SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

H.M.S. Utmost

H.M.S. Utmost

The crew of H.M.S. Utmost, Feb.6th 1942. My grandfather Arthur Lee (born in 1909) is behind the officer 2nd from the left at the front. The crew, under the Captain Cdr Richard Cayley, transfered to H.M.S. P311, a submarine presumed mined whilst on operations in the Mediterranean. Her last signal was received on 31st December 1942 and she was officially declared lost with all hands a few days later. My grandfather's rank was Chief Petty Officer and his date of death is officially given as 8th January, 1943. The sub was about to be titled H.M.S. Tutankhamen on the orders of Winston Churchill, who insisted that all submarines should have names. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Submarine Found!

It's been all over the news this week - HMS P311, the sub which was lost with this crew on board, has been located by an Italian diver! That's incredible news for me, and I felt very emotional when I heard. It was a real sense of pride, but also great sadness knowing those poor souls' fate. My grandfather Arthur Lee was 33 years old and left two young sons including my father. This is Arthur aboard HMS Utmost.

Jolly Roger

I've found out the following info about the sub's 'Jolly Roger'. The white lines show the ships they sank, the daggers represent special operations, and the lifebuoy indicates a rescue of a Blenheim bomber crew.


Yes cribsie all thanks to the people who gave up their lives to protect us, on this day we should salute every member of all armed forces past and present

Remembrance Day

Today, 11th November, is Remembrance Day and I shall be paying tribute to my grandfather Arthur Lee at the service at our local villiage War Memorial here in Oxfordshire, England.

Horseshoes, seriously?

Weirdest horseshoes I've ever seen. Parallel sides and the ring at the front?

Flicking the V's

The other photo was taken on the same day and shows the crew having a laugh with a few of them flicking the V's. Submariners are traditionally superstitious, hence the horseshoes.

Wouldn't you know

I avoided the use of "horseshoe" on purpose, figuring "Well, they can't be that!"

Ha! And thanks.


There is a slightly different photo of the crew on Wikipedia.

In regards the 9 horseshoe-shapes objects nailed to the crest. They are... horseshoes.

Many of the HMS submarines had crests which included a horseshoe.

Otto Kretschmer, commander of U-99, had a horseshoe welded to the conning tower of his submarine. His was placed opening downwards for luck, as in the photo, here. Ironically, one of the British destroyers that sank his U-boat also had a horseshoe insignia, but with the opening upwards for luck (which is supposed to "keep the luck from running out").

The placard in front

Any idea what the nine objects mounted on it are or signify?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.