Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales

Official No:  125744     Port and Year:  London, 1908 (LO282). 

Description: Steel side trawler; coal fired. Ketch rigged.

Crew: 9 men (1908).

Built: by Smith's Docks Co., North Shields, in 1908.  (Yard no.819)

Tonnage:   224 grt  86 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 120.5 / 21.6 / 11.5  

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 57 nhp; by MacColl & Pollock, Sunderland



19 Nov 1908: G. H. D. Birt, 'Havenhurst', Milford  & Skipper D. J. Davies, Docks, Milford.


Landed at Milford: 26 Nov 1908 - 10 Aug 1914

Skippers: D. J. Davies (1908)


Kirkland won the 1905 Grand National at Aintree, a 6/1 shot and the first Welsh-trained horse to win the race, ridden by Frank Mason. [Wikipedia.

Aug 1914: Requisitioned by the Admiralty (No. 360) and converted to a minesweeper.

20 Aug 1917: Mined by U-80 (Kapitšnleutnant Gustav Amberger) off the Fugla Skerry, Papastour, Shetland. [See below.]

21 Feb 1919: London Register closed; "Vessel lost on Admiralty service."


Accidents and Incidents

From Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 9th April 1909:


    This week is considered to be one of the busiest in the fish trade. Opening on Monday with 9 steamers, 9 smacks, and 3 liners, no less than 600 kits of hake were landed, and some 1,300 kits of mixed fish, the former realising up £ 2 12s. 6d., and as most of the boats had a good supply, high figures were realised, viz., Sidmouth, £356; Cleopatra, £313; Arfon, £283; Dinas £271; Fishergate, £257; Caliph, £254; Alpha, £251. Tuesday also brought a good supply, 10 steamers landing 420 kits of hake and 950 kits of mixed, the steam trawler Kirkland making £440, while the Ruby made £270, Ardent £215, St Clear, £210. On Wednesday there was a good supply, but there was a scarcity of cod. Good prices were realised all round.



From a local newspaper, possibly the West Wales Guardian of Friday 8th March 1912:  


     News reached us yesterday that the Glasgow steamer Osmanli, of 2,240 tons, loaded with coal and bricks, had been towed into Swansea by three Milford trawlers, the Halcyon (belonging to Messrs. Brand and Co.); the Kirkland (Mr. Birt and D. J. Davies, part owner and skipper); and the Cameo (Mr. Johnson's).  They had found the steamer on her beam ends and abandoned, and the crew, it is believed, had put into Padstow.    No details are as yet known.


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 13th March 1912:


    The Glasgow steamer "Osmanli", 4,000 tons registered, was towed into Swansea on Thursday by the steam trawlers "Cameo", "Kirkland" and "Halcyon", having picked up the derelict off Lundy Island on Tuesday.  Before the trawlers took her in tow the Lowestoft fishing smack "V & A" had sighted her in a heavy gale flying signals of distress, and put two men aboard of her, and another Lowestoft trawler, the "Bentar", took off her crew of 25, subsequently landing them at Padstow.

    The "Osmanli" was loaded with steam coal, and the ship and cargo are assumed to be worth about £35,000.  The vessel had a big list when brought into the King's Dock, Swansea. 

    The trawlermen expect a big reward by way of salvage. "The Osmanli was caught by a gale 20 miles off Trevose Head," said the mate of the Milford steam trawler "Cameo", which was at the bow of the steamer that was being towed in.  "I do not blame them, the crew, for leaving her, for she was in a very bad way, terrible seas making her quite helpless.  We, together with the Kirkland and the Halcyon, all three trawlers belonging to Milford, then got hold of her, and with the smack V & A in attendance, made for Swansea.  We had a fearful time.  We had not a bite or sup for 48 hours, and every hour we found that the boat would break away.  The weather was something awful, and heaven only knows how we got her in eventually.  The Master of the "Osmanli", Captain McDonald, was loath to leave his ship, but the boat was rapidly heeling over, and it was touch and go getting her to port, I tell you."

    The "Halcyon" appears to have been the first of the steam trawlers to get hold of the prize, then the "Kirkland" (Captain D. J. Davies), but so hazardous was the task that it was extremely fortunate that the "Cameo" (Captain George Cobley) came along at just the right moment.

    The Mate, whose story is told above, is Walter Dewsbury, Milford Haven.  The trawlers have now left Swansea and put to sea, and the crew of these vessels will anxiously await the prize award.


[ * Actually 2283 g.r.t 

In May 1912, Mr. Justice Bargreave Deane found that the value of the OSMANLI and her cargo was £7,845, and he awarded a total sum of £3,190, divided as follows:

PANTIRE (for saving 14 lives) £140;  E.M.W. (which saved 10 lives) £100; "G AND E" (whose mate and 2 hands took charge of the OSMANLI) £300; HALCYON, KIRKLAND and CAMEO (principal salvors) £800 each, apportioning £500 to each of the owners, £50 to each of the masters, and £250 to each of the crews; a pilot and 3 others received £100, the BEAUFORT £100 and the CONQUEROR £50.

    £800 is worth £52,748 today (measured by RPI) or £277,685 (by average earnings).  By the latter measurement, each of the trawler skippers would have received the equivalent of £17,355 today.]



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 29th August 1917:





    News was received last week, and has since been officially confirmed, that Skipper Charles Garnish has been killed, his ship, H.M.T. Kirkland, having been lost. Two other local men are also reported as being amongst the victims, Sidney Phillips, Neyland, and Ernest Axford, the adopted son of Mr and Mrs Simon Davies, Barn-street, Haverfordwest.

    Skipper Garnish leaves a large family, some of whom are young children. His wife died a few years ago. He bad been at Milford since the early fishing days and was well known. The Kirkland was owned by Mr G. H. D. Birt, with whom was associated Skipper D. J. Davies, and was a successful fishing craft. She was now stationed at another base.


    Mr Ernest Axford, referred to in the above message, was about 20 years of age, and was a smart sailor lad. Had be been spared there is not the least doubt that his would have been a successful sea-faring career. Mr and Mrs Simon Davies, with whom deep sympathy is felt, received a letter from Axford on August 17 stating that "he hoped very soon to be walking up Barn Street again to see them", and on August 20 came the fateful intelligence from the Admiralty announcing his death. The ship on which he was serving was torpedoed while mine-sweeping.


[Loss of the KIRKLAND:  The KIRKLAND and another trawler were escorting the oiler KREMLIN from the Swarbacks Minn anchorage in the Shetland Islands when between Ve Skerries and Papa Stour she struck a mine and sank immediately. The mine had been laid by U 80 (Kapitšnleutnant Gustav Amberger).  (PRO ADM 137/3306).


Those lost were:

AXFORD, Ernest Trimmer RNR 302TS(D)
GARNISH, Charles Arthur Skipper RNR

HENDERSON, John G. , Engineman, RNR, E S 5019.
HYSLOP, William PO RN 174651
MALCOLMSON, Laurence 2nd Hand RNR 3194.C
MOUAT, Walter Deckhand RNR 13017.DA
PHILLIPS, Sidney Deckhand RNR 724DA
RISING, William Henry Trimmer RNR 1462TS (Q )
RODEN, Edward SigBoy RNR 749, SB (PO)
ROSE, George Deckhand RNR 321X>A (PO)
STEVENSON, Herbert Engineman RNR 450.ES



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