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  • Fine Group to Seaman N.Sanders - Friendly Fire KIA
  • Fine Group to Seaman N.Sanders - Friendly Fire KIA

Item: GB1001

Fine Group to Seaman N.Sanders - Friendly Fire KIA


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Fine Group to Seaman N.Sanders - Friendly Fire KIA

1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45; and Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (J. 73151 N. SANDERS. A.B. H.M.S. PORPOISE.). Naming is officially impressed. Board mounted, original ribbons, extremely fine. Also included is a duotang folder with his military biography, copies of his service records, photographs of H-24's collision with the H.M.S. Vancouver, casulty documentation and articles of H.M.S. Oxley, four ship crests and eleven ship photographs. Footnote: Nathanial Sanders was born on May 11 1901, becoming an Able Seaman on January 9, 1920 and volunteered for submarine duty on February 18, 1921. Previous to becoming an Able Seaman, he would have had to have been an Ordinary Seaman for at least one year. Therefore, he would have joined the Royal Navy in late 1918 or early 1919, possibly entitled to the British War and Victory Medals and likely that he joined as a Boy Seaman. He did his submarine training at H.M.S. Dolphin and graduated as a Seaman Torpedo Man. His first submarine was the H-24 (1921), itself involved in collision with the H.M.S. Vancouver on February 9, 1922, which he later left and was posted to M Group (1922), a number of submarines held in reserve and manned by skeleton crews. In rotation, these boats would be fully manned and sent to sea for trials. Sanders failed his Leading Torpedoman's course and was then sent to Rosyth, to the Depot Ship H.M.S. Conquest, an old cruiser which served K Class submarines as "spare crew". He served on K12 (1925) for one year, then went to M-3 (1926), a class of three submarines that mounted a twelve inch gun. He then went back to General Service for five years. In 1932, he returned to submarine service and joined H.M.S, Porpoise, a new mine laying submarine under construction at the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard in Barrow in Furness. It was on this ship that Sanders was awarded his RNLSGC Medal for fifteen years' service. After two years on the Porpoise, he took passage on H.M.S. Dorsetshire for China, where he joined the Parthian (1935) and later, the Rainbow (1936). The Rainbow stayed on the China station but Sanders took passage to England. On October 15, 1937, he joined H.M.S. Sunfish, which had been completed in 1936 and then drafted to H.M.S. Oxley on August 2, 1939, an 'O' Class submarine, which had been in reserve. When World War II began, the Oxley had been pulled out of reserve and manned with mainly recalled reservists. The Oxley, along with he sister ships in the 2nd Submarine Flotilla, Spearfish, Sturgeon, Seahorse and Triton had missed the breakout of the pocket-battleships Graf Spee and Deutschland. They had ben bombed by their own aircraft of the Royal Air Force, while the Spearfish had been attacked by a U-boat. H.M.S. Oxley was torpedoed and sunk by the H.M.S. Triton on September 10, 1938, while patrolling a line stretching west-southwest off Stavenger, outside Norwegian territorial waters. The Oxley's crew would hardly have had time to work up to wartime routines and timing, failing to answer recognition signals from the Triton and fell victim to error. Only the Oxley's Captain and a rating survived, they being on the bridge, rescused by the Triton, with fifty-three officers and men perishing, Able Seaman Nathanial Sanders among them. (BGR243)
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