“SM U-118 was German submarine. In the early hours of 15 April 1919, while being towed through the English Channel, the ship ran aground at Hastings, Sussex. Thousands of visitors flocked to see the beached vessel. The Admiralty allowed the Town Clerk to charge a fee for people to climb on the deck.
“Two members of the coastguard, William Heard and W. Moore, were tasked with showing important visitors around inside the submarine. The visits were curtailed when both men became severely ill. Moore died in December 1919 and Heard in February 1920. At Moore’s inquest it was heard that a gas, possibly chlorine released from the submarine’s damaged batteries, had caused abscesses on his lungs and brain.
“Tourists continued to take pictures of themselves standing alongside or even on the deck of the U-boat. Eventually U-118 was broken up and sold for scrap. It is believed that some of the keel from the submarine may still lie underneath the sand of the beach.”