“On this day in history” HM Submarine A12 placed in commission, 1908

“On this day in history” Royal Navy A-class submarine HMS A12 placed into commission.

Getty seem to have captioned this photo “HMS Aurora A12,” but this is a mistake. The Aurora with pennant no. 12 was an Arethusa-class cruiser. Definitely not a submarine.

The A-class were the Royal Navy’s first submarines built to a British design. All thirteen submarines in the class were built by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness.

a_class_submarines

Flotilla of A-class submarines, including HMS A12.

Already obsolete by the outbreak of war in 1914, A12 and the other submarines in her class were used for harbour defence and training. After the war, A12 was placed on the disposal list and scrapped at Ardrossan in 1920.

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Former Royal Navy submarine HMS Onyx towed to scrapyard

HMS Onyx has left Barrow-in-Furness and is on her way to the ship breakers at Helensburgh. If nobody could raise the funds to preserve her as a museum ship during the last eight years, then it’s unlikely that anyone is going to step in at the last minute and save her.

Story from the North West Evening Mail follows:

Falklands veteran sub leaves Barrow and embarks on her final voyage
Thursday, 01 May 2014

A SUBMARINE left rusting in docks has been towed away after eight years.

HMS Onyx, an Oberon-class vessel which saw service in the Falklands War, was brought to Barrow in 2006 by businessman Joe Mullen as part of plans to use it as a museum.

Mr Mullen paid £117,000 for the sub after an idea by the Barrow branch of the Submariners Association, led by Terry Spurling, that it could become an interactive centrepiece at a submarine heritage centre.

Yesterday HMS Onyx was towed from Buccleuch Dock, in Barrow.

Mr Spurling said: “It is a hope more than anything that she is saved but at the moment she is going to Helensburgh for scrap.

“I happen to know there are people in Helensburgh trying to do what we tried to do here.

“It would be a tragedy if she was to be scrapped, she’s in such good condition internally and she is one of the Falklands boats.

“She’s one of the last O-boats available for a heritage centre, I do hope she is not scrapped.”

HMS Onyx (S21) was built at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead and commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1967. She served throughout the Cold War and saw honourable service during the Falklands War, landing special forces along the coast. Decomissioned in 1991, Onyx was placed on display in Birkenhead by the Warship Preservation Trust. In 2006, the trust went into liquidation and Onyx was sold to Barrow businessman Joe Mullen for £100,000. Funds to preserve Onyx as a museum ship were not forthcoming… and so we reach the end of her story.

Photos inside new Royal Navy submarine HMS Artful nearing completion

Some great images from inside HMS Artful by photographer Phil Noble.

A bank of computer screens are seen in the control room onboard HMS Artful one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis, 2014.

Crew living quarters are seen onboard HMS Artful, one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis 2014.

Crew bunks are seen onboard HMS Artful, one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis 2014.

Crew toilets are seen onboard HMS Artful, one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis 2014.

A torpedo tube is seen onboard HMS Artful, one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis 2014.

A dummy Tomahawk missile is seen onboard HMS Artful, one of the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines as it approaches completion at the company’s Barrow shipyard. Corbis 2014.

HMS Hermes joins the Royal Navy, 1959 newsreel from British Pathé

British Pathé newsreel of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes from 1959.

Artful the Monkey, official mascot of Artful the submarine

Animals that live, eat, sleep and crap in small enclosure? Yep… submariners 😉

HMS Artful is the second Astute-class submarine to be commissioned into Royal Navy service. Together with HMS Astute, lead boat of the class, she joins the RN’s five Trafalgar class submarines as part of the SSN fleet.

Artful goes nuts over submarine’s new mascot

The crew of Britain’s newest nuclear submarine – officially named today in Barrow today – unveiled the boat’s namesake mascot ahead of the milestone ceremony in the boat’s life.

Artful, a ten-month-old lemur monkey from South Lakes Wild Animal Park, has been adopted by the crew of the £1bn hunter-killer.

You can never have too many pictures of lemur monkeys holding the crest of the £1bn nuclear submarine for which they are named…

You can never have too many pictures of lemur monkeys holding the crest of the £1bn nuclear submarine for which they are named…

This is Artful the Monkey, official mascot of Artful the Submarine, which will be unveiled in a formal ceremony in Barrow tomorrow as the hunter-killer – the third of Britain’s seven Astute-class boats – nears completion.

Ahead of the big day in the boat’s life, a nine-strong team from Artful made the short trip to South Lakes Wild Animal Park to adopt the ten-month-old baby ring-tailed lemur.

Lt Arron Williams, Artful’s CO Cdr Scott Bower, AB Leon Stewart and a bunch of new friends

The inspiration for the adoption came from the submarine’s crest – although the creature on the boat’s historic symbol, chosen in 1945 by the Admiralty’s advisor on heraldry for the first Artful, is actually an unspecified species of primate.

“Having walked around the wildlife park with my wife last year, I remembered they had little monkeys and thought that adopting one as a mascot would be a good idea,” said 24-year-old Lt Aaron Williams from Bradford.

“We wanted to do something quirky to mark the naming ceremony.

“When I did a little research into the crest, I found out that it was chosen to represent the quality of artfulness, monkeys having the reputation of being clever and resourceful creatures.”

Sadly they had to let them out eventually… Some of the Artfuls in the spider monkey enclosure they spruced up

Meanwhile in the wildlife park’s spider monkey enclosure… Knot and rope skills were put to good use as the submariners spruced things up for its inhabitants.

“I love monkeys, but let’s hope they don’t complain about my decorating skills as much as my wife does!” said 33-year-old PO Lee Sinclair from Aberdeen.

As for Artful, well sadly the new mascot will be going nowhere near his boat (monkey + £1bn submarine, what could possibly go wrong?). Animals have been banned from Her Majesty’s ships since the 1970s for reasons of hygiene.

Which is a shame because the RN had a long and unusual history of mascots from the animal kingdom, from Simon the Cat which kept the vermin at bay on HMS Amethyst on the Yangtze; to Barbara the polar bear, rescued as a cub from drifting ice off Greenland and a ship’s mascot until growing too large and re-homed in Portsmouth; and Winnie, another monkey mascot who travelled with Great War torpedo boat HMS Velox.

“We won’t be able to get Artful on board, but the crew will still take an interest in him and no doubt a few of the guys and their families will be visiting the wildlife park in the future to see how he is doing,” said Lt Williams.

Alpha Lemur… The monkeys are excited by the presence of Lt Williams and the boat’s crest

As for the submarine, she’s been eight and half years in the making. The naming ceremony today is roughly the equivalent of launching a surface ship (there’s no slipway for submarines, which are inched out of the gigantic Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE’s Barrow yard), including smashing a bottle of champers against the hull in the age-old style.

Building on the extensive trials and tests of her older sisters Astute and Ambush, both of which are due to carry out their first operational patrols in a matter of months, Artful is due to enter service in 2015.

The only previous Artful, sister of HMS Alliance on display in Gosport at the RN Submarine Museum, served for over two decades from the late 1940s until the end of the 1960s, before being broken up.

https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/8875