Sub Lieutenant 

Anthony Arthur 


Royal Navy

Died On:
19 April 1951


Anthony Frew was born in Kent in June 1929, the son of the then Engineer Commander (later Admiral Sir) Sidney Oswell Frew and Grace Mary Frew (née Fielder). Rear Admiral Frew was a submarine engineer who originally joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Artificer on 28 June 1905.

On 23 October 1935, Anthony Frew embarked in SS MORETON BAY at Southampton with his mother and siblings for Malta where his father was serving as the Engineer Commander in the cruiser HMS ARETHUSA which commissioned for service as flagship, 3rd Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, on 21 May 1935.

Later the Frew family lived in Bath and Anthony attended King Edward’s School from January 1940 to July 1941

Midshipman Anthony Frew joined the Royal Navy in January 1947. He was promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant on 1 January 1948 having gained two months seniority on passing out. He was appointed to the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS on 9 February 1948 and served in that ship until April 1949. He then went to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich for his Sub Lieutenant’s courses.

He then decided to specialise in submarines and was appointed HMS DOLPHIN  ‘for Submarine HMS TRUCULENT – refitting at Chatham Dockyard’ on 3 January 1950.

On 12 January 1950 HMS TRUCULENT was returning to harbour after ‘Post Refit’ Trials when she was in collision with the Merchant Vessel M/V DVINA in the Thames Estuary. Following the collision the submarine sank.  Anthony Frew was on the bridge of TRUCULENT at the time of the collision and, having been ordered to go below he was temporarily trapped in the conning tower as the submarine sank but managed to get free but broke his arm in the process. He was picked up out of the water safely by a boat from the Dutch Merchant Vessel ALMDYK.

After surviving the loss of Submarine HMS TRUCULENT, and after recovering from his broken arm – which required an operation, he joined HMS AFFRAY at HMS DOLPHIN, as a member of an Officers Training Class, on 16 April 1951. AFFRAY was lost with all hands in unknown circumstances in the English Channel near the Hurd Deep overnight 16/17 April 1951.  It is suspected that the loss occurred because of a metal failure of the snort mast which broke off close to the Hull Valve.

Anthony Frew of 3, Goldhurst Mansions, Goldhurst Terrace, London NW8 was lost in the accident.  He is commemorated on the AFFRAY memorials on The Esplanade, Gosport and at St Anne, Alderney.


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  1. I knew Tony Frew in 1948-49 as a fellow member of the gunroom, HMS Illustrious. His enthusiastic attitude to work was appreciated by all, from the Captain down.
    His determination was demonstrated in that he had survived the earlier submarine disaster, the loss of HMS Truculent.