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A Blaenavon ‘Collier’s Boy’ and the UB 91

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Armistice Day commemorates the day the Great War ended, but the 21 November 1918 should also be remembered as the day the Imperial German Navy surrendered. After the war many of Germany’s submarines were sent to be broken up, but before they were, some were manned by British crews and taken on tours of British ports to help raise money for mariners’ charities. This is how William Brookes, born in Blaenavon in 1887, became the temporary commander of UB 91. He had a distinguished service record in his own right, having enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1902. During the war, he served on the submarines NAUTILUS and C 6, and received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.

This tribute was suggested by Tim Dowle with images supplied by Brian Rendell and Trevor Williams. In association with Friends of Newport Ship.