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HMS E5HMS E5

Prince WIlliam joins submariners at remembrance service

The Duke of Cambridge joined hundreds of serving and former submariners on at the weekend for the annual Submariners’ Remembrance Service in Middle Temple Gardens, London.

The service was the culmination of two days of events, beginning with the dedication of the Submarine Service Poppy Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey on Saturday.

Members of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service gathered in London to pay their respects at a series of ceremonies and events, including a wreath-laying in the Abbey at the Combined Services Memorial.

On Sunday Prince William, in his role as Commodore-in-Chief Submarines, attended the service in Middle Temple Gardens where the names of fallen submariners were read aloud. 

Afterwards the group paraded to nearby Victoria Embankment and laid wreaths at the National Submarine War Memorial on the Victoria Embankment, part of the north bank of the Thames.

Rear Admiral John Weale, Rear Admiral Submarines, said: “This is an important event in submariners’ calendars, and one which takes on extra significance during the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“Submarines and submariners played a vital and often unsung part in the war effort.

"Indeed, submarine operations have been a decisive element of almost every conflict since then – gathering intelligence, deploying special forces and tackling enemy warships and submarines.

“The bravery and sacrifice shown by submariners means that it is right that they are honoured with their own remembrance event.

"We were delighted that His Royal Highness, as Commodore-in-Chief Submarines, could join us to pay his respects.”

Situated between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges, the National Submarine War Memorial features the names of all the British submarines lost during both world wars.

Submariners from Clyde Naval Base, now the home of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service, joined veterans from the Submariners Association, family members and friends at the service.

 

Our image shows HMS E5 with her crew on deck. The submarine was lost in the North Sea on 7 March 1916 with all hands, though the cause of her sinking is not clear – divers who found the wreck could see no obvious damage to her hull. She was not a lucky boat – 13 men died in an explosion on board just days before her commissioning, and three more died later in an oil blowback from the engine. The image, © IWM (Q 74842), is part of the Imperial War Museum collection.