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The Royal British Legion

PORTLAND H.M.S. SIDON (SUBMARINE) WAR MEMORIAL

Compiled and copyright © Carolynn Langley 2004
Photographs Copyright Vernon Masterman 2004

The memorial lists the HMS SIDON (Submarine) casualties that were buried in the Royal Naval Cemetery at Portland, Dorset.

On the 16th June 1955, submarine HMS Sidon was lying alongside the depot ship HMS Maidstone in Portland Harbour. Fifty-six officers and crewmen were aboard. The submarine was about to test HTP fuelled torpedoes when one of the torpedo's fuel exploded, andexploded blowing the bow cap door open to the sea killing a few crew members in the process. Fire, toxic gases, and smoke accompanied the blast. Attempts were made to rescue the crew, but the submarine sank by the bows. 13 of the crew were killed. They are all buried in Portland Cemetery.

CLAYTON

C.D.

Telegraphist. P/SSX 871290. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 21. No further information available at present.

DAVIES

D.G.

Acting Leading Seaman. DSSX 835908. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 23. No further information available at present.

DOREY

P.R.A.

Leading Seaman C/JX 819932. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 24. No further information available at present.

FORD

J.R.

Able Seaman P/SSX 898366. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 19. No further information available at present.

McLEOD

Laverne D

P2 TD2. RCN 10232. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 24. A native of Goderich, Ontario, “Verne” McLeod joined the RCN in 1949. He served in Korea aboard HMC Ships Athabaskan and Huron. He was a member of the second group of RCN volunteers to undergo submarine training in England where he arrived early in January, 1955. He left behind a wife and two daughters, one aged two years, the other but six weeks old whom he had never seen.

This photograph, provided courtesy of the McLeod family, was taken on 2 June, 1951 shortly after his return from his first deployment in Korea. He was 20.

See also McLeod Submarine Volunteer Memorial

NEEDHAM

E.J.K.

Lieutenant-Commander HMS Maidstone. Royal Naval specialist on the HTP torpedoes who was killed in the submarine's forends 16th June 1955. Aged 37. No further information available at present.

PEAKE

R.H.

Marine Engineering Mechanic PSKX 880829. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 22. No further information available at present.

RHODES

C.E.

Surgeon Lieutenant Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Aged 27. Killed 16th June 1955. General Service Surgeon who was found suffocated at the foot of the conning tower when the submarine was raised. He suffocated because he was wearing a D.S.E.A. Set that he was not trained in the use of, and therefore it was likely that he could not open the oxygen valve. This brave officer was postumously awarded the Albert medal for his efforts in putting himself in danger in order to save lives.

London Gazette 1st NOvember 1955, Gazette Issue 40621, page 13 of 56.

Admiralty, Whitehall, S.W.I.
1st November, 1955.

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the Albert Medal for gallantry in saving life at sea to:—

Temporary Surgeon Lieutenant Charles Eric RHODES, M.B., B.S., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., R.N.V.R.
An explosion occurred in H.M. Submarine SIDON in Portland Harbour on, 16th June, 1955, which later caused the submarine to sink. Surgeon Lieutenant Rhodes was among the first to enter the SIDON after the explosion and, in spite of the total darkness and dense smoke, he brought out an injured man to safety. He then put on a Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus and re-entered the submarine with morphia to give further help to the injured. In doing so he greatly prejudiced his chance of escape, He was not a submarine officer and was not familiar with the use of the breathing apparatus or the lay-out inside a submarine. In spite of these handicaps and the pitch darkness his only thoughts were for those within the submarine; he had no hesitation! in re-entering the SIDON and he succeeded in helping two more men to escape before the submarine sank. Surgeon Lieutenant Rhodes' gallant and selfless act in helping to save the lives of others cost him his own life.

RICE

P.J.W.

Acting Leading Cook PMX 807734. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 26. No further information available at present.

RYCROFT

J.M.W

Lieutenant. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 23. No further information available at present.

SMITH

Colin

Leading Cook PMX 912901. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 20. No further information available at present.

SUNDERLAND

John Robert

Steward PSLX 901679. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 24. Left a wife and two children. No further information available at present.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Nina Byrne 2006

WAITE

D.P.

Able Seaman PSSX 835715. Killed 16th June 1955. Aged 23. No further information available at present.

Last updated 25 December, 2013
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