Alongside LADY OLWEN H283

Les Jones Archive

Official No:  136974    Port and Year:  9th in Cardiff, 1915 (CF43)

                                                                    -    -  London, 1929  (LO4)             

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

Crew: 12 men (1929)

Built: by Smith's Docks Co., South Bank, Middlesborough; in 1915.  (Yard no. 605)

Tonnage:   274 grt  107 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.0 / 23.5 / 12.8                                                        

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 87 rhp; by builders.



As CF43

6 Apr 1915:  Neale & West, Ltd., Hope St., Cardiff.

Managers: Wilfred Neale, Morley H. Neale, Joshua S. Neale.  [Same address.]


As LO4

23 Feb 1929: Jenkerson & Jones, Docks, Milford

Managing owner: Thomas J. Jenkerson.


26 Jul 1945: Yolland & Llewellin, Docks, Milford.

Managing owner: John Yolland.


1 Jan 1946: Yolland Bros., Docks, Milford

Manager: John J. Yolland (jnr.)


Landed at Milford: 14 Feb 1929 - 28 Aug 1939;  5 Jan 1941 - 28 Apr 1949

Skippers: George Whichello (1938); Norman Brown; A. J. Day (1947); Harry Gue (1948)


Mikasa is a mountain (1,122 ft) located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

1915: Built to replace the MIKASA CF41, 1913, stranded and wrecked near Lynton on 13 January 1915:


May 1916: Requisitioned by the Admiralty (No. 1771);  1 x 6 pdr; 1 x 7.5" bomb thrower.

1919: Returned to owners.

1 Dec 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a auxiliary patrol vessel (P.No. 4.431).

Feb 1940: Returned to owners.

11 Apr 1944: Re-requisitioned by the Admiralty, as auxiliary cargo/oil/water carrier.

5 Oct 1944: Returned to owners.

1949: Broken up at Gelliswick Bay.  (Information from Terry Beckett.)

Accidents and Incidents

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.  ..............

    The second tragedy occurred on Saturday morning on board the "Mikasa" (Messrs. Tom Jenkerson and Company), Garfield Williams, the 25 year old third hand of the steam trawler "Mikasa", being washed overboard while making his way aft.  The trawler was in charge of George Whichello, and although a search was made, there was no sign of the missing man.  At the time of the accident the trawler was on the westward fishing grounds, dodging head to wind. 

    Williams, a native of Llanelly, lodged with Mrs. John, Prescelly Place, Milford.  It is stated that he was to have married next month.  He has been fishing out of Milford for the last five years.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 27th July 1945:


    The s/t "Mikasa", previously owned by Messrs. T. Jenkerson, has been purchased by Messrs. Yolland and Llewellin.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th August 1945:


    The s/t "Mikasa", owners Yolland and Llewellin, landed a catch of 1000 kits from an eleven days' voyage.  "Ann Melville", also Yolland and Llewellin, recently had a record catch of 700 kits for a Strath Class trawler.


[The MIKASA was the top earning Milford trawler during the War.]


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 4th January 1946:


    Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin, joint owners of the biggest trawling fleet sailing out of Milford, have dissolved the partnership after ten years of highly successful working, during which time the fleet has increased from one to twenty-two trawlers.  The dissolution took effect from January 1st, and in future Messrs. Yolland will trade under the name Messrs. Yolland Brothers, while Mr. J. C. Llewellin takes a number of trawlers under his own name.


    Yolland Bros.:

Castle Class:  Tenedos, Mikasa, Lorraine, William Mannell, Montano and George Adgell.

Strath Class: Craigmillar and Anne Melville.

Drifters: Allochy, Overfall, Poseidon, Invercairn, Primevere, Mint, Furze, Lichen, Calliopsis and Cassiopeia.

    The Montano left Milford on Thursday (yesterday) for Fleetwood, while the George Adgell arrives in Milford within the next fortnight from Aberdeen.  Both Strath boats are at Milford, but the drifters will fish from Lowestoft during the North Sea season, and will come round to Milford for the summer season.


John Charles Llewellin:

Castle trawlers: Cotsmuir, Lady Stanley, T.R. Ferens and Harry Melling.

    All the trawlers are away at the moment, the Lady Stanley at Hull and the others at Fleetwood, but they are expected to sail out of Milford in the near future.


    The fish merchants' business belonging to the firm in Fleetwood, Swansea and Milford will now be carried on by Yolland Brothers, while the merchants' business at Aberdeen has been taken over by Mr. Llewellin.

    Naturally interested to ascertain why such a profitable partnership should be dissolved, the "Guardian" made enquiries on Thursday.  We learned that Mr. Llewellin has suffered ill health for a number of years and wishes to cut down on his responsibilities.

    The sensational rise of Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin has provided one of the romances of the fishing Industry of Milford, starting as fish exporters in 1935, with Mr. J. C. Llewellin as their representative in Paris.  The firm had to turn their attention in 1937 to building up their fish merchants business in England because of the devaluation of the franc. 

    In 1936 Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin purchased their first trawler and not long afterwards embarked on an experiment which at the time was considered more than daring - "foolhardy", said the old hands.  They fitted out two trawlers to fish as a pair - the pareja - a Spanish method of fishing.  The earliest voyages, doubtless due to the inexperience of the crews in this type of netting, brought thin returns, but by-and-by these pairs began to make news, big news, for they started to smash fishing records.  What was then the youngest firm of owners had scored a big success, and confounded their critics.  Before the war started, the company had five pairs operating on the Irish grounds.  During the war the company worked with two old ships, the Gozo and Cairo, but disposed of these when their fleet of twenty-two trawlers were de-requisitioned in their turn after Government service.

    The partners in the firm of Yolland Brothers are Messrs. John J. Leslie and T. Stuart Yolland.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 28th February 1947:


    A 17 year old Scot, Robert McGregor Robertson, 27, Lochend Gardens, Leith, on his first trip as a qualified deckhand, vanished without trace from the Milford steam trawler "Mikasa", on the Irish fishing grounds last Thursday morning.

    Robertson had been through the Association Deckhands Learners Scheme, and had done several probationary trips on other trawlers before starting his first trip on the "Mikasa" as a fully fledged deckhand.

    At 6.15 a.m. last Thursday he was sent forward to "mend" fires.  At about 6.18, the mate (Mr. J. C. Hodge) called to the deckhands to get ready for hauling, but the deceased never reached aft.  Sensing that something was amiss when the young deckhand did not appear, he gave orders to search the ship, but there was no sign of him.

    Skipper A. J. Day then brought the trawler as far astern as possible over the gear, then the trawl was hauled, and although the trawler circled the area for some time there was no sign of deceased.  There was a fresh easterly wind blowing at the time, but the swell was only moderate.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th November 1948:


    While attending to the fishing gear on the Milford trawler "Mikasa" (Yolland Brothers) when she  was off the Old Head of Kinsale on Monday evening, a 26 year old Irish deckhand, Donal Sullivan,  was drowned. The "Mikasa" reached Milford on Tuesday morning  with her flag flying at half­mast.  A native of Ballinetilna, Bere Island, Sullivan  was one of three brothers employed on local vessels.  He lodged at 25, Glebelands, Hakin,and had sailed on Yolland Brothers vessels since last December. 

    A verdict of accidental death by drowning  was returned by the Coroner (Col. G. T. Kelway) at the inquest held on Thursday afternoon.  Deceased's father, John Sullivan, gave evidence of identification.  He said his son was a single man.  Dr. P. D. Gange said he had examined the body, and found no marks.  In his opinion death  was due to drowning.  The Mate of the  “Mikasa”, Frederick Charles Mathias, Stratford Road, Milford, gave evidence that the ship was fishing 25 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale on November 1st.  There  was  a moderate south- west wind and the sea  was rough but not too rough for fishing. At about 4.30 p.m. they hauled their their port gear and found that the trawl net  was split. 

    The skipper decided to shoot the starboard gear next, but before doing so he altered course to a different position.  It  was  while steaming to that position, but before the starboard gear was shot, that the accident happened. The starboard gear  was got ready and the after trawl board  was put on the railing ready.  Witness  was forward of the Bridge standing at the back of the winch on the port side. Sullivan was on deck and he left him to go aft.  He heard the Skipper say that the board should have to be hauled forward to be shackled up. No orders were given by anyone for this to be done.  It was important to wait until the proper moment.  Very soon after Sullivan had left him to go aft he heard a shout, "Man Overboard".  He went aft and could see a man in the sea. The ship was  stopped immediately and put full astern and lifebelts were got ready, he continued. 

    Sullivan did not disappear from view at all.  When they got near enough to him the small boat was put out but unfortunately it partly filled  with water as it was  launched. They  were able to get the ship near enough to get hold of the man with a gaff and he was  hauled on board.  He had been in the water for a good half an hour and  was unconscious.  Artificial respiration was applied at once and continued for more than 20 minutes.

     Michael McDonagh, 13, Milton Crescent, Pill, a deckhand on the steam trawler "Mikasa", gave similar evidence and said they  were all engaged in getting the trawl boards ready. Witness heard someone shout to leave the boards alone until the ship had stopped steaming. Sullivan came aft with a rope in his hands and said he was going to get up on the board, which was then up on the rail of the ship. Witness told him not to get up on the board, but he did not take any notice.  He went up on the board which was  across the rail  with most of it out board.  After he got up on it the board seemed to slip and the ship rolled and Sullivan  went down with his head first into the sea. Witness shouted, "Man Overboard", and helped in the rescue described by the Mate, but by the time Sullivan was got aboard he seemed to be dead.    

    The body was taken to Eire for burial on Thursday evening on the motor vessel "Innisfallen", from Fishguard.  Messrs. Yolland Brothers Limited, Milford Haven, owners of the steam trawler "Mikasa", desire to record their appreciation and gratitude to Skipper Harry Gue and the members of his crew for the outstanding service rendered and skill shown in recovering the body of Daniel Sullivan, drowned at sea on the 1st November,1948.



L to R, back row: Bosun Dai Murrow, Fireman Vernon Dawes, 3rd Hand Charlie Owen, Skipper Norman Brown, Mate Dick Page, Fireman Harold Spriggs

Front row: unknown fireman, Ch. Eng. Sellick, Deckie William Musk Arthur Barrett

(Photo taken in Ballycotton, c.1947; note flares on the veranda rail.)

John Stevenson Collection

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