Tuesday, 18 December 2012

We Will Always Remember Them

When Britain seeks to carve it's name on History's Bloodstained Roll,
It can point in pride to it's Submarines, "Dear God", you took your toll.
It was said they were damned un-English, a weapon to be abhorred
But in a world where you fight for your freedom that's a view you just cannot afford.
So in trying to balance life's budget, when we sit down and add up the cost,
High up on the list is the price we paid, eighty two boats that we lost.

The first on the roll was the Oxley then Seahorse, Undine and Starfish
Thistle, Tarpon and Sterlet, then Unity and Seal was God's wish.
One after the other went Odin, then Grampus, Orpheus and Shark
The Salmon, the Phoenix and then came the Thames, no wonder the future looked dark.
The Narwhal, the Oswald and Spearfish and little H49 too
The Rainbow, Triad and Swordfish, our country was paying it's due.
Regulus, Triton, Snapper and Usk, Undaunted, Umpire as well
Union, Cachalot, P33, all sailing their own road to hell.

We lost P32 and the Tetrarch, the Perseus and the P31,
The Triumph, the Tempest and P38, and sadly the list just goes on.
There was P39 and P36, Pandora and Upholder too.
Urge, Olympus and P514, Thorn and Talisman, long overdue.
Unique, Unbeaten and Utmost, then the turn of P222.
Traveller, P48 and P311, Lord is this what you want us to do?
Then came Vandal, Tigris, Thunderbolt, and Turbulent, Regent as well.
With P615, Splendid, Sahib, all bowing to fate's awful knell.

The Untamed, the Parthian and Saracen, the X Crafts 9, 8 and 5
Followed by 6, then 7, then 10. Yes Lord they'd done their last dive.
Usurper, the Trooper, the next was Simoom, X22 also was lost.
And the ex-German Graph then made her last dive, we earned freedom at terrible cost.
Stonehenge, Syrtis and Sickle, please God just how many more?
The Strategem went to her resting place, on that far distant, hostile shore.

And so near the end of the Roll Out, our White Ensign proud but Half Mast
Right up to the end our Submarines paid, for Porpoise was the last.
Each year we gather at Blockhouse and ask that their Memories be Blessed
For we stand proud and tall as "Old Comrades", with our Dolphins pinned on our chest.
So we who survived now pray to our God, "Let our boys grow up to be men.
If we paid the price unflinchingly, Dear Lord don't ask them to pay it again."

by Chief Petty Officer Coxswain George Luck DSM

George Luck was a member of the Merseyside Submariners Association and served in boats from 1941 to 1947 being on the "Rorqual", "P217", "P339". "Taurus" and "Affray". He died in May 2007 at 85 years of age.

Also worth remembering that this was the WWII Roll Call. 167 boats were lost all together in 2 wars. The Germans lost more than we did. A very dodgy trade we are in guys.
Chief Stoker's Log

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