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Sir Anthony Troup, wartime submariner, lived at Bridge Gardens, Hungerford.

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Sir Anthony Troup

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Tony Troup was the youngest British naval officer to command a submarine in the Second World War. Joining the Navy in May 1939, he served in the cruiser Cornwall on the China station and on return qualified as a submariner. He gained experience operating in home waters in the Trident until September 1941 when he joined the newly built Turbulent, arriving in the Mediterranean in January 1942.

Turbulent was commanded by the celebrated Commander "Tubby" Linton, one of the most outstanding submarine captains of the Mediterranean campaign. The first half of 1942 was a disaster for British forces with losses both of submarines and valuable capital ships, the retreat of the Eighth Army towards Cairo and the loss of the command of the sea in the central Mediterranean.

Submarines were forced out of Malta by bombing and their depot ship Medway was sunk by a U-boat. At the nadir of operations, Turbulent was one of only three submarines at sea. As Linton's second-in-command, Troup was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DSC for his part in several successful war patrols.

The notification of the "mention" was sent in error to his father's cousin, Vice-Admiral Sir James Troup, then Flag Officer, Scotland, who forwarded it with a dry note saying that he had hardly earned it sitting behind a desk in Glasgow.

He left Turbulent to undertake the commanding officers' selection course in March 1943 just before Turbulent failed to return to base, later believed sunk with all hands in an Italian anti-submarine minefield off Sardinia. Commander Linton, who had accounted for 90,000 tons of shipping and a destroyer, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. (Tragically, his son also became a submariner and was lost with all his qualifying class in the Affray disaster in April 1951).

As one of Linton's "prodigies", Troup passed the CO's course and in June 1943 was appointed in command of the submarine H32. His age at that time was 21 years and ten months. H32 was used for training in UK waters.

In September Troup was appointed captain of the newly built Strongbow. His warrant engineer officer, Joel Blarney, (obituary October 3, 2006), was very unhappy with the builder's workmanship, and his meticulous standards caused a two-week delay and a missed convoy to the Far East. Later Troup had reason to be grateful for Blarney's professionalism.

Arriving at Trincomalee, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), in July 1944, Strongbow carried out several patrols in the Malacca Strait against Japanese shipping, often boarding junks with demolition charges, sinking other shipping with torpedoes or gunfire and landing agents.

The Japanese were not finished yet and inflicted several losses on British submarines. In January 1945 Strongbow was caught near Port Swettenham by four anti-submarine vessels and badly battered by depth charges that caused leaks in propeller shaft glands, numerous pipe fractures, damaged air compressors, misalignment of the foreplanes and a loosening of engine mounting bolts. Strongbow survived these attacks, subsiding on to the seabed, where Blarney's team repaired damage in barely tolerable conditions of extreme heat and lack of oxygen.

As was ascertained by Troup after the war in correspondence with the Japanese officer in charge of the operation, Commander Tetsunoke Moriama, after eight hours and several attacks Strongbow had been adjudged sunk. After some time, Troup was able to surface, steer towards a known Japanese minefield, where she would be least expected, and eventually limp back to base. From there she had to return to the UK for repairs. Troup was awarded a bar to his DSC.

After the war Troup commanded three further submarines and was promoted to commander in 1953. In 1956 he was appointed second-in-command of the carrier Victorious, which was emerging from refit with the Royal Navy's first angled deck, essential for fast jet-aircraft operations. This was followed by appointment as naval assistant to the First Sea Lord and promotion to captain.

Troup then commanded a submarine squadron in Scotland, followed by the role of Captain of the Fleet, an ancient title with important responsibilities for the welfare, discipline and morale of all seagoing officers and ratings. After a tour in command of the amphibious assault ship Intrepid in the Far East, he was promoted to rear-admiral and appointed Flag Officer Sea Training, in which task he required the highest standards of efficiency in all the ships passing though his hands.

October 31, 1971, was the last day of the the Anglo-Malaysian Defence Agreement. On that day the remnants of Britain's Far East fleet steamed past Rear-Admiral Troup, its last commander, in salute off Singapore.

Promoted to vice-admiral, Troup was appointed Flag Officer Submarines in 1972 during a period when the Navy was instituting its second-generation nuclear submarine building programme with its associated support, training and tactical development. His final tour, from 1974 to 1977, was Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, the main issue at this time being the second "Cod War" concerning fishing rights between Britain and Iceland. Troup was appointed KCB in 1975.

In 1978 he became vice-chairman and group managing director of the shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft and from 1979 to 1988 defence adviser to the systems software consultancy Scicon International. He was president of the Submarine Old Comrades Association, a member of the board of visitors of Borstal for 12 years and chairman of the Charitable Home for Care of the Elderly. He was elected to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1964.

His first marriage was dissolved in 1952. In 1953 he married Cordelia Hope who survives him with two sons and a daughter of the first marriage and two sons and a daughter of the second.

Vice-Admiral Sir Anthony Troup, KCB, DSC and Bar, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, 1974-77, was born on July 18,1921. He died on July 8, 2008, aged 86.