HMS Sidon

 


On the morning of June 16, 1955, Sidon was moored alongside the depot ship HMS Maidstone in Portland Harbour. Two experimental torpedoes, code-named "Fancy", had been loaded aboard for testing. Fifty-six officers and crewmen were aboard.


At 08:25, an explosion in one of the Fancy torpedoes (but not the warhead) burst the number-three torpedo tube it was loaded into and ruptured the forward-most two watertight bulkheads. Fire, toxic gases, and smoke accompanied the blast. Twelve men in the forward compartments died quickly and seven others were seriously injured. The submarine started to settle by the bows with a list to starboard, and her commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Verry, ordered the ship evacuated from the engine room and after escape hatches. Thanks to a rescue party from Maidstone, everyone not immediately killed escaped, except Maidstone's medical officer, Surgeon Lieutenant C.E Rhodes. He had gone aboard with the rescue party, assisted several survivors, and suffocated because he was using a DSEA set that he hadn't been trained to use. He was awarded the Albert Medal. (Albert Medal only awarded posthumously in Bronze) for putting his life in danger to save others. At about 08:50 Sidon sank to the bottom of the harbour. One week later the wreck was raised and towed into a causeway on Chesil Beach. The bodies of the 13 casualties were removed and buried with full honours in the Portland Naval Cemetery on top of the cliffs overlooking the harbour.


One week later the wreck was raised and towed into a causeway on Chesil Beach. The bodies of the 13 casualties were removed and buried with full honours in the Portland Naval Cemetery on top of the cliffs overlooking the harbour. HMS Sidon Telegraphist Charles Duke Clayton, RN Acting Leading Seaman David George Davis, RN Leading Seaman Peter R A Dorey RN Able Seaman John, R. FORD, RN Petty Officer Laverne D. McLeod, Royal Canadian Navy ME1 Ronald W. PEAKE, RN  Cook Philip J .W RICE, RN Lieutenant Julian M. W Rycroft. RN Leading Cook - Colin Smith. RN  Steward, John R. Sunderland. RN  Able Seaman Donald P. Waite. RN TRIALS TEAM Lieutenant Commander Jerrold Keith- Needham. RN 


HMS MAIDSTONE Surgeon Lieutenant Charles Eric Rhodes. RN. Albert Medal (Posthumously)