A WWII submarine flag, H.M.S. Trident 1938,
Lot 30
A WWII submarine flag, H.M.S. Trident 1938,
Sold for £8,500 (US$ 14,286) inc. premium
Auction Details
A WWII submarine flag, H.M.S. Trident 1938,
Lot Details
A WWII submarine flag, H.M.S. Trident 1938,
together with a photograph of the submarine's crew with the flag.


  • Provenance:
    By family descent from Seaman Horace George Bennett, who was given it as the youngest member of the crew of H.M.S. Trident in 1943, after three years continuous service. He is pictured third row down far right in the photograph.

    HMS Trident was a "T" Class submarine, built by Cammel Laird & Co. at Birkenhead and launched in 1938. Between 1941-43 she was on Patrol first in the North Sea and Norwegian waters where she was involved in shadowing the infamous PQ17 Convoy. Apart from attacking German merchant vessels, she successfully torpedoed and damaged the pocket battleship Prinz Eugen. She was then transferred to the Mediterranean, and based at Malta attacked enemy shipping and engaged on covert operations with the SBS.

    After 1943 she went to the Far East and surviving the war, she was broken up in 1946.

    The Jolly Roger.

    The tradition of flying a pirate flag dates to WW1, when the First Sea Lord, descrying the introduction of submarine warfare, said enemy submarine crews should be hanged as Pirates. The submarine E9, after a successful patrol returned to harbour flying a Pirate flag in response. The tradition was revived in WW2, when numerous (but not all) submarines flew home-made Pirate flags decorated with symbols referring to successes on patrol; bars denoting ships sunk (coloured bars for warships), daggers for covert operations, stars for gunnery etc. This flag would be flown when entering port at the end of the patrol.

Saleroom notices

  • The dimensions of the flag are 44x48ins. (112x122cm)
  1. Lionel Willis
    Specialist - Maritime
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3804
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3873