Official No:  143773    Port Number and Year:  532nd in London, 1919 (LO283)

                                                                              3rd in Milford, 1938

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen and trysail

Crew:  10 men

Registered at Milford: 23 May 1938

Built: 1918 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley (Yard no. 383)

Tonnage: 277.73 grt  113.72 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):125.5 / 23.5 / 12.7

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 61 nhp.10.5 kts.  Engine and boiler: Amos & Smith, Albert Docks, Hull



As LO283

1920: Brand & Curzon, Docks, Milford

Owner: Arthur G. Harding, Hyes, Rudgwick, Sussex


As M271

23 May 1938: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford.

Manager: Owen Willie Limbrick


Landed at Milford:  16 Dec 1919 - 28 Aug 1939


Notes: 17 Nov 1917: Built for Admiralty (No. 3588.)  1919: Sold to mercantile.

Aug 1939: Requisitioned and converted to a minesweeper.

8 Dec 1941: Sunk by German aircraft off the E coast of Scotland

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 8 Dec 1941

 Accidents and Incidents

From The Irish Times of 14th November 1925, p.7:




    Fines totalling 350 were imposed by District Justice Sean Ford at Aran District Court on Wednesday on the skippers of three steam trawlers which had been found within the prohibited area.  The trawlers were the s.s. Keyes, the s.s. Phineas Beard, and the s.s. Caldy.

    The skipper of the Keyes - Captain Setterfield - was also prosecuted for having been found within the prohibited area at night without lights, and for this offence he was fined an additional 50.



Note of Protest, March 1926


    On the 19th of February, we left our home port for the fishing grounds off the South West coast of Ireland, and we arrived back at Milford on the 5th of March.

    Whilst we were engaged in fishing, the time of day was 7.30, and the date, the 1st of March, and our position was off the Aran Isles ( Galway), the North light of the Island bearing North North West, with the Southern light bearing East South East, the wind being strong from West South West, with a very heavy swell.  Having observed distress signals in the form of red flares from a vessel about one mile to the Eastward of us, and having proceeded in that direction found the steam  

trawler " Swansea Castle",  Swansea, owners, Consolidated Fisheries.

    She was lying disabled at anchor with engine trouble in a dangerous situation, and on account of this we were requested to stand by her.  After standing by for four and a half hours, "Swansea Castle" completed her repairs to the main engine, and heaving her anchor up proceeded towards Galway.

    We then went back to our task of fishing,


            William Richard Setterfield, Skipper.



From an unknown local newspaper, dated January 1929:


     A Milford man, Mr Samuel Thompson, of 93, Robert Street, said at the inquest of Mr Thomas Isaac Roberts, that he was employee as a fireman aboard the steam trawler 'Phineas Beard'.  It was either the 23rd or 24th of December when he was engaged in his work down in the engine room, Mr Roberts, who was the second engineer, had just finished washing himself when the trawler gave a swinging lurch, resulting in the second falling against a hot copper pipe, which carried hot water. there was no complaint from him at the time.

    Doctor H. G. Williams examined his arm after they had landed and found it swollen. Mr Roberts then developed an illness which developed into pneumonia.  Septic poisoning set in and the poor man died.

    Mr Roberts was only a young man and resided at Herbrandston Hall Cottages.




From an unknown local newspaper, from the week beginning 3rd March 1929:


    Avery Pitman, skipper of the steam trawler "Cetus", was summoned by Captain W. R. Marrs, Dock Master, for refusing to obey the orders of the Dock Master when entering the Docks on March 26th.  Mr. G. T. Kelway (Price and Kelway, solicitors) conducted the case for the prosecution, and evidence was given by Captain Marrs and Captain Hurry.  Mr. Kelway described the case as one of cutting in. Damage was done to the steam trawler "Phineas Beard", and owing to the action of the defendant, the Dock gates had to be closed.

    Defendant, in the box, declared that he had been done out of his place, with the result that he had lost 40 on the trip.  Asked by the Chairman how he could account for this, defendant replies, "By the time I got in, the prices in the Market had gone down."  The "Phineas Beard", he said, hit him.  His story is corroborated by his mate, Samuel Lonsdale, who was at the wheel.

    After a shot retirement, Mr. D. G. Jones (Chairman) announced they had decided to inflict a fine of 1.  Defendant thereupon shook hands with the complainants and the prosecuting solicitor.




From The Irish Times of Monday 25th March 1929:





    Before District Justice Ford at Galway last Saturday Frederick Jack Simmons, of 16 North street, Haverford West, Milford Haven [sic], skipper of the steam trawler Slebech, and Henry Gue, of Shakespeare avenue, Milford Haven, skipper of the Phineas Beard, were charged with fishing in prohibited waters, between Hag's Head, in County Clare, and the North of Aran Isles, in Galway Bay, last Thursday.


    Commander Thompson, of the Free State patrol boat Muirichu, swore that on Thursday at 2.25 p.m. he saw the Phineas Beard go inside the line and remain there for over half an hour.  He boarded the trawler and took the skipper on board.  The vessel was taken into Galway, and the nets and other fishing gear were seized.


    Captain Gue swore that he was trawling outside the limit line on Thursday, and he saw the Muirichu coming when she was six miles away.  His boat still continued towards the line.  He then took his bearings and found that he was half a mile outside the limit.


    Similar evidence to that adduced in the first case was given in the charge against Skipper Simmons, of the Slebech.

    The Justice convicted the defendants, and said that he would fine them the maximum penalty of 5 each, together with 15 costs each, and said that he would deal with the question of the disposal of gear at the next Court.  He said that the penalty prescribed was altogether inadequate.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th May 1938:


    Mr. G. MacDonald, 10, Dew Street, Haverfordwest, skipper of the Milford trawler "Phineas Beard", has been informed by the Commissioners of the Admiralty that he has been awarded the Royal Naval Reserve Officers decoration.  He already has an imposing array of medals: the Distinguished Service Medal (for gallantry), the Victory Medal, and the Royal Naval Reserve Long Service Medal.

    Mr. MacDonald has been awarded his latest decoration upon the completion recently of 30 years service in the Royal Naval Reserves.

    A Royal Naval Reservist, Mr. MacDonald was called up immediately war broke out, and for over four years was engaged on mine-sweeping trawlers.




The Times, Monday, Dec 15, 1941; pg. 4; Issue 49109; col E
     News in Brief


    The Board of Admiralty regrets to announce that H.M. trawlers Phineas Beard (Skipper William McRuvie, R.N.R.) and Milford Earl (Lieutenant J. S. Neite,  R.N.V.R) have been sunk.

    The next-of-kin of casualties have been informed.


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