Submarine K13 remembered during Faslane Ceremony

Serving Royal Navy submariners, veterans of the Silent Service and cadets commemorated the sinking of submarine K13 in a ceremony at Faslane chaplaincy.

The early steam-driven submarine sank in the Gare Loch in 1917 with 80 people onboard, leading to the death of 32 men, some of them buried at Faslane cemetery. 

Members of the Submariners Association visited Clyde Naval Base over the weekend for K13 commemorations, beginning with a trip to Govan where a monument to shipyard workers who died during the tragedy is situated in Elder Park. 

The next day they joined naval personnel at Clyde’s church of St John the Evangelist for a ceremony led by Royal Navy chaplains.

Members of Helensburgh Sea Scouts Group, TS Neptune, were given the honour of ringing K13’s ship’s bell during the ceremony – 32 times, once for every person who perished on board. 

Submarine K13 sank during her sea trials on January 29, 1917. Onboard were Royal Navy Submariners, Admiralty Pilots and workers from shipbuilders Fairfield’s.

Captain of K13, Lieutenant Commander Godfrey Herbert, accompanied by Commander Francis Goodhart, who was the visiting captain of submarine K14, attempted to escape from the stricken vessel, hoping to use their expert knowledge to guide rescue efforts.

Using the space between the inner and outer hatches as an airlock the pair tried to make it to the surface. Tragically Commander Goodhart died during the effort.

The 57-hour ordeal came to an end when an airline was attached allowing the bow to be raised and a hole cut in the side of the submarine. Forty-eight survivors were rescued.