HMS C11 (Lt C G Brodie) was on passage in company with the depot ship HMS BONAVENTURE on 14 July 1909 with 11 torpedo boats and eight other C class submarines on a Southerly course off the Yorkshire coast. It was a clear night, and all vessels were fully lit. SS Eddystone, a 3,850-ton merchant vessel with a full cargo of wheat was approaching from the South and steered to pass through the group of ships. She struck C11 and cut her sail clean away . The submarine sank almost immediately.

There were 3 survivors: the captain, the first lieutenant (Lt G R S Watkins) and AB W H Stripe. Lt Watkins was on the bridge of the submarine; Brodie was resting below before going on duty. AB Stripe was also below. Brodie tried to rouse the sleeping crew but those he woke were unable to exit against the ingress of water. Brodie did manage to exit the boat and found himself swimming in the water next to Stripe who was the only other man to escape from inside the submarine. Brodie asked Stripe if he was alright. Stripe replied cheerfully Don t worry about me sir . Brodie also assisted Watkins who was struggling in heavy clothing. Brodie subsequently enjoyed a successful career and reached the rank of Rear Admiral.

C11 wreck, in good condition, was discovered by divers in late 1990.


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  1. The recently retired Captain Naval Ordnance, Rear Admiral Reginald Bacon wrote of the loss of C11 in his rough notebook:

    “July 1909 – C11 was run over and sunk with all hands except Captain, 2nd officer and helmsman. It was at 1 am off Hasboro’ Light Vessel, flotilla being in company on passage from Grimsby to Southend. The Eddystone admitted full blame and paid up. Would not come to court over it – she ran amok through the flotilla.”