BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

Contributed by 
East Ayrshire Libraries
People in story: 
John Lawson
Location of story: 
River Clyde off Ardrossan
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 August 2004

This story was told to East Ayrshire staff during their Tea Party of 11th June 2004 by John Lawson

John Lawson remembers HMS Dasher which was torpedoed by a German Submarine in the River Clyde near Ardrossan. John was on the sister ship The Attacker. For years the story of The Dasher was unknown and unrecognised but recently a memorial was erected near Ardrossan.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Forum Archive

This forum is now closed

These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - HMS Dasher

Posted on: 20 September 2004 by SDAWSON8787

Your message states that the Dasher was torpedoed. My uncle was killed when the Dasher sunk. Exact details of his death are obviously unknown. The official line is that the Dasher sank following an aviation fuel explosion. Some say that this was caused by a fault, others say that it occured after a landing Swordfish hit the ammunition area. Other theories mention German sabotage via bomb planted during overhaul in Dundee, whilst the torpedo story has little support.

I would just love to see my mother contented that she has learnt the truth once and for all about the fate of her brother and his friends. I can not believe that the government at this stage are not prepared to come clean. These were people's lives that ended. The history of this event is not a football to be kicked around by bored historians and conspiracy theorists.


Message 2 - HMS Dasher

Posted on: 24 December 2004 by jelyoung22

My father was a survivor of the Dasher tragedy.
I only found out via the internet, some 20 years after his death, of the truth behind the mystery of HMS Dasher.
She was not torpedoed by a German uboat, as described above, This has been substantiated by German uboat records. Probable cause of sinking has been blamed on either a leaking fuel tank or a plane crashing into the ship on landing.
You may also find the HMS Dasher (1943) Association: links

for survivors and families of sailors that served on the Dasher useful.
My father joined the Dasher in New York when she was being converted into an escort carrier; and was one of the last people off it when she sunk in the Clyde between Ardrossan and the Isle of Arran.
His life was plagued with memories of this tragedy for forty years; he lost his best friend from school and many shipmates.
He wrote an autobiography that I have been trying to get published.


Message 3 - HMS Dasher

Posted on: 28 March 2005 by ronanddi

Re HMS Dasher.

At the time of the trgedy I was 4 years old.
My Uncle A/B Henry (Harry) Marston was killed on HMS Dasher. All I knew about him and the ship was that" it was a Woolwich Carrier and that on his last leave he did not want to return to the ship as it was a jinx ship". I did not know the nam,e of the ship until many years later,1997 although I served for 10 years in the Royal Navy, all of my time on aircraft carriers.
I am now the Secretary of HMS Dasher(1943) Association, many people are in the same position as your Mother, if we can be of any support, please contact me by e-mail or telephone on 0118 966 6658.

Ron Marston.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Royal Navy Category
Glasgow and Argyll Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy