HMS Polruan, HMS Express and a U-Boat

2.30pm Saturday 17 November 2018 at WI Hall, Polruan

HMS Polruan, HMS Express and a U-Boat


Geoff Pringle was an entertaining speaker and interspersed his talk with photographs and videos. Artefacts were also displayed, and he explained how he had acquired them and researched their origins. His talk was in three parts.


A ship’s bell from HMS Express was inscribed 1941, although launched in 1934, as the ship had been almost destroyed entering an uncharted minefield and had been rebuilt in 1941. It now lies as part of a breakwater in British Columbia.


A bronze treadplate from HMS Polruan was inscribed from the people of Polruan. It had been launched in 1940 with funds raised in a Warship’s Week, the National Savings Campaign, but in the end Budleigh Salterton had adopted the ship, probably because they had raised more funds than little Polruan.


Finally, the story of U17, due to the acquisition of its bell, a German submarine that had its own story to tell.