Jersey Evening Post Article
Jersey Evening Post newspaper Article
BRIAN Hodder, the honorary secretary of the Dorset Submariners Association, is involved in a project to
erect a memorial to the 13 men who lost their lives when an experimental torpedo exploded on board the Submarine Sidon at Portland on 16 June,1955. Among those who lost their lives was Charles Duke Clayton, a radio operator. Brian believes that Charles came from the Channel Islands and would appreciate all possible help in tracing the Clayton family. ‘I have been tracing survivors and relatives of those who died for the past 15 months, but although I have had quite a bit of success, I have no contact with Charles’s family,’ he said. My aim is to give all involved the chance to attend the memorial service on the 50th anniversary of the accident, if they wish to.
If anyone has any information about Charles Clayton, or anyone else who served on the Sidon at that time, I would be delighted to hear from them.’ Brian says that anything JEP readers can do to help track relatives down would be appreciated. ‘Charles was a Roman Catholic and so, sadly, he is buried in a separate part of the Royal Naval Cemetery on Portland; his 12 colleagues are buried in separate graves but together,’ said Brian. ‘I understand that at the time his parents wanted him to be buried with the rest but the church would not allow it.’ Charles is one of the few crew members for whom Brian has not so far found family. ‘It’s taken me about 18 months to get to this stage, but I am now in touch with survivors or relatives from Australia, New Caledonia, Cyprus, Canada and, of course, the UK.’