As A254

Thanks to Trawler Photos website

Official No:    127160    Port Number and Year:  4th in Aberdeen, 1909 (A254)

                                                                                   4th in Milford, 1945

Description:  Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burner. Ketch rigged: mainsail and mizzen.

Crew: 9 men (1909); 11 men (1945).

Registered at Milford: 13 Jul 1945

Built: by Alexander Hall & Co., Aberdeen, in 1909.  (Yard no. 448)

Tonnage: 201.22 gross 77.32 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  115.45 / 22.0 / 12.1   (Milford Register: 13.43)  

Engine: T 3-cyl.. 66 nhp. 10.5 kts. Engine and boiler by builders.




25 Feb 1909: James S. Melville, 186 Market St., Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


1910: Harley & Miller, Whole Sale Fishmarket, Liverpool.

Manager: Robert Harley, 74 Bedford St., Liverpool.


By 1922: William A. Leith, 172 Market St., Aberdeen.

 Managing owner.  (By 1928: Jamieson's Quay, Aberdeen.)


1930: John Craig, 'Fairhaven', Springfield Rd., Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


As M49

13 Jul 1945: Joseph Leslie Yolland, 'Trevigan', Letterston, Haverfordwest, (17/64)

John Yolland (Jun.), 'Caldy', Wiston, Haverfordwest. (17/64)

Thomas Stewart Yolland, 'St.Annes', Sketty Green, Swansea (13/64)

Managing owner: John Charles Llewellin, 'Fenton', Crundale, Haverfordwest. (17/64)


15 Jan 1946: Joseph Leslie Yolland, Docks, Milford. (24/64)

Thomas Stewart Yolland, Docks, Milford. (16/64)

Managing owner: John Yolland (Jnr.). (Same address.)  (24/64)


11 Jul 1946: Yolland Bros. Docks, Milford. (64/64)

Manager: J. Yolland.  (Same address.)


Landed at Milford: 21 Mar 1945 - 20 May 1949

Skippers: G. Rowson.  Charles Kemp Cornish (1949)


Jun 1915: Requisitioned by the Admiralty (Admy. no. 1596) and converted to a minesweeper. 1 x 6 pdr. 

31 May - 6 Jun 1918: In company with other naval trawlers in Portsmouth and Newhaven, awarded salvage money. [ "The Times", 12 Feb 1921. ]

1919: Returned to owners.

15 Feb 1940: Requisitioned and converted to patrol duties (P.No. FY 1945).

Apr 1944: Converted to an Esso.

Oct 1944: Returned to owners.

24 May 1949: Foundered on the Southern Bank.  [See transcriptions of local newspaper articles below.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 31 May 1949.  Ship totally lost on 24th May 1949.

 Accidents and Incidents:

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th August 1945:

The s/t "Mikasa", owners Yolland and Llewellin, landed a catch of 1000 kits from an eleven days' voyage.  "Ann Melville", also Yolland and Llewellin, recently had a record catch of 700 kits for a Strath Class trawler.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 4th January 1946:


    Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin, joint owners of the biggest trawling fleet sailing out of Milford, have dissolved the partnership after ten years of highly successful working, during which time the fleet has increased from one to twenty-two trawlers.  The dissolution took effect from January 1st, and in future Messrs. Yolland will trade under the name Messrs. Yolland Brothers, while Mr. J. C. Llewellin takes a number of trawlers under his own name.


    Yolland Bros.:

Castle Class:  Tenedos, Mikasa, Lorraine, William Mannell, Montano and George Adgell.

Strath Class: Craigmillar and Anne Melville.

Drifters: Allochy, Overfall, Poseidon, Invercairn, Primevere, Mint, Furze, Lichen, Calliopsis and Cassiopeia.

    The Montano left Milford on Thursday (yesterday) for Fleetwood, while the George Adgell arrives in Milford within the next fortnight from Aberdeen.  Both Strath boats are at Milford, but the drifters will fish from Lowestoft during the North Sea season, and will come round to Milford for the summer season.


    John Charles Llewellin:

Castle trawlers: Cotsmuir, Lady Stanley, T.R. Ferens and Harry Melling.

    All the trawlers are away at the moment, the Lady Stanley at Hull and the others at Fleetwood, but they are expected to sail out of Milford in the near future.


    The fish merchants' business belonging to the firm in Fleetwood, Swansea and Milford will now be carried on by Yolland Brothers, while the merchants' business at Aberdeen has been taken over by Mr. Llewellin.

    Naturally interested to ascertain why such a profitable partnership should be dissolved, the "Guardian" made enquiries on Thursday.  We learned that Mr. Llewellin has suffered ill health for a number of years and wishes to cut down on his responsibilities.

    The sensational rise of Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin has provided one of the romances of the fishing industry of Milford, starting as fish exporters in 1935, with Mr. J. C. Llewellin as their representative in Paris.  The firm had to turn their attention in 1937 to building up their fish merchants business in England because of the devaluation of the franc. 

    In 1936 Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin purchased their first trawler and not long afterwards embarked on an experiment which at the time was considered more than daring - "foolhardy", said the old hands.  They fitted out two trawlers to fish as a pair - the pareja - a Spanish method of fishing.  The earliest voyages, doubtless due to the inexperience of the crews in this type of netting, brought thin returns, but by-and-by these pairs began to make news, big news, for they started to smash fishing records.  What was then the youngest firm of owners had scored a big success, and confounded their critics.  Before the war started, the company had five pairs operating on the Irish grounds.  During the war the company worked with two old ships, the Gozo and Cairo, but disposed of these when their fleet of twenty-two trawlers were de-requisitioned in their turn after Government service.

    The partners in the firm of Yolland Brothers are Messrs. John J. Leslie and T. Stuart Yolland.




Log book entry:

We left Milford for the fishing grounds off the Irish coast on 23rd May 1949.  Having sprung a leak and despite all efforts of those on board to save her, subsequently foundered at about four thirty p.m. on the 24th May 1949, in a position 50 deg 10 North and 8 deg 16 West.

    Charles Kemp Cornish (Skipper)


From a local newspaper, probably the West Wales Guardian of 27th May 1949:

The Milford trawler "Ann Melville" owned by Messrs. Yolland Brothers, and in charge of Skipper Charles Cornish, foundered on Tuesday afternoon on the Southern Banks about a hundred miles from her home port.

She left Milford on Monday morning and the first intimation that any thing was wrong came at about noon on Monday. Then the wives and families of the fishermen, in accord with practice, tuned in their wireless sets to the trawler waveband which enables them to learn how their men folk are getting along, and heard Skipper Cornish telling Milford trawlers in the vicinity that he was sinking and asking for help. Other trawlers joined in and they heard the steam trawler "Dandola" say she was on her way to the rescue. Next came the final message from the "Ann Melville": "It's time to leave now - she's just about going". There was silence until other boats piped up later to say that Skipper Cornish and his crew of eleven were safely aboard the French trawler "Lusitania" , which was making for Newlyn, Cornwall, where she arrived on Wednesday morning.

The Skipper and crew were landed at Newlyn at eight a.m. and at four thirty p.m. entrained for Milford, where they arrived at seven-thirty a.m. on Thursday. Skipper Cornish, who was loud in his praise of the ready co-operation assistance and friendliness shown by the Captain and crew of the "Lusitania", told of the losing fight put up after the "Ann Melville" sprang a leak.

"We were fishing at about eleven-thirty a.m. on Tuesday," he said, "when the Chief Engineer, (Mr Jack Griffiths) sent for me to go down to the engine room. When I got there he reported that the vessel had apparently sprung a leak and although he had his pumps working at full capacity the water was gaining."

He decided there was no immediate danger and continued fishing for a while, making periodical visits to the engine room. Finding that the water continued to gain he decided to abandon ship. Meanwhile they were in constant wireless communication with the "Dandola" (Milford Fisheries), which had replied that she was coming to their assistance.

"With the position becoming more serious," explained Skipper Cornish, "I decided to make contact with the French trawler I had noticed fishing to the north-west, and steamed in that direction with our distress signal hoisted and blowing blasts on our whistle. After about thirty-five minutes steaming we came alongside and at about one o' clock seven members of the crew were ordered to abandon ship. This left the Skipper and Chief Engineer with the Mate, Mr Bob Main, Neyland, and the Second Engineer (Mr.W.Evans) on board.

"By twelve-thirty the position had become impossible," continued the Skipper, "and I gave orders to abandon. We boarded the French trawler "Lusitania" and remained in close proximity for about two hours, the "Ann Melville" finally sinking at four-thirty.



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