IN a Glasgow park, well-loved by families for generations, a memorial stands to local shipworkers who lost their lives in a submarine tragedy.

The granite fountain, erected by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, is part of Elder Park’s rich history and it is one of the many things reader Walter Smith remembers of visits to the place as a child.

Glasgow Times:

“Elder Park was a stone’s throw from my house,” explains Walter.

“We all went to Sunday School at the McGregor Memorial Church at the top of our street where we were kitted out in our Sunday best.

Glasgow Times: Walter's family c 1953

“This picture was taken by my mum, of my dad and two brothers in the park around 1953. The park had beautiful gardens in those days but we dare not get our clothes spoiled, or else.

“We entered the park from the gate at Elderpark street where the library stands, and a small swing park. I remember there was a man’s hut, with an outside draughts board set into the ground. In the middle of the park, there was a pond which had a sailing club – I think it is still in existence.

Glasgow Times: Model yachts in Elder Park

“At the Linthouse end of the park was a kiddies’ paddling pool and sandpit with swings, and a little bit further along from that there were bowling greens and tennis courts - all long gone.”

He added: “And of course, the statue of Lady Elder stood in magnificent gardens. On a Sunday, the park was very busy with families.

“And at the main entrance on Govan Road there is a granite memorial that commemorates the lives of the men who died in the K13 submarine disaster of 1917.”

Glasgow Times: Feeding time at Elder Park. Pic: Glasgow Museums

Thirty two men died in the disaster in the Gareloch on January 29, 2017. The steam-propelled vessel sank during sea trials. On board at the time were 53 Royal Navy submariners, 14 employees of Govan shipbuilder Fairfields, five Admiralty officials, a pilot, and the captain and engineer from sister submarine K14.

The crew of K13 were trapped beneath the icy waters of the Gareloch for 57 hours before help arrived.

Captain of the vessel, Lieutenant Commander Godfrey Herbert, and K14’s captain, Commander Francis Goodhart, made a desperate attempt to escape the stricken submarine in order to get help.

The pair used the space betweenhe inner and outer hatches as an airlock, but only Herbert made it to the surface alive, Goodhart sadly dying after striking his head during the escape.

An air line was eventually attached to the vessel allowing the submarine to bring her bow to the surface where a hole was cut allowing the survivors to be rescued.

Unfortunately, by that time 32 of the men on board had had already perished, though 48 were saved.

The submarine was later raised from the Gareloch and returned to service as HMS K22, before eventually being sold for scrap.

The K13 memorial is one of two in the park – a second marks the death of 124 workers who lost their lives in the SS Daphne sinking in 1883. The ship capsized on launch in the Clyde.

Elder Park was established in 1885 by Isabella Ure Elder who was married to shipbuilder John Elder.

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She wanted to give the people of Govan ‘healthful recreation by music and amusement’.

Isabella was an important philanthropist in the city, a woman who used her wealth and status for the benefit of the wider community, particularly in the field of women’s education.

She established a School of Domestic Economy for local girls and young women and paid for and supported the Elder Park Library, insisting on Sunday opening which made it accessible to working people.

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