STAR OF PEACE M133
John Stevenson Collection
Official No: 139828 Port Number and Year: 4th in Hartlepool, 1916 (HL83)
14th in Aberdeen, 1927 (A304)
3rd in Milford, 1941
Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail
Crew: 9 - 12 - 11 men
Registered in Milford: 19 Sep 1941
Built: by Hall, Russell & Co., Aberdeen, in 1916. (Yard no. 585)
Tonnage: 209.93 gross 90.96 net
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 115.75 / 22.3 / 13.62
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 78 nhp. 10kts. Engine and boiler by builders
As CRAIGMORE HL83
Jun 1916: Robert H Dawson, Hartlepool
1923: Sam Robford & Co., London
Manager: Keith R. Hoare, Aberdeen,
Dec 1927: Robert W. Sutherland, Aberdeen
Renamed STAR OF PEACE A304
1929: Walker Steam Trawl Fishing Co., Commercial Rd., Aberdeen
Manager: T. Walker
As STAR OF PEACE M133
19 Sep 1941: H. L. Trawlers Co., Docks, Milford
Manager: Henry John Horwood, Harbour Walls, Milford
23 Jul 1945: United Trawlers, Docks, Milford
Managers / Owners: M. Laboa & Henry J. Horwood
Landed at Milford: 10 Oct 1941 - 11 Oct 1948
Skippers: Chris Masterson (jnr) (1946)
Notes: Jun 1916: Requisitioned as CRAIGMORE for war service and converted for minesweeping duties (Ad.No.3294). Returned to owners in 1919.
12 Jun 1945: Bought for £15,000.
15 Oct 1948: Foundered off the Smalls. [See story below.] £10,890 received from insurers.
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 30 Nov 1948
Accidents and Incidents
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 15th October 1948:
Although confirmation has not yet been obtained, the Milford trawler Star of Peace is feared to have foundered during the night. The crew are believed to be safe.
The boat, one of the Crabber class, belongs to United Trawling Company, and left on Thursday morning for a fishing voyage in charge of Skipper Jock Mair, who stays at Albion Street, with Mr. Gorringe, Steynton Road, as Mate.
There is no definite news at the moment, the Guardian was told at the United Company's office this morning.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 22nd October 1948:
“Skipper Mair did every thing he could to save the ship and did not leave her till less than fifteen minutes before she sank.” This was the tribute paid by Mr W.J.Gorringe, mate of the Milford steam trawler ‘Star of Peace’ (United Trawler Co.) which as reported last week, sprang a leak and sank forty miles off St. Anne 's Head early on Friday morning, October 15th.
The crew of eleven were picked up and brought back to Milford by another Milford vessel, the ‘Iser’, which had towed the sinking ship for three hours. When interviewed, both Skinner George (Jock) Mair, and Mate Gorringe were full of praise for the smart work of the Skipper of the ‘Iser’ , Mr Teddy Bracher, and his crew. “They stood by us for five hours and despite the risks even offered to come alongside,” said Skipper Mair. “No-one could have done more to help us”.
Both men had told how the ‘Star of Peace’ started to take in water just after 4 a.m. on Friday morning. “We were preparing to shoot our nets for the first haul when the engineer came up and reported the engine-room was flooding,” said Mr Gorringe at his home “Shamrock”, Steynton Road. He added that the trawler had left Milford on the Thursday afternoon tide and was about forty miles off the coast near the Smalls. Skipper Mair, who had been having a nap below, was immediately awakened and went to inspect the flooding.
Skipper Mair himself took up the story. “I found that quite a lot of water had come in,” he said, “so went back up to the bridge and ordered the ship to turn about and make full speed back to port. Ten minutes after I went down again to inspect and found the water, despite our efforts with the pumps, had risen and flooded parts of the engine. We even tried putting a sail over the side to stop the water coming in but that burst. I realised then that we could not make port and decided to make for the nearest trawler, the ‘Iser’, which was lying about three miles away. I had called up all the ships in the vicinity on the radio but it was too early for any of them to be tuned in. As soon as we got near enough to the ‘Iser’, we hailed her and then got in radio contact. The Skipper and his crew were very quick on the [… ] and it was decided that the ‘Iser’ should take us in tow. We arranged that we should give three blasts on the whistle if the danger became imminent. By this time water had risen to about ten feet high in the engine-room, the steam had gone and the lights were going. The rest of the crew went aboard the ‘Iser’ in the small boat, and she started to tow us - this would be some time before 7 a. m.”
The Mate, Mr Gorringe, told how Skipper Mair stayed aboard the slowly sinking ship until he sculled himself across in the small boat just before half past nine. “Within a quarter of an hour,” he said, “the ship went down and we had to be quick to chop the tow warps One of them snapped with the strain as the ‘Star of Peace’ heeled over.”
“We were all very moved as we saw the ship finally go down,” added Mr Gorringe. “The oldest member of the crew, Mr Joe Spall, who is 62 years of age, had made his home aboard her for a number of years and he had tears in his eyes as she disappeared,” Skipper Mair said. “As soon as I got aboard the ‘Iser’ I shook hands with Skipper Bracher, and we both went below to the radio room to send a message. Before I could get back up again in a few minutes the ‘Star of Peace’ had gone.”
Both Skipper Mair and his Mate expressed their appreciation of the help and kindness shown by the ‘Iser’ and her crew to the survivors, who were landed in Milford Haven at midday on Friday. Skipper Mair, who resides at “Weirside”, Pill Lane, is a native of Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland, and has been sailing as mate and lately as Skipper of the ‘Star of Peace’ for the last three years. During the War, 1939-1945, he served as a Skipper-Lieut. in the Royal Navy and saw much active service in minesweepers in Icelandic waters. He told our reporter that this was his second experience of being shipwrecked, the first on an Aberdeen vessel many years ago. The Mate, Mr Gorringe, has been at sea for thirty years. “This is the first time I've had that experience,” he said, “and I hope it it’ll be the last".
A Director of the firm said they were very sorry to lose the ship. “In the five years she's been here she was one of our most successful boats.”
Skipper: George Mair, Weirside, Pill lane, Milford.
Mate: W. J. Gorringe, Shamrock, Steynton Road, Milford.
Bosun: J.Owen, 3, Lower Thornton, Milford.
Third Hand: J.Spall, Mill St., Wessleton, Saxmundham.
Deck Hands: P.Murphy, 25, Glebelands, Hakin, Milford.
H. Polkington, 83, Marble Hall Rd., Milford.
Cook: J.Clark, 243, Daurey Street, Grimsby.
Chief Engineer: J. James, Kelow, St. Bride’s.
Second Engineer: J. Sable, 132, Prendergast, Haverfordwest.
Firemen: W.O. Hagan, New Hill, Goodwick.
R.T.Mathias, Bastleford, Rosemarket.
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