SETT TRAINING - DSEA - 1950's - Present Day


I was a Swimboy at the Tank from 1960 to 62, Geordie Crossman was Chief of the Tank and if I remember rightly Lt Cdr Hamlyn was the CEO. I really enjoyed my time there and was sorry to leave and return to General Service. One incident I do remember was an experiment with a plywood mock up of an amphibious Tank, it seemed all the crew could escape if it sank except the driver, needless to say I don't think we were all that succesful, and the army could only look on and wonder. During my time we trained the first classes of German Submariners who arrived at Dolphin in two landing craft, and on completion gave us a wonderful party in one of them. I too are now 71 but look back on those days and wonder what happened to the others working there at that time.

Cheers Nick Carter [ex Leading Signalman]


Hi Ian, I suppose you may Have the Full history of the 15ft.dsea Tank which stood on the seawad side of the 100ft tank. I dont know when it decommissioned but it was certainly there and in use in the mid fifties. I can remember sitting on the the bottom wearing the old soda lime canister gear. for 15-20min stint as a part of our initial submarine escape training Some of the boats around at that time,still carried it. I dont know when it was de-commissiond I went to Malta around 56.

Dave Cassie Ex submariner of course



Did my first SETT on completion of Submarine training in 1953, in the small tank. DSEA familiarization, Tower escape, and about 30 min, (depending on how much was in the bottle of the set you were given) on the bottom at I think was 30 feet. After return from Oz in 1957, the 100ft.had been put into operation, and I think Tod Slaughter was I/C. We were introduced to the BIBS and did a couple of ascents from the bottom chamber.Was a little concerned about running out of puff at 30 ft. but was fully recharged on reaching the surface,which restored my belief in the instruction given earlier. as far as memory serves, I enjoyed it very much, but never had the opportunity of repeating the experience.

J.Merrett (1953/1959)



Hi there I was a swim-boy in the late fifties and am still going strongly at age 71 if I can be of any help please let me know.The only unusual thing I can remember is being completely kitted out in a pilots clothing including high altitude protection and being dropped into the tank in an ejector seat to see if a pilot would be safer going under water and escaping. I think I went down to about 40 feet before I managed to get free and rise to the surface with the help of a partly inflated pilots maewest

Regards, Mike Murton



I was in the Tank from October 1950 to February 1955 as an instructor and went to help start up the 6th squadron DSEA as instructor in February 1955. I did my 100' tank training in New London with 2 other cox'ns, the Tank Officer and Medical Officer, Surg Cdr Davidson.

Yours 'aye, Bill Wyatt


Having joined boats in 1945 and having been through the 30ft tank with the old DSEA set I used to looked with some trepidation at the building of the 100ft SETT, remarking to myself, 'They'll never get me through that!' How wrong can you get as not only did I go though it with the old "Breathe out" system several times but finished up as a CPO Cox'n, Instructor, 1963/64. LCDR Hamlyn was CEO with LCDR Todd as deputy, Jackie Scarr as Chief of the Tank and such stalwart Instructors as Max Wall, Blurt Mallows, Vic Street, Pat Cadogon, Ivor Jones and a great team of 'Swim Boys', not forgetting Mr. Smith 'keeper of the Records'. Wonderful days with many happy memories, especially on the Hockey field, as we won the Dolphin Inter Division Trophy twice, followed by a happy commission as Escape Cox'n of the old 4th S/M Division in Sydney, NSW here in Australia where I am now living (Perth WA) Incidentally the last time I went through the Tank as cox'n of my last boat, the "Repulse" was with the 'Hood System' and it didn't seem half as much fun as before! I still cherish the Tankard presented to me when I left the Tank in appreciation from the Staff duly inscribed with my name and Official number with the words 'Breathe Out' on the reverse side, in the various languages of the nationalities we took through the SETT. (see attached photographs) Please convey my best wishes to all the Tank Staff and I hope they have as great a time as I did way back in 1963!? The Website is great.

Derek Lilliman



Were you SETT staff or have you trained at SETT, please forward any dits / images you may have. Contact