Sub. Lieut Anthony Frew


I am Anthony Derek Frew, the nephew of Sub Lt. Anthony Frew and the grandson of Engineer Rear Admiral Sir Sydney Frew. It has been a privilege to acquire such detailed information and reverence from websites such as yours as they have filled in much that was never spoken about in my family over the years. My grandfather in particular always held a measure of personal responsibility for Tony’s death as he had been heavily involved with the adaption of the German schnorkel into British submarines during his time at the Admiralty in the Second World War.

Tony was of course one of the few survivors of the ramming and sinking of HMS Truculent some months before where he sustained a broken arm after being trapped in the conning tower hatch. This incident probably saved his life at the time. He never played the piano as well after that however.

As a high school student in the then Rhodesia, I was to have joined the RN after Greenwich Naval College. The declaration of UDI rendered all Rhodesians persona non grata at the time and so this was never pursued. I did spend several years in the UK thereafter where I completed my O levels before returning to South Africa. In that time I spent a lot of time visiting my grandparents in London, and although my interest in marine engineering was encouraged by the “Purple Emperor” as Grandad was known, the subject of Tony was always politely avoided.

Tony Frew.