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History of Repulse

The HM Submarine Repulse was built by Vickers Ltd. at Barrow-in-Furness. She was launched on 4th November 1967, by Lady Joan Zuckerman, wife of Sir Zolly Zuckerman, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government, only to get stuck on a mudbank on Walney Island opposite the launch site.

HM Submarine Repulse was a nuclear powered submarine, more than 400 feet long and displaced over 7000 tons. She was designed to carry sixteen Type A3 Polaris missiles in addition to conventional torpedo armament.

First commissioned on the 28 September 1968. A two-crew system of manning was used, known as Port and Starboard crews. The 1st commission Commanding Officers were Port Crew - Commander JR Wadman and Starboard Crew - Commander AJ Whetstone.

HM Submarine Repulse was the second submarine to come into service as part of the Polaris programme. She was preceded by HM Submarine Resolution and then followed by Renown and Revenge.

The history of Polaris shows that with 229 unbroken patrols, it was a total success. Also with a mid-life update of Chevaline in 1982, it remained a credible deterrent throughout its operational life. The chapter came to an end in May 1996 when Repulse completed the final Polaris patrol and the reigns for the national deterrent passed to the Vanguard Class SSBN, equipped with Trident D5 missiles, she was finally decomissioned on the 28th August 1996.

Repulse itself was the most successful and reliable of the 10th Submarine Squadron. Her crews produced a continuing list of achievers (all now retired) developing from that period most notably were:

Vice Admiral Sir Robert C.F Hill "Pusser" (Port)
Vice Admiral Sir Neville Purvis "Neddy" (Port)
Surgeon Rear Admiral MPWH Paine "Agony" (Port)
Commodore TW Elliott "Toby" (Port)
Captain JR Wadman "Phil" (Port)
Captain (RAN) MJ Davidson "Big D" (Port)
Rear Admiral AJ Whetstone (Starboard)
Rear Admiral IH Pirnie (Starboard)
Captain MS Ashley (Starboard)