JOHN BAPTISH LO234 / M275
Courtesy of Cynthia - trawlerphotos.co.uk
Official No: 143835 Port Number and Year: 602nd in London, 1919 (LO234)
7th in Milford, 1938
Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mainsail and mizzen.
Crew: 12 men (1920)
Registered at Milford: 23 May 1938
Built: Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverely, in 1918. (Yard no. 391)
Tonnage: 290.16 grt 126.58 net
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.5 / 23.5 / 12.7
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 60.7 hp. TE 480 ihp. 10½ kts. Amos & Smith Ltd., Hull.
30 Dec 1919: The Admiralty, London.
Manager: The Secretary of the Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1.
1920: The Skomer Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., Milner Chambers, Cardiff.
Manager: Lewis Bull & Co., Bute Docks, Cardiff.
16 Nov 1923: Brand & Curzon, The Docks, Milford.
Managers: Edward Brand & Charles Curzon.
23 May 1938: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford.
Manager: Owen Willie Limbrick, Pill Lane, Milford.
Landed at Milford: (HMT JOHN BAPTISH) 15 Jul 1919.
(As LO234) 1 Jan 1920 - 4 May 1938.
(As M275) 29 May 1938 - 4 Sep 1940.
Skippers: W. J. McLean (1940)
John Baptish born in Rouen, age 36; A.B., HMS VICTORY, Trafalgar.
29 Apr 1918: Launched for Admiralty (Admy.no. 3596); 1x12 pdr.
1920: Sold to mercantile.
28 Aug 1939: Requisitioned by Admiralty and designated as minesweeper, but not converted.
11 Oct 1939: Returned to owners
7 Sep 1940: Sailed from Milford, and later presumed mined south of Coningbeg Light Vessel (possibly 9 Sep), and lost with all hands. [See below.]
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 28 Sep 1940.
Accidents and Incidents:
From The Times of Wednesday, Aug 02, 1933:
JOHN BAPTISH.— Waterford, Aug. 1.— Trawler John Baptish (before reported): Diver has all clear. Trawler leaving for fishing ground 2 p.m.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday, 27th September 1940:
Milford Haven has stood up to many blows in its time and come up smiling, but the past few days has filled the town's cup of sorrow to overflowing. The trawler left for the fishing grounds on Saturday, Sep 7th, and on a normal fortnight trip would have been in by the 21st. Meanwhile other trawlers reported that this boat had steamed for home with a big catch of herrings. It was hoped that all these stories were wrong and the boat was on a hake trip, but on Wednesday of this week Mr. O. W. Limbrick, a director of the company, issued the sad news that the vessel was now overdue and believed lost. She was in charge of Skipper W. J. McLean, 22, Shakespeare Avenue. The other twelve crew members were:
Mate - A. E. Pritchard, 50, Priory Road, Milford.
Bosun - J. H. Garton, 1, Canopus Avenue, Hessle Road, Hull.
Third Hand - J. R. Freeman, 21, Greville Road, Milford.
Deck Hand - Samuel Nelson, 35, Midway Grove, Gipsyville, Hull.
Spare Hand - H. Anson, 2, St. George's Grove, Gipsyville, Hull.
Spare Hand - H. Wordsworth, 10, Appleby Terrace, St. Paul Street, Hull.
Spare Hand - V. L. Bird, 64, Pharos Street, Fleetwood.
Cook - R. Jordan, The Strand, Rosslare, County Wexford.
Chief Engineer - W. H. Hughes, Hill Crescent, Merlin's Bridge, Haverfordwest.
Second Engineer - J. E. Thomas, 39, Portfield Avenue, Haverfordwest.
Fireman - A. L. G. Badham, 19, Merlin's Crescent, Haverfordwest.
Fireman - J. W. Eynon, Hillblock, Picton, Haverfordwest.
"Skipper McLean was an experienced fisherman, a hard working and conscientious man," said Mr Limbrick. Skipper McLean, who was 56 years of age, was one of the most popular Milford Skippers. A native of Brixham, he leaves a widow, five sons and one daughter. Two of his sons are serving in the Navy and a third in the Royal Air Force. He came to Milford over forty years ago and had been one of the most successful skippers in the port, having sailed with most of the firms, including Brand and Curzon, and Mr Lawford's. During the last war (1914-1918) he served four and a half years in the minesweepers and was mentioned several times in despatches, the last on July 2nd, 1917. When this present war broke out he tried all he knew to join up but each time he was told to continue with his work of bringing in the food. Apart from his home and his work he had few interests, but his genial presence was always welcome at the Old Priory Lodge of Freemasons, of which he was a member.
A. E. Pritchard, his Mate, was a native of Hull. He leaves five children to mourn. Another Hull man, Garton, was a married man with family. Bob Freeman, the Third Hand, was a native of Milford. He was only twenty seven years old and was the sole support of his widowed mother.
Little is known in the port about the Hull men who had just come round to the west to fish. It was the first trip out of the port for both Anson and Wordsworth, but Garton and Nelson were on their second trip. Little is known of Bird, a recent arrival at the port from Fleetwood. Jordan, an Irishman, was a married man with a family.
The four Haverfordwest men have all been going to sea for some time. Hughes was a married man and lived with his parents at Merlin's Bridge. There are no children. Badham was a native of Chepstow but has lived at Haverfordwest for some time. He was married but had no family. J. E. Thomas, Portfield Avenue, was a son of the late Mr Job Thomas, Haroldston Farm. He served in the last war and leaves a widow and grown-up family. James Eynon, Picton, was only twenty six and had been on Milford trawlers for some years. He was a single man and lived at home with his father, a widower.
Courtesy of Vera Jones
Original painting by Trevor H. Anson, son of Hubert Anson, who was lost with 12 others
when she was sunk on the night of 9th September, 1940
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