John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  143892     Port and Year:  London, 1920  (LO364)  

                                                                   Aberdeen, 1948 (A628)           

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; coal fired. Ketch rigged.

Crew: 10 men (1920)

Built: by Bow McLachlan & Co., Paisley, in 1918.  (Yard no. 356)

Tonnage:   276 grt  113 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.7 / 23.4 / 12.8                                                         

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 61 rhp; by builders.




1919: The Admiralty.

Manager: The Secretary, Admiralty, Whitehall, London S.W.1


4 May 1920:  Iago Steam Trawler Co. Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: Charles Curzon. [Same address.]

2 Jun 1920: As LO364.

Mar 1930: Edward D. W. Lawford. [Manager, Fleetwood.]


As A628

1949: Andrew W. King, 165 South Anderson Drive, Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


By 1949: George Walker, Aberdeen.  [According to Olsen's 1950.]


Landed at Milford: 7 May 1920 - 27 Feb 1921; 4 Jan 1922 - 10 Mar 1930

Skippers: Charles Schock (1927); Edward Day (1930); William Hawkins;  E. C. Wales (1932).


John Cattling, age 19, born Harford (nr. Ivybridge), Devon; Boy, HMS VICTORY, at Trafalgar.

29 Apr 1918: Delivered to the Admiralty (No. 3676); equipped with listening hydrophones. 1 x 12 pdr; 1 x 3.5" bomb thrower.

8 Aug 1918:  Off St. Catherine's Point, JOHN CATTLING collided and sank the trawler MICHAEL CLEMENTS through ramming.  The MICHAEL CLEMENTS was engaged in hydrophone listening duties when the incident took place.  There was no loss of life.  Both trawlers were part of the Auxiliary Patrol Force, and MICHAEL CLEMENTS was based at Portland and it is likely JOHN CATTLING was too. 

[Information kindly supplied by Dave Wendes.]

Mar 1930: Transferred to Fleetwood when Edward D. W. Lawford moved his vessels to the port.

Aug 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper (P.No.FY.536).

26 May - 4 June 1940: At Dunkirk evacuation alongside East Mole, and towed the destroyer HMS GRENADE before her magazines exploded. (A/Sk. Lieut George W. Alden awarded DSC for this exploit and the evacuation of 77 troops.)

1943: 51st Minesweeping Group, Grimsby.

Jul 1945: Returned to owners.

10 May 1957: Arrived to Hamburg, for breaking up.

[Information supplied by the Fleetwood Maritime Trust and the Bosun's Watch website.]


Accidents and Incidents

From an unknown local newspaper dated c. 25th August 1927:


    At 1.45 am on Monday the steam trawler  "John Cattling" returned to dock at Milford, from whence she had departed the previous day, and the skipper Charles Schock, reported that one of the firemen, David Richards, aged thirty two, a native of Port Tennant, Swansea, was missing.  No member of the crew it appears saw the man after nine am on Sunday, and when the trawler was about one hundred and thirty miles out at sea and in sight of the fishing grounds, the skipper and crew carried out an exhaustive search on board, but with no success. It is stated at the time the man was missed the weather was moderate. 

    Richards was fairly well known in the neighbourhood of Milford, and was at one time engaged on a farm in the vicinity of Newton Noyes.  For some time he sailed on Messrs. Pettit's trawlers, but only joined the crew of the "John Cattling" on Saturday.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 21st February 1930:






    Prosecutions of interest to all skippers trawling out of Milford Haven were heard before the Milford Petty Sessional Bench on Wednesday last.  The defendants were three skippers who were summoned for failing to navigate their vessels in a proper and efficient manner when entering the dock.  They were Walter Wales, of the s.t. Caliph; Harry Thorpes, of the the s.t. Receina [ sic ]; and Edward Day, of the s.t. John Cattling.  In the first two cases the offences were alleged to have taken place on February 1st, and the latter case on February 10th.

    The cases were brought forward by Capt. W. R. Marrs, the Milford Dock Master, and Mr. G. T. Kelway (Messrs. Price and Kelway, solicitors) appeared for the prosecution.

    The allegations against the three defendants were that they cut into the line of vessels out of their turn when entrance signals were hoisted from the pier head.  It was pointed out that these prosecutions were the first taken under a new system of regulations drawn up by the Milford Docks Company.

    Walter Wales was the only skipper present in Court and he pleaded not guilty.

    Mr. G. T. Kelway said those three prosecutions were taken under an entirely new system of control in respect of steam trawling vessels entering Milford Docks at tide times.  In the past there had been a great deal of trouble with the skippers owing to collisions, etc., when they were attempting to take up a wrong position.  The result was that a great deal of time had been given in formulating a new system whereby these constant troubles could be avoided.  Several fishing parties had taken part in a conference and a definite scheme was agreed upon, in respect of which notices were issued, and a copy of the new scheme was sent to every skipper sailing out of the port of Milford Haven.  This new system came into operation on December 2nd, of last year, and the skippers of the various vessels were given ample time to comprehend the directions.  Mr. Kelway then proceeded to explain the new system, stating that a new red and white anchoring buoy, which was lighted at night, was placed somewhere near the entrance to the docks and instructions were given to the first vessel coming into harbour, and wishing to enter the dock was to take up a position in immediate proximity to the anchoring buoy.  The next vessel was to anchor east south-east from the ship and the next a little nearer to the pier.  The form of the line was from the buoy to the pier at Newton Noyes.  When the signal was given from the shore the vessel at the anchor buoy was to enter the dock first, followed by the other vessels in the same line.  If a vessel was not in this line she was not entitled to come into the dock until all the ships in the line were in dock.  Mr. Kelway declared that if these directions were carried out it was the opinion of the dock authorities that the trouble which had taken place in the past would be entirely eliminated. They also maintained that this scheme was a good one.  Referring to the s.t. Caliph, Mr. Kelway said it was out of the line of vessels but ultimately took up a position in the dock to which it was not entitled.  Capt. Marrs said the skipper admitted he had a copy of the directions.

    Defendant said there were two lines that day.  An alternate line was permitted.

    Mr. Kelway:  On two or three previous occasions Wales has kept to the directions.

    In answer to the Chairman, Captain Marrs said defendant came in sixth instead of eighth.

    Wales said he came up and anchored about half-an-hour before the Sidmouth.

    The Chairman (Mr. D. G. Jones): I suppose he should have taken up his correct position in the line?

    In the box Wales said he brought his ship to anchor at 2.30 a.m. on the Saturday morning in question, and he made up a second line being first ship to do this.

    Mr. Kelway (to the magistrates): The second line in every case brings up on the rear of the first line.

    Mr. L. J. Meyler (a magistrate) wanted to know what happened if a boat went on to the first line when a second line had been formed.

    Capt. Marrs:  There was no need for a second line that morning.  I have seen twenty-six boats in the first line before now.

    Mr. Kelway:  If there is no more room in the first line then a second line can be formed.  The question doesn't arise in this case.  There were only seven ships there.

    With reference to the "Receina", the skipper, who was at sea, had written that a mistake had been made.  Another boat had been taken as his.  Another trawler coming up from westward had cut him out.  The summons was the first intimation at all that he had had of the case.

    Capt. Marrs said that he was on duty on the 1oth, when Day was the offender.  When the signal was hoisted, the John Cattling, Day's boat, cut into the middle of the line ahead of four ships.  There was no question of the formation of a second line here.

    Day, who was also at sea, stated in a letter that his boat was the third to arrive.  He caused no confusion whatever.  He submitted he committed no offence against the bye-laws.   In conclusion, the letter said that only a technical breach had been committed.

    Mr. Kelway said he had two further witnesses who would give the magistrates corroborative evidence, but the Justices retired without hearing them.

    On their return the Chairman announced that these bye-laws had been drawn up for the safety of the vessels themselves and they must be observed.  As they were the first cases to be brought under the new bye-laws they would be dismissed on payment of costs.




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