Out of all the stories published over the past year in the Out 'n About magazine, the following must be the most poignant. It’s impossible to imagine the devastating loss this family endured in a space of two and a half years. So far, the names of 22 service personnel from both world wars have been approved to be added, and along with the existing names on the war memorial, “WITH PROUD THANKSGIVING, WE REMEMBER THEM”.
P/KX 76142 Petty Officer Stoker, William Edwin Arnold, HM Submarine Olympus, Royal Navy
HMS Olympus was an Odin-class submarine, a class originally designed for the Royal Australian Navy to cope with long distance patrolling in Pacific waters. Olympus was built to the same design for the Royal Navy. From 1931-1939, Olympus was part of the 4th Flotilla on the China Station, and from 1939-1940 she was with the 8th Flotilla, Colombo, Ceylon. In 1940 she was redeployed to the Mediterranean and was damaged on 7th July 1940 when bombed by Italian aircraft while in dock in Malta. Repairs and refit were completed on 29th November 1940. On 9th November 1941 Olympus attacked the Italian merchant ship Mauro Croce (1,049 GRT) with torpedoes and gunfire in the Gulf of Genoa. The target escaped without damage.
On 8th May 1942, Olympus struck a mine and sank off Malta in approximate position 35°55’N, 14°35’E. She had just left Malta on passage to Gibraltar with personnel including many of the crews of the submarines Pandora, P36 and P39 which had been sunk in air raids. There were only nine survivors out of 98 aboard. They had to swim seven miles (11 km) back to Malta. 89 crew and passengers were lost with the ship. The casualties included William who died aged 34. William is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and is also listed on the Glanford Brigg district WW2 Roll of Honour, under Winterton parish.
P/KX 84332 Stoker 1st Class, Frederick John Arnold, HM Submarine Thames, Royal Navy
HMS Thames (N71) was an ocean-going type of submarine of the River Class. She was built by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow and launched on 26 February 1932. She was completed on 14 September 1932, and after commissioning was assigned to the Mediterranean, stationed at Malta. She had a short career in the Second World War. In August 1939 she was recalled to home waters, and was assigned to 2nd Submarine Flotilla with the Home Fleet. From there she undertook interception patrols, searching for German U-boats, surface raiders and blockade runners. After refitting during the winter she was active in the North Sea in spring 1940 during the Norwegian campaign. In July 1940 Thames torpedoed and sank the German torpedo boat Luchs. Luchs was part of the escort for the damaged German battleship Gneisenau that was on passage from Trondheim, Norway to Kiel, Germany.
HMS Thames was reported overdue on 3 August 1940, and had probably struck a mine off Norway in late July or early August 1940. As HMS Thames was operating from Dundee with the 9th Submarine Flotilla when she was lost, her crew are all commemorated on Dundee International Submarine Memorial.
Frederick is believed to have died on 3rd August 1940, aged 24 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He is also listed on the Glanford Brigg district WW2 Roll of Honour, under Winterton parish. His parents continued to live in North Street, Winterton and are buried in Winterton Cemetery.
P/KX 75337 Petty Officer Stoker, John Clabby, HM Submarine Utmost, Royal Navy
HM Submarine Utmost left Malta for a patrol in the Mediterranean in November 1942. On the 23rd she sank an enemy ship, but on 25th November 1942, during her return journey to Malta, she was located, attacked and sunk south west off Sicily (off Maréttimo) by depth charges from the Italian torpedo boat Groppo. There were no survivors.
John died on 25th November 1942, aged 37 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. A local 1944 newspaper article reported Sarah and her 13 year old son of 45a North Street, Winterton, going to Buckingham Palace to receive her late husband’s Distinguished Service Medal. He was also Mentioned in Despatches.
John is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and is also listed on the Glanford Brigg district WW2 Roll of Honour, under Winterton parish. Sarah continued to live in North Street up to 1950. She died in the Scunthorpe Registration district in 1967.