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HMS Thrasher (N37) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Cammell Laird & Co Limited, Birkenhead, launched in November 1940, and had an active career in the Mediterranean and Pacific Far East. HMS Thrasher had a successful and Illustrious war serving in the Mediterranean for most of WW2.
The symbols on this flag would have shown a part of HMS Thrashers activities: The Dagger indicates a cloak and dagger mission I.E. dropping off or picking up raiding parties or spies etc. The white stars would be for sinking ships by gun fire.
Perfect to frame, there is currently an exhibition of these at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Museum.
On 16 February 1942 north of Crete, Thrasher, was attacked after sinking a supply ship. After surfacing later, two unexploded bombs were discovered in the gun-casing. Lieutenant Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts and Petty Officer Thomas William Gould removed the first one without too much difficulty, but the second was lying in a very confined space and they had to approach it lying full length. Gould lay on his back with the bomb in his arms while Roberts dragged him along by the shoulders. It was 50 minutes before they got the bomb clear and dropped it over the side. As a result of their heroic actions which likely saved Thrasher, both men were awarded the Victoria Cross.
A Submarine Pirate flag from HMS Trident sold at Bonhams in 2013 for £8,500.
The Jolly Roger is a symbol that has been used by submarines, primarily those of the Royal Navy Submarine Service and its predecessors. The practice came about during World War I: remembering comments by First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson, who complained that submarines were “underhanded, unfair, and damned un-English” and that personnel should be hanged as pirates, Lieutenant Commander Max Horton began flying the flag after returning from successful patrols. Initially, Horton’s submarine HMS E9 flew an additional flag after each successful patrol, but when there was no room for more, the practice was changed to a single large flag, onto which symbols indicating the submarine’s achievements were sewn.
~ Condition ~
In good original condition with some loose stitching, please see the pictures as these form part of our condition report.
~ Postage ~
UK postage is £15, international at cost or it can be inspected in our shop.
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