HMS Fidelity (D57) was formerly the French merchant ship La Rhin. In 1941 Fidelity was used by SOE (Special Operations Executive) to transport agents and equipment to southern France and during these clandestine missions flew the flags of neutral Spain and Portugal.
Madeline Baynard was the ship’s first officer but to protect her identity she served with the WRNS under the name of Madeline Barclay.
In late 1941 HMS Fidelity was refitted to serve as a commando carrier and on 30 December 1942 was sunk by a German U-boat. Although most survived the attack the U-boat captain followed the Loconia order which forbid allied survivors being rescued and 369 died in the water: 273 members of her crew, 52 Marines serving with T Coy 40 Commando and 44 seamen who had been rescued after their ship had been sunk during a previous engagement.