Recent Museum Acquisitions
Though we have not been directly involved in the purchase of these artefacts our donations to other projects add to the Museum's general funds available for purchases.
In the early days of submarines the Royal Navy used an axe to cut the rope which tied the vessel to the dock, releasing the boat into the water. Nowadays, they use a lever to free the vessel. Admiral Sir Charles Little commanded C16 and launched it himself.
Medals WW1: Gilbert Wood
The family story regarding Gilbert Wood is that he was due to be on duty on the day of the A1 disaster, but one of the crew asked him to swap days. HMS A1 became the Royal Navy's first submarine casualty, being rammed whilst on exercise in the Eastern Solent by the mail steamer Berwick Castle. She sank in only 39 feet of water, with the loss of all hands.
Match Box Holder
This match box was made by AB Green whilst a PoW in Italy in 1941 (HMS Cachalot). Cachalot was sunk on 30 July of that year by the Italian destroyer 'Papa'. All were taken prisoner except one Maltese Steward who was lost.
Medals WW2: Joel Blamey
Joel “Joe” Blamey was the Royal Navy's oldest surviving wartime submariner until his death in 2006 aged 101. His 28 years in submarines is thought to be a record. He served on a number of submarines and survived several accidents, the most notable in HMS Strongbow. She was attacked by 4 Japanese submarine chasers whilst in shallow water. His autobiography, A Submariner's Story (2002), describes the discomfort of the tropics, the hazards and engineering challenges of submarine operations and the characters of many young officers who were to become famous wartime heroes.
Apparently the Museum didn't so much buy these as trade them for two pencils and a stapler!