The “Affray” Submarine Memorial Fund

The Background Story

In April 2011, a small group of “Affray” supporters organised and attended a wreath laying ceremony in Alderney, Channel Islands. A motor boat was chartered and the group was then taken out to the wreck side near to Hurd Deep, in the middle of the English Channel. After the ceremony, it was resolved that a permanent memorial plaque should be erected near to Braye Harbour in Alderney, this being the closest landfall to where the “Affray” now lies at rest. The BBC News TV service gave us very good coverage on National television as well as the local radio news (which included a live interview) in the Channel Islands. The BBC News website also covered the story, including the setting up of the Memorial Fund.
This link can be found at: s/world-europe-guernsey-13135764

The tragic loss of the “Affray” is still not properly acknowledged in a tangible way, even after 60 years, with a dedicated plaque displayed in a public place that records all the names of the lost. Other post-war submarine accidents involving HM Submarine Truculent (sunk 12th January 1950) has a memorial plaque inside Chatham Cathedral and likewise HM Submarine Sidon (sunk 16th June 1951) has a stone monument at Portland Bill, Dorset. Without doubt, HM Submarine Affray must therefore be remembered in the same way, it is only the Right and Proper thing to do. It is up to us to correct this lamentable lack of a public memorial and do something positive about it.

The plaque itself will be made of cast bronze and it shall be mounted on a natural stone plinth, standing 1.6m high. It will list by name all 75 sailors and Royal Marines who were lost in the sinking and it is the intention to unveil the completed plaque in April next year, in time for 61st anniversary of the sinking. Some views of the proposed artwork and the stone plinth are included here. It is also intended to place a “Time Capsule” into the foundations of the stone plinth and contributions of any suitable artifacts (such as letters or photographs) will be gratefully accepted, provided that they are unfolded, not stapled and no bigger than A4 size paper, in order to fit inside the capsule. (See also e-mail address below) Fund raising has now commenced to cover the cost of the plaque itself, the planning permission, future upkeep, public liability insurance and other related matters such as the manufacture of the natural stone plinth to support the plaque itself. A Registered Charity is currently in the process of being established, the title of which will be the “Affray Submarine Memorial Fund”. An independent accountant has been appointed and also the bank deposit account, both of which will be managed in Alderney. This is to take advantage of the fact that the Channel Islands (although part of the UK, of course) are exempt from VAT, which is the equivalent of gaining a 20% discount on all the costs involved in making and installing the plaque. If sufficient funds are forthcoming, it is the intention to provide a second plaque at a suitable public location on the mainland of the UK, probably in a prominent place in Portsmouth. The provisional date for the unveiling of this second plaque would be 16th April 2013. HM Submarine “Affray” will then hopefully be unique in that it will have two memorials, which hopefully makes a suitable atonement for not having had any plaque at all for the past 60 years.


Anyone who wishes to contribute financially to the initial cost and upkeep of the “Affray” plaque may (in the very near future) do so by transfer from any bank in the UK. For further details or any other specific enquiries, please refer by e-mail to A further announcement will be made when the bank account is fully operational and direct debit payments will then be possible. Of course, any dependents or friends of the Affray are very welcome to attend the unveiling ceremony of the memorial which will take place on Monday 16th April 2012 in Alderney, to be followed the next day (Tuesday 17th) by another boat trip out to the wreck site to lay wreaths on the waters. It is hoped that once again the BBC News team will be in attendance to record the activities. Guests travelling to Alderney who wish to bring with them any artifacts for placing into the time capsule, should give them in by hand no later than the evening of Saturday 14th April.  Again, please contact Martin for more details, or to request and a copy of the proposed itinerary. Advice on availability of public transport options from the UK mainland and hotel accommodation in Alderney is also available if required.

The Affray Submarine Memorial Trust

Progress Update No. 2

Progress Update No. 3 - October 2011

Martin Allen, Volunteer Secretary of the Affray Submarine Memorial Fund