Coachlines - February 2023

23.02.23 The Clerk

Clerk’s Notes February 2023

Mark The Clerk

Mark The Clerk

27th February 2023 marks the 80th anniversary of the loss of the T-Class submarine, HMS TIGRIS. Launched on 31st October 1939, she was commissioned on 20th June 1940. She had a relatively active war in the North Sea and later in the Mediterranean, accounting for a number of Axis vessels of various sizes. However, just south of Capri on the afternoon of 27th February 1943, her luck ran out.

Fast-forward to the mid-1980s, as part of our Anti-Submarine Sea King aircrew training in 1985, my course mates and I were required to attend a short course at the submarine training school, then based at Devonport. On the first morning of the course, an old and bold Chief Petty Officer of the Submarine Branch stood before us charged with delivering to the young gentlemen aviators the introductory session of the course.

Up went the first grainy slide of a large black British nuclear submarine, under way on the surface.

What’s that?” barked Chiefy.

A target!” growled one of our more aggressive Observers.

It set the tone for the rest of the week.

Forthcoming Coachmakers’ events

Automotive Industry Dinner – 23rd March 2023

The annual celebration of the Automotive Industry will take place at Vintners’ Hall and yet another group of talented young people will receive their awards before embarking upon careers within the industry. Places are still available so please book here.

United Guilds Service – St Paul’s Cathedral – 24th March 2023

Join the Master and Wardens to attend the annual United Guilds’ Service at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by lunch at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall. Two tickets remain; there is no charge to attend the Service in St Paul’s and lunch will be charged at £61 +VAT per person. Contact the Clerk for more details:

Banquet – 6th June 2023

See separate feature in this edition.

Forthcoming City events

Inter-Livery Bridge

The Makers of Playing Cards Annual Inter-Livery Bridge Tournament will be held on Monday 6th March 2023 at Drapers’ Hall. See their website for details and the booking form:

Varsity rugby

On Saturday 25th March, Twickenham Stadium will play host to one of rugby’s longest standing rivalries: the 2023 Varsity Matches. Oxford University and Cambridge University will meet once again for the 36th Women’s Varsity Match and the 141st Men’s Varsity Match. Tickets start at just £20. If you are interested in tickets for hospitality packages or if you have any questions, contact Madeleine Osborne at and you can also find more information at

Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch – Thursday 30th March 2023

This event directly supports the three service charities’ efforts to help service veterans back into work. The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is a City fundraising event held at Guildhall each year. The Lunch is an event with a difference: unlimited curry and drinks, buffet service, and bench seating all create a lively, casual, and convivial atmosphere. A dedicated area for sponsors and those with groups of 10 or more allow for hosting and networking opportunities.

There are Livery stalls set up throughout the event which provide excellent shopping opportunities, and auction prizes give you the chance to bid on ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences. Added to all that, the event raises funds to support helping veterans of HM Armed Forces into employment from all three services. Tickets are on sale now – please click here.

To compliment this event there is also an associated Silent Auction. The link to the Silent Auction page is here:

The Lady Mayoress’s Sleep Out

Now a regular City Event, the Lady Mayoress’s Sleep Out will take place at Guildhall Yard on Thursday 16th March. With the aim to raise awareness of homelessness in the City, the Lady Mayoress and the Lord Mayor will be giving up their comfortable bed at Mansion House to sleep in the open air overnight and they invite you to join them and many of their friends. Net funds will be split 50:50 between the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and The Pret Foundation who tackle hunger, poverty and homelessness in communities local to Pret shops. The registration fee is £25 and minimum sponsorship target £500 per participant. If taking part is a step too far, you can also sponsor the Lady Mayoress via her JustGiving page here. Let’s hope that the weather is kind on 16th March.

Other Livery News

100 Club

If you would be willing to take on the role of 100 Club Administrator contact the Clerk:

In conclusion

Returning to the Mediterranean in 1943, HMS TIGRIS had left Malta on 18th February to patrol off Naples and she was last sighted at 0730 hrs on 24th February, 39 miles from Capri. On the morning of 27th February, the German submarine chaser UJ 2210, commanded by Otto Pollmann, was escorting a convoy six miles southeast of Capri. She made contact with a submarine and carried out three depth charge attacks, the third attack brought oil to the surface and the contact was noted to be stationary. A fourth attack of 15 depth charges brought up a huge bubble of air. On 6th March, TIGRIS was ordered to Algiers but there was no reply to that signal. She failed to return to Algiers on 10th March and was declared overdue on that date. It is believed that TIGRIS was the submarine sunk on 27th February by UJ-2210.

On that fateful day, her Commanding Officer was Lt Cdr George Robson Colvin DSO, DSC RN, a regular Naval Officer since 1932 and an experienced submarine commander. Since 1940 he had driven four other boats and during his short but successful wartime career he had been mentioned in despatches in September 1940, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in January 1943 and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 23rd March 1943.

HMS TIGRIS was adopted by the town of Newbury during the Second World War as part of Warship Week. The plaque from this adoption is now held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth. Until 2018 an annual Remembrance Service was held for the submarine and the crew lost at St Nicolas Church, Newbury, on the Sunday nearest 27th February. In 2016, the Remembrance Service was held on 24th July to allow descendants of her last Commanding Officer, George Colvin, to attend.

While putting this little piece together from various sources, I experienced a moment of great poignancy when I discovered this short piece of film made in 1940 as part of a Pathé newsreel about George Colvin and the crew members of his first submarine command, HMS SUNFISH:

Later today, if you will, spare a thought for George Colvin and the other five officers and 56 ratings of his last crew who didn’t make it home.