In 2009 the Livery celebrated a new phase of our links with the Royal Navy.
We were delighted when one of our Liverymen, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope was made First Sea Lord and at the January Court Meeting the Master signed an article of affiliation with HMS Triumph. She is a Trafalgar class, hunter/killer, nuclear powered submarine, launched in February 1991 by Mrs., now Lady Ann Hamilton and commissioned in October the same year.
Triumph sailed to Australia in 1993, travelling 41,000 miles submerged without support – the longest solo deployment so far by a nuclear submarine. After the 9/11 attacks in the USA, Triumph, along with her sister ship Trafalgar, formed part of a task group in 2001 as part of the American led invasion of Afghanistan. The British component of this was called Operation Veritas. During Operation Veritas, Triumph launched Tomahawk missiles on targets inside Afghanistan.
After her refit in Plymouth she was re-commissioned on 23rd April 2010 (St George’s day). As the youngest of the “T” Boats she is due to continue in service until 2022.
In March 2011, under the command of Commander Rob Dunn, Triumph headed the UK response in Libya, Operation Ellamy, firing 15 Tomahawk missiles in total. Returning to Devonport Triumph flew the Jolly Roger in defiance to Naval Command rules.
The Livery were delighted to welcome the Ship’s Company to the 2012 September Dinner at the Apothecaries Hall where Cdr. Dunn recounted the more interesting and less well-known facts of the deployment. Jerry Appleyard, 2012 Master, presented the submarine with the Upholders Uckers Cup – currently held in the wardroom on board.
More recently, after an extensive overhaul, HMS Triumph has deployed again in June 2016.
Triumph’s current Commanding Officer is Commander David Filtness, Royal Navy.
The second submarine named ‘Upholder’ was built by VSEL for the Royal Navy and launched by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent on 2nd December 1986.
Her first Captain was Lieutenant Commander G.A.R. McCready, M.B.E., R.N., who was appointed in Command of HMS Upholder in November 1987.
After much deliberation she was also allowed to sail under Wanklyn’s crest, not the official one. She was commissioned on 9th June, 1990.
The Worshipful Company immediately adopted the new HMS Upholder as soon as she was commissioned and presented Lt. Cdr. McCready and the Ship’s Company with a silver model of the first HMS Upholder which was displayed in the submarine’s Trophy Cabinet throughout her Commission.
Members of the Court and Liverymen of the Worshipful Company enjoyed some memorable visits to the ship when she was in London and we were taken on guided tours and shown some of the truly amazing technology that seemed to fill every available nook and cranny. A few members of the Company were privileged to go to sea in her. One regular visitor in the ship’s early days was the Duchess of Kent who was affectionately known as ‘Auntie Kate’ by the crew.
This new HMS Upholder was a ‘First-of-Class’ and the first new diesel-electric submarine to enter service with the Royal Navy for some twenty years. The new ‘Upholder Class’ was, unfortunately, not to stay in service for many years and HMS Upholder was de-commissioned at the end of April 1994. The rest of the fleet of Upholder Class submarines were all de-commissioned over the next few months.
HMS Upholder was decommissioned and sold to the Canadian Navy and re-named HMCS CHICOUTIMI. Unfortunately during her transit to Canada the boat suffered a serious fire and was subsequently laid up in Halifax, Nova Scotia for some years.
In 2010 the Canadian Navy transported her round to the west coast to be refitted and returned to service.
In 2014 she started sea trials and was officially accepted back into the Canadian Navy on the 3rd September 2015.
In October 2015 she participated in the US Navy Task Group Exercise of California.