Denis Vaughan Sprague

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Commander Denis Vaughan Sprague, (5 November, 1902 – 4 July, 1940) served in the Royal Navy.

As with many men born c. 1899 or later, his Service Records at The National Archives do not reflect activity between 1931 and 1939 or so.

Life & Career

Sprague entered the navy with a special-entry cadetship in H.M.S. Thunderer in January, 1921.[1]

Sprague was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 December, 1923.[2]

Sprague was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 December, 1933.[3]

Sprague was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1939. He was appointed in command of the submarine Thames on 27 December, 1939.[4]

He was killed while attempting to take control of the French submarine monitor Surcouf in Plymouth harbour, having been mortally wounded by the submarine's doctor.

See Also


Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Richard Sheridan-Patterson
Captain of H.M.S. H 28
30 Aug, 1932[5] – mid Sep, 1933
Succeeded by
William K. R. Cross
Preceded by
John R. S. Brown
Captain of H.M.S. L 71
20 Aug, 1935[6]
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Rorqual
1 Sep, 1936[7]
Succeeded by
Ronald H. Dewhurst
Preceded by
Reginald G. B. Hayter
Captain of H.M.S. L 19
? – c. Feb, 1937
Succeeded by
Preceded by
James G. Gould
Captain of H.M.S. Thames
27 Dec, 1939 – 4 Jul, 1940
Succeeded by
William D. Dunkerley


  1. "New Submarine." The Times (London, England), 10 Feb. 1937, p. 20.
  2. page on the man.
  3. page on the man.
  4. page on the man.
  5. The Navy List. (January, 1933). p. 244.
  6. The Navy List. (October, 1935). p. 251.
  7. The Navy List. (July, 1937). p. 269.