Official No:  108490    Port and Year: 1st of Grimsby, 1897 (GY460)

                                                                   -   -  Aberdeen, (A685)

Description: Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Yawl rigged.

Crew: 9 men (1898).

Built: 1897 by Mackie & Thomson, Govan.  (Yard no. 168)

Tonnage: 165 grt  51 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 104.2  / 21.0  / 10.7

Engine: T.3-cyl; 45 rhp;  by Muir & Houston, Glasgow



As GY460

3 Jan 1898: Hagerup & Doughty & Co. Ltd., Grimsby.

Manager: Fred. E. Hagerup. [Same address.]


Apr 1906: Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., 1 Quality Court,  London.

Manager: John D. Marsden, Fish Dock, Grimsby.

As A685

12 Aug 1921:  Frederick Ballard, 114 Don St., Woodside, Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


1927: James Ritchie & William T. Davies, The Docks, Milford.

Managing owner: William T. Davies.


Landed at Milford: 29 Sep 1927 - 4 Apr 1934

Skippers: Thomas Roach (1928); Christopher Edward Masterson (1932-34)


25 Sep 1909: Landed in Grimsby the crew of eight rescued from the Dutch fishing vessel JOHANNA MARIA, of Scheveningen, which had foundered in the North Sea on Friday 26th September. [The Times, Monday 27th September 1909.]

1914-18: Requisitioned by the Admiralty into the Fishery Reserve.

7 Apr 1934: Foundered 20 miles E of Coningbeg Lightship.

14 Apr 1934: Aberdeen Register closed.

Accidents and Incidents

From the Western Mail of Friday 17th February 1928:


Havoc Among Trawlers



    On Saturday night the Mansfield (Messrs. Ritchie and Davies) put in and landed her fish.  She reported the loss of her small boat, carried away by the tremendous seas.



From an unknown newspaper, possibly the Western Mail of Thursday 3rd January 1929:


    Gloom spread over the fishing fraternity of Milford Haven on Boxing Day morning, when it became known that Skipper Thomas Roach of the steam trawler "Mansfield" had met his death under tragic circumstances on  Christmas night.  The sad news was contained in a wire received by the owners of the vessel, Messrs Ritchie & Davies, but no particulars were forthcoming until the vessel arrived in port early on Thursday morning.  The body was temporarily conveyed to the town mortuary. The following is an authentic statement of what actually happened.

    The steam trawler "Mansfield" had put into Dunmore, Ireland, through stress of weather, and berthed alongside the stone jetty. Skipper Roach had not intended to leave the ship but to spend the evening aboard.  However about 9 o'clock another Milford trawler, the "Oceanic", also put into the harbour and Skipper Alexander Day and Skipper Roach then decided to go ashore at 9.20 and to return at 10.10p.m.  Anyone who has a knowledge of Irish jetties realizes the difficulty of getting aboard from them.  The method generally is by means of a hanging chain with a stone projecting at intervals to serve as a footing in descending.

    Skipper Roach who was of a heavy build must have missed his grip of the chain and fell between his ship and the wall.  It so happened that there was a heavy ground swell at the time which cause the ship to heave against the wall with no small force, and it can well be imagined what the unfortunate Skipper's predicament was.

His nephew, Stanley Roach, was on watch when his uncle attempted to board the ship and saw him fall.  He at once threw him a rope, but before any further action could be taken the vessel heaved over against the wall and crushed the poor fellow.  Efforts to get him aboard by means of the long gaff were ultimately successful.  It was at once seen that his condition was very grave, and artificial respiration was tried to no avail.  A doctor was aboard within the hour, but the poor man

was already dead.

    An inquest was held next day at which a verdict was reached of accidental death.   Skipper Thomas Roach was a native of Pill, Milford, the son of Mr Charles Roach, and was aged 49.  He leaves a wife and seven children, the eldest, Kenneth, being a member of the crew at the time of the accident. Thomas Roach had been to sea since his boyhood, sailing in trawlers from the port and had risen to the position of Skipper by the dint of hard toil.  A jolly "hail fellow well met", he will be much missed in the fishing port.

   The funeral took placed last Saturday afternoon and was largely attended, fellow fishermen acting as bearers.



From an unknown local newspaper of 1930:


    On the night of the 23rd April this year, the steam trawler "Mansfield" was steaming up the harbour, and when about two miles from the dock gates the boatswain, while heaving the the anchor line into position, owing to the stygian darkness, experienced great difficulty. The hawser slipped out of the guiding [groove?] and the unfortunate boatswain was pulled into the sea. Chief Engineer Sidney Best dived in after him and after locating the drowning man, kept his head above the water.  This was only done at great personal risk, and there was every likelihood of both of them being lost.  The crew on board gave every assistance and managed to drag both men aboard.  They were exhausted but safe.

    Recognition of Chief Engineer Sidney Best's gallantry was made at Milford on Wednesday night at the Astoria cinema. ( Scards )  A meeting to make the presentation was chaired by A. Stafford, chairman of the M.H.U.D.C.  Chief engineer Sidney Best was presented with the Royal Humane Society's bronze medal, and a certificate on behalf of the society and the Trawlers Owners, Messrs Ritchie &Davies.

    There were deafening cheers when Mr Stafford pinned the medal onto Mr Best's coat and shook hands with him.



The Times, Monday, Apr 09, 1934; pg. 22; Issue 46723; col G

     Casualty Reports


mansfield.- Milford Haven, April 8.- Steam trawler Mansfield of Aberdeen, owners Ritchie and Davies, Milford Haven, sprang a leak and foundered 20 miles from Coningbeg Lightship Saturday night.  Crew landed here today by trawler Peterborough, belonging Waterloo Steam Trawling Company.



From The Irish Times of 9th April 1934, p.7:




    A Lloyd's Milford Haven  message states that the steam trawler Mansfield, of Aberdeen (owners, Ritchie and Davies, Milford Haven), sprang a leak and foundered twenty miles from Coningbeg Lightship on Saturday night.

    The crew were landed at Milford Haven yesterday by the trawler Peterborough, belonging to the Waterloo Steam Trawling Company.

    The Coningbeg rock is the southernmost of the Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford.


From an unknown local newspaper :


    The steam trawler " Mansfield" of Milford Haven sprang a leak when fishing 30 miles west of the Smalls on Saturday night and sank within an hour. The trawler's crew of ten were saved after rowing about in the trawlers small life boat for around twelve hours.

    The crew had barely time to collect their belongings and to leave the ship before she took a decided list. They spent the night on the open sea in a cold easterly wind, and not until ten o'clock on Sunday morning did they sight a passing vessel. It was a Greek cargo steamer, sailing south-west, and it responded to the signals from the ship wrecked crew.

    The men were taken aboard the Greek cargo ship, which intended taking them to Penzance, but a few hours later the Greek wireless operator managed to establish communications with another Milford trawler, the "Peterboro", who steamed up, came along side and took the "Mansfield's" crew back to their own home port of Milford Haven.

    The "Mansfield's" small boat was also towed back, astern of the "Peterboro" , The "Mansfield" was owned by Messrs Ritchie and Davies. The "Mansfield's" Skipper, Mr C. E. Masterson., is one of the ports most successful Skippers in that class of vessel (crabbers). He resides in Hakin, at St. Ann's Road.


[The location of the sinking in this report is obviously incorrect.]



Skipper Christopher Edward Masterson's Statement:


April 5th, 1934.

We left Milford for the Smalls fishing grounds on the 5th, April 1934. At about 9.45 on Saturday the 7th, when about twenty two miles South by East of the Coningbeg Light Ship, having sprung a leak and despite all possible efforts by the crew and the use of all available pumps, the vessel foundered. The time was between 11.30p.m. and midnight, on the same day. The crew took to the trawler's small life boat.



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