Official No: 99695 Port Number and Year: 13th in Grimsby, 1893 (GY504)
- in London, 1896 (LO132)
- in Aberdeen, 1914 (A514)
- in North Shields, 1917 (SN330)
- in Yarmouth, 1919 (YH113)
Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Yawl rigged.
Crew: 9 men (1896).
Built: 1893, by Mackie & Thomson, Govan (Yard no. 66)
Tonnage: 141 grt 54 net. (25 Nov 1915: 140.83 grt; 60.3 net.)
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 98.0 / 20.5 / 10.7
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 35 rhp.; by Muir & Houston, Hull
6 Jul 1893: The Great Grimsby Ice Co., Ltd, Grimsby.
Manager: John O. Hawke, Fish Docks, Grimsby.
Mar 1896: Hewitt & Co., Fish Market, Shadwell, London.
Manager: R. M. Hewitt.
George M. Handscomb, Riverside, Gorleston, Suffolk. (By 1903)
1906: Chas. T. Pannell, 60 Durley Rd., Stamford Hill, Middlesex. (By 1912: 31 Bergholt Cres.)
Manager: James Tidsman, 228 High St., Gorleston, Suffolk.
Edmund Brand, Milford. (1911).
27 Nov 1913: Charles E. B. L. Curzon, Docks, Milford.
(Home address: Watermouth Castle, Berrynarbor, N. Devon.)
11 Aug 1915: Standard Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Aberdeen.
Manager: Harry Alexander Holmes.
3 Mar 1917: Richard Irvin & Sons, Fish Quay, N. Shields.
Manager: Richard Irvin, The Elms, N. Shields.
Jun 1919: John T. C. Salmon, Gt. Yarmouth, & Others. [See note below.]
Managing owner: John T. C. Salmon.
[ Thanks to Andrew Hall for information from the Aberdeen registers. ]
Landed at Milford: 6 Jan 1908 - 5 Aug 1915
Halcyon is a mythical bird, said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm. [Oxford Dictionary.]
Sister ship to CYGNET LO131 and TEAL LO135 ("The little London boats")
12 Dec 1914: Fitted out for Admiralty service at Pembroke Dock.
29 May 1917: As HALCYON II, Fishery Trawler. 1919: Returned to owners.
30 Jul 1919: Hope abandoned of the Yarmouth trawler Halcyon, which was last sighted in the N. Sea on 30 July, and feared she had struck a mine. She had a crew of 9.
[The Times, Thursday 28th August 1919.]
Accidents and Incidents
From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 13th March 1908:
The steam trawler "Halcyon" of Yarmouth, but now trading from Milford Haven, returned to post on Saturday with the schooner "Dart" of Wexford; captain M. Flynn in tow. It appears the schooner left Swansea on the 4th inst. for Youghal with a cargo of culm, and had almost reached her destination when she met adverse winds. When off the Smalls, the weather increased to such an extent that the mainsail was carried away, the top sheet also parted, and the fore staysail and standing jib was torn to shreds. The skipper altered his course, but the wind came up from the West with increased force, and carried away forsail. The gaff topsail was hoisted for the purpose of laying to, but they were now drifting at the rate of one-and-a-half miles an hour. The decks were swamped, everything being cleared, and the bulwarks shattered. The trawler then hove in sight, and took her in charge. As she was making water rapidly, she was anchored near the shore off Pill point. Pumps had to be kept going, and on Sunday night she dragged her anchor, and came on to the beach; great difficulty will be found in getting her from there safely. The crew had a terrible experience, but fortunately no serious injury happened to any of the men.
From a local newspaper, possibly the West Wales Guardian of Friday 8th March 1912:
News reached us yesterday that the Glasgow steamer Osmunli, of 2,240 tons, loaded with coal and bricks, had been towed into Swansea by three Milford trawlers, the Halcyon (belonging to Messrs. Brand and Co.); the Kirkland (Mr. Birt and D. J. Davies, part owner and skipper); and the Cameo (Mr. Johnson's). They had found the steamer on her beam ends and abandoned, and the crew, it is believed, had put into Padstow. No details are as yet known.
From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 13th March 1912:
The Glasgow steamer "Osmanli", 4,000 tons registered*, was towed into Swansea on Thursday by the steam trawlers "Cameo", "Kirkland" and "Halcyon", having picked up the derelict off Lundy Island on Tuesday. Before the trawlers took her in tow the Lowestoft fishing smack "V & A" had sighted her in a heavy gale flying signals of distress, and put two men aboard of her, and another Lowestoft trawler, the "Bentar" [ sic ], took off her crew of 25, subsequently landing them at Padstow.
The "Osmanli" was loaded with steam coal, and the ship and cargo are assumed to be worth about £35,000. The vessel had a big list when brought into the King's Dock, Swansea.
The trawlermen expect a big reward by way of salvage. "The Osmanli was caught by a gale 20 miles off Trevose Head," said the mate of the Milford steam trawler "Cameo", which was at the bow of the steamer that was being towed in. "I do not blame them, the crew, for leaving her, for she was in a very bad way, terrible seas making her quite helpless. We, together with the Kirkland and the Halcyon, all three trawlers belonging to Milford, then got hold of her, and with the smack V & A in attendance, made for Swansea. We had a fearful time. We had not a bite or sup for 48 hours, and every hour we found that the boat would break away. The weather was something awful, and heaven only knows how we got her in eventually. The Master of the "Osmanli", Captain McDonald, was loath to leave his ship, but the boat was rapidly heeling over, and it was touch and go getting her to port, I tell you."
The "Halcyon" appears to have been the first of the steam trawlers to get hold of the prize, then the "Kirkland" (Captain D. J. Davies), but so hazardous was the task that it was extremely fortunate that the "Cameo" (Captain George Cobley) came along at just the right moment.
The Mate, whose story is told above, is Walter Dewsbury, Milford Haven. The trawlers have now left Swansea and put to sea, and the crew of these vessels will anxiously await the prize award.
* Actually 2283 g.r.t
In May 1912, Mr. Justice Bargreave Deane found that the value of the OSMANLI and her cargo was £7,845, and he awarded a total sum of £3,190, divided as follows:
PANTIRE (for saving 14 lives) £140; E.M.W. (which saved 10 lives) £100; "G AND E" (whose mate and 2 hands took charge of the OSMANLI) £300; HALCYON, KIRKLAND and CAMEO (principal salvors) £800 each, apportioning £500 to each of the owners, £50 to each of the masters, and £250 to each of the crews; a pilot and 3 others received £100, the BEAUFORT £100 and the CONQUEROR £50.
£800 is worth £52,748 today (measured by RPI) or £277,685 (by average earnings). By the latter measurement, each of the trawler skippers would have received the equivalent of £17,355 today.
From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 17th December 1913:
Mr. Brand and Co. have disposed of their smaller vessels, viz. Halcyon, Teal, Osprey and Cygnet, to Mr Curzon, the owner of the steam trawler Quebec, and they will remain in the port. These vessels, known as the little London boats, have done remarkably well ever since they came to the port.
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