Official No:  144522   Port and Year: London, 1920 (LO353)

Description: Strath Class steel side trawler; single screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged.

Crew: 10 men (1920).  

Built: 1919,  Rennie Forrest Shipbuilding, Engineering & Dry Dock Co. Ltd., Wivenhoe.  (Yard no. 1319)

Tonnage:  202 grt  78 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 115.4 / 22.1 / 12.1

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 78 rhp; by A. G. Mumford, Colchester.




Aug 1919: The Admiralty, London.

Manager: The Secretary of the Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1.


13 Aug 1920:  Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd., London.


19 Nov 1921: Ivey Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford.

Manager: Robert J. Williams. (Same address.)


25 Oct 1932: T. B. Bilton & Sons Ltd., Bell St., North Shields.

Manager: Robert Bilton, Princeway, Tynemouth.


Landed at Milford: 11 Aug 1919. (Laid up until sold.)

4 Feb, 12 Jun 1920 -  23 Feb, 12 Nov 1921 - 19 Jun 1931.

Skippers: William Francis Reynolds (1926)


William Hallett, age 20, born London; OS, HMS VICTORY at Trafalgar.

7 Jan 1919: Completed for the Admiralty (no. 3776) as WILLIAM HALLETT, but unarmed. 

1920:  Allocated to the National Fishery Scheme for the setting up of the Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd., London. 

Jun 1920:  At HM Dockyard, Portsmouth fitted out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and classed 100A1 Steam Trawler at Portsmouth.

Dec 1930: Grounded at Ballycotton. [See below.]

19 Jun 1931 - 18 Nov 1932: Laid up at Milford.

Nov 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an auxiliary patrol vessel (P.No. FY.354).

13 Dec 1939: Mined off the Tyne (55° 03'N, 1° 18'W).  Eight crew members (all from N & S Shields) died; one survivor.  (See "The Times" and "uboat.net" reports below.)

[ Thanks for the information in 1920-21 supplied by Gil Mayes. ]


Accidents and Incidents


From The Times, of Friday 9th February 1923:


(From Lloyd's.)


St. Ann's Head, Feb. 8th.—  Steamer MILLGATE entered Milfordhaven [sic] 4.50 p.m., heavy list to starboard.  Trawler William Hallett, of London, in attendance.



From The Irish Times, of 22nd December 1930; p.7:

        [The first part of the articles relates to the drowning of a crew member of the German tug SEEFALKE.]



    Seven hours later the Seefalke, in company with the Dutch tug, Zwartezee, was racing out of the harbour and proceeding eastwards to render assistance to a Milford Haven steam trawler, William Hallett, which had stranded at the mouth of Ballycotton Bay, situate about five miles east of Roche's Point.

    As far as can be ascertained the William Hallett had been engaged fishing off the Irish coast, and was putting into Ballycotton Bay for provisions and stores before proceeding to her home port to dispose of her catch.

    A dense fog had enveloped the coast when she neared Ballycotton, and in making her entry she ran her bows on to a reef of rocks at Shanagarry, at the mouth of Ballycotton Bay.

    Immediately the news of the stranding was received the Ballycotton lifeboat was launched and proceeded to the scene, but later returned to her station, the captain and crew of the vessel having elected to remain aboard their vessel.  At 5.30 yesterday afternoon the Zwartezee took the vessel in tow and succeeded in refloating the trawler.  The extent of damage, if any, is not known.

    The William Hallett, of 202 tons gross, is owned by the Ivey Steam Trawling Company of Milford Haven, and was launched at Wivenhoe in 1919.



From The Times, of Friday 15th December 1939:



    The loss of H.M. trawler William Hallett (202 tons), sunk by a mine, is announced by the Admiralty.

    There was only one survivor, First Engineman Charles Hobson.  The following are reported missing, believed drowned:-

ADDISON, J.C., deckhand.

COLE, A.A.W., second hand.

HANNANT, C.W., skipper.

HOLLAND, N.R., fireman.

LINDORES, G., third hand.

LINDORES, R., deckhand.

THEODOVACIS, A., second engineman.

YOUNG, J., cook.


From uboat.net:

On 13 December 1939 HMS William Hallet (T/Skr. Charles William Hannant, RNR) was mined and sunk off the Tyne, in a field laid the previous night by the German Kommodore Bonte's destroyers Hermann Künne, Erich Steinbrinck, Bruno Heinemann and Friedrich Ihn and consisting of 240 mines. The actual position for this wreck is believed to be 55º02'591"N, 01º17'516"W. Depth approx. 47m. to bottom.


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