Official No: 112464 Port Number and Year: 6th in Milford, 1903
Description: Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mainsail and mizzen.
Crew: 9 men (1903).
Registered at Milford: 14 Dec 1903.
Built: 1903 by Smith's Dock, North Shields. (Yard no. 733)
Tonnage: 181.39 grt 46.26 net.
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 110.3 / 21.0 / 11.65
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 39 nhp. 10 kts. Engine and boiler by McColl & Pollack, Sunderland, 1903.
14 Dec 1903: Cornelius Cecil Morley, 'St. Anne's House', Cunjic, Hakin.
17 Jul 1905: Sidney Morgan Price, Murray Cres., Milford
Frederick Robert Greenish, 'The Grove', Haverfordwest. (Doctor of Music)
Edward Gerrish, 40 Corn St., Bristol. (Solicitor)
Managing owner: Cornelius Cecil Morley.
Landed at Milford: 3 Jan 1904 - 1 Jan 1908.
B. H. Galvin cert 1617, age 40, born Bradford; signed on 17 Dec 1903; 4 Jan 1904; 5 Jan 1905
C. Masterson 5740, 27, Salisbury; 26 Jun, 1 Jul, 25 Jul 1904
B. H. Blockwell 2523, 40, Yarmouth; 20 Dec 1904
H. Smith 3858, 41, Lincoln; 3 May, 7 Jul 1905; 30 Jan, 6 Jul 1906
J. Sanderson 5198, 33, Scarborough; 26 Dec 1906
A. A. Taylor
"Sellick, Morley and Price" are mentioned on eight occasions as the owners of the DEVON in local newspapers from 1904-08.
2 Jan 1908: Left Milford on that date, but nothing was further seen or heard of her, apart from her small boat, and two lifebuoys. [See story below.]
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 13 Feb 1908.
Accidents and Incidents
Log book entries:
About 10 a.m. about 85 miles from Saints in Bay of Biscay.
Took the steam trawler 'Kalmia' in tow. Tail end shaft broken. Docked her aright, 1.30, 27th March
B. H. Galvin (Skipper)
[ See local newspaper report below. ]
Sighted steamer 'Lili Woeman' of Hamburg flying signals. Went to him, laid by him all night, left him about 7 next morning. A heavy sea had knocked him over and put out nearly all his fires.
B.H. Galvin (Skipper)
Sailed on 29th December and landed at Oporto, Portugal 15th January 1906.
H. Smith (Skipper)
From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 8th January 1904:
Messrs Sellick, Morley, and Price have made another addition to their fleet by adding the steam trawler 'Devon' a sister ship to the new trawler 'Cornwall.' The dimensions are as follows, length, 110 feet, width 28½ feet, depth 12½ feet. The vessel is fitted with powerful machinery, and possesses all the modem improvements.
From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 23rd March 1904:
The steam trawler "Devon", one of the new trawlers belonging to the fleet of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, arrived at Milford Haven on Thursday, and skipper George Nichols reported having picked up a barque "Beatrice" of Krongno [?] off the Bull, on the Irish coast, on the previous Friday, and subsequently towed her into the safety of Broad Haven. She was laden with a valuable cargo.
From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 30th March 1904:
On the 25th March, whilst fishing in the Bay of Biscay, the steam trawler "Kalmia" broke the tail end of her shaft, and was taken in tow by the steam trawler "Devon", which arrived at Milford on Monday.
From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 15th July 1904:
£150 FOR A MILFORD TRAWLER.
On Friday, in the Admiralty Division of the High Court, the President (Sir Francis Jeune), sitting with Trinity masters, had before him the claim of the owners, men and crew of the steam trawler Devon, of Milford Haven, for remuneration in respect of salvage services alleged to have been rendered to the Norwegian barque Bertha in the North Atlantic, off the Irish coast, from the 11th to the 15th of March last.
According to the plaintiffs' case the Devon was at 6 p.m. on March 11th, fishing off the coast of Kerry when those aboard observed the Bertha flying the Norwegian flag from the mizzen peak. The trawler hove in her fishing gear and proceeded to speak the barque, which was manned by eleven hands, and on board the ship-wrecked crew of the barque Hermod, numbering eleven hands. The Bertha had met with heavy weather and sustained damage aloft and on deck. The plaintiffs alleged that all her rigging was very untrustworthy, and having had two crews on board for some time her provisions and water were running short and that she was unable to make Berehaven, for which she was trying. Eventually the trawler brought the Bertha to a position of safety off the coastguard station at Broad Haven. The plaintiffs claimed that by the services the Bertha was saved from a most perilous position.
The defendants denied that any salvage services were rendered to the Bertha. Save that her water was running short the Bertha was quite seaworthy and she could, if necessary, have been navigated without assistance into one of the harbours in the vicinity. Alternatively the defendants, whilst denying liability to pay salvage, brought into court the sum of £100, which they said was sufficient to satisfy plaintiffs' claim.
His Lordship said the real difficulty of the Bertha was her want of water, but he thought also that her rigging was in a doubtful condition. Her crew felt difficulty on account as they said of being off the worst coast in the world, and it was therefore very desirable that should have had towage assistance. In his opinion the sum tendered was insufficient, and he had decided to award the plaintiffs £150, with costs on the High Court scale.
From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 24th March 1905:
A GOOD CATCH.— Another good cargo of fish has been landed at Milford, this time by Capt. H. Galvin, of the steam trawler "Devon." The steamer landed on Thursday week last, and the nett proceeds of the voyage amounted to the satisfactory sum of £520.
From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 13th December, 1905:
About half past eleven yesterday (Tuesday) morning, some fitters in the employ of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price were engaged in lifting the winch aboard the steam trawler "Devon", a considerable weight, with the crane on the quay wall, when it suddenly gave way, and an apprentice named B. Westenborg was struck on top of the head twice by the revolving crane handle with great force, splitting it open. He was at once to the surgery of Dr. Griffith, where his severe injuries wee attended to.
From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 29th January 1908:
When it became known in the town about a week ago, that the steam trawler "Devon", (Sellick, Morley and Price) was overdue, considerable anxiety was manifest in Milford as each successive day passed. Tension has grown until now it has become intense.
The "Devon" left the Docks for sea on the night of January 2nd last. In the ordinary course their voyage would have extended approximately over 12 or 14 days, and even a day or so more would not have been considered untoward, but when last Wednesday she had been out a matter of 21 days, feelings of great anxiety took possession of the families of the crew, and also the owners. Another fact which weighed with these was that the Skipper Arthur Taylor was noted for his punctuality in arriving home, and again it was said that the ship had not been sighted or spoken to by any of the local trawlers, although it is now stated she was seen a few days after her departure.
Of course many theories have been advanced as to what has become of her. Some say that she may have broken down and was drifting. If she was fishing in the westward fishing grounds 260 miles away, with the easterly winds prevailing of late, she has travelled a vast distance by now. Others fear that she has foundered, or was run down in collision and that the crew had been picked up by some outward bound vessel. If she is afloat it is certain her provisions must have given out days ago.
During the week it has been pitiful to see and witness the men's wives eagerly watching at the top of Charles Street, and down on the Docks at tide time, for the ship that has not returned. Rumours of course have been current during the week, but all have proved baseless, and up to Sunday there was no news.
On Monday morning the Skipper of the Brixham smack "Dayspring", (J. Kennar) reported to the authorities that on Saturday January 11th, when 63 miles north by east of the Longships, he came across a small boat. It was floating bottom upwards and was so damaged that he did not think it was worth keeping. An oar was jammed in it. However it plainly bore the number M192, which was cut into it. This corresponds with the port number of the "Devon".
This discovery seems to prove clearly that something has happened to the ship. It is confidently believed by many that the crew have been rescued as stated before by an out-going vessel. If it should chance to be a sailing ship it may be weeks before anything is heard from them. It is sincerely to be hoped that this conjecture is true. Meanwhile the suspense is acute, and the sympathy of the whole neighbourhood goes out to the distressed families.
The "Devon" is one of the best ships in the port. She was built at the well known yard of Smith Docks Company, South Shields, and arrived at Milford in 1903. She has been at sea a month to-day (Wednesday).
The following are the names of the crew.
Master A.A. Taylor, North Road, married, two children.
Mate Spouce Sanderson, Robert Street, married, no children.
Bo'sun Robert Thorpe, Manchester Square, married, no children.
3rd Hand William Coombe, Albion Street, married, no children.
Deckhand W. Seward, Dewsland Street, single.
Cook Ernest Dove, Greville Road, married, one child.
Ch.Engineer R. Trestrell, Warwick Road, married.
2nd Engineer Mat Fell, Warwick Road, married, two children.
Trimmer, believed to be Edwards of Neyland, single. [ An article in the "Pembrokeshire Herald" gives him as Fred Wilcox, and minor errors in the other surnames are also corrected. ]
No further news of the "Devon" has reached Milford up to 12 o' clock to-day.
From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, Wednesday 5th February 1908:
The “Devon” Mystery.
Slowly the mystery concerning the missing steam trawler “Devon” is being revealed. Last week we recorded the finding of the vessel’s small boat 63 miles north by east of the Longships (Land’s End), and information has since been received at the offices of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, from the Receiver of Wrecks, to the effect that two lifebuoys bearing the name “Devon”, Milford, have in the past week been picked up, one at Conway bar, and the other at Newborough, Anglesea. It therefore appears almost certain that the trawler has gone down. With regard to the crew, whose names were published last week, the slender hope that they have been saved by an outward-bound vessel is still cherished by their relatives and townsfolk generally.
From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 14th February 1908:
THE ILL-FATED S.S. DEVON.
The Moss liner Navarre has arrived at Liverpool from Bordeaux, and reported that on February 2nd, when in lat. 52-27 north, long. 5-21 west, she passed a spar, apparently the mast of a small vessel, on end, and projecting about 10 feet above the water and riding heavily as if attached to a sunken wreck. The position in which the Navarre passed the sunken wreck is about 60 miles north-west of Milford Haven on the outside of Cardigan Bay, and it is believed that the wreck is that of the missing Milford steam fishing trawler Devon. A very strong confirmation of this theory is found in the fact that two of her lifebuoys, and another [ were found ] at Newborough, Anglesea. It is known that the Devon was seen at midnight on January 6th, on the fishing grounds 250 miles west of St. Anne's, and it is presumed that while returning home to Milford from the fishing grounds she has either been run down by another vessel or foundered in heavy weather. In addition to the discovery of the lifebuoys, one of the Devon's boats was passed 63 miles north by east of the Longships. The Devon left Milford on January 2nd. and was commanded by Skipper Arthur Taylor, and carried a crew of nine men, seven of whom are married, and leave widows and families.
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