Official No:    108430   Port Number and Year: 6th in Milford,1898

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

Crew: 9 men (1898, 1904).

Registered at Milford: 10 Aug 1898.

Built: J. Duthie & Sons, Aberdeen,1898  (Yard no. 196)

Tonnage: 183.9 gross 36.83 net (> 72.74 net; tonnage amended 1 Jan 1914.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  111 / 20.8 / 11.3

Engine: T-3Cyl. 61 rhp.; made by Whyte & Mair, Dundee



10 Aug 1898:  Cornelius Cecil Morley, 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.

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

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


27 Oct 1919: The Rainbow Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford.

Manager: Alfred W. Rainbow. (Same address.)

                Frank Berry Rees, 'The Nelmes', Pill Lane, Milford. (c.1923)  


Landed at Milford: 18 Aug 1898 - 5 Jan 1915; 9 Apr 1919 - 30 May 1924.


Peter Ebbesen cert. no. 01768, age 40, born Horsen; signed on  14 Aug 1898; 13 Jun, 4 Jul 1901; 1 Jan, 28 Aug 1902; 2 Jan 1903; 18 Feb, 1 Jul 1912; 3 Jan, 7 Apr 1913

Edgar Garnham 1571, 25, Sittingbourne, residing St. Annes Rd., Hakin; 15 Sep 1898; 14 Feb, 14 Jul 1899; 15 Jan, 12 May, 31 May, 4 Jul 1900; 1 Jan 1901

J. Joyce 5562, 37, Manchester; 12 May 1900

B. Blockwell 2523, 37, Yarmouth; 13 Aug 1901

B. Jackson 1431, 41, Yarmouth; 20 May, 9 Jul 1902; 2 Jan, 5 Jul 1905; 15 Jan 1906

J. Clark 3685, 39, Hull; 12 May, 4 Jul 1903

Henry John Dove 2301, 55, Great Clacton, 5 Jul 1904

Walter Hill 6990, 27, Acle; 29 Dec 1905

Thomas Salter 5349, 28, Exeter; 3 Jul 1906

Edwin Cox  4408, 41, Boston, 6 Jan 1908; 1 Jan, 31 Aug 1909; 6 Jan 1910; 9 Jan 1911

G. Wigg 7433, 30, Yarnes; 26 May 1908

D. Smith, 3566, 42, Lincoln, 7 Jul, 18 Jul 1910;

J. Daldry 3711, 38, Norwich; 20 Jun, 1 Jul 1911

G. King 7381, 29, Gorleston; 1 Oct 1911

R. Robson 5068, 37, Scarborough; 9 Nov 1911

R. A. Whisby 5842, 39, London; 4 Jan 1912

J. W. Goffin 7236, 41, Yarmouth; 16 Jan 1912


Kalmia is an evergreen shrub with leathery leaves and bowl-shaped flowers.

Jan 1915: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper.

Aug 1915: Renamed KALMIA II.

1919: Returned to owners.

26 Jun 1924:  Struck floating object and foundered 20 miles W of Lundy. [See story below.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 3 Jul 1924. Ship totally lost on 27th June 1924.

 Accidents and Incidents:

Log book entries:



78 miles west SW from St Ann's Head.

Crown of furnaces fell down, cause unknown.

    Edgar Garnham. (Skipper).


[This trawler was laid up at Milford Docks through the damage done to the furnaces from the 3.12.98 to the 31.12.98; all the crew were paid off.]



5 miles S by E from the Wolfe Light.

Towed the steam trawler "Exmouth" from 5 miles S by E from the Wolfe Light to Milford Haven.

    Edgar Garnham. (Skipper).



Off the Shingle Ridge, Inishman Island, Galway.

Vessel struck Shingle Ridge off the Inish Man Island, Galway Bay, heavy weather.

    Edgar Garnham. (Skipper).



Milford Docks.

Broken top rail and one plate on port quarter dented. Run into by the steam trawler Apollo of Grimsby.

     B. Jackson. (Skipper).


On Friday March 25th at 4.30 a.m., tail end shaft broke while we were towed 310 miles to Milford by the steam trawler Devon.

    J. Clark. (Skipper).

[ See local newspaper report below. ]



On Tuesday, May 11th, 1905 at 6.30 a.m. the Bosun Fred Myhill had a  fit and fell down.  We carried him to the for'castle, we then took the ship to Vigo and took him to hospital.  Next day being better we took him back aboard again and sailed for the fishing grounds.  After twenty four hours work, the bosun not being responsible for his actions, we came home, and arrived at Milford at 9 a.m. March 17th.  I reported to Customs Officer on coming aboard.

     B. Jackson. (Skipper).



10 a.m. Milford Dock.

Rudder bent when coming alongside the Mackerel Stage.  Vessel struck bottom.

    B. Jackson. (Skipper).



12 miles SSW of Skellig Islands.

Richard King, age 18, Deck Hand; British, born Hull, residing Milford Haven.

Injury to arm - small bone broken - vessel shipped heavy sea ,which threw him against trawl gallows bar.

    Edwin Cox. (Skipper).

    Thomas Roach. (Second Hand 7077).



Lying to, 6 miles NE Ballycotton Light, 7.30 a.m.

Gale of wind from WSW, heavy sea running.  A heavy sea struck the ship on port quarter, taking boat from chocks and doing other damage.

    Edwin Cox. (Skipper).

    Thomas Roach. (Second Hand 7077).



Milford, about 3 p.m. on this date James Silvey coming on board reported to Chief Engineer that on coming on board he slipped on a piece of fish in the market and fell, whereby he hurt his back.  After getting to sea it got worse and we put him ashore at Berehaven in hospital.

    Edwin Cox. (Skipper).

    G. H. Scotton. (Chief Engineer).



25 miles off Kinsale.

Collision with the steam trawler St Clear - St.Clear not showing towing signals.

    Edwin Cox. (Skipper).

    Stephen H. Lisk. (Third Hand).




At Sea, 40 miles west of St.Ann's Head.

George Scotton,  age 52, born Leicester, residing Hakin.

Fingers jammed, feeling bearings.



45 W by N from St. Ann's Head.

Main pumps of engine broken. - cause - cross heads breaking.


01. 04 .1911.

Hook light bearing S by E 10 miles.

G.Croft,  age 37,Chief Engineer; English, born Beverley, residing Milford.

Strained his insides - receiving injuries internally through ship rolling.

    Edwin Cox. (Skipper).

    Alfred Edwards. (Second Hand 8365.




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 30th March 1904:


    On the 25th March, whilst fishing in the Bay of Biscay, the steam trawler "Kalmia" broke the tail end of her shaft, and was taken in tow by the steam trawler "Devon", which arrived at Milford on Monday.


From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 11th November 1904:




PECULIAR FISH.— Two peculiar fish, brought from off the Spanish coast, were landed by the trawler Kalmia, at Milford Haven on Tuesday. They were what the fishermen call deep sea salmon. Each measured about four and half feet, and sealed six and a half stone, and in general appearance were something between salmon and huge bream. They were brought as curiosities and have been sent away. 



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph  of Wednesday 13th February 1907:


    On Sunday afternoon a somewhat serious accident occurred on board the steam trawler "Kalmia".  The vessel was lying out in the harbour previous to going to sea, the anchor was being raised and as the heavy instrument came inboard it surged round and struck the mate, Mr. Frank Riby, inflicting a serious wound on the head and cutting his ear.  The injured man was immediately brought ashore and taken to Doctor Griffith's surgery where his injuries were attended to.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 14th February  1908:


 Racing into Dock.


At the Milford Haven Petty Sessions on Wednesday before Dr. Griffith (in the chair), and other magistrates.

James C. Ward, dock master, Milford Haven, prosecuted in a case in which Edward Cox, master mariner, Milford Haven, was charged that being the master of the steam trawler ‘Kalmia’ did overtake another vessel when approaching the entrance to the Milford Docks on February 9th, contrary to the docks bye-laws. Mr Toombs, solicitor, Fishguard, appeared for the defendant who was at sea.

Capt. James explained that the summons was taken out against the skipper of the ‘Kalmia’ for overtaking and passing another vessel. On the evening of Sunday Feb. 9th, the night was fine and clear and there were about a dozen or thirteen steam trawlers waiting outside to come into the dock. When the signal was given the trawlers came into the dock in an irregular line. Four vessels had entered and five or six were fairly close to the gate. Then the skipper of the ‘Kalmia’ who had been at the rear, put his engines on and raced along the line passing two trawlers close in the entrance. He passed the ‘Yarmouth’ about his own length outside the entrance. Capt. James said in the majority of the cases which had been brought before the magistrates, the skippers were fined for entering the docks two abreast. In that case the skipper of the ‘Kalmia’ did the ‘Yarmouth’ out of her proper position. Fortunately the skipper of the ‘Yarmouth’ kept his engines stopped and allowed the ‘Kalmia’ to go past. Had he done what was perhaps natural, tried to retain his position ahead of the ‘Kalmia’, both trawlers would have raced into dock abreast.

The Chairman enquired from Capt. James whether it would not be possible for the dock master to signal each vessel be desired to enter the dock. When those vessels came in abreast it was very difficult to say who was really to blame. He believed that the vessels were separately signalled at some of the ports.

Capt. James replied that no doubt that was the case where there were heavy vessels at such ports as Cardiff, Liverpool or London. There they would only have seven or eight or ten vessels to handle at a time and each could be separately signalled. In the Milford Docks however it was a different matter altogether. The fleet was what might be termed a mosquito fleet. They sometimes had 120 vessels all coming in fairly close together. They entered the dock in a line with perhaps only a length or so between each vessel. Suppose for argument they had 140 vessels at a tide and they only allowed them a minute each that would be close on three hours. They could not possibly have a signal.

The Chairman: But you don't on an average have to handle 140 trawlers.

Capt. James: We may have entering the docks at the same time 60 or 70 to a hundred trawlers, and it would be simple lunacy to attempt to give each vessel a separate signal. We should require a week to deal with the vessels which would want to come in at the same tide. Their present system had worked well, and during all those years they had  never had a serious accident. The few slight mishaps which had occurred where not due to any fault in their system, but to individual carelessness. In that case he allowed the ‘Kalmia’ to enter the dock before he interfered.

Cross-examined: Did the ‘Kalmia’ observe the rule of the road before entering the dock gate? — She tried to overtake another vessel.

Was she not in her right position?

She should have been five or six vessels behind the trawler she passed.

What was the reason for the skipper hurrying in to dock on Sunday night ? — I could not say.

Was there any damage done ? — No damage done.

Had she more steer way on than you consider reasonable ? — She must have had more way on than the other trawlers or she could not have passed them.

There are two green lights placed at the entrance of the dock gates for the vessels to come in, they were the signal for the ‘Kalmia’ to enter ? — She should not have passed abreast the other vessels.

Were you in a position to see exactly how the Kalmia came in? — Yes.

You allowed him to enter without giving him any warning ? — Yes I was afraid of damaging the gates so I allowed him to come right in. Afterwards I stopped him and allowed the Yarmouth and the other vessels to take their places in front.

There was no damage done to the gates ? — No.

The Chairman said they had had before the statement as to the terrible consequences to the trade and prosperity of the port of Milford if those gates were damaged. They had fined the skippers in the previous cases with the object of obviating such damage.

Mr Toombs asked the magistrates not to consider the absence of his client as prejudicial to his interests. The defendant had had to proceed to sea. He had pleaded guilty to that offence. They had heard what the harbour master had to say. The defendant, he was instructed, was a married man and had been in his present employment for six years. He had a great deal of distress in his family, and under all the circumstances he asked the magistrates to deal leniently with the defendant. The Chairman said the Bench had unanimously decided to fine the defendant £5 inclusive, and they hoped it would be a warning to others.

On the application of Mr Toombs two months was allowed in which to pay.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph  of Wednesday 17th December 1913:


    On Monday afternoon a serious accident occurred to Sidney Johnson, twenty four year old mate on the steam trawler "Kalmia", when the vessel was fishing in the home grounds. By some means the fishing gear got fouled, causing the wire warp to surge and tighten, pinning Johnson against the side of the trawler.  The warp surged again and this time the unfortunate man was thrown overboard, owing to his helpless state, and it was with great difficulty that he was rescued by his shipmates. The skipper at once put back to Milford and Johnson was conveyed to his house in Starbuck Road, where he was then medically attended.


Skipper's Statement, February 1914.


Whilst engaged in fishing on Saturday afternoon, the weather was foul, strong winds and heavy seas.  We had our nets over the side and we were towing along, when suddenly we were hit on our port side near our wheel house by a three masted sailing ship.  After colliding with us, she carried on her way with out stopping to see if she had done any damage to us, or if we required her assistance.


I asked the Chief Engineer if the vessel's engine were still all right.  Finding they were, I ordered the trawl to be heaved in and gave chase after him.  After chasing the three master for about thirty miles we managed to get close enough to identify her, and we found her to be a French ship, named "Mount Carmel" of Nantes.  She was bound for the port of Glasgow.


My trawler suffered a great deal of damage.  We lost our mizzen mast, funnel badly damaged and out of true, and the trawler had a ten degree list to port.


    Charles Schock.  Master.


[Mount Carmel: Built 1883, by Ramage & Ferguson, Leith. 1686 grt.  Owners, Smith & Service.]


From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph  of Wednesday 4th March 1914:


    The steam trawler Kalmia (Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price) arrived at Milford Haven on Saturday afternoon, and as she was lying outside in the harbour she presented an unusual sight.  The trawler had evidently been in a serious collision, for she had a list to port, the funnel was displaced, and the mizzen mast gone.             

    When the skipper, Mr. Charles Shock, came ashore, he confirmed the general surmise, and reported that, "Whilst fishing on the Western Grounds, and whilst towing the trawl on Friday night, a three masted sailing ship ran into us.  She did not stop to see if we required any assistance.  I asked the Chief Engineer if the engines had been damaged, and finding them okay, I heaved in the fishing gear and gave chase after the sailing ship.  We chased her for 30 miles before we managed to get close enough to pick out her name.  We found her to be a French ship named Mount Carmel, of the port of Nantes.  She was bound to the port of Glasgow."



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 18th June 1919:


    Some excitement was manifested on the Milford Docks during last week when it became known that Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price were disposing of their fleet of steam trawlers.  For a considerable time negotiations had been proceeding with the Consolidation Company of Grimsby, but these recently fell through.  It is gratifying to know that the greater portion of the fleet has been retained for the port, as will be seen from the following list.  Several local gentlemen having come forward, the competition was very keen.

    The Alnmouth, Weigelia, and Exmouth have been sold to Fleetwood firms, while the Charmouth, Macaw, Tacsonia, Rosa, Xylopia, Essex, Uhdea, Petunia, Lynmouth, Kalmia, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Syringa, Yarmouth and Magnolia have all found local buyers.

    This opens out the question of the need for local trades people and others to invest in the staple industry of this fishing port, as has been done in competing fishing centres.



From the Pembrokeshire Telegraph  of Wednesday 30th June 1920:


In the Admiralty Division on Wednesday, Mr Justice Hill disposed of claims by Sir William Beardmore, of Glasgow, owner of the steam trawler "Falstaff", and the master and crew of that vessel, for salvage remuneration in respect of services rendered to the steam trawler "Kalmia", Milford.  His Lordship, who said the towage was of an arduous character, awarded the plaintiffs £500, giving £370 to the owner of the "Falstaff", £30 to the master, £20 to the mate and £80 to the remainder of the crew.



STATEMENT by Arthur Mayhew, of No.7 Warwick Road, Milford Haven,  Mate of S/T "Valerie W" of Port of Milford.


    I was Master of the steam trawler "Kalmia" for seven weeks before the Collision with the "John Milton" and for three weeks after that time.

    We left the Milford Docks on Saturday morning April 15th 1922 bound for the fishing grounds. The weather was bad when we left Dock, the wind being South South West blowing about 6. The weather was clear, the tide being just on the turn (ebb). There were about 6 or 7 vessels including the Ketch "John Milton" and other coasting vessels at anchor between Angle Point and Chapel Bay.

    We came to an anchor about 500 yards from the "John Milton". We had about 15 fathoms of chain and about 30 fathom of wire made fast to our anchor. Everything went well until 2.30 in the morning of Sunday, April 16th when I was called up by the Mate who was on watch and he reported that the wind had gone to the North North West and was blowing a strong gale.

    I then went on deck and found that the flood tide was making up strong and that we were starting to drag our anchor. We had no steam and could therefore do nothing, then I ordered steam to be got up as soon as possible. We kept on gradually dragging in the direction of the "John Milton". When we got within hailing distance of her I asked her Skipper to slack away his two chains (she had two anchors out). He replied that he would do all he could. As we still kept driving I asked him to sheer his vessel on one chain or the other to allow us to drive clear. He did not do this but kept slacking away on his two chains. Shortly afterwards the two vessels came together, our port quarter and his starboard bow.

    We were fouled together for about twenty minutes when our Chief Engineer reported that he had enough steam to move the engines. We then went ahead slow and got clear and slipped our anchor. This was about 6 a.m.

    I told the "John Milton" that I would stand by him to render him assistance if necessary and we steamed round him for about two hours and then went to Dale Roads and brought up there. We had no damage. We came down on him gradually, no blow, and both vessels chafed together until we got clear.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, Wednesday, 2nd July 1924:





Thrilling tales were told by the crew of the Milford Haven steam trawler, Kalmia, which foundered twenty miles west of Lundy on Friday morning.  The crew were landed at Barry.

The Kalmia was formerly one of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price’s fleet and was sold at the dispersion sale when that firm relinquished.  She had been a successful boat of the “Crabber” class.

According to the master and officers of the vessel, her last port of call was Newlyn, Cornwall.  After landing fish there, they proceeded to the Scilly Islands fishing ground, and then made for Lundy.  When she was about twenty miles west of Lundy Island the vessel sprang a leak, and water flooded into the engine-room.  Following this the vessel listed ominously to starboard, and pumps on deck and down below were hurriedly brought into use in an attempt to clear the water, while owing to the heavy list the fishing gear had to be cut away.

For over an hour the Kalmia continued to travel full steam ahead, but the water gained rapidly on the pumps, and in just over an hour she sagged heavily in the water.  The crew, however, continued to work the pumps, but the vessel continued to settle down, and eventually her handrail was touching the water, and they were forced to abandon her.  It was just on six o’clock in the morning then.  From six until nine the crew waited near the vessel in their boats and just after nine, when the vessel looked steady, the master decided to attempt getting aboard again.  He directed the small boat alongside, but the vessel lurched heavily, and they were forced to stand clear.


            The order to “Back oars” came only in the nick of time, for they had scarcely pulled back half-a-dozen yards when the trawler lurched for the second time, and her stern went down into the water and her nose in the air as she took the final plunge.

            As she sank into the water there was series of loud explosions, and the wheel-house of the submerged vessel was blown high into the air.

            After the Kalmia had finally disappeared the crew, who were accommodated in one boat, rowed a distance of twenty miles in a strong sea towards Hartland Point, and when they had reached about five miles from shore they were picked by the steamship Mandrake, a collier trading between Barry and France.

            When the Mandrake berthed at Barry the crew of the Kalmia were met by Mr. W. Gardiner, Dock View-road, Barry, the hon. secretary of the Shipwrecked Fishermen’s and Mariners’ Society, and, in addition to being found quarters, were fed and clothed.

            The officers and crew of the Kalmia, which was owned by the Rainbow Steam Trawler Company, Milford Haven, comprised four officers and five men.  The master is Capt. Channey, of 4, Delhi-street, Swansea; chief officer, W. Barker; chief engineer, J. K. Kent; second engineer, W. Marvelly; and crew, Messrs. W. John, D. Shall, L. Grey, and B. Ramster.

            All the men are reported to be well and little the worse for their adventure.


            The crew arrived home to Milford Haven on Saturday evening.  The boatswain, Shall, states that about 2.30 pm on June 26th , when on watch he felt the vessel strike some object and he stopped her and found a piece of a rib of the stern of a large ship attached to the stern of the Kalmia and a plank attached to the rib passing under the ship’s bottom.  The plank contained a number of bolts about 12 to 18 inches long.  The shock of contact woke up the deckie who was asleep in the fo’cstle.  The shock also brought Engineer Kent on deck and he too saw the wreckage, which slipped away the Kalmia had been stopped.  The vessel had 50 kits aboard including 35 kits of large hake and had come to Lundy to catch soles to complete the voyage and to land at Milford on Monday.

            Mr. W. John, member of the crew, is a Haverfordwest man, his wife and family residing at Horns’ Lane.



Skipper's Statement:


The steam trawler" Kalmia" was bound from the port of Newlyn for the fishing grounds off the islands of Scillies, this was on the 20th of June 1924.  Whilst we were steaming towards the fishing grounds on the night of the 26th of June, we encountered and fouled a large plank floating in the water, and having subsequently on the very same night sprang a leak which was too much for the donkey ( Pump) and the vessel foundered.


Joseph Barker, Skipper.



Back  to Trawlers 1888-1914