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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006


HMS GRAMPUS (56 M) - Grampus-class Minelaying Submarine

HM S/M Grampus (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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PORPOISE-Class submarine ordered on 1st March 1934  from HM Dockyard Chatham and laid down on 20th August 1934. This minelaying submarine was launched on 25th February 1936 and was the 10th RN warship to bear  the name which was introduced in 1731 for 14 gun Sloop which foundered in 1742. It was last used in 1913 when given to HMS NAUTILUS a destroyer built in 1910 was renamed. Build was completed on 10th March 1937 and this submarine was then commissioned for service in the 4th Submarine Flotilla on the China Station. After the outbreak of war in September 1939 she was deployed for interception duties in the Far East. During 1940 she was transferred to the Mediterranean and joined in 1st Submarine Flotilla


B a t t l e  H o n o u r  s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green, a Grampus Silver

(In a circular frame.)


M o t t o

Grandis inter alios: 'Great amongst others'


S u m m a r y   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


1 9 3 9


January                  Deployed with 4th Flotilla for fleet duties based at Hong Kong

to                            (Note: Other submarines in Flotilla were:

July                         HM Submarines PARTHIAN, PHOENIX, PROTEUS, PANDORA and RORQUAL

                                supported by HM Submarine Depot Ship MEDWAY.)


August                  Took up war station for interception of enemy shipping.


September             Deployed for interception patrols with Flotilla

to December


1 9 4 0


January                  Flotilla duties in continuation

to March                Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean with Flotilla.


April                       Passage to Alexandria.


May                        Arrived ion Alexandria and joined 1st Submarine Flotilla.

                                Nominated for service in Malta to carry out minelaying operations.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to N56.


June                        Deployed in Malta under overall French command

                                Commanding Officer Lieut. Cdr C A Rowe RN)

                10th        Sailed from Malts to carry out minelaying operation in swept Channel between Augusta

                                and Syracuse.

                13th        Reported that minelay had been carried out successfully. Remained in area on completion

                                of lay.

                14th        Carried out torpedo attack on Italian Torpedo Boat POLLUCE which was avoided.

                16th        Under depth charge attacks by Italian 13th Torpedo Boat Squadron which was carrying 

                                out anti-submarine operations

                                (Note: Squadron comprised CIRCE, CLIO, CALLIOPE and POLLUCE.)

                                Fired two torpedoes at Italian Torpedo Boat POLLUCE which carried out depth charge

                                attacks. Sunk by depth charges from ships of Italian Squadron. There were no survivors.

                                See BENEATH THE WAVES by A S Evans for details.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


This name was carried forward in December 1959 when given to a submarine of the PORPOISE Class when launched at Birkenhead by Cammell Laird.


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