Official No:  120499   Port Number and Year: 17th in London, 1905.

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged.


Built: 1905, by Smith's Dock Co., North Shields. (Yard no.762)

Tonnage: 196 grt  43 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 115.4 / 21.5 / 11.2

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 52 hp.; by MacColl & Pollock, Sunderland.



As LO210

7 Feb 1905: The Welsh Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford.

Manager: George H. D. Birt. [Same address.]


1910: James Morrison & Co., 5 Fenchurch St., City, London.

Manager: Edmund C. Potter. [Same address.]



Jun 1911: Fukahaku Yenyo Gyogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, Fukuoka, Japan.


Landed at Milford: 22 Feb 1905 - 18 Dec 1910

Skippers: 1905: W. Holder; J. Garnham; Taylor;

1906: Taylor; A.G. Owston


Gwalia is an archaic Welsh name for Wales. It derives from the Medieval Latin Wallia, which in turn is a Latinisation of the English 'Wales'. [Wikipedia.]

 Accidents and Incidents

From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 1st March 1905:


    The steam trawler "Gwalia", belonging to the recently formed Welsh Steam Trawling Company (Manager, Mr. G. H. D. Birt), made her first appearance at the market on Thursday morning, her maiden voyage realising over £200.  She is skippered by Captain W. Holder.  As, one after the other, new boats are added to the Port's fleet, the gap created last summer is gradually being filled up.



From the Weekly Mail of Saturday 13th October 1906:



    The steam trawler Gwalia, of London, when twenty-five miles south-west of Kineale on Tuesday afternoon, picked up the crew of the Norwegian wooden barque Allegro. The Central News Queenstown correspondent telegraphs that the men were in a pitiable state of exhaustion, and told a thrilling story of their experiences.

    The Allegro was bound from Cardiff to Pernambuco with coal, and early in the voyage experienced terrific weather, causing her to spring a leak. The hands manned the pumps, and for five days and nights bravely kept them going, but in spite of their efforts the water gained on them, until on Monday last the ship was found to have 11ft. of water in the hold, and became totally unmanageable.

    There being no hope of saving her, the crew, numbering thirteen, launched their largest boat, but in the wild sea it was instantly smashed to pieces, and a smaller boat had to be lowered. Happily, this was successfully done. For a little while the boat held on to the slowly-sinking vessel, but it was then decided to cut her adrift, and, after rigging a jury mast, to steer for Queenstown.

    Nothing more was seen of the Allegro, which, the men surmise, must have foundered almost immediately, and the well-night wornout survivors had to endure all the rigours of exposure until they fell in with the Gwalia.

    The Allegro, which was formerly the Keswick, was built at Bear River, N.S., in 1882, and was registered at Stavanger. Her net registered tonnage was 869.


[ KESWICK ON 80796; b.1882, Bear River, Nova Scotia; 924 grt. Original owner: William F. Marshall, Bear River, Digby co., N.S.]



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 14th November 1906:


     The steam trawler "Ixia" (Sellick, Morley and Price) was picked up about four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, 50 miles off St. Ann's Head, in a disabled condition, by the steam trawler "Gwalia" (Mr. G. H. D. Birt).  The "Ixia" had her tail shaft broken and was flying signals of distress when the "Gwalia" (Skipper Owston) came alongside and took her in tow, both vessels arriving in dock at nine a.m. on Thursday.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 12th April 1907:


Milford Petty Sessions.


Before Mr J. Llewellyn Davies, Mr J. Vhicher, and Col. W. R. Roberts.


John Foreman, master of the steam trawler Gwalia and Wm. Holder master of the trawler Anglia, were summoned for breaches of the docks bye-laws on March 27th. Neither appeared. Captain James said that on the date in question the two entered the dock gate abreast at the same moment. The Chairman: It was not one of them overtaking the other? Captain James:  No sir, continuing, he said, there were seventeen or eighteen boats waiting to come in when the gates were opened. One of Messrs Sellick, Morley and Price's boats came in first, and then these two followed abreast. He hailed them and requested them to come one at a time. but neither would give way. The position the boats always tried to get was third on the market, so there was nothing to gain by refusing to give way. As a result one of them crashed into the dock gates, and at first witness thought some serious damage had been done, but he afterwards found that only the superstructure was damaged. Each defendant was fined £2 and costs.



Statement by the skipper, Mr. G. Farmer: 


    We were taking the steam trawler "Gwalia" from the port of Milford Haven abroad to the port of Kobe, Japan.

    We left the harbour of Milford on 15th December 1910.  The weather conditions were pretty bad.  At around 7.45 p.m., it was found that the bilges were full of water.  On examination for the reason for this, we discovered that the pumps were all choked.

    I eased the vessel down to see if it would help to clear itself, but on checking again at 11.45 p.m., it was found that the inflow of water had increased.  The weather had not improved, so I decided to turn her around and head back to Milford for shelter.

    Before reaching shelter in Milford, a hurricane was encountered on the 16th, causing much damage.  We lost our small boat, stores, provisions and much of the gear.

    We arrived back in port (Milford Haven) on the 18th December 1910.


(Sgd.) George Farmer.  Skipper





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