The personal photographs from a WW1 Royal Navy submarine commander have revealed the mutual respect he shared with his German adversary. Curators at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire discovered this story after recently taking possession of a remarkable personal photograph album from Lt Cdr Samuel Gravener, Commanding Officer of HMS E2 which included photographs of a German submariner and his family.
Ninety – eight years ago, on 29th April 1917, HMS E2 was on patrol in the Mediterranean when she sighted German U-boat UC37, who herself was about to destroy an Italian sailing ship off Marsala, Sicily. Gravener, E2’s Commanding Officer, fired a torpedo at UC37 which hit but failed to detonate. The Officer of the Watch onboard UC37 that day was Fritz Boie. Fourteen years later, the German submariner, Boie tracked down Gravener and sent him a letter which concluded “So I send you now my kindest regards, hoping you are still alive and well off”. That was the start of an exchange of letters and family photographs by the two former adversaries.
Bob Mealings, Curator at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said, “This is a wonderful discovery of opposing sides uniting through their submariner experiences.”
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum recently purchased Samuel Gravener’s photograph album which included copies of the original letter and original photographs of Boie and his family, along with three contemporary crew photographs.
The photo album will be on temporary display in the Submarine Museum which is open every day to visitors and includes a visit to the historic WW2 era HMS Alliance, X24 and the Royal Navy’s very first submarine Holland1.
For more information please visit http://www.submarine-museum.co.uk or call 023 92510354.
Source – About My Area