THE ROYAL NAVY SUBMARINE MUSEUM
For anyone interested in finding out more about the service in which Harry Gilmour, the hero of this story, would find himself in 1940, there is the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, situated adjacent to the site of HMS Dolphin, the submarine service’s first shore establishment on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour, Hampshire.
It is Europe’s only dedicated submarine museum and it houses exhibitions covering the history of submarine warfare in general, and the role of the Royal Navy in particular.
The centrepiece is HMS Alliance, the UK’s only surviving Second World War era submarine, which has been preserved as an operational boat of the day, and is fully accessible to visitors, with frequent walk-through tours conducted by former RN submariners. HMS Alliance is also the Royal Navy’s memorial to the 5,300 British submariners who lost their lives in the service.
Among the other displays are a series of interactive exhibits including a working periscope, and a collection of thousands of personal items, photos and documents detailing the everyday lives of those in ‘the silent service’. The other submarines in the collection include Holland 1, and X24, the only surviving Second World War midget submarine, similar to the boats that crippled the German battleship Tirpitz.