|How Milene Solved the Puzzle
|Live torpedo means AE2 sub will stay sunk
The Maitland Mercury
7 May 2008
|An unexploded torpedo still aboard the wreck of an Australian
submarine that was sunk without loss of life in Turkish waters
during World War I has helped to sink an East Maitland woman’s
Ruby Edwards, whose father was a radio operator on the heroic
Australian submarine AE2, had hoped the submarine on which her
father served as a radio operator could be brought to the surface.
But after hearing of the unexploded torpedo, and the $100 million it
would cost to raise the submarine, Mrs Edwards, 88, of Lindsay
Street, applauded a decision to not raise the boat from the bottom
of Turkish waters.
No lives were lost when the submarine without deck guns was
scuttled off Gallipoli in April 1915 after a fight with the Turkish
And Mrs Edwards still remembers her dad, Signalman Albert
Thomson, after he returned home from a Turkish POW camp.
Marine archaeologists had been excitedly discussing plans before
this year’s Anzac Day celebrations about raising the AE2.
But these schemes were dropped yesterday when experts
recommended that the wreck should be left where it sank, in 72m
of water, after becoming the first submarine to penetrate Turkish
“Nobody died when my father’s submarine went down. It would
be a tragedy now if people were killed by that live torpedo while
trying to bring the submarine up,’’ Mrs Edwards said.
“Much as I hoped that submarine could be saved, I would not want
any lives lost during a salvage operation,’’ she said.
“And they could do a lot more in the world with the $100 million
needed to bring the boat up.
“It would still be interesting if they bring up some things inside the
boat, which might be displayed in a special museum.’’
Asked if something belonging to her father might still be in the
submarine, Mrs Edwards said: “No, I don’t think so.
“My dad and all the others had to get out of there very quickly.
“They didn’t have time to take anything with them.’’
Defence Minister and Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said: “I am
pleased the experts have decided it is best to leave the submarine
where it is.
“There is a live torpedo inside the boat, with a real risk to the
submarine and to people trying to raise it.
“That submarine is lying in peace and I think it is the most
appropriate place for it to stay.
“I don’t think any risk can justify bringing it up now.”
Empire. The AE2 lay in the Sea of Marmara, unseen, until 1998 when she was
discovered, intact, 73 metres underwater in present day Turkey.
The Dardanelles is a 61 kilometres long, narrow strait of water. The Dardanelles have
always been strategically important because they link the Black Sea with the
Mediterranean Sea. At the time of World War I, the Dardanelles were controlled by the
Ottoman Empire. Control of the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits by the Ottomans
prevented the Russian fleet in the Black Sea from joining the Allied fleet in the
Mediterranean. They also prevented the Mediterranean fleet from attacking
Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), the Ottoman capital, located on the Sea of
The Dardanelles are naturally difficult to negotiate as they resemble a twisted hourglass,
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Click here to see an animation of the
incredible journey of the AE2 through
the Dardenelles, April 25, 1915.
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Irish fashion, in bits and pieces from any old place; I made my first acquaintance with
the demon Homesickness. Work got his first hold on me; and I was helplessly and
gloriously miserable. The head master reported that I had little chance of getting
through the examination, which again riled my Irish ire, and I persuaded my father to
let me try. Whereat, to the astonishment of everyone, myself included, I was successful
at the first attempt, and blossomed out in all the glory of one of His Majesty’s Naval
Cadets. [Henry Stoker, Straws in the Wind, London, 1925, pp.15-16]
On 25 April 1915, Henry Stoker captained the first submarine to breach the Dardanelles.
He was born in Dublin on 2 February 1885. At the age of 12, Stoker decided upon a
naval career; within a few years he was accepted as a naval cadet and had embarked
upon training on the Royal Navy's training ship, HMS Britannia.
In 1904 Stoker was promoted to acting sub-lieutenant and began study at the Royal
Naval College at Greenwich. Attracted by the prospect of extra pay, he volunteered for
the submarine service but a year passed before he was accepted. At 23 he was
promoted to lieutenant, gien a submarine command, and later given a posting to open
Britain's first submarine station at Gibraltar.
By 1915, forts with heavy guns and mobile howitzers were strung along both sides of
the mouth near the Aegean. From Kephez Point, the first turn before the Narrows,
rows of mines were laid. The single line of mines secretly laid parallel to the Asia Minor
coast had cut the Allied fleet apart on 18 March when it first tried to force the strait.
Sweeping searchlights were ready to pick out any night attacker. (Brenchley, F & E
2001, Stoker’s Submarine, p 55)
In the mid-1920s, after he had left the Royal Navy, Henry Stoker wrote his first public
account of the passage of the Dardanelles in the AE2 on the night of 25 April 1915. It is
reproduced here in full and represents pages 107-122 of the chapter entitled ‘Of Danger
and Percival and Hope Realised’ from Stoker’s Straws in the Wind published in London
On the morning of 25 April 1915, while the Australian infantry were storming the
Five years later, apparently pursuing a
desire to play polo in Australia, Stoker
applied for and received a posting to the
RAN's new submarine service. In 1913 he
took command of AE2. On 2 March
1914, AE2 and its sister ship, AE1, set sail
for Australia, arriving in Sydney on 24
May having completed the longest
submarine journey then undertaken. In
August 1914 the two submarines were
ordered to the Pacific to hunt for German
raiders believed to be in the area. Shortly
afterwards AE1 disappeared. AE2
returned to Sydney, and in late December
1914 sailed for the Middle East with the
second AIF convoy.
Having arrived in Egypt, Stoker was
Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, England. Group
Portrait of the Officers and Crew of
Submarine HMAS A2. Left to right: back row:
Wheat, G. Todd, Kerran, Guy, Charles George
Suckling, Trask, Bray, Able Seaman Reuben
Mitchell, Wishart; Middle Row: Dennis,
Knaggs, Peddie, Wilson, Cheater, Nicholls,
Jarman, Jenkins, Hitchcock. Front row:
Gilbert, Gibson, Bell, Broomhead, Lieutenant
H. H. G. D. Stoker (Commanding Officer),
Haggard, Abbott, Marsden, Kinder. Feb 1914.
|"AE2" and he and his largely Australian crew were captured by the Turks.
Three a.m. on Sunday, 25 April. It was absolutely dark, still, and dead calm as AE2
entered the Dardanelles Strait and, following the same plan as on the previous night,*
crept slowly along on the surface. With broken clouds shutting out such light as a
moonless sky even yet contrives to give, the searchlight seemed more powerful than
before. As we neared the white cliffs one felt forced to edge away from the light and
nearer and nearer to the European shore.
The long beam of light swept slowly along over the water, searching from the southern
shore towards the entrance, and then along the gloom under the steepness of the
northern shore. Each time, as it touched AE2 with brighter and yet brighter finger, one
held for the instant one's breath, lest the steady sweep, arrested for a moment, would
show a suspicion of our shadowy presence. But as the minutes passed by and custom
eased the eerie feeling caused by the passing light, a necessitous boldness forced us
farther and farther along, now at a dead slow speed on one engine.
BANG! Tsh, tsh, tsh, tsh, tsh. . . .
and the notorious passage called the
Narrows is easily defended from both
shores. There are also two currents
flowing through the Dardanelles: a surface
freshwater current of 1 to 4 knots flowing
towards the Aegean Sea, and an
underwater current of salt water flowing
towards the Sea of Marmara.
The Ottoman Empire added built defences
to enhance the Dardanelles’ natural
heights of Anzac, an Australian submarine, "AE2", was
threading a perilous way through the minefields and
treacherous currents of the Dardanelles.
The Straits of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale Boğazi) are
fifty-nine kilometres in length and 0.80 kilometres wide
at the Narrows of Çanakkale. They connect the
Mediterranean to the Sea of Marmora and on the farther
shore of the Sea of Marmora was Constantinople, now
"AE2" made the dangerous passage successfully and
spent four days in the Sea of Marmora before a defect
in the machinery forced her to the surface when she
was on her way to meet a British submarine, the "E14",
which had also succeeded in entering the Marmora.
The author of this story was the British Commander of
My father's father was a merchant seaman and travelled the world. In my
grandmother's house there was this big chest with an exotic smell - I think it must have
been sandalwood. A bell rang when you opened it. I've no idea what it must have
contained - I can remember two Japanese prints that nobody wanted!
Some time before the First World War he decided to emigrate to Australia and, so as to
secure a free passage for himself and the family, joined the Australian Navy as a
|Comments from Our Readers
on the brink of retreating. On that same day the AE2 broke through the Dardanelles and
started causing havoc, sinking one Turkish ship. News of this reached the Australian
commander who told the troops to keep fighting - only to sustain thousands of
casualties. The submarine didn't last long in those treacherous waters and was
eventually crippled, and had to be scuttled. The crew were taken captive by the Turks
and my grandfather didn't survive the Turkish prisoner-of-war camp. He is buried in
the North Gate Cemetery in Baghdad, Iraq.
My grandfather kept a diary of all this which somehow found its way back to Bristol. I
I found the exact photo but the image was reversed and the letters were backwards.
Seeing that the photo was suggested by an Aussie Quizmaster I used that information.
The story on Captain Stoker was fascinating; he was quite the guy:
Henry Hugh Gordon "Dacre" Stoker, commonly credited in films as H.G. Stoker or
Dacre Stoker (2 February 1885, Dublin - 2 February 1966, London), was an officer of
the First and Second World War Royal Navy and stage and screen actor. He was also a
sportsman, active in polo, croquet, hurling, and tennis, competing at Wimbledon and
becoming the croquet champion of Ireland in 1962, aged 77. He was a cousin to the
author Bram Stoker. Jim Kiser
Richard is particulary keen on warplanes. Was it his idea to use a mirror image of the
HMAS AE3 for this quiz? Mike Swierczewski
N.B. No, it was my idea, trying to get around TinEye. Just to let you know that
name dropping does not get you anywhere. You still have to submitt he correct
answer. Quizmaster General
While it was fairly easy for me to determine that it was an early submarine, I did not
recognize the “AE” marking. The first clue for me was that this quiz was suggested by
an Australian Quizmaster, the second being that it was April 25th, ANZAC Day to
commemorate the Campaign at Gallipoli. While I have been a war history buff for
almost 50 years, I never knew much about World War I. That changed in the early 80s
after seeing a movie called "Gallipoli" which featured a young Mel Gibson. While I was
aware of the terrible cost of that campaign, I was not aware of the naval aspect.
Another lesson learned from the quiz. Jim Baker
This was a cool one, Colleen! I noticed that the bow lettering on this "boat" was
reversed and I looked at the file name after the download and saw that the name was
<sub_rev>, and I knew that was the key clue to the answer --> AE2,...a mirror image.
Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.
Raise a glass of Fosters (I presume it’s still brewed) to all Aussies. The quiz made me
aware of ANZAC Day - April 25, which is a national day of remembrance in Australia.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. According to the
Australian War Memorial, (http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/anzac_tradition.asp) April 25th,
1914 was the time the Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli in an
attempt to take over Constantinople (now Istanbul) and defeat the Ottoman
Empire/Turkish defenders. Apparently about 8,000 Australians died in these 1st World
War battles that stretched over 8 months. If my past studies of history had exposed me
to this military campaign, it had all been forgotten. It was fun to discover all the
information available on the AE2 Australian Submarine. I did not find it too difficult to
get started once I had interpreted the flipped image of the ship’s name and did a Google
search for “AE2 submarine”. Feasibility of raising the ship has been explored but it has
suffered significant damage. A Foundation has been set up to at least preserve what is
left. Some websites that were of interest included: (http://www.ae2.org.au/home_page.
I was thrown for a minute by the reverse photo. At first I thought it might be the sub
in the Chicago Museum of Technology... so got off on the wrong track.
|The headstone marking the
grave of Albert Edward
submariner. His ship, the imaginatively
named AE2, was built in
Barrow-in-Furness (in the North-West of
England) and her maiden voyage was to
sail to Australia - no submarine had
previously sailed more than about 400
miles. After various exploits she arrived in
Sydney just about in time for the start of
the first world war. She saw some limited
action in South-East Asia but then
returned to Europe to Join the ANZAC
forces in the Gallipoli campaign.
On the 25th April, 1915, the ANZACs
landed and, after suffering four days of
very heavy casualties, were thought to be
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Mr. Rick and the Quiz Kids sink another puzzle!
Tamura Jones Brian Kemp
Deborah Lee Stewart Margaret Paxton
Charles Grabs Judy Pfaff
Barbara Battles Jim Kiser
Sharon Martin Karen Kay Bunting
Laurel Fletchner Grace Hertz
Stan Read Suzan Farris
Marilyn Hamill Beth Long
Wayne Douglas Edee Scott
Richard Wakeham Elaine C. Hebert
Diane Burkett Debra Cashion
Peter Norton Caroline Pointer
Tim Fitzpatrick (Brother of the Q. Gen.)
Jessica Jolley Mike Swierczewski
Gary Sterne Alan Cullinan
Robin Spence Jim Baker
Mike Dalton Nicole Blank
Rebecca Bare Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
Don Draper Jocelyn Thayer
Dawn Colket Daniel E. Jolley
Date of birth: 02 February 1885
Place of birth: Dublin, Ireland
Date of death: 02 February 1966
Place of death: London, England
There was no connection with the Royal Navy in Henry
Stoker's family and he decided to join the service simply
because he heard a friend talking about it. He was sent to
a school in England which specialised in preparing boys
for entry to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth but he
did not remember this school with any affection:
Life at the new school … was misery. The strange English
boys seemed so queerly stolid and placid, except when
poking fun at me and my brogue. The head master
thought I was being impertinent when I only meant to be
friendly; the matron laughed at my wardrobe, collected
|Answer to Quiz #254
April 25, 2010
ordered to join the naval forces then gathering for an attempt to force the Dardanelles.
The attempt ended in the defeat of the British and French navies on 18 March 1915,
while Stoker's submarine was being repaired in Malta. The Admiralty decided
submarines might succeed where surface ships had failed. Stoker and his crew sailed
on the eve of the Gallipoli landings. His torrid journey, full of risk and exposure to
frequent attack, ended in the Sea of Marmora six days later when AE2 was sunk and
her crew captured. Stoker spent the next three and a half years in Turkish captivity -
escaping and being recaptured - while enduring solitary confinement, bizarre snatches
of freedom, and endless months in prison camps. He returned to England after the war
and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his deeds of 1915, although he
and others felt he deserved the Victoria Cross. Although he was given other submarine
commands and in December 1919 was promoted to commander, he had tired of
submarines. Stoker sought transfer but when it was offered he opted instead for an
acting career. He retired from the Navy in 1920 and went on to succeed as an actor,
writer, and theatre director.
In the Second World War, Stoker was recalled to duty, commanded a naval base,
worked in public relations, and was involved in the planning for D-Day. After the war
he returned to the theatre. He became the Irish croquet champion in 1962 at the age of
77. He died in London in February 1966.
1. Why is this vessel famous?
2. What was the captain's name?
3. Where is it now?
|Suggested by long time Quizmaster Linda Williams.
1. The AE2 was the first Allied submarine to pass
through the Dardanelles Strait during WWI.
2. Lieutenant Commander Henry H.G.D. Stoker.
3. In 72 meters of water in the Sea of Marmara off the coast of Turkey.
HMAS AE2 (AE2), also known as the
‘Silent Anzac’, was the first Allied
submarine to penetrate the Dardanelles
strait in 1915 as part of the Gallipoli
Campaign, on the very morning the
ANZAC soldiers landed at Anzac Cove.
AE2 became the first Royal Australian
Navy (RAN) warship to conduct a
torpedo attack against an enemy warship.
But after five days she finally fell to
Ottoman gunfire and was scuttled (sunk).
Her commander, HG ‘Dacre’ Stoker, and
crew were captured and spent the rest of
the war as prisoners of the Ottoman
|HMAS AE2 was the second E-class
submarine purchased by the Australian
Government for inclusion in the fledgling
Royal Australian Navy in 1913.
Her sister-ship HMAS AE1 sailed to
Australia with her, but was lost with all on
board while on patrol in the waters off
Rabaul in New Guinea.
At the time of her construction, AE2
represented the state-of-the-art in
|Read more about
attempts to recover the
AE2 from the Sea of
|Map of the Dardenelles
with Path of AE2
|Suggested by Australian Quizmaster Richard Wakeham
|in herited from my father but now it is in the safe
keeping (along with his medals) of the Australian
Submarine Historical Collection in Sydney. The
captain of the AE2 wrote a book of his exploits (with
scant mention of the crew) - "Straws in the Wind"
by Commander Henry "Dacre" Stoker.
The book "Stoker's Submarine" by Fred and
Elizabeth Brenchley contains the following mini
biography . . .
A war casualty, Albert Knaggs left an important diary
of events up until his death in October 1916. He filled
a very small notebook with almost microscopic
writing; its value lies in being a contemporary
eyewitness record whereas most of the other diaries
of AE2 men were written years after the war.
|What is ANZAC Day?
ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important
national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major
military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during
the First World War.
What does ANZAC stand for?
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The
soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and
the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
|In September 2007 a joint
Australian-Turkish archaeological team ,
under the direction of the AE2
Commemorative Foundation Ltd.
undertook a detailed archaeological survey
of the wreck site which had first been
located and inspected in 1998. Preliminary
survey results are available online. The
team [met] in Istanbul in April 2008 to
present a range of short - long term
management options for the important
|Thank you for noting that it was suggested by an Australian
quizmaster - without that I don't think I would have found the
answer. I searched submarines in dry dock and submarines in
mothball fleets and then I got the bright idea to search Australian
submarines and there it was. Printing the picture backward was a
good idea, it kept it from being too easy.