HMS Urge

A submarine paid for by the people of Bridgend during World War 2

Throughout 1941-42 the nation held savings campaigns, Warship Weeks, in an effort to raise extra funds for the Royal Navy.

The aim was for the cities to adopt battleships and aircraft carriers, while towns and villages would focus on cruisers and destroyers. Once the target money was raised, the community would adopt the ship and support its crew.

Bridgend and District Warship Week was held from 15th November to 22nd November 1941 and raised £300,000 (the equivalent of about £15 Million today).

HMS Urge

HMS Urge

H.M.S. Urge was the first ship adopted by Bridgend, however, the money raised in the area during Warship Week also enabled the adoption of H.M.S. Tudor, H.M.S Mallow and His Majesty’s Motor Torpedo Boat 47. H.M.S Tudor had a notably successful career and served in the Far East.

With a displacement of 540 tons on the surface, and 730 tons submerged, H.M.S. Urge carried a complement of 27 crew, and was armed with four torpedo tubes.

H.M.S. Urge was commanded by Lieutenant Commander E.P. Tomkinson DSO RN, one of the Royal Navy’s top ten ‘Submarine Ace’s’, and saw active service in the Mediterranean, where she damaged or sank a number of enemy vessels.

H.M.S. Urge left Malta on her final mission on 27 April 1942, bound for Alexandria in Egypt. Aboard were not just her 32 crew, but 11 other naval personnel and a war correspondent. Sadly, H.M.S. Urge was lost shortly after. It is believed that she struck a mine off the coast of Malta.

In October 2019 the grandson of Lt Cdr Tomkinson, Mr Francis Dickinson was part of a marine archaeology project involving a search team from The University of Malta. They discovered the wreck of HMS Urge off the coast of Malta.

On 2nd October, 1941 Sub-Lieutenant Brian Lloyd (a Bridgend resident) was killed on a special operations mission when operating from HMS Urge. The HMS Urge Families Group have always been strongly of the view that Brian Lloyd should be commemorated on the Urge memorial and included in the roll call. However, he was not lost on the day HMS Urge was lost off the coast of Malta.

Further information can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry:

InApril 2020 a commemoration service was due to be held in Malta. This service was planned by families of the crew to mark the tragedy and the rediscovery of HMS Urge. Unfortunately, due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, these plans were postponed.

Despite the pandemic, on 27th April 2020, Bridgend still remembered those that lost their lives on board HMS Urge and marked the anniversary of the day she left Malta on her final mission. The Mayor of Bridgend Town Council at the time, Cllr Alan Wathan, remotely joined the family of crew members, friends and supporters of HMS Urge for a two minute silence at 11am and members of the public were encouraged to observe the two minute silence from the safety of their own homes.

The Armed Forces Chaplain for Bridgend, The Reverend Rachel Wheeler recorded a very moving Service of Remembrance for this anniversary. The service includes a roll call of the manifest.

The HMS Urge Remembrance Service

Press Release

HMS Urge – 44 Heroes will be remembered on Monday 27th April 11am

Useful Links

Further details about the discovery of HMS Urge can be found on the Royal Navy website:

An article about HMS Urge can be found on the Friends of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum website:

An article about HMS Urge can be found on the Malta George Cross Island Association website:

Island Farm

A former prisoner of war camp

HMS Urge

A submarine paid for by the people of Bridgend

RAF Stormy Down

A war-time airfield

The Royal Ordnance Factory

Located at both Brackla and Waterton

poppy rememberance bridegnd large
We will remember them

As part of the UK national Remembrance commemorations, Bridgend Town Council co-ordinates two events for local residents to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.