John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  121601    Port Number and Year: 4th in Milford, 1905

                                                                                 -    in Grimsby , 1917 (GY1019)

                                                                                 -    in Hartlepool, 1933 (HL63)

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

Crew:  9 men (1905); 10 men (1917); 11 men (1940).

Registered at Milford: 25 May 1905

Built: 1905 by Cochrane & Sons, Selby.  (Yard no. 341)

Tonnage: 209.39 grt  66.23 net (1 Jan 1914: amended by Board of Trade to 82.3 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 115.0 / 21.6 / 11.97

Engine: T 3-cyl. 60 rhp. 10.0 kts;  by Charles D. Holmes & Co., Hull




25 May 1905: Robert Cole, 117 Charles St., Milford  (Managing owner 1905 -10.)

Erel Edwin Carter, 20 Greville Rd., Milford

Bernard Henry Galvin, 29 Dewsland St., Milford.

David Gwilliam Jones, 83 Park St., Pembroke Dock. (Managing owner 1910-11.)


12 Sep 1911: Robert Cole, 117 Charles St., Milford.

David Gwilliam Jones, 83 Park St., Pembroke Dock. (Managing owner.)


19 Jan 1917: *George Frederick Sleight, Weelsby Hall, Grimsby. (Managing owner.)

23 Jan 1917: As RESPONDO GY1019


1933:  G. F. Sleight & R. L. Humphreys, Grimsby


As HL63

Nov 1933: Doris Burton Steam Trawling Co., Fish Quay, Hartlepool.

Manager: Robert H. Davidson, 7 Albion Tce., Hartlepool.


1937: R.H. Davison and Co. Ltd., Fish Quay, Hartlepool.

Manager: Robert H. Davison, 7 Albion Tce., Hartlepool.


10 May 1940: Respondo Trawlers (Yolland & Llewellin Trawling), Docks, Milford

Manager: Charles Llewellin.


Landed at Milford:  

As EMERALD: 26 Jun 1905 - 16 Jan 1917

As RESPONDO: 5 May - 30 Aug 1940


B. H. Galvin  cert. 1617; age 41, born Bradford, residing Dewsland St., Milford; signed on 7 Jun, 4 Jul 1905; 3 Jan, 29 Feb, 5 Jul 1906

J. Barnett 4244, 36, Hull, 38 Dartmouth St., Milford; 25 Jan 1906; 4 Jul 1907; 26 Jun, 12 Jul 1910

G. T. Cobley - , 38, Hull, St. David's Rd., Milford; 1 Jan, 25 Jul 1907; 8 Jan, 29 Apr, 6 Jul 1908; 4 Jan, 15 Jul 1909; 10 Jan 1910

James McDonald 7991, 48, Leeds, - ; 10 Mar 1910

Christopher Masterson 5740, 34, Salisbury, 8 Vicary St., Pill, Milford; 26 Aug 1910; 30 Jun, 6 Jul, 9 Nov 1911; 3 Jan, 16 Jul 1912; 1 Jan 1913

M. W. Mingay 4968, 39, Caistor, - ; 17 Dec 1910; 25 Oct 1911


1906: Insured by owners for £6,000.

29 May 1917: Requisitioned for Fishery Reserve.

1919: Returned to owners.

*19 Mar 1921: Sir George Frederick Sleight died. Sold to his executors.

1934:  Insurance value £2,500

1 Sep 1940: Sailed from Milford for Irish fishing grounds.  Lost with all hands off the Old Head of Kinsale. [See story and additional note below.] 

[Lofthouse T., Mayes G., Newton D., & Thompson M. (2012): Cochrane Shipbuilders

Vol.1: 1884 - 1914.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 20 Jan 1917

 Accidents and Incidents

Log book entries:



Bay of Biscay

R. T. Crawford, Cook, age 37; British, born Tasmania, residing Milford Haven.  Drowning, committed suicide.

    G. T. Cobley (Skipper)

    A. J. Keen (Mate)



Collision.  Steam trawler 'St. Vincent' failed to warn us when coming astern.

    George T. Cobley (Skipper)

    James McDonald (Mate)




Collided with steam trawler 'Bournemouth' - trying to avoid touching the ground.

    G. Barnett (Skipper)

    D. G. Jones (Witness)




When 3 miles from St Govan's Head, bearing E, observed smack 'Vigilance' making for the headland, and having mistaken St Govan's for St Ann's, the 'Vigilance came round head to wind and carried away main gaff.  An effort was made to take 'Vigilance' in tow, when in act of taking tow rope a heavy sea struck the 'Vigilance' and knocked her before the wind and swept her towards shore where it is assumed she foundered with all hands.  'Vigilance' BX 218, 53 tons gross.

    Christopher Masterson (Skipper)

[See local newspaper report below.]



Boiler gave out - joint of blow down pipe gave up.

    Christopher Masterson (Skipper)

    Hugh M. Jones (Chief Engineer)



At sea.  Muros Bay, Spain

A. Sturley, age 30, Bosun; born Milford, residing Milford.

Bruised thigh through warp slipping on rail and nipping against gallows.

    M. W. Mingay (Skipper)

    W. Adams (Mate 5189)



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 30th June 1905:



     On Tuesday the new steam trawler "Emerald" which has been expected for some time past to the order of Messrs R. Cole, E. Carter and Capt. Galvin arrived in port. Her first voyage realised £158. It is reported that another new vessel is on order for Messrs Blethyn, W. Gill & Company.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 16th March 1906:


FISH TRADE.— On Monday there was a very busy day on Milford Fish Market, 14 steamers landing voyages, in addition to liners and smacks. Over seven hundred kits of hake were landed, averaging £2 5s per kit. Vessels had 200, 170, 130 kits of hake each, the top trip being landed by Captain H. Galvin in the "Emerald," grossing over £480. A large supply of mixed fish was lauded by the other steamers, going out at good prices on a keen demand. Tuesday and Wednesday only brought moderate quantities, but yesterday there were much heavier quantities except hake.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 27th December 1907:



    The steam trawler Emerald arrived in Milford Docks Christmas Day with flag half-mast, having the body of the ship's steward aboard. The captain (G. Cobley) reported that on Monday, whilst fishing in the Bay of Biscay, the steward began acting in a wild manner, brandishing an iron bar in the air, then suddenly dropping it to the deck jumped to the vessel's side, and calmly stepped into the sea. A line was at once thrown to him, but he took no notice of it, but dived away several times and at last lay back on the surface of the sea, dipping his head under with his mouth open. The steamer having her fishing gear down gradually drifted toward the man, and a line was again thrown across him, but he refused to hold it. After several attempts the hook of the gaff was secured in the clothes, and he was pulled aboard. There was now no sign of life, but for three-quarters of an hour every effort was made to restore respiration, but without avail. The gear was then hauled in, and the ship headed for home, arriving as stated on Wednesday. Deceased, whose name is R. F. Crawford, and hails from Tasmania, only recently left the Army, and belonged to the Army Medical Corps, having been stationed in the forts of Milford Haven. It was generally concluded Crawford had been brought up very well, and was well connected.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 15th October 1909:



    An interesting ceremony took place last Sunday night at the Sailors' Rest when a handsomely-bound Bible for the desk was presented on behalf of the crew of the "Emerald," by Captain George Cobley. The skipper in an interesting manner detailed how one of the crew, the chief engineer, Mr Maurice Lord, initiated the matter of providing a suitable Bible for the Rest and the amount needed was speedily forthcoming. Supt. Cobb accepted the gift and tendered his sincere thanks to the men. The Bible bears the inscription on the inside  — "Presented to the John Cory Sailor's Rest and Bethel by the crew of the steam trawler "Emerald" and friends, 1909." 



From the Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 25th November 1910:



    The Brixham fishing smack "Diligence", owned by Mr. R. Jackman, was damaged by the Milford steam trawler "Emerald" whilst in dock on Tuesday morning. The mizzen boom and mizzen sheet bolt of the "Diligence" were carried away. 



From the Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 16th December 1910:




    As was expected, Saturday brought the tidings of disaster in the Channel.  The steam trawler 'Emerald' reported a trying experience.  She had been driven in, and near St. Govan's Head, sighted the smack 'Vigilance' in peril.  Captain Chris Masterson attempted to get to her but could not make to leeward, and a rope was thrown without success.  The steamer's own position now became perilous.  When she last saw the smack it was in a hopeless position, but they could render no help, and took several hours to clear themselves.  The crew of the smack it is feared must have perished.  The skipper was Frank Crocker, and with three others, hailed from Brixham.



From "The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser" of Friday 23rd December 1910:







Friday's gale exacted a heavy toll in loss of life and damage to property. The number of victims claimed by the sea may not be known for some time, but on Monday five deaths were recorded in South Wales. In addition to these five fatalities for which the hurricane was more or less responsible, four occurred on shore, making a death-roll of nine.

From Milford Haven came the most serious reports of disasters at sea, and several fishermen are missing besides those given as downed.  A Cardiff pilot's assistant was washed overboard while a similar fate befell a seaman on a Newport-laden vessel, which put back to Barry.


The terrible gale played havoc with shipping, and on Sunday news of casualties was constantly being brought to Milford Haven. The large steamship Clan Forbes, of Liverpool, came into the harbour on Saturday morning flying signals for assistance and also for a doctor. The second mate of this ship had been killed, and several other members of the crew seriously injured as a result of the heavy seas which struck the vessel. The boats had been smashed to atoms. Captain C. Masterson, of the steam trawler Emerald, reports on that on Friday afternoon when the gale was at its height he went to the assistance of the Brixham smack Vigilance, which was then near St. Govan's Head. The sea was in such a turmoil that he was unable to attach his vessel to the Vigilance, which was suddenly -enveloped by a huge sea and disappeared from sight. He fears that the crew must have perished.  ……………



From the Western Telegraph & Cymric Times of Wednesday 2nd October 1940:


During the week grave anxiety has been felt by everyone as to the vessel's safety. The vessel left port on Wednesday, September 11th [sic - see below], for the fishing grounds. She was a mixed fishing boat carrying a crew of eleven men, of which Mr Tom Owston was skipper. In the ordinary course the ship should have returned to port on the 18th or 19th. On Tuesday twenty days had elapsed and we were officially informed by the firm that they must regretfully regard the vessel as missing or lost.

The list of the crew is as follows:

Thomas Owston. (36) Skipper, married, The Lodge, Priory Road, Milford.

William Harteveld. (65) Mate, married, Cromwell Road, Milford.

H. R. Bennet. (26) Bosun, single, 9, Albion Street, Milford.

E. A. Scrivens. (35) Third Hand, married, 32, Brooke Avenue, Milford.

Peter Huys. (32) Deck Hand, single, Belgian, 38, Cromwell Road, Milford.

W. Owston. (33) Spare Hand, single, Castle Pill Road, Steynton.

A. Tichner. (50) Cook, widower, 19, Dartmouth Gardens, Milford.

H. B. Barr. (39) Chief Engineer, married, 33,Church Street, Haverfordwest.

A. Phillips. (60) Second Engineer, married, 8,Mayoral Terrace, Haverfordwest.

J. Evans. (43) Fireman, single, 83, Military Road, Pembroke Dock, late Marble Hall Road, Milford.

S. Eynon. (45) Fireman, single, 82, Marble Hall Road, Milford.

Skipper Owston and Spare Hand W. Owston are brothers and the sons of the late Mick Owston. William Harteveld, Mate and veteran of the crew, was a Dutchman who settled in Milford many years ago. This further catastrophe brings the total of the three trawlers lost to a death role of twenty eight men.



In a letter from the Library for Contemporary History - World Wars in Stuttgart, dated 19th February 1964, and sent to a Belgian descendant of one of the RESPONDO's crew,  Dr. Jόrgen Rohwer wrote that, as another trawler was lost by air attack in the same area a fortnight later, it is possible that the RESPONDO was lost by the same cause.  According to British Vessels Lost at Sea, 1939-45 (HMSO), the RESPONDO was lost on 11th September by "cause unknown or uncertain", and the trawler BASS ROCK was also lost off the Old Head of Kinsale on 24th September, by aircraft attack. However, Dr. Rohwer stated that it was now impossible to determine either the aircraft involved, or the formation to which it belonged, and thus the exact date of her loss.


From B.T. and R. Larn (2002):   Shipwreck Index of Ireland  


RESPONDO          11/09/1940


Co. Cork, Old Head of Kinsale, offshore    51N 08.30W



This steam trawler disappeared whilst fishing off the Old Head of Kinsale with all hands, cause unknown, presumably a war loss.





Back to Trawlers 1888-1914


Back to Other Registrations Q-Z