HMS Torbay

HMS Torbay

On the 18th July, after 32 years of service the Plymouth-based nuclear-powered submarine was alongside a jetty in Devonport for the last time as she decommissioned via a ceremony at which a few tears were shed.

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Her 614,000 mile journey around the world, through war zones, diplomatic missions and covert operations was marked with a parade and traditional ceremony attended by current and past crews and commanding officers.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Torbay paid an emotional tribute to his assembled ship’s company, the last for the submarine.

He also addressed assembled families, affiliate organisations (including the Torbay area) and a Royal Marines Band. Taking the salute at the decommissioning parade was the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Vice Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson.

Throughout these changing times Torbay has maintained a silent vigil on the forefront of the UK commitment to worldwide defence. Her motto is ‘Je maintiendrai’, I Maintain, and that she has.

HMS Agincourt affiliated with Torbay


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Unit History

The First HMS Torbay1693

The first HMS Torbay was launched in 1693,the name to commemorate the landing of William of Orange at Torbay in 1688. Serving with distinction for 56 years,  finally broken up in 1749.

The Second Torbay1750

Originally called Neptune launched in 1683. August 1750 she was re-launched as HMS Torbay. She became the Flagship of a small force sent to Newfoundland to deal with the French.

The Third Torbay1919

Launched on 6th March 1919. Built in the inter-war years she saw little action, only a short spell in the Baltic at the time of the Russian Revolution, then presented to the Canadian Navy in 1928

The Fourth Torbay1938

A ‘T’ Class submarine, laid down at Chatham in November 1938 and completed on 15th January 1941 she proceeded to the Clyde on 21st January to join the Second Submarine Flotilla.

Dispatched to the Mediterranean1941

Dispatched to the Mediterranean on the 10th May 1941. Carrying out patrols in Central and Eastern Mediterranean waters, sinking 7 ships. She also retrieved allied troops from Crete in August 1941.


Torbay returned to the UK to refit in May 1942, returning to the Clyde she sailed, covering the passage of convoy JW 51A in December 1942.


On July 10th 1943 Torbay was part of an armada of 276 vessels of all types that took part in “Operation Husky”: the landings on Sicily, for which she received battle honors.

Special Operations1944

In March 1944 Torbay returned to Chatham for a refit. Once complete Torbay joined the Third Submarine Flotilla for work up, before leaving home waters in mid December 1944.

Returning to the UK1945

FHMS Torbay returned to the UK in October 1945,along with HMS Trident, was the only surviving ‘T’ Class submarine out of the original 15 built.  She was broken up early 1946.

Trafalgar Class Submarine1985

A Trafalgar class submarine with the name HMS Torbay was commissioned on 8 March 1985. She was the fourth boat in her class.


On the 18th July, after 32 years service, HMS Torbay was decommissioned.

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HMS Torbay is 85.4 metres long.

HMNB Devonport

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HMS Torbay