Lot Archive


№ 469


30 June 1994

Hammer Price:

A Great War D.S.M. group of six awarded to Petty Officer Thomas George Payne for his services on H.M. Submarine 'C 15' when sinking the 'U.C.65'

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL, G.V.R. (97277 P.O. H.M.S. 'C.15.', English Channel 3.Nov.1917); QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Cape Colony (Ord. J.M.S. Monarch); 1914-15 STAR (19277 P.O.R.N.); BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS (197277 P.O.R.N.); NAVAL L.S. & G.C., G.V.R. (197277 P.O. H.M.S. Forth) very fine (6)

D.S.M., London Gazette, 22 February, 1918.

'U.C.65' left Zeebrugge on the evening of 21 October 1917 for her last trip. She passed through the Dover barrage at night, on the surface, and as far as could be ascertained, close to the English coast. Mines were laid off the French coast in the vicinity of Harve; but the Commanding Officer would not divulge the exact position, and none of the captured crew knew exactly where they had been laid. Ships were sunk on the 31 October off Start Point, on 2 November off Prawle Point and also off the Lizard. All five torpedoes had been expended. The last of them was fired at Start Point, which was mistaken for a ship. Three days were spent lying on the bottom near Salcombe Bay, owing to bad weather.

The submarine was on her way home when she was torpedoed and sunk by 'C 15' at 3.30 p.m. G.M.T. on the 3 November 1917. 'U.C.65' was then proceeding on the surface.The periscope of 'C 15' had been sighted about half an hour previously, but Lafrenz appears to have been over-confident. He was in a hurry to get back and said that he was quite capable of avoiding a torpedo. 'C 15' fired two torpedoes; the first passed underneath the centre of the submarine, just grazed the boat, but did not detonate. The second struck her aft. 'U.C.65' was zigzagging and had just put her helm over, when she was struck by the second torpedo. Lafrenz considered that it was an exceedingly lucky shot, although, according to his estimate, 'C 15' was only 600 yards away. The submarine sank immediately and, of those of the crew below, only the Reserve Officer, who came into the patrol position when the helm was put over, reached the surface. The captain was blown high into the air by the force of the explosion, and came down into the water on his chest, which was severely bruised. It was due to the fact that 'C 15' rose to the surface, came up at once and picked him up, that he was saved. 'U.C.65' was due back at Zeebrugge on the 4 November, after which the crew were to have been given leave.

Sold with further details including copies from P.R.O. files on the interrogation of survivors from 'U.C. 65'.