Unshaken Commander: The Life and Loss of Lieutenant Charles Ernest Oxborrow, DSC, RN
On the 20th November 1942, HMS/m Unshaken sailed from Gibraltar bound for a patrol area in the Gulf of Genoa. Her passage would take her through the dreaded, deadly and dangerous Gulf of Lion. Whilst surfacing in severe weather on the evening of the 25th November, Unshaken’s Commanding Officer, Lt. Charles Ernest Oxborrow, DSC, RN, and two lookouts, Yeoman of Signals Sydney Bertie Bennett and Able Seaman Charles Richard Thorn, were lost overboard and drowned. The incident is believed to be unique in that no other Royal Navy Submarine Commanding Officer was lost in this manner during World War 2.
Following extensive research, and with full co-operation from his relatives, the next paper in the series will tell the life story of Charles Oxborrow and will provide what is believed to be the most complete account of the circumstances surrounding his loss and that of two of Unshaken’s ratings.