Official No:    128744     Port Number and Year: 1st in Milford,1909

Description:  Side trawler, steel.  Steam screw - coal burner. Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail, mizzen. 

Crew: 9 men (1901, 1904). 

Registered at Milford: 27 Jan 1909. 

Built: Smith Docks Co., North Shields 1909.  (Yard no. 392) 

Tonnage: 187.4 gross 69.75 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  110.8 / 21.5 / 11.75 

Engine: T.3-cyl. 64 nhp. 10 kts. 1909. W.V.V. Lidgerwood, Coatbridge, Glasgow.

              Boiler 1909. R. Stephenson & Co. Ltd., Hebburn



27 Jan 1901: Frederick Robert Greenish, The Grove, Haverfordwest.  )    Joint

 Edward Gerrish, Stoke Bishop, Glos.                                                    )  Owners

Manager: Sydney Morgan Price, Cunjic House, Hakin, Milford.


6 Jul 1911:  Frederick Robert Greenish, 15 Queen's Ave., Muswell Hill, London.  )    Joint

  David Waters, Bank House, Muswell Hill, London.                                               )  Owners

Manager: Sydney Morgan Price, Cunjic House, Hakin, Milford.


Landed at Milford: 2 Feb 1909 - 1 Aug 1914 

Skippers: J.T.L Clarke (Cert. 612) Age 52. Born Gt. Yarmouth. 20 Jan 1909 - 10 Jan 1910

                 Charles M Schock (8279) 30. Denmark. 28 Jun 1910 -7 Jul 1910

                 J.T.L Clarke (612) 54. Gt. Yarmouth 31 Aug 1910 - 13 Jan 1913

                 Charles M Schock (8279) 32. Denmark. 22 Apr 1913

                 J.T.L Clarke (612) 54. Gt. Yarmouth 2  May 1913

                 Charles M Schock (8279) 32. Denmark. 20 Jun 1913


Abelard was a medieval French philosopher, famous for his passionate but doomed love of Heloise.

2 Oct 1913: Explosion aboard while at sea. [See newspaper report below.]

Aug 1914: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper (Admy. no 151) 1x6pdr. First local trawler to be called up for charter by the RN.  [See 1914 newspaper article below.

24 Dec 1916: Wrecked off Plymouth breakwater.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed:

30 Jan 1919: Vessel totally lost while on Admiralty Service. 

 Accidents and Incidents:

From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of 10th February 1909:



    Last week we saw two new steam trawlers arrive with their maiden cargoes of fish.  Both have been built at the well-known yard of the Smith Docks Trust, South Shields, to the order of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price:  the "Abelard" is commanded by Captain J. T. Clarke, and the "Macaw" by Captain Matt Kingston, both successful skippers.  The vessels are of the class of the "Weymouth" and others, and not of the the larger size trawlers, but thoroughly up-to-date as regards equipment.



Logbook entry, 16.03.11.


Sixty-five miles NW by W from the Bull Rock.  Damaged small boat, engine room skylights, galley skylight, cabin, galley funnel and starboard 1ight screen.

    J. T. L. Clarke. (Skipper)

    F. Cornish. (Second Hand). 



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of 8th October 1913:


    On Thursday afternoon, the steam trawler Abelard, Messrs Sellick, Morley & Price, put back into the Haven and reported a serious explosion which occurred at seven a.m. when the vessel, which was on her way to the fishing grounds off the Irish Coast, had only steamed ten miles from the Heads. Something went wrong with the acetylene gas apparatus, and an explosion took place in the fish room, where the mate, William Adams, was at that moment engaged in getting the fish room ready.  He received the full force of the blast, the fish room was literally wrecked, and the skipper at once turned his vessel round and headed back to Milford with all possible speed. The mate, it was evident, was in a serious condition, and on arrival in the Haven the skipper went alongside the first of the warships, H.M.S. Terrible, and asked for the doctor, who promptly boarded the trawler and had the injured man brought aboard the cruiser, where everything possible was done for him.

    Afterwards he was placed on a Naval Ambulance and brought ashore by blue jackets, accompanied by the naval doctor, who had him conveyed to Doctor Griffiths’ surgery, and subsequently to his house in Warwick Road. The poor fellow was badly burnt but the exact nature of his injuries could not be ascertained. Mr Adams was a native of Brixham, but has lived in Milford for many years, and has a wife and a large family. Mr Adams, whose condition remains serious, was on Saturday evening removed to the County Infirmary, Haverfordwest.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of 5th August 1914:





On Sunday the order was given out for the mobilisation of the Naval Reserve (trawler section) of whom there are about 150 men in the port, including skippers, mates, deck hands, engineers, etc. A naval officer was busy all day serving notices on all the men in from sea. This was not all, for orders were given for the handing over to the Admiralty of certain steam trawlers for the mine sweeping service, the vessels to be manned. The stream trawler Abelard was stripped of her gear and prepared at once, leaving the port on Sunday afternoon.




From "Shipwrecks and History in Plymouth Sound" [ http://www.promare.co.uk/ships/Wrecks/Wk_Abelard.html ]


The cause of her loss is still uncertain, since all the official records suggest she was originally showed 8 feet above the surface, salvage operations commencing at once, but by 11 Jan 1917 were abandoned.  ..........

Today she is well broken, her bows face south and her boiler stands 5m proud of a sandy seabed in 10m. The iron propeller is still to be seen but the rest of the flattened wreckage lies among boulders and kelp.

War Graves Records:

Labourer Philip Sydney H.M. Trawler "Abelard." H.M. Dockyard 27 28/12/1916 PLYMOUTH (WESTON MILL) CEM. Clarence Place, Morice Town, Devonport



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