Official No:  144544     Port and Year:  London, 1920 (LO386)

                                                                   Geestemünde, 1924 (PG352)

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

Crew: 11 men (1920)

Built: by Bow McLachlan & Co., Paisley, in 1917.  (Yard no. 348)

Tonnage:   276 grt  113 net

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

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 61 rhp; by builders.




15 Jun 1920:  Colin L. Mason, Atlantic Buildings, Cardiff Docks.

Managing owner.

15 Jul 1920: LO386



1 Apr 1924: Hochseefischerei Nordstern, Westermünde.



1926:  Javier Arcelus, 6 de la Plaza de la Constitucion, San Sebastian.


1943: Pedro Campo y Ugidos, San Sebastian.


Landed at Milford:  

As HMT JOHN CHURCH 9 Nov 1917 - 30 Mar 1919 (5 in 1917; 28 in 1918; 11 in 1919.)

As LO386: 17 Jun - 27 Dec 1920 (8 landings); 8 Jan 1921 - 12 Feb 1924.

Skippers: Alfred James Kersey (1924); Steve Pembroke (154)


John Church, age 28, born Yarmouth; Pte. RM, HMS VICTORY, at Trafalgar.

Antares is a star in the constellation Scorpius.

Txit-ona is the Basque for "Extremely good".

16 Oct 1917: Launched for the Admiralty as an escort vessel (Admy. no. 3658). 

1936: Seized and armed for the Spanish Nationalist Navy. 

Sep 1936: Disarmed, and returned to owners.

[Thanks to Simon Kursawe, Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven.]


Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th July 1923:


    Whilst fishing in western waters on her last trip the steam trawler "John Church" captured an enormous shark which measured nearly nineteen feet in length, and nine feet in circumference.  Some use was made of this monster by the crew, but its remains were thrown back to the sea after the weight of practically two tons had been divided into three parts.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 10th August 1923: 


    Second engineer Raynor, of Mansfield Street, Milford, and a crew member of the steam trawler "John Church" (Vanessa Co.), was injured in an explosion that occurred aboard his ship on Friday morning, but happily the consequences are not serious.  The majority of Milford trawlers carry supplies of calcium carbide, and it was a tin full of this dangerous material that the engineer was in the act of opening when the accident occured. He sat down and took the can between his knees, at the same time using a hammer and chisel to open the top of the can. It is believed that the carbide was damp and that a spark caused by the use of the chisel led to the explosion, which resulted in Raynor being rendered unconscious for a considerable time.  The skipper was at the time proceeding to sea, but he immediately turned his vessel round and returned with the injured man, who was conveyed to Doctor Prickett's surgery.  It was found that the unfortunate man's eyesight was severely impaired, and he was suffering from shock. 

    The latest news now we learn is that he has almost completely recovered.


[ Note: Calcium carbide was used for making gas for the ship's lighting.  Accidents of this type were frequent. ]



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