CALIBAN  H76 / M277



With thanks and acknowledgement to the Trawler Photos website.

Official No:  139347    Port Number and Year: 23rd in Hull, 1919 (H76)

                                                                                   9th in Milford, 1938

                                                                                     -   in Aberdeen, 1947 (A470)

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

Crew:  10 men (1919).

Registered at Milford: 24 May 1938

Built: 1919 by Cox & Co. Engineering, Falmouth.  (Yard no. 165)

Tonnage: 277 grt  123 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.4 / 23.5 / 12.6

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 88 hp.10 kts.  Engine and boiler by builders.



As H76

1 Sep 1919: Brand & Curzon Ltd., Docks, Milford. 

Managers: Edward Brand & Charles Curzon, Docks, Milford.


As M277

24 May 1938: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford

Manager: Owen Willie Limbrick, Pill Lane, Milford.



May 1947: Woodburn (Fishing) Ltd., North Esplanade, Aberdeen

Manager: George Murray, 18 Whinhill Rd., Aberdeen


Landed at Milford: (H76) 17 Aug 1919 - 22 May 1938.

(M277) 8 Jun 1938 - 10 Dec 1939;  22 Dec 1946; 1 May 1947.

Skippers: Geoffrey James, 1921-25


Caliban is the wild man of the island in Shakespeare's play "The Tempest."

Lynburn is a village in Dunfirmline, Scotland.

25 Sep 1919: Launched as HENRY CORY for Admiralty service, no. 3698

28 May 1919: Delivered and placed on disposal list; renamed CALIBAN.

11 Dec 1939: Requisitioned for war service and converted for boom defence (Z.131); subsequently purchased into the RN.

1943: Based at Grimsby. 

13 Dec 1946: Sold to previous owners.

Mar 1959: Broken up.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: May 1947; transferred to the port of Aberdeen.

 Accidents and Incidents

From the Pembrokeshire Telegraph of Wednesday 3rd September 1919:


    The old-time firm of Sellick, Morley and Price, steam trawler owners and managers, has now practically ceased to exist.............  A company of trawler owners and fish merchants is in course of formation to acquire the business of the ice factory ...  This will prove a great boon to the trade generally. .............

    Messrs. Brand & Co. continue to increase their fleet, which comprises around 24 vessels, the latest to arrive being the Caliban, a massive ship.  The company, which is now going ahead, are in possession of the Pure Ice factory, formerly known as the Cardiff Pure Ice Factory (Neale & West).  They have too a large engineering works adjoining.



Transcription of "Note of Protest":


Master: Michael Halley. Schooner of Chester,95 tons reg.; [Dungarvan?], Ireland, bound Bristol, 4.12.1920. Arrived in port 6.12.1920. Cargo: Oats in bulk.

Having experienced bad weather and very rough seas breaking over the vessel, at seven thirty pm, on the fourth of December, when about ten miles south east of Coningbeg Lightship.

Foremast went over carrying away mainmast. These fell over the starboard side and we had to cut away to save the vessel as I was afraid that the broken spars would pierce the vessel.

We burnt flares and bedding all we had, but no assistance came to us until Sunday afternoon at two thirty, when the steam trawler "Caliban" came up towards us and towed us into Milford Haven. The "Caliban" towed us from about three pm Sunday until two o'clock next morning, when we arrived at Milford Haven. At my request the "Caliban" took us off our own vessel at two thirty Saturday afternoon because our vessel was labouring heavily in the trough of the sea, and we had no control of her, and also one of my crew was burnt and further had his leg badly hurt.

My vessel was riding on the broken spars for some time before we could cut away. All rigging, sails and running gear was lost off the vessel.


Transcription of Skipper's statement, Oct 1922:


I live at Number 2, Hakinville, Milford Haven. I have been Skipper of the "Caliban" for the last 15( fifteen) months.

I have been owner and master of sailing fishing vessels for 17 years and for the last three years have been Skipper of Steam Trawlers fishing out of Milford.

On 14th October 1922 at about 11.15 am. I moved the "Caliban" from her berth on the Hakin side by the big crane to proceed to sea. We had been lying with our stern towards the Caisson and about a ship's length from it. We cast off our head rope and moved our engines astern, with stern wire fast. This brought our ship's head clear of the Wall. I had to get my ship round so as to have her head pointing in the direction of the exit from the Docks. I accordingly went ahead practically square across the Dock to a point on the Milford side about where the Offices of the Vanessa Co. stand.

As I was about starting to go ahead on this occasion I saw the "William Ivey" going astern. She had I believe been lying on the Milford side and had gone astern presumably to square up with the exit. When I first sighted the "William Ivey" she was up nearly to the wooden jetty quite 100 yards away from us.

Having taken the "Caliban" across the dock to within about 12 to 20 feet of the vessels lying moored three abreast along the Wall on the Milford side near the Vanessa Co's offices, I then went astern a matter of about 30 feet at the same time bringing my bow round gradually to starboard so as to square up for the entrance. This brought my vessel slightly higher up the Dock than the Crane. I then went ahead a short distance again and then astern.

As I had just completed this last mentioned movement astern I again sighted the "William Ivey" coming down on us and seeing that there was a likelihood of a collision I shouted to her to go astern and I rang my engines ahead but the "Caliban" had not actually moved when the "William Ivey" hit us.

The "William Ivey" gave us a direct blow on our port quarter by our after gallows. When the "William Ivey" collided with us we were about 20 yards above the Crane and our stern was about 30 yards from the Hakin Dock Wall.


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th January 1925:



Royal Humane Medal Presented at Milford


    For the second time within a few days a Milford fisherman has been presented with a bronze medal and certificate of the Royal Humane Society for saving life.  The first event was duly reported in the "Guardian" at the time; and the second interesting event took place on Monday evening in the Council Chamber of the Milford Haven Urban Council.  [ List of councillors present follows. ]  There were also in attendance Skipper James, of the trawler Caliban, F.J. Ireland, bo'sun, George Coe, third hand, and Mrs. Coe.


    The Chairman [ Cllr. Ivan Reynolds ] said .... that evening he ... had been honoured by being asked to perform yet another duty to one of their gallant fishermen, Mr. George Coe, third hand on the trawler "Caliban", in the Atlantic, 200 miles N.W. off the Bull, Cow and Calf Lighthouse, during a terrific westerly gale and in a heavy sea [ who ] jumped overboard to the assistance of bo'sun F. J. Ireland, who had fallen overboard.  Grasping Ireland, he held him up until a rope was thrown to them, and the two men were safely hauled aboard.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th February 1947:


    There is a likelihood that at least two of the four trawlers used as boom defence ships during the war, and recently returned to the port, may never fish again.  Asked on Thursday about the conversion of two of the vessels, the Caliban and Bardolph (Milford Fisheries), Mr. O. W. Limbrick declared, "We have no intention of paying the prices demanded by one section of the port.  The figures they want make the cost of reconversion prohibitive."

    The two other boom defence boats awaiting reconversion are the Milford Duke (Milford Steam Trawlers) and the Kuroki (Messrs. E. E. Carter).



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