Herbert George Dymott was born in Saltash, Cornwall on 7 September 1906, the son of Fleet Paymaster Herbert Noro Dymott Royal Navy and Edna Eva Dymott (née Lee). He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in June 1924. Promoted to Midshipman on 15 Sep the next year, in June 1927, he was serving in the Cruiser HMS DRAGON for sea training. He was further promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 1 Jan 28 before joining HMS DOLPHIN for the Submarine Course on 29 Apr 29 and, on qualifying, joined HMS L21 as Navigator.
Promoted to Lieutenant on 11 December 1929, in July 1931, he was serving in the 5th Submarine Flotilla at Portsmouth in HMS H48 as First Lieutenant, having been appointed there on 2 Apr 31. This was followed by serving in the Battleship HMS WARSPITE from 25 Jul 32, before returning to the Submarine Service as First Lieutenant of HMS L23 from 1 September 1933; then on to HMS SHARK as First Lieutenant on commissioning for trials on 8 October 1934. In January 1936 Dymott joined, and successfully completed, the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC) (known colloquially as The Perisher – short for Periscope Course) and thence to HMS H50 as Commanding Officer on 8 April 1936. He then returned to General Service for his “big ship” time in the Aircraft Carrier HMS COURAGEOUS on 6 April 1937, wherein he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 1 June 1937.
Herbert Dymott was appointed to the Commanding Officers Refresher Qualifying Course (CORQC) on 24 April 1939, probably in anticipation of approaching war clouds and a need to hone his periscope skills. On 6 June 1939, he embarked in the Blue Funnel Line SS ANTENOR at Liverpool bound for Hong Kong where he was destined to command HMS OLYMPUS. He eventually assumed Command on 26 January 1940. HMS OLYMPUS, under his command, conducted several War Patrols in the Indian Ocean during 1940 and early 1941 while operating out of Colombo.
On being transferred to the Mediterranean to operate from Malta in April 1940, OLYMPUS passed through Port Said on 1 May 1940 and arrived at Malta on 7 May. This was a hugely eventful period in the Mediterranean war theatre and HMS OLYMPUS played her part in offensive war patrols, ferrying supplies into Malta for the beleaguered and battered base (HMS TALBOT), convoy escort duties and even returned to UK briefly for repairs to some persistent mechanical defects. From 20 August 1941 to 4 September 1941, Herbert Dymott transferred to HMS SEVERN as a temporary replacement for a sick Commanding officer, before returning once more to HMS OLYMPUS.
Sadly, Herbert Dymott’s luck ran out on 8 May 1942. HMS OLYMPUS was lost after striking a mine shortly after leaving Malta for UK on that fateful day, just six miles out of Valletta Harbour. Tragedy was deepened because the submarine was carrying a large number of passengers from other boats which had been sunk at Malta during bombing raids. The submarine did not sink immediately, and many men attempted to swim for land in the darkness. However, only nine survived out of the ninety-eight crew and passengers.
Herbert Dymott was the husband of Marjorie Joy (Molly) Dymott (née Watts) of Grovelands, Spring Garden Lane, Gosport, Hants. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial on Panel No 61 Column No 3.