The recent discovery of HMS Triumph has enabled Gav Don to resolve the mystery of how and why his uncle’s submarine disappeared in January 1942

A partially complete Triumph at her launch

I grew up in a family that sat down to a formal meal three times a day. On the windowsill of the dining room was a frame of medals and a small silver replica of a submarine. The boat was HMS Triumph, and the medals belonged to my Uncle Robert: three DSCs and campaign medals. The tally on the medal frame narrated his loss aboard Triumph, somewhere in the Aegean in 1942.

Robert Don, the author’s uncle, who disappeared with HMS Triumph more than 80 years ago

But where precisely? A decade later, I had the good luck to land a job as skipper of a charter yacht in the Aegean. All summer we sailed the deep blue waters that Robert had ploughed. Had I sailed over his wreck without knowing it? And what had happened on that January day 60 years before? Now we know.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers