All Trawlers operated by RN, regardless of origin, were typically given the prefix HMT which stood for “His Majesty’s Trawler”. During 1907 Admiral Lord Charles Beresford recommended that steam trawlers be used in the role of minesweepers in the event of war. This would free up warships for other, more appropriate, duties. With the outbreak of WW2 in 1914, many of Hull’s trawlers were requisitioned for minesweeping and anti-submarine duties.
Around 800 trawlers from the Hull and Grimsby fishing fleets and a new rank, Skipper Royal Navy Reserve, introduced for trawler skippers who, quite naturally, had no regard for regular Navy discipline. Only around one quarter of the Hull fleet remained on fishing duties and the North Sea fisheries placed out of bounds due to the dangers of enemy action. By the end of the war, over 200 British trawlers had been lost along with 50% of their crews.
The Examination Service was run by requisitioned fishing drifters which took turns to guard the harbour approach, stopping incoming vessels to find their names and their business. The drifters worked in conjunction with the Port War Signal Station, on the roof of the Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, and the trawlers which opened, shut and guarded the harbour’s defensive boom.
They exchanged information with Landguard, and were to inform it and the boom if the approaching vessel turned out to be hostile. Two six-inch guns in Landguard Right Battery, as well as smaller weapons on the Examination and Boom Trawlers, were kept trained on the harbour entrance to deal with any ship that refused to stop. Two warning shots across the bow were to come first, and on a few occasions these had to be fired. No real enemy ship ever approached, though.
HM Trawler Agate was built in 1934 at Smith’s Dock in Middleborough and purchased by the Royal Navy in 1935. She was modified from a trawler to be used to carry out anti-submarine work. She had been ordered by the Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice Company of Fleetwood, Lancashire. The trawler was originally called Mavis Rose. The convoy was being escorted by two Royal Navy destroyers of the Rosyth escort-force. HMS Vimiera was an old ‘V’ class destroyer built in 1917, whilst HMS Wolsey was a Thorneycroft ‘W’ Class built a year later in 1918. Also helping with the escort duties were HM Trawler Agate and HM Trawler Arkwright. The night was drawing in as the convoy made its way down the coast and the weather was poor. There was a North-north west gale in full blow with rain. It was cold and visibility was poor. By the early hours and daylight of the 6 August the convoy was enveloped in a thick sea mist making visibility very poor. There are two accounts of what happened to HM Agate, but the most likely cause of event are as follows
The convoy had been unable to see the Haisborough light vessel due to the bad visibility, and in any case, due to war time restrictions was only illuminated for ten minutes when a convoy was due in the area. It is thought that due to the combination of the bad weather conditions, the strong westerly drift, and the fact that the exact position of the convoy was unavailable, HM Agate just lead seven of the ships on to the sands were they ran aground. Lifeboats from Cromer and Great Yarmouth and Gorleston rescued 137 men from the wrecked ships, 37 men perished including all 16 men aboard Agate.
Agile was sunk on 27th Apr 1917 by a mine of UC-11, mines laid 25/04/1917), 3 miles East of the Sunk Head Light-vessel, Harwich. 3 were killed.
HMT Amethyst was built as the commercial trawler Phyllis Rosalie by Smith’s Dock Company, South Bank-on-Tees and was launched on 15 January 1934. Her first owners were the Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, based at Fleetwood.
She was sold in 1935 to the Admiralty, who had her converted into an anti-submarine warfare trawler with the addition of ASDIC and a 4 in gun.
She continued to serve during the Second World War, but on 24 November 1940, whilst under the command of T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR, she struck a mine in the Thames Estuary and sank. There were no casualties, and the survivors were landed at Southend, where they were briefly arrested under the suspicion of being survivors from a sunken German craft.
HMT Arab was launched on the 19th June 1936 and was built by Smith’s Dock Co. of South Bank-on-Tees, Middleborough . At the outbreak of World War II, she became a naval trawler serving in the Royal Naval Patrol Service. In late April 1940, the Admiralty sent the 15th Anti-Submarine Striking Force, under Commander Sir Geoffrey Congreve, to Namsos, Norway, about 100 miles north of Trondheim. The task force was to evacuate troops that had landed there on 14 April as part of the unsuccessful Namsos Campaign. During the five days, 28 April to 2 May, that Arab was in the fjord, she endured 24 dive bomber attacks, and seven higher altitude (8000 or 10,000 feet) bombing attacks. The Luftwaffe sank three other naval trawlers from A/S SF 15 at Namsfjord: Aston Villa, Gaul and St. Goran.
On 3 May, as Arab was leaving Namsos, taking St. Goran’s crew with her, Arab managed to shoot down a Heinkel He 111 that had ordered her to ‘steer east (i.e., back to Namsos and captivity) or be sunk’. Stannard then brought Arab safely home in spite of her damaged engines. It was for his actions and leadership during the five days at Namsos that Stannard received the VC.
On 29 January 1941, Arab was escorting Convoy SC-19. About 150 miles south west of Rockall, U-93 was able to torpedo the W.B. Walker. Arab came to the aid of the torpedoed vessel, and together with HMS Anthony, took her into tow. The Walker eventually broke in half and sank, but Arab landed her master and 42 crew members at Gourock. In 1945, the Admiralty returned Arab to her owners, Prince Fishing Co. Ltd. In 1947 Loch Fishing Co., Ltd., of Hull, bought her and renamed her Loch Seaforth. Loch Fishing operated her until she arrived at Ghent, Belgium on 6 April 1963 to be scrapped by Van Heyghen Frères.
HMT Arctic Pioneer was launched on the 14th January 1937 by Cochrane & Sons and was sunk by a bomb, from a German JU-87 Stuka dive bomber in the Cowes Roads outside of Portsmouth Harbour on the 27th May 1942. 17 were killed and 16 survivors were picked up.
HMT Ascona was launched in 1929 by John Chambers Ltd, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft for Nelson George Utting . 13.11.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeping drifter based at Harwich. May 1970: Sold to Hughes Bolckow Ltd, Blyth for breaking up.
HMS Basset was a armed trawler of the “Dog Class” She was designed and built by Henry Robb Shipbuilders with an obvious eye to the coming hostilities that developed into World War II. Her keel was laid down on the 6th March 1935 and she was launched on 28th September 1935. Completed before the war, her service was uneventful until April 1942 when she was attacked by four Messerschmitt 110’s. “Basset” returned such spirited fire that one of the aircraft exploded in mid-air. The second was so badly damaged that the machine turned half a loop before the pilot could recover control. Pieces fell off and the aeroplane began to lose height. The polio tried to make the English coast, but crashed into the sea. There were no casualties among the crew and the ship sustained no damage. Her Commander reported that she stood up very well to the bombing attacks.
HMT Berberis was built by Cochrane, Selby in 1929 and owned by Pickering & Haldane, Hull before being purchased by the Admiralty in February 1939 and converted to a minesweeper.
She operated in UK waters throughout the war and was sold in 1946 and renamed Bergen. She was again sold in 1947 to Bergen, Visscherij Maatschappij “Petten”, Ijmuiden, Holland as IJM-16 and was finally scrapped in 1957.
HMT Cadella was launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby as Pearl.
8.1914: requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper.
02.1915 renamed Pearl II.
6.7.1922: registered at Grimsby as Cadella
3.10.1939: requisitioned for war service as a boom defence vessel (Z.122)
1944: based at Harwich (Groom & Sons Ltd,
1946: sold to Hunter Fishing Co Ltd, Edinburgh.
05.1953: sold to Le Belco di Giorgio Bellia & Co, Milan.
1956: sold to Contieri Navali del Golfo, Genoa and broken up at La Spezia.
HMT Cape Finisterre was launched by Cochrane & Sons on the 2nd August 1939. History: Sunk by German aircraft off Harwich on 2 August 1940.
HMT Cape Portland was launched on the 17th September 1936 by Cochrane & Sons, completed in October 1936 and taken over by the Admiralty on 29th September 1939. Scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1965.
HMT Caswell was launched on the 27th November 1916 by Smith’s Dock Co, completed in January 1917 and taken over by the Admiralty in February 1940, she returned to her owners in July 1946.
HMT Charles Vaillant was a built by Bonn & Mess (NL) in 1916 and taken over by the Admiralty in July 1940. She returned to her owners in 1946.
HMT Commander Evans was built by Cochrane & Sons in 1924 and scrapped on the 12th May 1956.
HMT Cordella was launched on the 28th July 1930 by Cochrane & Sons, and taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939, eventually scrapped at Ghent, Belgium in November 1954.
HMT Corena was launched on the 15th September 1924 by Cook, Welton and taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939. Corena was wrecked 6 miles north of Frederikshab, Greenland on 24 August 1948.
HMT Coventry City was launched on the 25th May 1937 by Smith’s Dock Co and was taken over by the Admiralty on 29 September 1939. She served off the US East coast as of March 1942, along with her crew to help with the recently established convoy system that was being adapted by the Americans. She was returned to RN control in October 1942. From 15 until 27 August 1943 Coventry City was docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa. Coventry City remained in South African coastal waters until the end of hostilities. In 1945 Coventry City returned to UK where she was returned to her owner in August and reconverted for commercial use. In May 1950, Coventry City was converted to an oil burner and was scrapped at Inverkeithing in June 1964.
HMT Darcy Cooper was built by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby and launched on the 24th April 1928. October 1939: Requisitioned for war service on Examining Service. 9th April 1941 at Harwich, attacked and sunk by German aircraft. Four crew Killed. Subsequently salvaged but declared a Total loss.
HMT Donna Nook was a Ms Trawler was launched on the 14th August 1915, by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby. 4th February 1916 registered at Fleetwood (FD237). August 1941 fitted out as a minesweeper .
25th September 1943: Under attack by E-boats off Shipwash, 12 miles east of Harwich, Foundered following collision with H.M.T.Stella Rigel when manoeuvring to pick up survivors from H.M.T. Franc Tireur, torpedoed by E-boat (S.96) 25 September 1943.
HMT Drangey was a launched on the 21st November 1934 by Cochrane and sons, she was taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939 before being sold in 1946 to be renamed Mildenhall in 1947 which was wrecked on 1 November 1948 off the Rybachi peninsula, Russia.
HMT Earl Essex was built in 1914 by Cook Welton and Gemmell, she Sank in the North Sea on the 24th April 1916, ten crew were lost when a mine that had been trawled up exploded.
HMT Earl Kitchener was launched on the 2nd of February 1915 by Cook Welton & Gemmell and requisitioned by the Admiralty in October 1915. Arrived at Thomas Young & Sons, Sunderland for scrapping 6th February 1953.
HMT Edwardian was launched on the 6th December 1930 by Cook Welton and Gemmell and completed on 12th January 1931. Taken over by the Admiralty in September 1939. Sold in January 1946. Renamed Ophelia in 1948. Scrapped at Gateshead on 8 January 1955.
HMT Edward Walmsley was built by J.P. Rennoldson & Sons Ltd. South Shields in 1919 and completed on 28 July 1919. Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939 and returned to her owner in July 1946.
HMT Else Rykens was built by Schichau Seebeck-W Werft, Bremerhaven in 1935. taken over by the Admiralty on 4 December 1939 and returned in November 1945.
HMT Etruscan was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill Beverley and launched on the 18th October 1913. Completed on 1 January 1914. taken over by the Admiralty in June 1940. Became a Fuel Carrier in April 1944. Went missing in late November 1945.
HMT Exyahne was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill and launched on the 12th March 1914. taken over by the Admiralty in April 1940 and returned to her owner in December 1945. Scrapped at Krimpen, Netherlands on 9 April 1961.
7.3.1927: Launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby for Star Drift Fishing Co Ltd, Lowestoft.
3.9.1939: Requisitioned for war service.
9.3.1946: Returned to owner.
14.12.1957: Stranded about 1/4 mile S of Orford Ness Lighthouse. Salvage arranged with Yarmouth tug but delayed due to picking up a barge which was adrift and delivering Harwich. Pushed further up the beach and damaged by heavy seas. Declared a Total loss.
HMT Firefly was a Minesweeping trawler that saw service during the Second World War. She was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill, of Beverley and launched on 23 August 1930. She was operated by the St Andrew’s Steam Fishing Company Ltd, out of Hull. The Admiralty requisitioned on the outbreak of war and commissioned her in September 1939. In early 1940 she endeavoured to defuse a floating horned mine in the Firth of Forth. The mine unfortunately prematurely detonated and killed and wounded almost 90 per cent of the ship’s company.
The Admiralty returned to her original owners in January 1945. She was renamed St Just in 1946 and had been scrapped at Passage West, Ireland by 1 March 1961.
HMT Fleming was launched on the 29th December 1928 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell. In 1938, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and used as a minesweeper. on the 24th July 1940, while Fleming was in company with HMT Berberis, in the Thames Estuary, four German aircraft appeared from the clouds, 2 attacking each vessel, The Fleming received a direct hit amidships and sank rapidly, The Berberis continued with fire and saw one aircraft explode and another hit, the trawler HMT Corena picked up the survivors of Fleming.
21 of the crew of HMT Fleming lost their live in the attack.
HMT Franc Tireur was launched on the 20th May 1916 by Cochrane and Sons. Frank Tireur was torpedoed by E boat S96 South of number 52 buoy, Harwich on the 25th September 1943.
HMT Greenfly was registered as Quantock and launched on the 8th June 1936 by Cochrane & Sons, Selby, sold to Admiralty 15th November 1939, 1945 and renamed HMT Greenfly and resold in 1945.
HMT Hilda Cooper was built by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby and launched on the 24th April 1928 for Bloomfields Ltd, Gt. Yarmouth, 31.8.1957: Renamed Specious 1967: Sold to T. G. Darling & Co Ltd, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft for breaking up in January 1968.
HMT Invercauld was a British Fishing Trawler built in 1916 by Cochrane & Sons, Selby. Invercauld ran aground on the 8th October 1950 whilst making way to Reykjavik, all the crew were saved by a Icelandic patrol boat who responded to the Mayday.
HMT Island Prince was built in 1911 by J.T. Eltringham, North Shields, the vessel was wrecked during thick fog on the 6th September 1927.
HMT Jacinta was built by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby and launched on the 17th July 1915. Returned to owner at Fleetwood in 1920.
27th May 1940: Requisitioned for war service and fitted out for auxiliary patrol duties .September 1953 sold to Bisco and allocated to Thos W. Ward Ltd, Sheffield for breaking up.
HMT James Lay was launched by Fletcher, Son & Fearnall Ltd, Limehouse.
9.1939: requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper
19.5.1940: sailed Harwich escorted by destroyer Jaguar and patrol sloop Puffin. 11.3.1946: sold to Dinas Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Fleetwood
5.1954: sold to Haven Trawlers Ltd, Milford Haven
1960: sold to Bisco and allocated to Thos W. Ward Ltd, Sheffield for breaking up.
HMT Jasper was launched on the 29th December 1931 by Cook Welton & Gemmell and taken over by the Admiralty in November 1935. Jasper was torpedoed and sunk by the German motor torpedo boat S-81 in the English Channel south of Bolt Head on the 1st of December 1942.11 died in the sinking and there was 8 survivors which included the Commanding officer.
HMT Joseph Button was launched on the 17th December 1917. Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939. Joseph Button was mined and sunk of Aldeburgh, Suffolk on the 22nd October 1940.
HMT Jura was built in 1941 at Ardrossan Dockyard. on the 7th January 1943 she was torpedoed by German submarine U-371 and sunk in the Mediterranean.
HMT Kingston Ceylonite was built by Cook Welton and Gemmell in 1935 for the Kingston Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Hull, She was taken over by the Admiralty in September 1939.Lent to the United Stated Navy in February 1942. On 15 June 1942, while escorting convoy KN-109, Kingston Ceylonite ran into a minefield laid off Virginia Beach on 11 June by U-701. 18 men out of a crew of 32 went down with the ship.
HMT Kingston Olivine was launched on the 15th March 1930 by Cook, Welton and completed on 10 April 1930. Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939.Used as MS trawler from July 1942 onwards. Renamed Langland Bay in 1947. Renamed Masona in 1954. Scrapped at Troon on 2 November 1956.
HMT Lady Madeline was launched on the 9th January 1936 by Cook Welton & Gemmell and taken over by the Admiralty on 24 January 1940. returned to her owner in February 1946. renamed Kingston Diamond in 1946. scrapped at Glasson Dock, on the 8th April 1965.
HMT Lady Philomena was launched on the 9th January 1936 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, requisitioned in 1939. returned to her owner in October 1945. renamed St. Attalus in 1946. renamed Onslow in 1948. scrapped at Preston on 11 May 1960. Photo © Peter Brady.
HMT le Tiger was launched on the 27th February 1937 by Cochrane and Sons, completed in May 1937. taken over by the Admiralty in October 1939 and lent to the United States Navy in March 1942 along with her crew to operate of the US East coast under USN control. Le Tiger sank U215 on the 3rd July 1942 while taking survivors from a torpedoed vessel to a nearby harbour. Sold in October 1945 to the Hull Ice Co.
renamed Regal in July 1947. renamed Othello in September 1948 and scrapped at Ghent, Belgium 1963.
HMT Liberia was launched on the 9th June 1906 by Cochrane & Sons and taken over by the Admiralty on 16 August 1940. returned to her owners in July 1946.
HMT Loch Inver, registered number A.89, was originally constructed for the Loch Fishing Co. Ltd. of Hull by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd. of Beverley and was launched on 15 January 1930. 140 feet long and with a beam of 24 feet she displaced 356 gross tons. In August 1938 there were 283 Hull registered vessels; including Loch Inver which was then owned by the Caledonian Fishing Co. Ltd. (established in 1934) and she now carried the registered number H.195. She was requisitioned for war service by the Royal Navy in October 1939.
Many official records indicate that Loch Inver was mined, with a date of 24 September 1940. This date is when she was officially posted as missing but a Board of Enquiry into the loss, held at the Great Eastern Hotel, Parkeston Quay, Harwich on Wednesday 25 September 1940 actually concluded that she was most probably torpedoed and sunk in the early hours of Sunday 22 September. research by Derek Hart suggests that she was probably sunk by a German E-boat, S13, which was operating in the area that night. S13 claimed to have sunk an unidentified British steamer shortly before she and S54 positively identified and attacked HMT Edwina. Edwina had reported seeing tracer bullets and hearing a loud explosion to seaward, in the direction of Loch Inver’s patrol area, about 20 minutes before she herself came under machine gun and tracer fire. It is fairly certain that Loch Inver was the “unidentified British steamer” sunk by S13.
I have carried out quite a bit of research into the Loch Inver as my Grandfather was one of 15 men (Skipper Thomas Hardcastle plus 14) who lost their lives when she was sunk with all hands on 22 September 1940.
* if anyone is interested in learning more about the ship or my Grandfather please use the contact link at the bottom of the page.
Photo and text by kind permission of Derek Hart.
HMT Lord Irwin was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd and launched on the 1st October 1928. taken over by the admiralty in 1939. returned to her owner in 1946. scrapped at Ghent, Belgium on 17 May 1954.
HMT Lord Lloyd was launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby for Pickering & Haldane’s Steam Trawling Co Ltd, 7.9.1939: sold to the Admiralty fitted out as an anti-submarine trawler FY157.
13.9.1939: Harwich with A/S group 19. .
26.5.1964: breaking completed.
HMT Lord Melchett was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd and launched on the 30th October 1928, taken over by the admiralty in August 1939. became a danlayer in April 1944. renamed Nelis in 1948. scrapped at Preston in 1957.
HMT Lord Plender was a launched on the 24th August 1933 by Cochrane & Sons and taken over by the admiralty in August 1939. sold in 1946 and scrapped at Passage West, Ireland in 1963.
HMT Marconi was launched on the 8th December 1915 by Cochrane & Sons and completed in June 1916. taken over by the admiralty in 1940. Marconi was sunk by German aircraft east of Harwich on the 20th September 1941.
HMT Mare was launched by John Duthie Torry Shipbuilders, Aberdeen for Joseph Johnston & Sons.
28.11.1939: Requisitioned for war service as balloon barrage FY1508)
1940: Fitted out as a minesweeper, Based Lowestoft, Harwich, Felixstowe.
12.10.1945: Returned to owner.
1946: Sold for breaking up.
5.4.1930: Registered at Hull.
7.1940: Harwich with A/S Group 19, patrol & escort duties.
7.1942: Fitted out to a minesweeper.
7.1947: sold to Swansea Trawlers Ltd, Swansea.
6.1954: sold to Mason Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood
1956: sold to West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co Ltd, Troon for breaking up.
11.12.1956: breaking commenced.
HMT Neil Mackay was built by Schichau, Germany in 1935 and taken over by the admiralty on 23rd November 1939.
HMT Northern Pride was a built in 1936 by Deschimag, Germany. taken over by the admiralty in August 1939. returned to her owner in November 1945. and scrapped at Gateshead in 1964.
HMT Ocean Lassie was built by A.Hall & Co Ltd, Aberdeen in 1919, 26th November 1939 requisitioned for war service on Examining Service. 3rd June 1940 Mined off Harwich. Four crew missing.
HMT Patti was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders and launched on the 12th February 1929, taken over by the admiralty in 1941. returned to her owner in January 1946. scrapped at Zelzate, Belgium 14 July 1956.
HMT Paul Rykens was built in 1935 and taken over by the admiralty in November 1939 and returned to her owner in December 1945.
HMT Peter Hendricks was built in 1935 and taken over by the admiralty in November 1939 and returned to her owner in February 1946.
HMT Raymond was built in 1916 and taken over by the admiralty in August 1940 and became a store carrier in April 1944.
HMT Red Gauntlet was built by Smith’s Dock Co and launched on the 11th June 1930, Red Gauntlet was torpedoed and sunk by the German motor torpedo boat S-86 off Felixstowe on 5 August 1943.
HMT Refundo was launched by Cook, Welton & Gemmell on the 27th November 1916. Refundo was sunk east of Landguard Point (Harwich) while under tow after being mined in December 1940.
HMT Richard Crofts was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill and launched on the 13th June 1918. taken over by the admiralty in August 1939. returned to her owner in August 1945. wrecked on 20 February 1953.
HMT Rosemonde was completed by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank, Middlesbrough in 1940. requisitioned by the Royal Navy and converted to an A/S trawler. in January 1942, Rosemonde was escorting two merchants en route to Alexandria, but lost them in stormy weather on 15 January and was expected to arrive in the Azores one week later but did not arrive and was reported missing. on 19 January, U-581 reported a successful torpedo attack at a corvette northeast of the Azores, but was herself lost a few weeks later.
HMT Rudilais was launched on the 23rd March 1920 by Cook Welton & Gemmell, she was taken over by the admiralty in September 1939 and was returned to her owner in December 1945. renamed Wyre Corsair in 1948 and scrapped at Antwerp, Belgium on 21 April 1956.
HMT Sapphire was built by Smith’s Dock Co, South Bank-on Tees and launched on the 20th December 1934. Sold on 9 April 1946 and scrapped at Stavanger, Norway in June 1970.
HMT Sisapon was a British Fishing Steam Trawler launched on the 30th October 1928 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd. Beverley. The naval trawler struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Harwich with the loss of 11 crew on 12 June 1940.
HMT Sphene was launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby for W. B. Wiley & Sons Ltd, Hull as Mendip on the 22nd September 1934 and renamed Sphene in 1940. 1946: Sold to Hull Ice Co Ltd, Hull and refitted at North Shields and classed for trawling. 1.1.1959: Sold to The Sun Trawling Co Ltd, Fleetwood,24.7.1959: Sold to Jacques Bakker & Zonen, Bruges for breaking up. 27.7.1959: Arrived Bruges from Fleetwood under own power.
HMT Staunch was launched by Cook, Welton & Gemmill on the 30th October 1905 Taken over by the Admiralty in November 1939. became a Fuel Carrier in 1944. Scrapped at Charlestown on 20 May 1955.
HMT Stella Capella was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill, Beverley, and launched on the 24th June 1937, built as fishing trawler Admiral Hawke In July 1939 renamed Stella Capella. taken over by the admiralty in August 1939. torpedoed and sunk by U-701 south off Iceland 11 March 1942.
HMT Stella Leonis was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders, Selby and launched on the 8th March 1928. taken over by the admiralty in September 1939. became a danlayer in April 1944. sold and renamed Catharina Duyvis in 1947. last reported on 31 January 1953 about 20 nautical miles north-west of Ijmuiden, Netherlands.
HMT Stella Rigel was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmill and launched on the 19th December 1925. taken over by the Admiralty in September 1939. became a danlayer in April 1944. renamed Alamein in 1945. renamed Lady Olwen in 1949. renamed Remindo in 1952.wrecked off Nypubakka, Faroe Islands on 28 April 1955.
HMT Sturdee was launched by Hall, Russell & Co Ltd, Aberdeen for the admiralty as Michal Brion.
12.1919: sold to Vanessa Fishing Co Ltd, Lowestoft.
1923: sold to Arthur S. Bowlby, Harlow.
25.11.1939: requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper; Harwich.
19/10/1955: Ran aground off Aberdeen Beach.
HMT Sword Dance was a dance class ASW Trawler built by Henry Robb, Leith and launched on the 3rd September 1940. Lost in a collision in the Morey Firth on 5 July 1942. During the early hours of the morning, whilst acting as escort to the east coast convoy HMS Sword Dance was rammed in dense fog by one of merchants of the convoy, the Thyra-II the starboard coalbunker was holed in, the engine room rapidly flooded and HMT Sword Dance sank in less than an hour.
HMT Tango was built by Smith’s Dock Co and launched on the 29th November 1940, sold in July 1946 to Belgian owners. converted in 1948 to fishing trawler at Chantier Naval St. Pierre, Hemiksem, Belgium. sold to Compagnie Maritime du Progés, Oostende, Belgium in 1949 being renamed Ramspkapelle.
HMT Tehana was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd and launched on the 27th December 1928. taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939. became a wreck dispersal vessel in 1944, renamed Saturn in 1947. scrapped at Gdansk, Poland on 20 January 1966.
HMT Thomas Leeds was built by John Duthie Tory Shipbuilding, Aberdeen and launched in June 1919 taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939. returned to her owner in November 1945.
HMT Tornado was built by F.& Ch de la Mediterranee (La Seyne, France) in 1917. taken over by the Admiralty on 23 April 1940. renamed Tornado in July 1940. renamed Tornado II in 1943. sold in April 1946.
HMT Tourmaline was built by Smith’s Dock Co, South Bank-on-Tees, and launched on the 20th February 1935 and taken over by the Admiralty in November 1935. Tourmaline was sunk by German aircraft off North Foreland, Kent, on 5 February 1941.
HMT Tranio was built by Hepple Ltd, South Shields and launched on the 12th February 1918 and lost on the 26th June 1941.
HMT Turquoise (formerly the Warwickshire) was a British armed trawler was launched on the 7th March 1935 by Smith’s Dock Co, South-Bank on Tees and used by the British navy during the Second World War for anti-submarine training. Turquoise had a top speed of 12 knots and was armed with one 4-inch gun and depth charges. renamed St. Oswald in 1946. renamed Woolton in 1950. renamed Wyre Woolton in 1954. scrapped at Preston in 1957.
HMT Viviana was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. Selby and launched on the 23rd April 1936 and taken over by the Admiralty in October 1939. Scrapped at Ghent, Belgium in 1963.
HMT Vulcan was built by Smith’s Dock Co South Bank and launched in June 1933, as Trawler “ Aston Villa “ for Consolidated Fisheries Ltd Grimsby , originally named Mascot and Later Aston Villa before being purchased by the Royal Navy in 1936 and converted into a Depot ship then serving as a repair ship for a minesweeping flotilla, being paid off in 1947. HMS Vulcan was involved in lifesaving after the Air Raid on Bari and had some mustard gas casualties as a result. sold back to Peacetime Service to Boston Deep Sea Fisheries Fleetwood, renamed “ Fotherby “, Resold 1951 to Ezrah Seep Sea Fishing Ltd Telaviv, renamed “ Miriam” Finally Sold to “ Dolmor PPD.Sp.z.o.o Gdynia, renamed “ Pollux “ Hulked Poland 1965.
HMT War Wing was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd, Beverley and launched on the 29th April 1915 for The Pelham Steam Co, Grimsby. 29.11.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper, 29.9.1948: sold to Wharfedale Trawlers Ltd Grimsby. December 1948: sold to Cramond Fishing Co Ltd, Leith.
July 1953: sold to Sir Thomas Robinson & Son Ltd, Grimsby. 11.8.1953: registered at Grimsby as Sardinian. 11.1964: sold for scrapping in Brussels.
Photo shows trawler as S.T. Cramond Island (c) Fleetwood’s Maritime Heritage.
HMT William Stephen was launched on the 19th September 1917 taken over by the Admiralty in July 1940. William Stephen was torpedoed and sunk by German motor torpedo boat off Cromer on the 25th October 1943.
HMT William Wesney was launched by Cook, Welton & Gemmell on the 23rd December 1929 and completed on the 3rd February 1930, and taken over by the Admiralty in September 1939. Fate: 7th November 1940. hits a mine and sinks in the North Sea, 13 miles east of Harwich, all 39 hands lost.
HMT Wyoming was launched in 1915 by Cochrane & Sons shipbuilders, Selby. completed in April 1915. taken over by the Admiralty in 1940. mined and sunk 20 nautical miles east-north-east of Harwich on 20 May 1944. 5 crew were lost.
Built in 1921. Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1940. Became a balloon barrage vessel in 1944.
We are adding more information to this site on a regular basis, if you wish to submit any photos or provide any information on naval Trawlers that were based or visited Harwich, then please use the contact page at the bottom of the screen.
We attempted to get the consent of copyright holders to use this material for nearly all of the photographs on the website.
In the few cases where names are available, a thorough search was made using telephone directories, photographic copyright directories, People Search and Google Area Search. None of the copyright owners could be traced in this way and we believe we have exhausted all reasonable avenues.
The consensus opinion of these authorities was that if any two of the following situations applied we would be deemed to have taken sufficient action to avoid infringing copyright laws:
The website owner undertakes to remove any photograph from the website where offence is caused. All the above conditions have therefore been met.
Torpedo Boats – World War 2 →