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Thetis Memorial - supported by Vintage Radio

Text of this newspaper article from the Liverpool Echo. (Note: this has been put through and optical character reader so there may be minor errors)


FThetis midUNDRAISER for the HMS Thetis Memorial, Derek Arnold, achieved his target of £5,000 in record time thanks to general donations to create the first memorial to men lost in the Cammeil Laird's submarine which sank while on trials in Liverpool Bay. Mr Arnold, chairman of the Anchorage Club for retired seafarers, announced the fund-raising success at the club's annual Adelphi Hotel Christmas Dinner.


This means the memorial, which is being organised with Vintage Radio, of Birkenhead, will be ready for the tragedy's 75th anniversary next June, as Thetis sank on June 1, 1939, while on trials from the Birkenhead shipyard.


It is the Royal Navy's worst peacetime disaster, with 99 men dead. Mr Arnold's dad, leading stoker Walter Arnold, aged 27, was the last of four men to escape from the sub before the escape hatch jammed.

Mr Arnold said: "I'm extremely grateful to everyone who donated. "We've easily made the fund-raising deadline and have permission from Wirral council to erect the memorial near to the Cockleshell Heroes Memorial on the waterfront at Birkenhead Woodside.


Thetis sank off Llandudno when a torpedo tube flap was opened and jammed, letting the sea in, tipping the sub onto her nose. "After Thetis was beached at Moelfre, Anglesey,on September 1,1939, my father and a local policeman were ordered to recover the 99 bodies. "He knew everyone on-board and it deeply affected him." Capt. Mike Feltham, Vfc Anchorage Club secretary, also announced a £500 donation from the club to the Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST), for its Apprentice Ship Cup tall ship race. This will take place as part of the Mersey International River Festival, June 13-18, when eight tall ships will race from Liverpool to the Whitehaven Festival and back, via the Isle of Man and/or Belfast.