THE LAST ONE DOWN

by
Sheila Nolan Fox

TREVER COUPE 1919 – 1945

LEADING SEAMAN D/JX 202891

Trever Coupe was born on the 9th September 1919 in Morecambe, Lancs, son of Thomas Henry Coupe and Dorothy Annie (née Hollingworth). He was educated at Heversham Grammar School and his hobbies included swimming and cycling. He was also an accomplished pianist. Prior to WW2 he worked for Geo. W. Speight and Sons, fruit and potato merchants of Lancaster. On the 19th June 1943 he married Edna Benyon, the 2nd daughter of Alfred Benyon and Ethel (née Twinn) of Lancaster. They had one child (premature stillborn) 11th February 1944.

Trever enlisted on the 26th June 1940 as an Ordinary Seaman. He served on HM Submarine Otus as an Able Seaman from 1941–1943. From August 1943 he served as Leading Seaman on HM Submarine Porpoise.

HMS PORPOISE
(built by Vickers in 1933)

On 2nd January 1945 HMS Porpoise left Trincomalee in Ceylon to lay mines in the vicinity of Penang, Malaya. The signal received from the submarine confirming that this had been successfully carried out was the last contact made. Japanese records show that a submarine was spotted and bombed by aircraft off Penang. Although not destroyed in this attack, the submarine was damaged and leaking oil that left a trail for the Japanese anti-submarine forces to follow. Subsequently the Porpoise was sunk by more Japanese aircraft in the same area on the 16th January 1945.

HMS Porpoise (Submarine) in Action.

Monday 15th January 1945

The Japanese auxiliary minesweeper No.1 Kyo Mara was sunk by a mine (laid by British submarine HMS Porpoise on 9th January), south of Penang, Malaya, 05deg 18'N, 100deg 20'E;

Friday 18th May 1945

A Japanese submarine chaser Ch 57 was damaged by a mine (again laid by HMS Porpoise on 9th January 1945 and, ironically, after the Porpoise had already itself been sunk), in the south channel into Penang, Malaya, 05deg 20'N, 100deg 08'E.

The loss in 1945 of HMS Porpoise, the last British Submarine to be sunk in WW2, was commemorated by a Postmark on the 16th January 2001.

The last mission of the Porpoise was the subject of an Australian feature film "Heroes" made in 1982. There was a remake, "The Heroes" in 1987 and a further remake, "Heroes 2 the Return" in 1991.

According to the War Graves Commission the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 9 Column 3 lists:

TREVOR COUPE
Leading Seaman
D/JX 202891
H.M. Submarine Porpoise, Royal Navy
who died on
Tuesday, 16th January 1945.

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