Hms Thetis Survivors

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Thetis was raised and salvaged a few months later and saw service in the Second World War, having been recommissioned as HMS Thunderbolt.

She was lost with all hands in 1943 and thus she became one of the few military vessels to have been lost twice with her crew.

Derek Arnold, Chairman of the Liverpool Anchorage Club and son of Walter Arnold, one of the Thetis survivors, has been fundraising for a memorial to mark the 75th anniversary since last October.

Appropriately, as many of those who died were workers from local shipyards, it has been very much a community effort.

The next morning four crew members, led by Captain Oram, escaped through a hatch using breathing apparatus.

They were picked up by the HMS Brazen which had been diverted in response distress calls.

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It was less than one year since her launch at Cammel Lairds shipyard in Liverpool.

coincidentally, today I have been to the old Birkenhead Priory (now mainly ruins) next door to the Cammel Laird yard where the Thetis was built.

The tower of the church that was once attached to the priory (St Mary’s) has been restored and contains not only a memorial to the Thetis, but has the names and ranks / professions of all those lost (plus some survivors) mounted on individual plaques along the handrail leading up to the top of the tower.


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