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HMS Regent

Of all the branches of men in the Forces, there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariner.

Great deeds are done in the air and on the land; nevertheless, nothing surpasses your exploits." Winston Churchill.

"Only in attack does a submarine reveal herself, before creeping away to the concealment of the deep

HMS Regent is presumed to have been sunk by mines after she attacked a small convoy near Bari on 18 April, getting no response from the escorts
 She failed to return to base in Beirut.


Regent
, commanded by Lt.Cdr. H.C.Browne, was ordered to proceed into the harbour of Kotor, on the Yugoslav coast, shortly after the German invasion of the Balkans, where arrangements had been made for her to embark Mr. Ronald Campbell, the British Minister to Yugoslavia, and his staff.

The Regent entered the Gulf of Kotor on the surface with a large ensign at the masthead. Trimmed well down and with her crew at diving stations, she proceeded up past the village of Ercegnovi to the seaplane base at Denovici. Here, after a two hour delay, a Yugoslav naval officer and a civilian pilot arrived in a boat with the information that Yugoslavia had been overrun by German armies, that the whole area was now in the hands of the Italians, and that Mr. Campbell was at Ercegnovi. The Yugoslav naval officer was embarked to point out the way through the defensive minefields, while the pilot went ashore to telephone to the British Minister and ask him to proceed to Zelenika, where there was a jetty from which embarkation could be made.

With the Yugoslav Lt.Cdr. on board, the Regent proceeded down the gulf to Zelenika. She lay off the jetty and, after a long and acrimonious discussion with Italian officers shouted across the intervening water, it was agreed that an officer from the Regent should go ashore and interview the Italian admiral and attempt to get into touch with Mr. Campbell, while an Italian officer of equivalent rank should remain on board the submarine as a hostage. As a result, an Italian army captain was brought off to the Regent while Lt. D. Lambert, the first lieutenant, went ashore to make what arrangements he could for the release of Mr. Campbell.

All that afternoon the Regent lay off the jetty, in water too shallow in which to dive and with Italian aircraft flying round the submarine. Just after half past three, two of the aircraft straightened out and began to dive towards the Regent. A moment later a heavy explosion right alongside showed that the submarine was the target for a dive bombing attack. Seven large bombs were dropped and Browne decided that he had only one possible course of action left. The safety of his boat was his main responsibility and he would have to abandon his mission, leave Lt. Lambert ashore, and try to reach the open sea.

He manoeuvred the Regent out into deeper water, becoming the target for fragmentation bombs which burst at the level of the bridge, wounding all three men on it. Then, reaching deeper water, he dived the submarine and took her down the gulf submerged with the aircraft following him and firing at the periscope. She reached the safety of the Adriatic, with the Italian hostage still on board, after an exciting trip. It transpired later that the attack had been made by German aircraft, much to the annoyance of the Italian admiral in charge of the port, who had already given his word that the Regent would not be attacked while the negotiations ashore were still in progress.

HMS Regent sank off the coast of Bisceglie (Barletta) after a collision with a mine on April 18, 1943.

April 2006: Sharon Brown has kindly sent me the following images regarding HMS Regent, in particular, Stan Parris, who was Electrical Artificer on board Regent.

MX64442 Stanley Parris RN - HMS Regent

Sharon. I received an email from Dick Trice who would like to contact you regarding the fact that his grandfather was the Chief Engine Room Artificer on board Regent. He has left me his email address and 2 x phone numbers. Please contact me again as I have not retained your email address. Thanks.

The following two images were sent to me from David Clifford, this one is his father CPO Clifford, HMS Regent

Regent leaves Malta for the last time - Image from HMS Unbending


Ernest Roy Wright Russell never came home with HMS Regent
(Thanks To Carol Porter for this image of her uncle). Roy's sister Inez is 97 years young this year (2009)

Two images of the wreck of HMS Regent, off Bari


The wreck position of HMS Regent

 ATKINSON, John K, Able Seaman, D/JX 206104, MPK

 BACKHOUSE, Alfred, Able Seaman, C/JX 192769, MPK

 BAKER, Ronald V, Act/Warrant Engineer, MPK

 BAYLISS, Sidney, Petty Officer, D/JX 133751, MPK (Image below)

 BROWN, Robert W, Stoker 1c, D/KX 144749, MPK

 CHESWORTH, Kenneth L, Stoker 1c, C/KX 118956, MPK

 CLIFFORD, Raymond A, Act/Chief Petty Officer, C/JX 127992, MPK

 COMPTON, Ernest, Act/Leading Stoker, P/KX 96749, MPK

 COX, Sydney A A, Telegraphist, C/JX 143583, MPK

 CULHAM, James W S, Lieutenant, MPK

 DEWHURST, Herbert E, Able Seaman, P/JX 341337, MPK

 ELLIS, George G, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 142283, MPK

 FERNIE, Robert R, Sub Lieutenant, MPK

 FOSTER, Benjamin W, Stoker 1c, C/KX 117339, MPK

 FOXHALL, Percival G, Able Seaman, C/235323, MPK

 GEE, Leslie R, Stoker 1c, C/KX 96321, MPK

 GIBSON, Peter R J, Lieutenant, MPK

 GROUNSELL, Cyril T, Able Seaman, P/JX 182166, MPK

 HARDING, Vincent, Petty Officer Steward, P/LX 21771, MPK

 HARVEY, Robert, Able Seaman, P/JX 234155, MPK

 HEWITT, Alfred, Able Seaman, P/JX 264920, MPK

 HITCHCOCK, Toney, Leading Telegraphist, P/JX 163012, MPK

 HITCHES, Leonard R, Able Seaman, P/JX 143284, MPK

 HORTON, William R, Leading Seaman, P/SSX 30519, MPK

 HOWELL, Richard, Stoker 1c, D/KX 118461, MPK

 HUDSON, Jeffery K, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 90759, MPK

 IMISON, David H, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 95072, MPK

 JONES, Arthur H, Engine Room Artificer 4c, C/MX 73110, MPK

 KING, Herbert G, Able Seaman, C/SSX 25492, MPK

 KNOX, Walter N R, Lieutenant, MPK

 LEE, Richard D, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 208263, MPK

 LEECH, Henry, Stoker Petty Officer, D/KX 80895, MPK

 LEMIN, John, Leading Stoker, C/KX 92690, MPK

 LIPSCOMBE, Leonard A, Able Seaman, RNVR, P/SD/X 1513, MPK

 LLOYD, Richard W, Stoker 1c, C/KX 134511, MPK

 LOUGHRAN, Henry, Stoker 1c, C/KX 115870, MPK

 LOWIS, Reginald E, Ty/Petty Officer, C/JX 151999, MPK

 MATHEWS, Gordon F, Stoker 1c, C/KX 138438, MPK

 MOORES, Alfred, Act/Leading Stoker, D/KX 95063, MPK

 MURPHY, Kenneth C, Telegraphist, C/JX 259256, MPK

 MURRAY, Athol, Leading Telegraphist, P/JX 132122, MPK

 NOBLE, George P, Engine Room Artificer 4c, C/MX 71349, MPK

 PACKER, John W, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 105571, MPK

 PARRIS, Stanley G, Electrical Artificer 4c, C/MX 64442, MPK

 PERRY, James C, Stoker 1c, C/KX 134869, MPK

 PRATT, Edwin J C, Warrant Engineer, MPK

 RAWLINGS, Albert E, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 143312, MPK

 RHODES, Bernard G, Leading Seaman, P/WRX 580, MPK

 RUSSELL, Ernest R, Engine Room Artificer 3c, D/MX 57434, MPK

 SAVAGE, Stephen A, Leading Stoker, P/KX 91951, MPK

 SAWYER, Geoffrey J, Leading Signalman, C/151593, MPK

 SHOULDER, George E, Able Seaman, C/SSX 24036, MPK

 SKINNER, Reginald W, Able Seaman, C/JX 251639, MPK

 SUTTON, Richard J, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK

 TATHAM, Bryan P, Stoker Petty Officer, D/KX 80286, MPK

 TAYLOR, Jack E, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, D/KX 82919, MPK

 THOMPSON, Roy W, Engine Room Artificer 5c, D/MX 66023, MPK

 TIERNEY, George W, Ty/Leading Cook, D/MX 53858, MPK

 TRICE, William A, Chief Engine Room Artificer, C/MX 45219, MPK ** See image below

 TURNER, Anthony D, Leading Telegraphist, P/JX 142344, MPK

 WENTWORTH, Samuel, Able Seaman, C/SSX 26827, MPK

 WILKS, William H, Telegraphist, P/SSX 30181, MPK

 WOODS, John C, Able Seaman, D/JX 23782, MPK ** Image below

http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1943-04APR.htm


The last known photograph of WA Trice (left) who was staying with a family in the USA (Henderson?) whilst Regent underwent a refit.
The image on the right is taken when he was serving earlier on HMS Tetrarch.

From Elizabeth Kane: this is a picture (below) of my aunt Ceil and Johnny (Slinger) Woods.  He was on the Regent and went down with the sub.
My aunt met him when he was in Phladelphia while the sub was being repaired.  They fell in love and were engaged.



Sid Bayliss

 

An email from Charles who requires some information: (December 1st 2007):

Dear sir, I would be very interested to know if you have any information on crewmembers of the HMS Regent? My uncle I am told was communications officer on board when she was lost. His name was Peter Gibson. The Regent was here in the states for repair when he married my Aunt. He indicated at the time that if they were ever deployed to the "Adriatic". The ship was large and the Adriatic was really too shallow for the Regent to safely operate! My name is Charles bristolecone -at -aol.com

June 2009: Richard Marchant asks the following question:  My mothers brothers A/B Alfred Backhouse  and A/B Ernest Backhouse served on the Regent until the last overseas tour when Ernest was moved to another boat, because of the navy policy regarding two family members on the same ship. Do you know what if any the service medals were awarded to the crew of the Regent, there is no trace of any in the family records?  You can contact Richard at the following email address: richardatcfc - at - optusnet.com.au. Replace -at- with @ for the correct address.

October 2011: From John Holmes.  My late father Ken Holmes (P/JX 137271) was a Leading Seaman on Regent between 01-04-41 and 26-08-41 i.e. during the Campbell event. He was then posted to P555 followed by the acceptance and working-up of HMS/M Telemachus under Cdr King, and thence to her operations primarily out of Freemantle where he survived the war. He remembered his time on Regent and was sad to have lost so many he knew. John Holmes

 

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/chalcraft/sm/print.html Complete List of British Subs of WW2

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