Photo by Peter Brady, Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust.  

Official No:  161474    Port Number and Year: -   in  London,1925 (LO42)

                                                                              5th in Milford, 1958

Description: Icelandic class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Cruiser stern. Ketch rigged: mizzen.

Crew: 13 men (1930); 14 men 1 boy (1958).

Registered in Milford: 21 Aug 1958

Built: 1930, by Smith's Dock Co., Stockton on Tees.  (Yard no. 929)

Tonnage: 337.86 grt 127.19 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  133.75 / 25.0 / 13.6 (1958: 14.92.)

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 99 nhp. 10 kts. Engine by builders; boiler by Blair & Co., Stockton on Tees.

Nov 1946: Converted for burning oil fuel, F.P.  Above 150.




24 Jul 1930: Iago Steam Trawler Co., Wyre Docks, Fleetwood

Manager: Edward D.W. Lawford.



21 Aug 1958:  Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

6 Sep 1958: As MILFORD ADMIRAL M224.

Manager: Ernest Johnson. (3 Mar 1960).

                W. H. Kerr (19 Oct 1961).

Landed at Milford:

As ADMIRAL SIR JOHN LAWFORD: 13 Aug - 6 Sep 1958

As MILFORD ADMIRAL: 21 Sep 1958 - 29 Oct 1961.

Skippers: Alfred Beckett


Admiral Sir John Lawford (1756-1842) served in the RN in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.

26 Aug 1930: In Fleetwood, together with the RED GAUNTLET, fitted with the innovation of wireless telephones. [The Times, Wednesday, 27th Aug 1930.]

11 Apr 1931: At the behest of the MAF, sent to W. coast of Scotland to collect statistics on the hake fishery, by Mr. J. Bailey of Fleetwood. [The Times, Saturday 11th Apr 1931.]

29 Aug 1939: Requisitioned for war service and converted for minesweeping duties. (1-12pdr) (P.No.FY.533).
Jan 1944: Fitted out for wreck dispersal duties (P.No. 4.415) and assigned to Operation Neptune for Normandy Landings; in readiness at Penarth.
11 Jun 1944: Sailed Plymouth for Normandy. Employed on wreck dispersal and anchor recovery work.
3 Jul 1944: Operation Neptune ended.
Jan 1946: Returned to owner.

19 Oct 1961: Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., in liquidation.
Dec 1961: Sold for breaking up.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 26 Jul 1962.  Vessel broken up at Briton Ferry.

Accidents and Incidents


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 19th February 1932:


    Commander Lawford's fine new modern steam trawler, "Admiral Sir John Lawford", landed a catch on Milford on Tuesday.  She makes the third of the Iago boats which have been transferred from Fleetwood to Milford.


[ Note: She landed once at Milford, on 15th February 1932, before transferring to Fleetwood. ]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 15th August 1958:


    The oil burning 133 ft. "Hake" class trawler, Admiral Sir John Lawford, arrived from Fleetwood on Wednesday for her new owners Milford Steam Trawling Company.  She was brought round from Fleetwood by Skipper Reggie High and a scratch crew.

    Formerly owned by the Iago Trawler Company, the latest addition to the Milford fleet is in excellent condition and is expected to sail on Monday in charge of Skipper Alfred Beckett.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 22nd August 1958:


    New names appropriate to Milford Haven are to be given to three recently acquired trawlers now fishing from the port.  Mr. E. E. Carter's company will rename their vessels Star of the East and Star of the South to Milford Star and Haven Star.

    Milford Steam Trawling Company have given notice of their intention to rename the ex-Fleetwood oil burner Admiral Sir John Lawford to Milford Admiral.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th September 1958:


Milford Figures

    The Milford Steam Trawling Company's latest acquisition, the Milford Admiral (formerly the Admiral Sir John Lawford, of Fleetwood) completed her maiden voyage out of Milford with the week's top trip, Skipper Alfred Beckett's catch including some seventy kits of hake.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th November 1959:




    After reaching a position only thirty miles from Milford Haven the 133ft. trawler Milford Admiral (Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd.) had to 'dodge' back almost to the Irish coast in Friday's severe gale and finally arrived in her home port 24 hours late.

    Commanded by jovial Skipper Alfred Beckett, the 'Admiral' was on her way home with a catch of 289 kits of fish from the Porcupine grounds.

    "On Thursday evening at 9.30 we were steaming home in a calm sea and good weather.  By 10.30 p.m. the same night we were battling into a fierce gale and tremendous seas," Skipper Beckett told the "Guardian".  "We had reached a position 20 miles off the Smalls rocks (they lie twelve miles off the Pembrokeshire coast), but so bad did it get that we had to turn and 'dodge' right back across [to] ten miles east south-east of the Barrels, which is near the Tuskar Rock, just off the coast of Ireland.  For 16 hours we just had to follow the wind right round from south east to west-north-west and it screeched around us like a banshee.  Fortunately the 'Admiral' is wonderful sea ship and rode it very well."

    "My mate, Skipper Jim Jobson and I both felt we had been caught in the centre of the storm. It was the worst I've ever seen in this area and my second worse experience in all my years at sea.  By late Friday afternoon the wind had moderated enough for us to steam slowly for home without undue risk.  But even then the seas were so bad that we only covered 18 miles in the first two hours."


    The Milford Admiral finally docked at Milford early on Saturday morning after coming through the worst of the gale which reached 104 miles per hour at times.  The fact that the trawler reached port safely and undamaged is striking testimony to the skill and seamanship of Skipper Beckett, the mate, Mr. Jobson, and the crew.  And one consolation was that the Admiral found a good market for her catch on Saturday and grossed a nice 2,685.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th October 1961:


    Nearly fifty jobs and casual employment for up to thirty others are affected by Thursday's announcement of the Milford Steam Trawling Company that they have decided to appoint a Receiver.

    The Company own one oil burning trawler, the Milford Admiral (now managed by Messrs. W. H. Kerr), and run Milford Frozen Foods Ltd., with a giant refrigerator plant at Goosepill, where business was developed in frozen veg., chicken, turkeys and fish.

    The Milford Steam Trawling Company have lost money in nine out of the last ten years.  Last year there was 12,950 loss against 5,702 the previous year.  The last dividend payment made by the Company was 71 per cent for 1955.



From The Times, Thursday, Oct 19, 1961; pg. 21; Issue 55216; col A: 



    The directors of Milford Steam Trawling have asked the company's bankers to appoint a receiver under the debenture granted to them.  The company has one middle-distance trawler, the Milford Admiral, and made a loss in 1960 of 12,950 against a loss of 5,702 the previous year.  In the annual statement by Mr. R. Hanning Phillips, chairman, it was stated that the group was increasing its proportion of trading in frozen foods and was starting to develop rabbit colonies to meet "a potential demand for top quality rabbit meat." 



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