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Welcome to In Depth by Smudge

Here you will find each entry for In Depth by Smudge in reverse cronological order - Enjoy!

IN DEPTH 7 June 2018
The latest in Pete Smith's series of interviews follows on from last week's obit - here is the Interview of Huw Gethin. He has also provided:
Hi Swain,
Sorry I’m running late, but this is almost a personal storey as we were doing our parts one in Dolphin and had completed our tank when this happened. I do not think this will ever happen again as we have made many changes to the way we do refits, but in 1971 people could have been killed, those submariners were very lucky. The photo of Artemis was taken in 1971 in Malta prior to her refit at Portsmouth. The headline to this storey says everything.

Regards Smudge

Hi Swain,
Sorry I’m running late, but this is almost a personal story as we were doing our parts one in Dolphin and had completed our tank when this happened. I do not think this will ever happen again as we have made many changes to the way we do refits, but in 1971 people could have been killed, those submariners were very lucky. The photo of Artemis was taken in 1971 in Malta prior to her refit at Portsmouth. The headline to this storey says everything. THE SINKING OF HMS/m ARTEMIS

Regards Smudge

Dick Gough forwarded the following on the sinking of HMS Artemis
Hi #6 and all others reading your great dit.
Firstly thanks for the opportunity to have such a good read with the issues of The Grot.
I was in the UK and at HMS Dolphin doing my Part 1 and on the evening of 1 July 1971, I was the duty Leading Hand to go out on shore patrol in Gosport (another first-time adventure for me). As a good Submariner does we were in the Junior Sailor Wets tasting the fine English ales.
Suddenly at 1907 hrs the place became shocked with the Sub-Sunk alarm sounding. As is ordered, the room was emptied in a few seconds as we all went to our Sub-Sunk stations.
After a short period of "WTF" we were informed that HMS/m Artemis had sunk alongside the wharf and there were still 3 guys aboard her. Being duty Shore Patrol I was dressed in #1's uniform and being a ship's diver I had the diving helmet badge on my right sleeve. Anyway, the Duty Officer (DO) spotted me and sent me to get into a breathing
apparatus (BA) and get ready to go into the water. Once ready, I was dressed in white front, jocks and socks plus the BA and a rope around my gut.
My instructions were to swim out to the top of the fin, dive down the front of said fin and move along the forward casing and see what hatches were open.
Believe me, I was shit scared but proceeded to do as instructed. I jumped off the wharf and into the water where I lost my breath and suddenly had 2 lumps protruding from the front of my throat (I think they were something brass). Bloody hell it was cold. Anyway as I got to the gun hatch, The boat began to settle a bit, and for that to happen water goes in and air comes out. As that was happening the gun hatch itself began to open and close with force,
down with water and up with air. It was beginning to suck me into the hole. Once the bubbles hit the surface the DO told the guy holding my lifeline to pull me up. This guy obeyed super fast and as I hit the surface my face mask was all askew and my eyes were apparently like saucers.
I finally climbed up onto the wharf, the DO said to me "settle down you are not dead." After stripping off I was sent up to the galley to get a hot drink and warm up. That was the end of my night on Shore Patrol.
It is one evening I have not and will not forget.
Cheers for now,

Richard (Dick) Gough

In Depth 1 June 2018 
Since it was one year ago we lost Huw, it is appropriate to reprint his obituary here today: It is with regret that the SAA reports the death of SAA Life Member, Lieutenant Commander Huw Gerald Gethin-Jones OAM RN Rtd. in Sydney on 19 May 2017 aged 91. Huw joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman in the late 1930’s on completion of his Midshipman courses volunteered for submarine service. His first patrol was in HMS/m Unrivalled in 1943 as a Midshipman. But it was not until 1945 that he would join his second submarine HMS/m Tally Ho and spent time in this boat until 1946.
In 1947 Huw was appointed to HMS/m Anchorite a position he held until 1948 when Huw volunteered for service in HMS/m XE8 one of the improved midget class submarines, Huw served in this class until they were decommissioned in 1950.
Huw’s next appointment was HMS/m Thorough from 1950 to 1953 when Thorough was joined by two other submarines to establish the Royal Navy’s Fourth Flotilla in Sydney. In 1953 Huw returned to the United Kingdom where he was appointed to HMS/m Solent. At the completion of his time in Solent in 1955 Huw now a Lieutenant Commander decided to retire from the Royal Navy and move to Australia to live.
Huw joined the Submarines Association Australia in Sydney on 29 of October 1985. At the 1996 AGM Huw’s service to the Association especially as Auditor of the Accounts was recognised with Life Membership. Huw was also awarded the OAM for services outside of the Association.
Hew, as you have crossed the Bar for the last time for your Eternal Patrol. "RIP"


In Depth with Smudge 25 May 2018

Foreword to Dorothy Selby Interview
One of the hardest personal things for a submariner and their family is the submariner going away and not telling where they are going and when they will be back home. For today, submarining and away trips are much easier as we don’t have the problems of a full scale war to have to face, that must have caused a lot of worries for both submariner and family. The following story is of Dorothy Selby after her marriage to Gordon Selby and living in London during the Blitz and not knowing where Gordon was and the lack of communication. That combined with censorship must have been very hard on submariners and their loved ones. Perhaps through Gordon not talking about his work or Dorothy’s naivety that she was unaware of how dangerous being a war-time submariner was, but both made it through to war’s end. Barry’s interview with Dorothy is an insight to what servicemen and their loved ones endured during the Second World War including rationing and making the best use of what was available. It has been more than fifty years since peace had been declared when Barry interviewed the Selby’s, in the dimming of time one has to a degree read between the lines, Gordon was very humble and reticent to speak of his war-time achievements, other authors have done that for him and Dorothy following Gordon’s lead decided to put bygones behind her and not talk about how bad and terrifying it was in London and other cities during that time.
     While writing this forward I remembered Gordon’s nickname when he was teaching officers for various submarine courses, Barry Nobes mentioned that he and every submarine CO were taught by Gordon and their name for him was “Mr Chips” the character from the 1939 film “Goodbye Mr Chips”. Like the teacher in the movie Gordon was held in great esteem, even though I was not taught as a submariner by Gordon, I was touched by the way he showed me, a complete novice, how to take on the job of National Secretary and his newsletter which we later named “In Depth”.  Gordon was very approachable and gladly helped solve problems.

Enjoy your reading, Smudge.            
Interview with Dorothy Selby conducted by Captain Barry Nobes RAN (Rtd)
This Oral History was transcribed verbatim, off the tapes by Peter Smith and Murray Davidson in August and September 2016. Any information not part of the oral history found between brackets is extra information added by the transcribers.
You can find the full document here

In Depth 28 April 2018 
The subject of this week’s interview is Gordon Selby, who was considered the greatest known lower deck submariner in Royal Navy history. We Australians were very lucky to have him choose Australia to migrate to after the war and benefit from his knowledge. The interview can be found here: Interview with Gordon Selby

In Depth 21 April 2018 
For this week's edition Peter Smith has provided a photo of HMAS Otway and Oxley in Farm Cove circa 1930. This complements the interview transcript from last week

HMAS Oxley and Otway in Farm Cove, Sydney 1930

In Depth The Beginning 
First off, many thanks to Norm Williams OAM for his design and input to all things associated with “Up Periscope” you have kept us informed and amused over the many years since you took over the site after its founder Wayne (Bomber) Wells passed away.
Second, congratulations, you must be the first submariner to find not only one but, two reliefs. Good one! Those reliefs, being IT specialist Tim Bass and Chief Coxswain Greg Jones (#6) both have recruited former submariners Father Keith Dalby rector of St. John’s Church, Gordon and Ray Kemp National SAA Welfare Officer. Both submariners bring their wealth of information on the subject of welfare and dealings with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, they have taken dealings with DVA a long way since I started with the blind medical survey, I was a babe in the woods then, now I see we are making good progress in looking after our health and welfare needs. I was also asked to submit to the website and supply history of submariners and the squadrons no matter how obscure the history is, #6 has given my input as “Smudge’s Spruik”, however I am up to suggestions of a better title.
From time to time you will see the cheeky side of me via various cartoons and photos which no doubt have nothing to do with submarine history but of current affairs.
In future additions you will see interviews with various Navy officers and ratings. These interviews were undertaken by Captain Barry Nobes RAN Rtd. At the end of the interviews, Barry was given the use of the facilities of the NSW State Library to have the tapes transcribed. What came back much to Barry’s horror, that what was on paper was not on tape. Barry wanted everything transcribed verbatim, what Barry did not take onboard at the time was the typists did not know Navy slanguage and the names and spellings of many place names overseas, so typed what they thought they heard. All the interviewees have since passed away along with Barry, so when both Murray and I came to a problem we had no one to ask and explain, so a lot of research has gone into making sure Barry’s pursuit archived his standard of excellence.
The first interview was undertaken with George Frederics. Barry knew that George’s time was running out and wanted to get one of the founding members of Submarines Association Australia and the last surviving member of the first Oberon submarines recorded before he passed over the bar. Download FileDownload Interview
Happy Reading,


Peter Smith.
Pete Smith