Thanks to

Official No:  123739    Port and Year: 190th in London, 1906 (LO250)

                                                                   -       -  Ymuiden, 1911 (IJM.10)

Description: Steel side trawler; coal fired, steam screw.  Ketch rigged.  Wheelhouse aft.


Built: by Smith's Dock Co., North Shields, in 1906 (Yard no. 799)

Tonnage:   215 grt  73 net (MNL 1907); 212 grt 62 net (Lloyd's Register 1930).

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 117.4 / 21.5 / 11.5                                                         

Engine: T.3-Cyl; 75 nhp; by MacColl & Pollock, Sunderland.



As LO250

2 Nov 1906: George H. D. Birt, Docks, Milford.

Managing owner.



14 Jun 1911: N.V. Algemeene Vissch. Maats, Ymuiden.

Managers: De Vem N.V. (From 1933)


1939: N.V. Algemeene Vissch. Maats ver. Steenkolenhandel VIII, Ymuiden.

Managers: De Vem N.V.


Landed at Milford: 12 Nov 1906 - 5 Jun 1911.

As RN: 1 Apr 1942 - 17 Mar 1943; 9 Dec 1943; 2 Oct 1944.  (See below.)

Skippers: John Dove (1906); Thomas Hooper (1907)


3 May 1940: Left for the fishing grounds, but then escaped to Great Britain.

Jun 1940: Requisitioned and converted for minesweeping; HNLMS JACQUELINE CLASINE (Pennant 7B)

Jan 1942: Minesweeping Group 67; Holyhead. [  ]

Feb 1942 - Mar 1943: Based at HMS SKIRMISHER in Milford; then transferred from the Dutch RN to British RN; HMS JACQUELINE CLASINE (P.No. FY.1783).

1944: Converted to Esso.

June 1944: Normandy Invasion; together with other ships in connection with MULBERRIES, smoke-making (Esso) trawlers.  Ty. Skipper G.F. Pearson, R.N.R.

11 Apr 1946: Returned to Dutch owners; not reconverted for fishing, and laid up in Ymuiden.

5 May 1952: Sold to ship breakers by Rijsdijk Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht.

[Thanks to Jan Harteveld and the Bibliotheek Zeehavenmuseum ( for information as to 1940-52.]

Accidents and Incidents

From the Carmarthen Weekly Reporter of Friday 9th February 1906:

New Trawlers for Milford Haven.

    The Milford Haven fleet of steam trawlers, which was greatly depleted by the removal of the Castle Steam Trawlers, Limited, to Swansea about 18 months ago, is rapidly regaining its normal strength, for in addition to the ships added during the year, several more are at present on order. Three vessels, the India, Persia, and Arabia, are being built for Mr G. H. D. Birt, formerly manager of the Castle Steam Trawlers, which will bring the fleet under his management up to nine. Trawlers are also being built for Captain Pettit and Mr Cayley at Ardrosan [sic]. These will be the first built for this port on the Clyde, a company in Neyland having already purchased a trawler, which is expected next week. Messrs Neale and West, of Cardiff and Milford Haven, have for many months been sending a portion of their fleet to this port with satisfactory results.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 14th November 1906:


    The fleet of trawlers belonging to Mr. G. H. D. Birt was further augmented on Monday by the arrival of the s.s. "Persia" (Captain J. H. Dove).  The vessel is of the same class as the "India", which arrived a fortnight ago.  The initial trip realised £140.  Next week the sister ship "Arabia" is expected, and this line of vessels will be brought up to six, in addition to the Phoenix and Welsh Trawling Company ships also under the management of Mr. G. H. Birt.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 1st December 1909:


    This morning the steam trawler "Persia", owned by Mr. G. H. D. Birt, arrived at Milford after undergoing a terrible experience at sea in which three of the crew were washed overboard.  One of the men, Charles Gravenor, the boatswain, who resided at Hubberston, disappeared, and was not seen again.  The trawler arrived at Milford with her flag flying at half mast, and there was a great rush to the vessel as it came to its berth. 

    The skipper, Mr Thomas Hooper, of Hakin, told the story of his terrible experience.  He said that whilst fishing 250 miles to the westward on Monday night, the fishing gear being down at the time, the vessel suddenly was struck by a large wave which broke over the deck, washing three of his crew, Charles Gravenor, bo'sun, Daniel Riley, mate, and John Mullins, third hand, overboard.  Two of the men were rescued, but the bo'sun disappeared.  His boots were last seen above water, but it is supposed that the unfortunate man must have been stunned. As soon as the men were overboard, the skipper stopped the trawler's engines.  The trawler was again struck by another huge wave, the vessel was put about and made for Milford. 

    Gravenor, who is about thirty four years of age, leaves a widow and two children at Hubberston.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 25th November 1910: 



Fishing in Bantry Bay.


            As briefly reported last week some Milford skippers were fined at Bantry, County Cork, Petty Sessions for illegally trawling within the limits. The following is an extended report of the proceedings:-

             The Department of Agriculture (Ireland), and Capt. Thompson summoned John Beck. of Warwick-road, Milford Haven, skipper of the steam trawler Arpin [i.e., Arfon] owned by the Pater Steam Trawling Co., Ltd., of Main-street, Pembroke, Wales, for illegal fishing on the 14th October, within the limits in Bantry Bay, viz., an imaginary line drawn from Crow Head to Sheep's Head.

            Dr. Wynne, Crown Solicitor, Cork, prosecuted for the Department.

            Mr. P. O'Leary, solicitor, Bantry, defended.


            The Department next prosecuted Joseph Huddlestone, of Wellington-road, Hakin, Milford Haven, master of the steam trawler "Persia" owned by George Hogarth Douglas, Milford Haven, and Henry Hyde Hextal, of 69, Fitzjones-avenue, London.

            Dr. Wvnne prosecuted, Mr. Allen defended.

            The same evidence was given for the prosecution.

            Mr. Allen for the defence said he had no witnesses, and submitted that the "Persia" was only repairing her damaged machinery and was not actually seen trawling.

            Dr. Wynne said Capt. Thompson and Mr. Dunne stated that they saw all the signs and manoeuvres being carried out which accompany the operation.

            The Chairman said the Bench were unanimous in inflicting a fine of £75 and costs.

Mr. O'Leary objected to the Chairman's remarks as that was the first time his client was convicted of illegal trawling.

            Chairman: Sure I didnít say that it was not.


[The Mercantile Navy List (1911) gives the managing owner as G.H.D. Birt in 1910.]


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 14th June 1911:


    During the week two steam trawlers, "India" and "Persia", belonging to Mr. G. H. D. Birt, have been sold to firms from Holland, and will be leaving the port of Milford shortly.  The vessels are only a few years old, and are of a class that has proved to be very successful.  We hear that in due course they will be replaced.  The steam trawler "Arabia" was not sold as at first rumoured.





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