Official No: 98376  Port Number and Year:  5th in Milford, 1891. 

                                                                             -    in Gothenberg, 1911 (GG.447)

Description: Iron side / beam trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail, mizzen

Crew:  9 men (1891).

Registered at Milford: 11 Nov (1891, 1904).

Built: 1891, by R. Dixon, Middlesborough.  (Yard no. 356)

Tonnage: 133.15 grt  54.14 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 96.5 / 20.3 / 10.7

Engine: T 3-cyl. 50 hp.   North Eastern Marine Engineering, Sunderland



11 Nov 1891: Frederick Joseph Sellick, 'Marine Villa', Murray Cres., Milford.

Managing owner.

William Stephen Moxley, 32 Queen's Sq., Bristol. (Later joint owner.)


16 Nov 1903: Frederick Robert Greenish, 'The Grove', Haverfordwest. (Doctor of Music)

Edward Gerrish, 40 Corn St., Bristol.

Manager: Sydney M. Price, Milford Docks.


As  GERDA  GG.447

4 Mar 1911: Gadus Fabriker (Hilding Larsson), Gothenberg.


1914: Fisken A.B. Svea (Anders Stönner), Gothenburg.


[Information kindly supplied by Göran Olsson, Gothenburg, Sweden.]


Landed at Milford:  22 Nov 1891 - 5 Dec 1909; 13 Feb - 30 Mar 1910. (Laid up until sale.)


Peter Ebbesen cert 01768, age 34, born Denmark; signed on 6 Jan, 9 Jul, 11 Nov 1891; 30 Jun, 1 Jul 1893; 8 Jan 1894; 5 Jan 1898; 5 Feb 1899; 10 Jan 1901

J. Clark 3089, 32 Hull; 24 Nov 1891

A. Howe 1137, 31, Grimsby; 8 Jul 1892

William Jones 2487, - , - ; 27 Dec 1892

B. H. Galvin 1617, 35, Bradford; 13 Jul 1898; 2 Jan 1899

David Pettit 6943, 32, Essex; 4 Jul 1899

Robert M. Limbrick 7616, 39, London; 15 Jul 1899; 9 Jan 1908

B. Jackson 1431, 40, Yarmouth; 1 Jan 1901

John Henry Dove 2287, 34, Hull; 12 Mar 1901

W. E. Wales 5484, 27, Ramsgate; 11 Apr, 10 Jul 1901; 6 Jan, 3 Jul 1902; 5 Jan, 9 Jul 1903

William Weymouth -, 27, Torquay; 5 Jan, 2 Jul 1904

Charles Reed 5314, 32, Stratford; 10 Jul 1905; 18 Jan, 7 Jul 1906; 7 Jan 1907

C. Garnish 3728, 39, London; 21 Jun, 5 Jul 1907; 6 Jan, 14 Jul 1908; 19 Jan, 2 Jul1909

T. J. Hawkins 2014, 42, Brixham; 30 Jan, 7 Jul 1908

H. L. Limbrick 8019, 22, Brixham; 13 Aug 1908

Henry Milford 8298, 43, Torquay; 14 Jan 1910

Alfred August 05732, 58, Barking; 8 Feb 1911


Comus is one of the main characters in John Milton's masque, written in 1634.

1927: Broken up at Glückmans Metalworks, Gothenburg.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 4 Mar 1911. Vessel sold to Swedish owners.

 Accidents and Incidents

Log book entries:



Monday evening at 5.30 we left the mooring in Kinsale Harbour for sea.  About quarter of an hour later we ran ashore on Charles Fort, E side of the harbour, where we remained hard until the next tide when we got off without any assistance.  There was no damage.

    William Jones (Skipper)



J. Joyce, age 30, deckhand; born Manchester, residing Milford Haven.

Whilst guiding warp on drum of steam winch he slipped and foot getting under the sparwheel got crushed.

    Peter Ebbeson (Skipper)



40 miles SW from St Ann's Head.

Collision with three masted ship 'Merioneth' of the port of Liverpool.  Collided with steam trawler 'Comus' off Milford while trawling.

    R.M. Limbrick (Skipper)



Returned to Milford Haven on 12th June with the Cook, D. Flowerday, ill.  He did not seem well from the time he came on board, but did his work up to Monday morning.  On arriving at Milford Haven the Doctor was sent on board.

    T. Trott (Skipper)

[ See newspaper report below. ]



140 miles SW by S from St Ann's Head.

Thomas Jones, age 21, deckhand; born Liverpool.

When slacking the after warps his hand got jammed in winch, and top of forefinger was taken off.

    R. Edwards, Old Dockyard, Milford.



40 miles WNW from Innisher Tralee.

A. Brown, age 34, Bosun; born Hull, residing Hubberston.

Whilst we were fishing, a heavy sea struck the ship, causing the fairlead  to be carried away.  The warps on the starboard side sprung striking the Bosun and knocking him against the ship's rail, breaking his jaw.



Towed the steam trawler 'Brazilian' of Milford into Milford Docks, August 30th, 1901, with shaft broken, 170 miles W by S from St Ann's Head.

    W.E. Wales (Skipper)



Towed the steam trawler 'Petunia' (intermediate shaft broken) from 2 miles NNE of Bull Rock to Milford Haven and placed her in safety.

    William Weymouth (Skipper)



105 miles W by S of St Ann's Head.

Loss of propeller whilst trawling - cause unknown.

    C. Garnish (Skipper)

    T.E. Knight (Mate)



On bridge at sea.  16 miles NW of Ballycotton.

John Collins, age 40, Mate; English, born York, residing Milford Haven.

He was standing by the wheel when he suddenly fell and was found dead.  (Heart failure)

    Charles Garnish (Skipper)

    George Horton (Witness)


The under-mentioned effects of John Collins were delivered to the Supt. Milford Haven (Customs):

2 pair of trousers         1 leather belt

1 jacket                       1 singlet

3 shirts                        1 pair of seaboots

1 guernsey

1 muffler

2 caps                        contained in 1 canvas bag.

    Charles Garnish (Skipper)

[ See newspaper report below. ]



It is hereby understood that on the run to Gothenburg, Sweden , the crew shall consist of 6 hands all told, and their remuneration shall be as set out against their respective names.  It is also agreed that owners defray the cost of their passages home to Milford or Hull as desired.

    Alfred August (Skipper)


From the Evening Express of Thursday 2nd March 1893:



    An inquiry was held on Wednesday afternoon at the offices of the Cardiff Local Marine Board (before Mr. Angel and Mr. Councillor Jenkins) into the alleged misconduct of Captain Jones, master of the steam trawler Comus, of Milford.—  Mr. Ivor Vachell appeared for the Board of Trade, and stated that the charge was one of intoxication at Kinsale, Ireland, in December, when the vessel was on the coast of Ireland on a fishing expedition. The prosecution was the first in this district under the Fishing Boats Act of 1887, under which Act the certificates of masters of fishing boats were made liable to suspension in like manner with ordinary master mariners' certificates granted under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854.— The defendant, after Mr. Vachell's opening statement, said he admitted the charge, against him, and it was stated that he had up to the occurrence at Kinsale been a total abstainer  and was so now, and that he had been induced to take some spirits at Kinsale just before his vessel left, which affected him. It was added that defendant generally had an excellent character.— The Court adjourned the case for consideration as to whether a severe reprimand would meet with the merits of the case or whether the proceedings must go forward.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 20th June, 1900:


    The steam trawler 'Comus' arrived in Milford last Tuesday week with one of the crew, David Flowerday, in a precarious condition.  It appears that Flowerday had been in very poor health for some time past, suffering from an affection of the heart.  However, he went to sea in the above vessel the previous week as cook, but on the Monday it seems grave symptoms appeared.  The poor fellow became ill, becoming gradually worse until at last he lapsed into a state of unconsciousness.  Thereupon the ship returned to Milford with all possible speed, and on its arrival the unfortunate man was landed and subsequently conveyed to his home.  Despite every effort to restore animation, Flowerday expired at 7.30 the same night, about three hours after reaching port.  Deceased, who was about forty years of age, was a native of Yarmouth, and was formerly a skipper, but through ill health could no longer follow his vocation in that capacity.  He was a steady and conscientious man, married, and leaves a widow and four children, with whom much sympathy is felt locally.


[See log book entry above.]


From the Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 4th January 1901:


The Storm

damage to trawlers

    Of the great storm last Thursday evening, the men working on the trawlers running out of the port speak with awe, and say that it was the worst experienced for many years.  The battered appearance of some of the boats that came in Friday and Saturday spoke volumes as to the severity of the tempest.


    On the Comus, a storm was experienced on the North coast of Ireland, on Christmas morning.  The centre bollard was carried away by a heavy sea, and struck the boatswain, Alfred Brown, on the upper jaw, fracturing it.  He lies at his home at Hubberston.


    Other trawlers ran to various places for shelter, but as already stated, they all reached Milford safely.  After the holidays there was some difficulty experienced in getting the crews together.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 8th January 1904:




COLLISION—The s.s. "Comus" arrived in dock on Monday and reported having been in collision at sea with the steam trawler "Falmouth". The former vessel was damaged, having four plates broken, while little or no damage was done to the latter vessel. 



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 10th November 1905:




MILFORD TRAWLERS HEAVILY FINED IN IRELAND. At Bantry Bay Petty Session, Charles Reed, skipper on the trawler Comus, belonging to Messrs Sellick, Morley and Price, Milford, was fined £75 and £2 9s costs for illegal trawling in Bantry Bay. A fine of £50 and costs was also imposed on George Medway, skipper of the trawler Weymouth, owned by the same firm. It was stated for the owners that they were anxious to discourage poaching, and that defendants had erred through lack of local knowledge. Ellzear Jackson, skipper of the Cardiff steam trawler Federal, belonging to Messrs Neale and West, was charged with a similar offence, and was fined £75 and £2 9s costs. The Bench ordered all the nets to be forfeited.

        Mr Purdon, resident magistrate, said these trawlers had been making Bantry Bay their happy hunting ground, and the magistrates were determined in future to inflict very heavy penalties for illegal steam trawling.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 9th February 1906:


Local Captains' Successful Appeal.


     At Bantry (County Cork) Quarter Sessions, Charles Reed, skipper, of the Welsh steam trawler Comus, appealed against the order of the magistrates made last November whereby a fine of £75 was imposed on appellant and his nets ordered to be forfeited for trawling within the limits off Bantry Bay. Mr McSweeney, B.L. (instructed by Mr O'Leary, solicitor, Bantry) appeared for the appellant; Mr Dunne, B.L. (instructed by Mr George K. Sherlock, Crown solicitor, Bandon), appeared for the respondents, the Irish Technical Instruction Department, and Mr A. H. Allan, solicitor, Queenstown, appeared for Messrs Morley and Price, the owners of the Comus.— Evidence in support of the appellants' case having been given by Thomas Toms, the engineer of the Comus, the penalty was reduced to £50.

    Another Welsh skipper, George Medway, of the trawler Weymouth, had a like appeal arising out of a similar offence; for which he had been fined £50 and his nets forfeited. The penalty was reduced to £25.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 2nd August 1907:



            Considerable difficulty has of late been experienced in getting some of the local trawlers to sea owing to some of the crews failing to turn up at tide time. It is said that the cooks are discontented with their rate of pay, and conditions of service when in dock.

            On Friday last five warrants were issued against members of the crews of boats managed by Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price for refusing to go to sea, and three cases were dealt with by the local magistrates.

            On Friday, before Messrs. J. LI. Davies and Robert Cole, James Southerin, cook of the steam trawler Comus, was charged for refusing duty after being ordered to do so by Mr. J. W. Crocker, superintendent of the Board of Trade. He was ordered to forfeit six days' pay, and also sentenced to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.

            On the same day, before Colonel Roberts and above mentioned magistrates, Stephen Hogan, boatswain of the same ship, was charged with not joining the ship after promising the Board of Trade officer that he would do so. Same sentence as previous offender. Hogan was also further charged with assaulting P.C. Lewis whilst in the execution of his duty in the charge room, for which he received an additional seven days with hard labour.



From The Cambrian of Friday 17th April 1908:




    The trawler, Comus, returned to Milford Haven on Friday from sea, when Skipper Garnish reported that the mate died suddenly whilst talking to him in the wheelhouse on Thursday at six p.m., whilst on the fishing grounds.

    The man's pipe fell from his mouth, and he fell against the skipper, who turned him over aid found him dead. 

    Deceased (Collins) was married, and his home at Swansea.

    Deceased, who was formerly mate of the Narberth Castle, and who had also been on the Manorbier Castle and other Swansea trawlers, was 43 years of age. His family reside at 10, Castle-lane, Wind-street, Swansea, and an extremely sad feature of the case is that his wife, who is naturally prostrated at the woeful news, is left with five little children, absolutely unprovided for.

    It is such a case as furnishes an immediate objective for the charitable-minded of the town.


    With characteristic generous impulse, Mr. Coutts, of the Star and Palace, no sooner heard of the sad case than he paid Mrs. Collins' fare to Milford to see her husband's body, and will see that she does not want, from the funds of the Star Sunday evening services.


From The Cardiff Times of Saturday 18th April 1908:


Mate's Tragic Fate.

    The mate of the trawler Comus, named John Collins, was brought into port dead. The skipper, Charles Garnish, said deceased was talking to him in the wheelhouse when the ship was 16 miles off Ballycotton, Ireland. Deceased's pipe fell out of his mouth, and he also fell himself against witness, who stretched him out and found he had expired. Dr. Griffiths, who had made a post-mortem examination, said death was due to heart failure. Verdict accordingly. Deceased has a family at Swansea, but he had been at Milford almost since the fish trade commenced.


[ See logbook report above. ]


From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 10th December 1910:


"Comus."- Still another nine men have been thrown out of employment this week owing to the steam trawler "Comus" being laid up. 




From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 15th February 1911:


    At the Lord Nelson on Wednesday afternoon Messrs. Evans and Roach put up a number of trawlers and other vessels for sale by auction.  There was a large attendance of gentlemen connected with local shipping.

    Three iron screw steam trawlers, which in their day have helped in the rise of Milford as a fishing port, were offered under instructions from the executors of the late Mr. Frederick Joseph Sellick. The "Comus", built in 1891, 96.5 ft. length x 20.3 ft. breadth, received a commencing bid of £100, but went no further than £275, and was withdrawn.  The "Circe", built in 1892, 100.5 ft. length x 20.4 ft. breadth, was started at £300, rising to £500, and then withdrawn.  The "Blue Jacket", built 1896, 101.0 ft. x 20.5 ft., was also started at £300, and looked like changing hands, but the reserve was not reached and she was withdrawn at £620. 

    The steam trawler "Rosslyn Castle" was next on offer.  She is owned by Messrs. William Jenkins, R. D. James, Ford, Mathias and I. Jenkins, and was built in 1897, tonnage 184, length 112 ft., beam 21 ft.  Only one bid of £150 was forthcoming, and the vessel was withdrawn.


From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 22nd February 1911:


    The steam trawlers "Comus", Blue Jacket" and "Circe" (Sellick, Morley and Price, managers), which were recently offered by public auction, have since been sold privately to Swedish trawling people.  The first two left the Dock on Monday morning's tide, and took farewell to the port after a connection of twenty years for one, and fifteen years for the other.  Their destination is Gottenburg.  They have been laid up for some time.  The "Circe" will make for the same place after landing her catch this week.

    The steam trawler "Reliance", owned by Mr. J. G. Cayley, has also changed hands, and in future she will fly the French flag.  She left on Tuesday for the port of Dieppe.

    Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price have two new vessels on order, so that the old are being replaced by better and more up-to-date vessels.




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