A SNIPPET

In the 1950's [and later] the Royal Navy had seven submarine squadrons, three based in the U.K., and four in foreign parts.

SQUADRON WHERE BASED DEPOT SHIP OR SHORE PARENT
1st Malta H.M.S. Forth [Depot Ship] Midstream Msida Creek Marsamxett Harbour
2nd Portland, Dorset H.M.S. Maidstone [Depot Ship] Midstream Portland Harbour
3rd Rothesay, Isle of Bute, West Scotland H.M.S. Adamant [Depot Ship] Midsteam Rothesay Bay
4th Sydney NSW Australia H.M.A.S. Penguin [Garden Island] [Shore]
5th Gosport, Hampshire H.M.S. Dolphin [Fort Blockhouse] [Shore]
6th Halifax Nova Scotia Canada H.M.S. Ambrose [Halifax Dockyard] [Shore]
7th Singapore H.M.S. Medway [Landing Craft Tank -LCT] Secured to Fleet Landing H.M.S. Terror

As time went on, Depot Ships changed, base locations changed, squadrons either disappeared or were reassigned - Dolphin, for example, became the 1st squadron and Malta became the 5th, and that much worked Depot Ship Forth set-up the 2nd Squadron at Devonport [alongside the wall] on the 1st November 1960 having been in Malta 12 years. In 1958, Maidstone arrived at Portsmouth after taking part in the Home Fleet Spring Cruise and paid off after twenty years' continuous service in a single commission embracing the war in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific and peace-time duty with the Home Fleet.

In 1959, HM The Queen presented her Colour to the Submarine Command at HMS Dolphin. Eight holders of the Victorian Cross were present together with widows of VC's one of whom was Mrs Linton, wife of Commander 'Tubby' Linton VC RN., who also lost her son Lieutenant William Linton RN in the Affray in 1951. Also in 1959, the first Rear Admiral [S] died. Admiral Douglas Lionel Dent CB, CMG was promoted Rear Admiral in 1919 and raised his Flag in HMS Dolphin soon afterwards. In effect, he was the first FOSM.

In the second half of the 1960's, much to the dismay of all of us in the 7th S/M [I was in Auriga], they took away our preferred 'Mum' H.M.S. Medway [attached to terra firma] and gave us H.M.S. Forth [anchored midstream in the Straits] with a captain as S/M7 instead of a commander. Overnight, we went from 'pirate rig' so to speak, to strictly 'pusser' so to speak, and the mid forenoon trade down at the Sembawang Gate areas took a dive - pardon the submarine pun!

Of interest, given that all is left of this era is the Submarine Museum at Gosport, the Alliance was the first boat to be assigned to the 6th squadron.

The Squadrons above deployed to foreign parts we all gone within a short period of time, started by Malta [64], Canada [65], Australia [69] and Singapore [71].  HM S/M Trump was the last boat attached to the R.A.N., in Sydney and she sailed for home on the 10th January 1969. She was the last boat to attack an enemy vessel in WW2 using torpedoes.

These squadron configurations took over from the WW2 years, a time where expedients dictated a high state of flux with squadron numbers being dropped and relocated to counter the threat as the theatres of war developed.  In those days they were called flotilla's.

SEPTEMBER 1939 JANUARY 1942 MAY 1944
FLOTILLA WHERE BASED FLOTILLA WHERE BASED FLOTILLA WHERE BASED
1st Mediterranean Ports chiefly Malta 1st Mediterranean. Alexandria Egypt 1st Mediterranean. Malta
2nd Dundee Eastern Scotland 2nd Mediterranean. Malta 2nd Not Assigned
3rd Not Assigned 3rd Clyde Western Scotland 3rd Western Scotland. Holy Loch
4th China Station, chiefly Hong Kong 4th Not Assigned 4th Ceylon. Trincomalee
5th Portsmouth Hampshire 5th Portsmouth Hampshire 5th Portsmouth Hampshire
6th Blyth Northumberland 6th Blyth Northumberland 6th Blyth Northumberland
7th Freetown. Sierra Leone. West Africa 7th Western Approaches, Plymouth [Devonport]/Liverpool 7th Western Scotland. Rothesay Isle of Bute
- - 8th Mediterranean and Atlantic. Gibraltar 8th Ceylon. Trincomalee
- - 9th Dundee Eastern Scotland 9th Dundee Eastern Scotland
- - - - 10th Mediterranean. Maddalena. Sardinia

The Western Approaches were more famous for destroying submarines rather than for anything else. Two great naval commanders ruled the roost in that Command, the first being the C-in-C Admiral Sir Max Horton GCB DSO, himself a famous WW1 submarine commander, and the other Captain F J Walker CB, RN, and FOUR DSO's [DSO*** or DSO and three bars] a destroyer ace without comparison in any navy, the 'bogey man' of the German U-Boat fleet, who quite literally wore himself out, dying of war induced exhaustion. Both of them received 'state funerals' in Liverpool Cathedral, and even its cavernous spaces could not accommodate all who wanted to say their goodbyes to such special men. At Captain Walker's funeral on the 11th July 1944, Admiral Horton eulogy was all telling when he said -

"May  there never be wanting in this realm a succession of men of like spirit in discipline, imagination and valour, humble and unafraid. Not dust nor the light weight of a stone, but all the sea of the Western Approaches shall be his tomb".

Both men received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. Admiral Horton died in 1951 aged 68,  his life too shortened by the many years of unrelenting stress over the U-Boat carnage. His body rests in Liverpool Cathedral  and I commend this page to you which has a picture of his Memorial http://www.seahorsepublications.co.uk/resources/5.+Admiral_Sir_Max_Horton.pdf . In 1998, the Statue of Captain Walker was unveiled  at Liverpool Pier Head  by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. It was dedicated to Captain Walker's memory and to the men of the 36th Escort Group and the 2nd Support Group and all who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic.

When the UK Polaris squadron was set up in 1967, it was given the number 10 [10th], in recognition of the service given by the 10th flotilla based in the Mediterranean during WW2.

Additional information about S/M Depot Ships. However, many captured ships and bought off-the-shelf merchant ships were pressed into service as Depot Ships. Many had the inboard accommodation spaces but not all had the repair and maintenance facilities offered by the large S/M Depot Ships. Many of these 'support' ships, unlike the large S/M Depot Ships were not sea going vessels.

The following listed ships acted throughout the war and globally as submarine depot ships to British submarines and allied navies.

HMS Cyclops - HMS Medway - HMS Cochrane [the ship] - HMS Forth - HMS Lucia - HMS Alecto - HMS Titania - HMS Maidstone - HMS Forth - HMS Adamant - HMS Bonaventure for 'X' craft - HMS Wolfe - HMS Montclare.  In additions to these ships [listed and unlisted] many shore facilities were used to support these vessels.

Footnote:   Submarine squadrons were disbanded at the end of March 2002vide DCI[RN]31/02