During Second World War

Thanks to Jim Porter and the Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust.

Picture reproduced under IWM Non-Commercial Licence.

Official No:  143932    Port Number and Year:  701st in London, 1920 (LO452)

                                                                                    2nd in Boston, 1922 (BN166)

                                                                                      -    in Ostend, 1923 (O.88)

                                                                                   56th in Hull, 1933 (H530)

                                                                                     3rd in Milford, 1936

                                                                                       -   in Aberdeen, 1947 (A492)

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

Crew:  10 men (1933).

Registered: 21 Jul 1936

Built: 1917 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley as WILLIAM BROWIS.  (Yard no. 377)

Tonnage: 290.14 grt  118.7 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.5 / 23.5 / 12.7

Engine: T 3-Cyl.  86 rhp; 10 kts.  Engine and boiler by Amos & Smith, Hull.




24 Aug 1920:  The Admiralty, London.

Managing owner: The Secretary, Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1


16 Mar 1922: Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co., Boston, Lincs.

Manager: Fred Parkes, Wyberton, Boston.



As JOHN O.88

1923: Pecheries a Vapeur Soc. Anon., Avenue du Vindictive 5, Ostend.

[Information kindly supplied by Gino Provost, Belgium.]



25 Nov 1933: Hellyer Bros., St. Andrew's Dock, Hull.

Managers: Frank O. Hellyer & Owen S. Hellyer.


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

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

6 Aug 1936: As MILFORD QUEEN M225.


8 Aug 1936: Milford Steam Trawlers, Docks, Milford.

Manager: Harry Eastoe Rees, 'Mirador', The Rath, Milford. (8 Aug 1936)

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


29 Dec 1947: Joseph Craig, Craig Stores, (Milburn Fishing), Aberdeen.

Managing owner.

1948: As MILBURN A492.


Landed at Milford: As SPANIARD: 25 Jun - 30 Jul 1936.

As MILFORD QUEEN: 3 Aug 1936 - 29 Aug 1939; 12 Nov 1946 - 18 Nov 1947.

Skippers: Cecil Coombs (1936); Jimmy Jobson (1946/47).


William Browis, age 20, born North Shields; Landsman, HMS VICTORY, Trafalgar.

Gonerby is the name of a moor in Lincolnshire, and Great Gonerby is a village near Grantham.

1917: Built as WILLIAM BROWIS for Admiralty service as a minesweeper, no. 3582.

1922: Sold to mercantile; renamed GONERBY.

19 Jun 1936: Hull registry closed.

31 Aug 1939: Requisitioned for war service as MILFORD QUEEN and converted to a minesweeper.

18 May 1940: Took part in Operations Quentin / Quidnunc / Quixote on 18/19 May; cutting the telephone cables between Germany and the UK in the North Sea, with the MILFORD PRINCESS and JAMES LAY.

Dec 1945: Returned to owners.

1960: Sold for scrap and allocated to James A. White & Co. Ltd.
16 Apr 1960: Arrived St. Davids on the Forth, for breaking up.

[ Information from ]

Cert. Cancelled & Registry Closed: 29 Dec 1947.  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 andprovisions.  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



The Times, Saturday, Mar 15, 1941; pg. 2:



engine set on fire

The following Admiralty communiqué was issued yesterday: -

    A Dornier 17 was probably destroyed on Thursday by HM Trawler Milford Queen (Temporary Skipper R. H. Soanes, D.S.C., R.N.R.)   The first shell from the Milford Queen burst close under the nose of the aircraft and threw it off its course.  The second shell burst close under the starboard engine, which caught fire.  Tracer bullets from the trawler's Lewis gun were also seen to be entering the aircraft.

    The Dornier was not seen to crash but disappeared in the haze, losing height with smoke and flames coming from its starboard engine.  A few seconds later the crew of the Milford Queen heard a loud explosion.  No damage or casualties were sustained by HM Trawler Milford Queen.


The Times, Wednesday, Apr 30, 1941; pg. 2:




    For coolness and skill when an enemy aircraft was destroyed:

    DSM.—  ..............  Seaman L. J. Fyfe, H.M.T. Milford Queen.



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