As boom defence vessel, 1940-45

Courtesy of David Page and http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/

Official No:  128500     Port Number and Year: 20th in Cardiff, 1909 (CF8)

                                                                                   3rd in Milford, 1926.

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail

Crew:  10 - 11 men

Registered at Milford: 12 Jul 1926

Built: 1909 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., North Shields.  (Yard no. 413)

Tonnage: 248 grt  95 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.6 / 22.1 / 12.2

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 81 rhp. 10 kts.  Engine by Shields Engineering & Dry Dock Co., North Shields; boiler by Richardson, Westgarth & Co., Middlesborough



As CF8

2 Dec 1909: Joshua J. Neale, Hope St., Cardiff.

Managing owner.


21 Dec 1912: Neale & West, Hope St., Cardiff.

Managers: Joshua S. Neale, Morley H. Neale, and Wilfred Neale. (Same address.)


1921: Hakin Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford

Manager owner: Joseph Baron Bardsley Huddlestone, 'Dania Villa' Wellington Rd., Hakin. (64/64)

12 Jul 1926: As M103.


16 Apr 1937:  Westward Trawlers Ltd., Docks, Milford.

Manager: Edgar Erel Carter, 16 Great North Rd., Milford.


Landed at Milford:  (As CF8) 21 Dec 1921 - 5 Jul 1926.

(As M103) 21 Jul 1926 - 3 Dec 1939; 14 Dec 1946

Skippers: Tom Salter 5349 (1938)


Kuroki was the Japanese Count Tamemoto Kuroki, a general in the Imperial Army in the Russo-Japanese war, 1904-05. 

Nov 1914: Requisitioned by Admiralty as minesweeper (Admy. No. 655).  

1919: Returned to owners

13 Dec 1939: Requisitioned as Boom Defence Vessel. P.No.: Z137

July 1945: Returned to owners. 1946: Sold (for breaking up).

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 1946.

 Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 19th March 1937:


    A private company, Westward Trawlers Ltd., was registered on March 15th, with a capital of 10,000.  Directors - Edgar E. Carter, 16, Great North Road; Richard S. Bowen, Grove House, Port Talbot.

    Our Milford correspondent was informed on Thursday that the Company was formed to take over the Hakin Steam Trawling Company's fleet of five trawlers: the Kuroki, Kyoto, Slebech, Caldy and Gordon Richards.  This is understood to mean that the services of the present managing director of the Company, Capt. J. H. B. Huddlestone, are to be retained.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 21st January 1938:


    Milford trawler fishermen have good cause to remember the hurricane, for most of them were in the thick of it, and boats docking on Sunday and Monday bore many signs of their battering - lifeboats were missing and damaged, gear smashed.  Skippers spoke of waves mountains high.  The sea took their toll of two lives, but in one case a desperate rescue effort just failed.   

    On Friday afternoon, the s.t. "Kuroki", in charge of Skipper Tom Salter, Priory Road, was steaming at half speed across the Smalls, keeping the vessel's head to wind.  At about five o'clock the skipper handed over to the mate Mr T. Jeffs, Shakespeare Avenue, and was on his way down below to keep his wireless watch when a cry came from the bosun, Mr Harry Davies, Dartmouth Gardens, that the third hand ,William Frederick Freeman, forty three years of age, had gone over the side.  He was on his way aft when a wave washed him over the side.  Skipper Salter immediately went to the wheelhouse and seeing Freeman in the water out to the windward, brought the ship's head up into the wind towards him.  He could see by that method it would be impossible to reach Freeman, so he handed the wheel to the mate, pulled off his oilskin and boots and lashing a rope around his waist, plunged over the side.  Air had got under Freeman's oilskin and the skipper got to within ten yards of him and could hear him panting.  Skipper Salter was by this time becoming exhausted and the mate brought the ship round again, but by this time the crew had lost sight of both the skipper and Freeman. Becoming anxious, they hauled at the line and brought Skipper Salter up from underneath the trawler, half-unconscious.  He was dragged inboard and  attended to, then the search resumed for Freeman. The crew caught sight of him to windward, by the stem of the trawler, but before the trawler could be brought close enough he had floated round to windward again.  By this time Freeman had collapsed and was floating face downward.  The trawler was brought round again, but before the turn was completed the third hand disappeared. The deceased lived at 24, Princess Street, Pembroke Dock.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th February 1947:


    There is a likelihood that at least two of the four trawlers used as boom defence ships during the war, and recently returned to the port, may never fish again.  Asked on Thursday about the conversion of two of the vessels, the Caliban and Bardolph (Milford Fisheries), Mr. O. W. Limbrick declared, "We have no intention of paying the prices demanded by one section of the port.  The figures they want make the cost of reconversion prohibitive."

    The two other boom defence boats awaiting reconversion are the Milford Duke (Milford Steam Trawlers) and the Kuroki (Messrs. E. E. Carter).



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