Connell Percy Thode

Connell Percy Thode (1925-1926)

Con received credit Certificates for Mathematics and Science and he was a swimmer which would have stood him in good stead in later life. He was a sailor. At the outbreak of war he had a yacht masters ticket and after a series of adventures arrived in London on a freighter and became an ‘Acting Probationary Temporary Sub-Lieutenant’. He was posted first to a corvette, became a sub-mariner, served on six submarines before getting his own command as a Lieutenant- Commander, HM Submarine Sythian, and is believed to be the only New Zealander given command of a Royal Navy submarine during World War II. At war’s end he returned to New Zealand and was instrumental in setting up and helmed the Spirit of Adventure. He died in 2014 aged 103 and was farewelled from the chapel of St Christopher at the Devonport Naval Base.