Official No:    107049    Port Number and Year: 15th in Milford in 1896

                                                                                     -    in Aberdeen, 1914 (A193)

Description:  Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw; coal burner. Ketch rigged: mainsail and mizzen. 

Crew: 9 men (1896 -1914)

Registered at Milford: 17 Dec 1896

Built: Edwards Bros., North Shields 1896.  (Yard no. 528)

Tonnage: 145.13 gross 32.04 net (> 55.54 net; amended 1 Jan 1914)

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  106.0 / 20.65 / 11.0

Engine: T-3Cyl 50 rhp., by North Eastern Marine Engine Co., Sunderland



17 Dec 1896: Cornelius Cecil Morley, Milford (Millfort) House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

                       William Goff Davis-Goff, Glenville, Co. Waterford.

Manager: Frederick Joseph Sellick, Milford. (Died 26th September 1903, age 61.)


9 Mar 1903: Southern Steam Trawling Co., 127 Quay, Waterford.

(Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, Milford Docks.)

Manager: Cornelius Cecil Morley, "Cnocaitiun"*, Milford.  

(*Probably "Cnoc Áine" , Co. Limerick: "Aine's Hill". )


16 Dec 1911: Walter Fulton & John Stewart, 82 Gordon St., Glasgow.


20 Dec 1911: John Colquhoun, 132 Bridgegate, Glasgow.

Managing owner.


As A193

4 Dec 1914:  Richard Watson Lewis, View Park, Deemount Tce., Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford: 9 Dec 1896 - 28 Jun 1911


Peter Ebbesen cert. no. 01678, age 40, born Horsen, Denmark; signed on 30 Nov 1896;

George Horth 01147, 45, Caistor, residing 5 Jubille Tce., Robert St., Milford; 2 Dec 1896; 1 Jan, 2 Jul 1897; 4 Jan, 7 Jun, 6 Jul 1898; 9 Jan 1899;13 Jan, 2 Jul 1903; 7 Jan, 6 Jul 1904; 5 Jan, 6 Jul 1905; 3 Jan 1906

J. Cutler 5311, 30, Yarmouth; 8 Sep 1899; 15 Jan, 9 Jul 1900; 14 Feb, 1 Jul 1901; 7 Jan, 5 Jul 1902; 12 Jan 1903

James Chaney 6638, 31, Winterton; 13 Feb, 3 Jul 1906

Richard Robson 5068, 33, Scarborough; 6 Jan, 2 Jul 1908; 11 Jan, 5 Jul 1909; 1 Feb, 8 Jul 1910; 4 Jan 1911.


Notes:  Japonica is a variety of the camellia, with waxy flowers and varied colours.

5 Jun 1915: Whilst fishing 45 miles E of Kinnaird Head, captured and sunk by gunfire from U-19 (Kapitänleutnant Constantin Kolbe). No lives lost.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 4 Dec 1914. Transferred to the port of Aberdeen.

 Accidents and Incidents:

Log book entries:



Starboard bow struck rocks and remained just for a few seconds.

    C. Garnish (Skipper)



Milford Haven

Collision with the steam trawler 'Brazilian' of Milford Haven, which ran into the 'Japonica'.  Plates dented on starboard side abreast of the engine room

    C. Garnish (Skipper)



20 miles SW of the Smalls lighthouse.

Vessel and rolled and pitched the Skipper into the winch.  Tore off two of his fingers from his right hand.

    C. Garnish (Skipper)




Hubert O'Callan, age 32, Second Engineer; Irish, born Limerick, residing Milford.

Drowned, 210 miles WSW from Milford Haven.

Missed the Second Engineer from his bunk between 10 and 11 o'clock a.m.  We hauled the trawl and searched for him but we saw nothing no more of him.

    G. Horth (Skipper)

[ See local newspaper report below. ]



Dale Roads.

Collided with 'Girl Eva' of Lowestoft.  No damage sustained by 'Japonica'.  Cause - engines got on centre and could not come astern in time to avoid collision.

    Richard Robson. (Skipper)




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 20th January 1897:


    At the Sessions House, on Thursday last, Charles Lewis, a cook on board the steam trawler "Japonica", was charged before Mr. W. R. Roberts and Mr. J. Ll. Davies with absenting himself from his vessel without leave, and also with refusing to proceed to sea.  George Horth, skipper, deposed that at an early hour on the morning of the date in question, he called his crew together and told them the ship was ready for sea.  The prisoner was there and said, "I am not going with you this voyage, if you can do without a deckhand for this trip, which you have done on many previous occasions."  The prisoner was then before Mr. Pick, Board of Trade officer, for the purpose of giving his reasons for refusing to go to sea.  The defendant, however, said he had no complaint to make against the company, skipper, or any of the crew, but that he had made up his mind not to proceed to sea this trip.  Mr. Pick corroborated, and added that after hearing defendant's statement he issued a warrant for him to be brought before the magistrate.  Serg. Brinn having given evidence of arrest, the Bench committed the prisoner for seven days hard labour, and ordered him to forfeit two days pay, remarking that they had dealt leniently with him on this occasion because this was the first case of the kind to come before them.  In future, however, cases of this nature would be dealt with more severely.


From the Pembrokeshire Herald 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 Japonica, John G. Butler, the skipper, had his hand caught in the winch, and lost two fingers, on Thursday night.

    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 crew together.



From he Pembrokeshire Herald of Friday 5th August 1904:


AN ENGINEER'S MYSTERIOUS DEATH.— When the steam trawler "Japonica" put into dock at seven o'clock on Sunday evening, Skipper George Horth reported that when 210 miles westward of Milford, on the previous Tuesday, the second-engineer, Herbert Callum, had mysteriously disappeared, and it was believed had jumped, or fallen, overboard and been drowned. This was Callum's first voyage on the "Japonica" as he had previously been engaged on the Castle boats. He was very ill whilst out and was last seen lying in his bunk. The weather was quite calm yet a few minutes after he had been seen in his bunk he was missed, and though the ship was searched from stem to stern he could not be found. No one saw him leave his bunk, nor go overboard, yet that he must have done so is evident. The chief engineer, Bob Johns, interviewed by a Herald representative, said the "Japonica" left Milford on Saturday, July 23rd. Callum was on board as second engineer, and said to his chief "I shall never see Milford any more." He said he had been drinking heavily for ten days. On the Monday he complained that he was unwell and asked his chief to let him exchange duties with the trimmer. Callum knew his work well, but on account of his illness the chief consented to the exchange. Callum went to his bunk but was noticed to be very restless. On Tuesday morning at 10.20 he was seen in his bunk by the cook. Twenty minutes later the skipper missed him. A search was instituted, but the missing man could not be found. Whether he went overboard, by accident or intention will now never be known.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 3rd August 1904:


    On Sunday night the steam trawler "Japonica" (Sellick, Morley & Price) arrived in port, and Captain G. Horth reported that the second engineer, named H. D. Callan, was missed aboard on July 26th.  It is not known whether the man, who had only shipped this voyage, was overboard, or how he was lost..



From The Scotsman of Saturday 28th November 1914, p.8:


    LEITH TRAWLING CAPTAIN CONVICTED.― In Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday, Hector Sinclair, trawling captain, 27 Trinity Crescent, Leith, was charged with having fished within the three-mile limit at Carnoustie while master of the Japonica, of Milford Haven.  He pleaded not guilty.  After evidence, Sheriff Neish said he had heard that a great many trawlers were taking advantage of the war to fish inshore, and he thought they ought to keep a margin on the right side.  He fined the accused £15, or sixty days' imprisonment.



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