Lieutenant Commander 

Richard Newstead 


Royal Navy

Died On:
3 June 1939


Born on 26 May 1902, Richard Newstead Garnett, the son of Newstead & Caroline Garnet – a family of mill owners from Low Moor, Lancashire – joined the Royal Navy.  On 12 April 1922, Sub Lieutenant Garnett (seniority 15 January 1922) was appointed to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich for his Lieutenants’ Courses and thence, Lieutenant Garnett (Seniority 15 September 1924) was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN (5th Submarine Flotilla) ‘for Submarine L52 – temporary as Third Hand’ from 15 April 1927.

In November 1927, he was appointed to the Submarine Depot Ship, HMS ALECTO (Training Half Flotilla) at Portsmouth, for HMS H34 as First Lieutenant.  And in September 1929, he was returned to DOLPHIN ‘for Submarine Duties’ followed, on 2 December 1929, by an appointment to HMS OSWALD as First Lieutenant for Commissioning and Trials.

In September 1931, he remained at DOLPHIN in Gosport, Hampshire, to attend the submarine Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC), for which the instructor (known colloquially as ‘Teacher’), was Lieutenant Commander Fell) and, upon successful completion of the course, joined HMS H30 in Command.

Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander on 15 Sept 1932, he joined the Battleship HMS IRON DUKE on 26 September 1934 for “big ship” experience before going to the Far East in March 1935 when appointed to HMS MEDWAY (4th Submarine Flotilla) at Hong Kong ‘for Submarines’. This was followed by an appointment to HMS MEDWAY (4th Submarine Flotilla) for HMS PROTEUS in Command in October 1935 where he remained until 1938.

Upon return home, he was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN (5th Submarine Flotilla) for HMS TAKU in Command. TAKU was, at that time completing at Cammell Laird’s Shipyard at Birkenhead. He was unfortunate to be on board HMS THETIS, presumably to gain experience of the ‘T’ Class, when that submarine experienced a catastrophic flooding accident and sank in Liverpool Bay on 3 June 1939.

Richard Garnett was married to Mary Irene Garnett of Haddon Hayes, Neston, Cheshire, and was interred in the mass grave for the dead of HMS THETIS at Holyhead.

On 19 May 1940, the following announcement appeared in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times:

“The Late Lieutenant Commander R. N. Garnett, Royal Navy.

To The Gallant Memory of a Gallant Officer.

Parents Present Window to Low Moor Church.

In memory of Lieutenant Commander Richard Newstead Garnett, Royal Navy, third son of Mr and Mrs Newstead Garnett “Shireburn” Clitheroe who was lost in the sinking of the submarine ‘Thetis’ in June last, a beautiful stained glass window, the gift of his parents was unveiled at St Paul’s Church, Low Moor, on Sunday last.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 16 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here