26th January 1932, H.M. SUBMARINE M2 sunk in the Channel

HMS M2 was built at Vickers shipyard at Barrow in Furness in 1919, one of three M-class boats completed. M2’s keel was laid down in 1916, her displacement was 1,620 tons surfaced, 1.977 ton submerged. Her length was 295 feet and 9 inches, with a beam of 24 feet 8 inches. She was powered by 2,400 hp 2 x 12 cylinder Vickers diesel engines, and 3,200 hp 4 x electric motors, which powered 2 x 3 blade, 5 feet 10 inch diameter propellers, giving her a speed of 15 knots on the surface and 8-9 submerged, and had a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 15 knots, she reached depths of 239 feet in 1923. Crew of 62. Armament was 1 × 12-inch (305mm)/40 cal Mark IX gun with 50 rounds (removed 1928), 1 × 3 in (76 mm) Mk II HA anti-aircraft gun, 4 × 18-inch (450mm) bow torpedo tubes with 4 reload torpedoes. She was converted in 1927 as the first submarine aircraft carrier being fitted with a hanger and a hydraulic catapult for a Parnall Peto seaplane. Once the unarmed reconnaissance seaplane N255, had its wings unfolded was catapulted directly from the submarine deck. On landing the aircraft was hoisted back on deck by a derrick and replaced into the hanger.

On 26th January 1932 M2 left her Portland base for an exercise. Her last communication was radio messages at 10:11 to her submarine deport ship Titania, to announce that she would dive at 10:30. The submarine was found on 3rd February, 60 of her crew were lost. A salvage expert Ernest Cox was hired to salvage the M2, during an eleven month operation she was lifted to 20 feet of the surface before a gale blew up sending her down to her final resting place three miles off Lyme Bay in Dorset. The hanger door was found open and the aircraft still in it, on 18th March the body of the Leading seaman Albert Jacob was found in the hanger, along with Leading Aircraft man Leslie Gregory on 1st July wearing flying overalls. It was suggested it was the hangar door that was opened too early which sank the M2.


Sunk off Porland on 26th January 1932


ARBUTHNOT, Crofton K, Lieutenant Commander

BACK, Leonard S, Electrical Artificer 3c, D/M 37056

BANKS, Sydney W, Petty Officer, C/J 48971

BLAKE, Frederick J, Petty Officer, P/J 46983

BROWN, Dougal Mc P, Leading Steward, C/L 12605

BURRIDGE, Jack, Leading Telegraphist, P/J 60943

BUTCHER, Harold F, Able Seaman, C/J 91916

CHAPMAN, Cecil, Able Seaman, C/JX 126505

CLARKE, Allan, Petty Officer, D/J 43273

COLESHILL, Charles J, Able Seaman, P/J 102918

DRUMMOND, James, Stoker 1c, P/K 62886

EDWARDS, John H, Able Seaman, D/J 106978

ELLIS, Stanley G, Petty Officer Telegraphist, P/J 29040

ENGLAND, George, Able Seaman, C/J 58560

ESTCOURT, George, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, C/K 65495

FERGUSON, Douglas, Stoker 1c, P/KX 79049

GREGORY, Leslie, Leading Aircraftsman, RAF, 364018

HARDY, Charles P, Engine Room Artificer 1c, P/M 31105

HARMAN, Frank J, Leading Aircraftsman, RAF, 364868

HAYES, William A, Warrant Engineer

HEAD, Hamilton C W, Lieutenant

HORN, Stanley C A, Engine Room Artificer 1c, D/M 21453

JACKSON, Edward V, Engine Room Artificer 4c, C/M 39396

JACOBS, Albert E, Leading Seaman, C/J 96297

JARRETT, Sidney R W, Able Seaman, C/J 100140

KING, James, Act/Chief Petty Officer, C/J 18133

LAKIN, John W, Leading Stoker, P/K 59059

LEATHES, John D De M, Lieutenant Commander

LEAVY, Frederick W, Signalman, D/J 94973

LEWIS, John W J, Stoker 1c, D/K 63662

MACDONALD, Louis P, Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 16558

MACDONALD, Somerled, Lieutenant

MATTHEWS, Edward, Stoker 1c, P/K 64672

MORRIS, Thomas, Able Seaman, C/J 96156

O'DWYER, Albert A E, Able Seaman, C/J 102310

OLIVER, Frank H J, Leading Steward, C/L 12825

PEPLOW, William, Able Seaman, D/J 101056

POWELL, Henry, Act/Leading Stoker, P/K 60855

RAWLINGS, William H, Able Seaman, C/J 108253

READY, Frank, Able Seaman, P/J 25478

SHARPE, George, Leading Stoker, P/K 59370

SIMS, John H, Engine Room Artificer 3c, P/M 35324

SMALES, Joseph F, Yeoman of Signals, D/J 22885

SMITH, Reginald, Able Seaman, C/J 99442

SWEETLAND, Cecil S, Stoker 1c, D/KX 75588

THOMAS, Ernest J, Telegraphist, P/J 76817

THORNTON, Thomas, Able Seaman, C/JX 128413

THRELFALL, Charles H, Stoker 1c, P/KX 75873

TOPPIN, Henry C, Lieutenant (Pilot)

TOTTERDELL, James H F, Act/Leading Stoker, D/K 61154

TOWNSEND, Claud R, Lieutenant (Observer)

TREACY, Philip, Leading Seaman, C/J 105646

VINCENT, Arthur J, Able Seaman, C/J 24276

WALKER, Ralph, Stoker 1c, P/KX 78023

WATSON, William A, Stoker 1c, C/KX 67092

WHITING, Francis C, Able Seaman, D/JX 127947

WILLIAMS, Leonard W, Engine Room Artificer 3c, D/M 36709

WINGFIELD, Harold, Able Seaman, C/JX 128093

WOODHOUSE, Frank L, Stoker 1c, D/K 60100

WRATHMALL, Charles (real name, but served as John Edward Wrathmall), Able Seaman, P/J 37310


We should remember them.

This shipwreck is a protected site, designated as a "protected place" under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

Click here to see a film of the Parnall Peto seaplane launch from the deck of M2

Click here to see an underwater film of the submarine M2