one, Percy Farley, who used to live out at Little Sutton way, smashing fellah. I also met the survivors off the Thetis over a period of years, at Merseyside Submariners Association functions, Wally Arnold, Frank Shaw, Capt Oram and Lt Woods. We have also just lost one of our own over here, Trevor Shaw, he was a survivor off the Sidon when a torpedo exploded in the fore ends. Hope you make it to the Derek Arnold presentation, you will find it very enlightening.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#367587 - 22nd Nov 2009 6:30am Re: Thetis - Thunderbolt [Re: BandyCoot]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1413
Loc: New Brighton
The Chinese can be a little evasive about wrecks! I worked on a couple over there & everything they told us was completely the opposite when we actually got on them!
I will be at Greasby Library, might even have a "wet" afterwards!!!

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