Courtesy of Milford and West Wales Mercury

See also below, on RN service.

Official No:  143813    Port Number and Year:    -     in London, 1920 (LO451)

                                                                                   -     in Hull, 1923 (H863)

                                                                                  2nd in Milford, 1936.

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail

Crew:  10 men (1924).

Registered in Milford: 25 Jul 1936

Built: Launched 1917 by C. Rennoldson & Co., South Shields.  (Yard no. 189)

Tonnage: 274.84 grt  116.2 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.3 / 23.4 / 12.6

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 60.7 nhp.10 kts.  Engine: Shields Engineering & Dry Docks, North Shields; boiler by Palmers Ship Building & Iron Co., Hebburn on Tyne.




24 Aug 1920: The Admiralty, London.

Manager: The Secretary, Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1.



26 Nov 1923: Hull Northern Fishing Co. Ltd., St.Andrew's Dock, Hull

Manager: William R. Nowell. (Same address.) (1923-28)

                    Frank  O. Hellyer & Owen S. Hellyer. (Same address.) (1929-36)


25 Jul 1936: James Carpenter Ward, Docks, Milford.  (64/64)

Manager: Harry Eastoe Rees, 'Mirador', The Rath, Milford.



8 Aug 1936: Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., The Docks, Milford. (64/64)

Manager: Harry Eastoe Rees, 'Mirador', The Rath, Milford.

                James Carpenter Ward, 'Thornton House', Thornton, Milford. (9 Sep 1938)

                Daniel Charles Bruton, 'Tregenna', St. Ishmaels. (1 May 1953)

                G. Richard Owens, 'Beaumont', Dewsland St., Milford. (21 Jun 1957)


16 Feb 1959: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford.

Manager: G. Richard Owens, 'Beaumont', Dewsland St., Milford.


Landed at Milford: As MALVOLIO: 25 Jun - 4 Aug 1936. (3 landings.)

As MILFORD KING: 16 Aug 1936 - 3 Dec 1939.

HMS MILFORD KING: 10 Apr, 5 Jun, 5 Sep 1945.

As MILFORD KING:  26 May; 12 Oct 1946 - 23 Sep 1959.

Skippers: Charles Silcock (1936); Jack Clark (1947-48; John Garnham relief skipper for three trips); Alec Smith (1948-49); Alfred Beckett (Dec.1950-56); N. Brown (1956-57); Grenville Beckett (1958). 


Valentine Bower: Pte., Royal Marine, HMS VICTORY at Trafalgar.

Malvolio is the main antagonist in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night".

Built as VALENTINE BOWER for Admiralty service as a minesweeper, no. 3654, 1x12 pdr.

1923: Sold to mercantile; renamed MALVOLIO.

19 Jun 1936: Hull registry closed.

Dec 1939: Requisitioned for war service as MILFORD KING and converted to armed patrol vessel, FY.1573. [See photograph below.]

Mar 1944: Converted to Esso (Y7.36), but became one of a number of trawlers pressed into minor towing duties during the shortage of tugs before and long after D-Day.

6 Jun 1944: Fuelling trawler; Force G, "Z" L.B. Squadron.  

April 1945: Towed a concrete barge from Barrow to Cardiff and a barge from Cardiff to Falmouth the same month.

Jul 1945: Paid off, and returned to owners in November.

Cert. Cancelled & Registry Closed: 23 Feb 1960.  Vessel broken up.

 Accidents and Incidents

From an unknown local newspaper of the week beginning 5th July 1936:


    The steam trawlers Malvolio, Bengali and Spaniard, recently purchased at Hull for the new company, the Milford Haven Steam Trawling Company Limited, arrived on Thursday evening.  Friday was taken up with minor adjustments and equipping the vessels with fishing gear, coaling, ice and provisions.  On Saturday morning's tide all three trawlers put to sea for their first trips from the port.  The skippers in charge of them were Messrs. Charles Silcock, Albert Woods and Cecil Coombs.

    During their stay in dock the ships were much admired, and they are in excellent condition.  Their arrival, it goes without saying, has brought new hope to the industry.  They are to be renamed and the new names will be decided upon shortly.



MILFORD KING on RN service in WW2

Thanks to David Todd, whose father Sydney Arthur Todd (1906-58), was her Chief Engineer from July 1941 to May 1943



From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 16th September 1949:

    A Milford trawler's dramatic dash through a gale and a daring flight by an air ambulance to a lonely Hebridean Island combined to save the life of a 13 year old Milford schoolboy critically ill with peritonitis. The boy is Brian Kerr, youngest son of Mr & Mrs Jack Kerr, 23, Edward St., who is now making good progress after his emergency operation in a Glasgow  hospital. The drama was told to a Guardian reporter this week  by Skipper John E. Garnham, Yorke St, Milford, the captain of the steam trawler "Milford King" and his son, Mr J. E. Garnham (junior), who is mate on the same vessel.

    Mr Kerr, the boy's father, sails as Second Engineer, and on their last trip his son Brian, aged 13, came along on a pleasure voyage on the trawler as

part of his holidays. "This was  his first trip on a trawler and when he became sick and went off his food all thought naturally that he was sea-sick. The weather wasn' t too good at the time and we didn't worry too much about him," said Skipper Garnham and his son. 

    On Friday of last week after being out twelve days the trawler was fishing off Bara Head, on the west coast of Scotland, and a gale sprang up. "By this time," continued the Skipper and Mate, "the boy was really ill and we could see that it was some thing serious. His father was very worried about him, and just after dinner we decided to make for the nearest land to get Brian to a doctor.  We made for the island of Castle Bay and got there at 8 o'clock in the evening.  A doctor was called and as soon as he saw Brian he told us he was critically ill and would have to have an immediate operation."  The nearest hospital was on the mainland, many hours steaming away and the doctor decided that the only hope was to get the boy flown to Glasgow immediately.  An urgent phone message was put through and an air ambulance with a volunteer pilot (Captain Breen) took off from Glasgow.

    Another difficulty arose when it was discovered that no aeroplane could not possibly land at Castle Bay and the doctor ordered the plane to make for Loch Boisdale on Uist Island twenty miles away. Then came the climax of the epic as the Milford steam trawler "Milford King" made a dash through the gale to Boisdale with the doctor on board fighting to save the boy's life with penicillin.  Going full steam through high seas, the trawler put into the Loch at 11 p.m.  There was no proper landing ground on the island but the inhabitants gave every assistance and a field was floodlit with car lights and flares.

    The air ambulance touched down about midnight and the sick boy carefully taken on board, accompanied by his father and a medical attendant. The plane took off at 12.40 a.m. and at 3 a.m. Brian was on the operating table in a Glasgow hospital. The gallant doctor whose prompt action played such a big part in saving the boy's life was taken back to Castle Bay by the trawler, which then completed its fishing and arrived back in Milford on Monday morning.

    Brian's mother was called immediately to his bedside, and when she arrived, found that the operation was successful and that the crisis was over. She has now returned to Milford, leaving his father with him in Glasgow, assured in the knowledge that her son is on the road to recovery after being at death's door.



From The Scotsman of  Thursday 22nd December 1949, p.8:


    The Milford Haven trawlers Milford Viscount and Milford King reached Oban after battling against wild seas for 24 hours.  Both trawlers were disabled at the fishing grounds beyond the Outer Hebrides, their propellers being fouled by the trawl nets.



From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 30th December 1949:



    Another Milford trawler, the Milford Viscount, suffered at the hands of the gale, one of the worst of the winter.  The Viscount was trawling off Oban just before Christmas when in the teeth of an 80 m.p.h. gale a trawl caught in the propeller and ripped off two of the blades.  As soon as the damage was discovered an SOS was sent out to the trawlers in the vicinity, and was answered by the Milford King, which, racing to the rescue, shifted her coal and developed a list.  Fortunately the Viscount, escorted by the King, was able to get home under her own power.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:





    After two years as "runners-up", Skipper Albert Saunders and the "Milford Duke" are once again in top place in the Milford fishing "league".  In 1951 Skipper Saunders caught a greater value of fish than any other individual trawler captain in the port.

    Second in the league on last year's results is Skipper W. Burgoyne, who has moved up a place, closely followed by Skipper Steve Pembroke, who was sixth in the list of 1949 catches.  "Crack" Skipper for 1948 and 1949, Skipper Tom Donovan, D.S.C., is a close fifth in results while consistent Skipper James Jobson again occupies fourth position.

    Here are the leading positions, the ships being classed according to size.



    Capt. Kettle has done it again!  In 1949 Skipper Bob Kettle was runner-up in the Castle boats; in 1950 he topped the list and his catches in 1951 gave him a winning lead over steady Skipper George Knight, who took the Lephreto into second place for the second year running.  Two captains who have moved up in the "table" are Skippers Gue and Lawrence.

1.  Richard Crofts (Bob Kettle),  Mr. W. Wilcox.

2.  Lephreto (Geo. Knight), Messrs. Jenkerson.

3.  Thomas Leeds (Harry Gue), Mr. H. Westonborg.

4.  Alexander Scott (J. Lawrence); 5, Their Merit (Jeff Tucker); 6, Settsu (Norman Brown); 7, T. Booth (late Skipper R. W. Limbrick); 8. W. Bunce (W. R. Robertson); 9, Milford King (Albert Beckett) [sic]; 10, Sea Hunter (J. McLelland).



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th March 1952:


    The Milford Duke returned in tow on Monday evening.  When fishing off southern Ireland she developed engine trouble and Skipper Grenville Beckett obtained a tow from the Milford King, which was in charge of his brother Alfred Beckett.

    The Duke has since returned to sea.



L to R, back row: Deckhand John Tierney, Fireman Ivor Waters, 2nd Eng. Andrew Gonzalez, Cook Percy Kinsley, Bosun Victor Beamish

Front row: Deckhand John Coneely, Fireman Michael O'Leary, Skipper Alfred Beckett, Mate Leslie Garton, Ch.Eng. Clifford Thomas, Deckhand Peter Cook, 3rd Hand "Texas" Jones.

From an original photograph kindly supplied by Terry Beckett, taken for the West Wales Guardian of 1st July 1955.

[The ship in the background is the RUDILAIS M23]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th January 1956:



(He Has A New Challenger)



    Milford Fisheries SKIPPER ARTHUR HARVEY, new chairman of the Skippers' and Mates' Sections of the Transport and General Workers' Union, and Captain of the super-Castle Almandine, has retained his 1954 position as the top-earning individual Skipper in the port in 1955, but he has been closely challenged by the excellent results produced by SKIPPER ALFRED BECKETT in the Milford Steam Trawling Company's vessel, Milford King.  Skipper Harvey's total of 23 trips fell 524 short of his 1954 total and was 1,755 ahead of Skipper Beckett's figure.  But the Milford King did not land her first trip in 1955 until February 21st, and made only 20 trips during the year.  So that Skipper Beckett's total based on that number of trips is in fact easily the highest individual record for the year and is without doubt the most outstanding feature of the "League" for 1955.

    Skipper Beckett, the younger brother of Skipper Grenville Beckett, Captain of the Steam Trawling Company's Milford Consort, reached fourth position in the Castle class in 1954, and will undoubtedly continue to challenge the port's present "Don", Skipper Arthur Harvey, who landed no fewer than 2000 and plus trips during the year.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 19th January 1960:


    Three Milford trawlers left this week for the breaker's yard.  Last Friday the Cleopatra (Westward) left for breaking up at Cork, in charge of Skipper Tom Salter.  On Tuesday the Milford King (Milford Fisheries) was taken by Skipper Reggie High to Newport, and on Wednesday the Merchant Venturer (Merchants Ltd.) left in charge of Skipper Tom Bartlett on her way to Newport.



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