Submarines of the Great War

Harry Coward was engineer on C.1, one of the two submarines which took part in the raid on Zeebrugge. These photographs show those two vessels in Dover Harbour preparing for the raid.

The commander of submarine C.3, Lieutenant Richard Sandford, received the Victoria Cross, one of 8 awarded as a result of the action. He and the crew had manoeuvred C.3 into position under a viaduct and detonated the five tons of amatol secreted in the bows of the submarine, thereby preventing German re-inforcement.

Lieutenant R. D.  Sandford
An account of the action and the Citation

William Henry Ridsdale Coward was born in Adelaide, and moved to Great Britain with his mother and siblings around the turn of the 20th century. After the war, he returned to Australia (by submarine, I believe), and settled at Chatswood.

  More on Harry Coward
My grandfather, Henry Coward, was a submariner. These ribbons and photographs were given to me by my family, Christmas 1997. There is mention of Harry Coward in a letter from my mother, Constance I White, ne Coward.

There were no annotations on the back of the photographs. I placed them on this site in the hope that someone could shed more light on the issue. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Hampshire UK, identified the photographs, and I have used their captions where possible.

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'The raid on Zeebrugge may well rank as the finest feat of arms in the Great War, and certainly as an episode unsurpassed in the history of the Royal Navy.'
Winston Churchill


WW1 Service Ribbons
 British War Medal                   Victory Medal                 1914-1915 Star

Link to cover photo
Click an image
Lt Sandford aboard Submarine C3
Link to image 2
Link to image 9
 More submarine images
 from The History of the Great War

C3 Postcards



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