Lieutenant Commander 

Wilfred Frederick 


Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
14 April 1940


Wilfred Haselfoot was born in Headington, Oxfordshire, on 9 April 1908, the son of Charles Edward and Elinor D’engayne Haselfoot (née Sargeant).  He joined the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet on 15 January 1922, was appointed to the Battle Cruiser HMS HOOD for sea training on 29 August 1925 and was promoted to Midshipman on 15 May 1926.  Further promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 1 September 1928 and to Lieutenant on 1 April 1930, he joined HMS DOLPHIN on 10 May 1930 to qualify as a submariner, which he was able to do by 15 August 1930. Having done so, he was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN ‘for HMS PHOENIX – standing by whilst building’ and ‘on Commissioning as Third Hand’.  He was then moved to HMS MEDWAY ‘for HMS PHOENIX as Third Hand’ (3rd Submarine Flotilla, China Station) on 29 November 1930.

In January 1933, he joined the Cruiser HMS LONDON and then, on 5 April 1934, the Destroyer HMS DUNCAN, where he gained Surface Fleet experience.  He then returned to Submarines and, on 8 January 1934, was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN ‘for HMS L53 as First Lieutenant’.  In January 1935 he was serving in HMS SALMON as the First Lieutenant (Second-in-Command) – standing by whilst under construction at the Cammell Laird Shipyard in Birkenhead.  On 4 January 1937, he was appointed to the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC) and, on successful completion of that course, to HMS DOLPHIN (5th Submarine Flotilla) for HMS H49 in Command to date17 April 1937. A year later, he returned again to the Surface Fleet, to the Battleship HMS BARHAM, where he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 30 April 1938.

As war loomed ever closer in 1939, trained submarine commanding officers would have been in demand, and Haselfoot joined the Submarine Depot Ship HMS FORTH ‘as Spare Commanding Officer’.  It wasn’t long before he was back at sea and was appointed to HMS THISTLE in Command on 2 February 1940.  Wilfred Haselfoot died on 10 April 1940 when HMS THISTLE was torpedoed and sunk with all hands by the German submarine U-4 off Norway.

He was the husband of Jean Dorothea Catneron Haselfoot of Alverstoke, Hampshire.  He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial on Panel No. 36 Column No. 3.


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