Nasmith VC - Page 2

The Submarine

E11 Underway

His Majesty's submarine E11 was 181 feet long and weighed 807 tons. She could make 15 knots on the surface and 9 knots underwater. She could dive safely to 200 feet and stay under for up to 20 hours. Navigation was by compass and chart. They had no radar or sonar and only a weak transmitter to send morse code messages back to base. The crew totalled thirty, three officers and twenty-seven ratings. The officers shared two bunks and the crew slept on the deck. They used buckets for washing themselves and shared two toilets. They had a small kitchen with an electric cooker. Privacy, such as it was, was provided by a few curtains.

E11 Line Drawing

The Crew

The Crew June 8th 1915

Brown and Huges on the Conning Tower

At 32 years, Lt. Commander Nasmith was a veteran submariner, his crew reckoned he had the best periscope eye in the "trade" (the nickname of the early submarine service). The Dardanelles patrols would demonstrate not only Nasmith's courage but also his talent for innovation and resourcefulness. Nasmith expected a lot of his crew but also himself. After a failed attack on a German battleship in 1914 he swore not to drink or smoke again until his first hit. Months later in Marmara, when Nasmith sent his first Turkish ship to the bottom, his crew presented Nasmith with beer and cigars. Lieutenant Guy D'Oyly Hughes, as second in command was responsible for ensuring the smooth running of ever aspect of the boat. At 29 years D'Oyly Hughes shared his Captain's adventurous spirit. Lieutenant Robert Brown was the Navigating Officer. Brown was a reservist from the Merchant Navy. Brown had famously been born on a sailing ship rounding Cape Horn. Popular with the crew Brown had a wry sense of humour evident in his patrol reports.