Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,535 pages of information and 233,960 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

HM Submarine A1

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1902 Vickers, Sons and Maxim built the A1, the first British-designed and built internal-combustion-engined submarine used by the Royal Navy. The 'A1' sank twice in her career; the first time (in which all of her crew were killed) was in 1904 after a collision with the SS Berwick Castle during exercises. The submarine was recovered soon after and subsequently employed for training and experimental work in anti-submarine warfare.

1911 she was rendered unfit for service by an explosion the previous year and was subsequently engaged in unmanned trials, operating under automatic pilot as a submerged target when she was lost off Selsey Bill. The position of her sinking was known and the wreck marked but when recovery operations were commenced the next day the submarine had disappeared. Efforts at the time failed to relocate her and were eventually abandoned.

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