Official No: 110860 Port Number and Year: 3rd in Fraserburgh, 1900 (FR834)
7th in North Shields, 1909 (SN104)
55th in Grimsby, 1915 (GY720)
8th in Aberdeen, 1936 (A872)
1st in Fleetwood, 1937 (FD77)
8th in Milford, 1937
Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Pareja (Spanish) method. Ketch rigged: mizzen
Crew: 9 men (1915); 10 men (1937); 11 men (20 Oct 1948).
Registered at Milford: 23 Sep 1937.
Built: 1900 by Hall, Russell & Co., Aberdeen. (Yard no. 341)
Tonnage: 181.58 grt 58 net. (1914: 71 net.)
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 110.2 / 21.2 / 11.4
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 56 nhp.10.5 kts. Engine and boiler by builders.
11 Dec 1900: The Fraserburgh & North of Scotland Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Fraserburgh.
Manager: Robert Laing, 87 Ashley Rd., Edinburgh. (By 1906: 172 Market St., Edinburgh.)
4 Sep 1909: John Smart (Jnr.), 59 Cleveland Rd., North Shields.
18 Oct 1915: J. W. Smethurst, Fish Docks, Grimsby
Oct 1916: L. Bloom, Grimsby.
1916: Henry Rachkind, 34 Grimsby Rd., Cleethorpes.
Managing owner: 1916-1919.
Manager: Alfred Bannister, Fish Dock Rd., Grimsby. (1920-22)
27 Mar 1922: George King, 49 Springbank Tce., Aberdeen.
Managing owner: 1922-28.
George W. Fowler, 35 Springbank Tce., Aberdeen. (Managing owner: 1928-35)
1936: Gremar Steam Fishing Co., Fleetwood.
Managing owner: John Martin, 58 Dronsfield Rd., Fleetwood.
20 May 1937: As FD77.
Aug 1937: Pair Fishing Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford. (64/64)
Manager: John Charles Llewellin, 11 Priory Rd., Milford.
23 Sep 1937: As M246
15 Nov 1937: John Charles Llewellin, 11 Priory Rd., Milford.
9 Jun 1938: Henry James Horwood, 297 Pickhurst Lane, West Wickham.
26 Feb 1941: Henry John Richards, 26 Croft Gardens, Ruislip. (26 Feb 1941)
14 Aug 1942: Gerald Edward Leaman Whitmarsh, 1 Culme Rd., Mannamead, Plymouth. (Accountant)
Stanley Sanger, 648 Finchley Rd., London (Company Director)
Edward Hatherley, 258 Beaumont Rd., Plymouth.
Managing owner: Oliver Curphy, 11 Eastleigh Drive, Milford (Fish salesman)
21 Oct 1946: Edward Hatherley, 258 Beaumont Rd., Plymouth.
Stanley Sanger, 648 Finchley Rd., London.
Managing owner: Gerald Edward Leaman Whitmarsh, 37 Southside St., The Barbican, Plymouth.
12 Jan 1949: Edward Whitmarsh, 23 Coleridge Rd., Plymouth
Edward Hatherley, 258 Beaumont Rd., Plymouth.
S. Edgcumbe, 45 Foreland Rd., Plymouth.
Landed at Milford:
(FD77) 15 Sep 1937.
(M246) 22 Oct 1937 - 29 Nov 1940; 24 Jan 1941 - 24 Jul 1942.
Skippers: C.K. Cornish, 1940. [ See below. ]
Rattray Head and Bay are in Aberdeenshire, on the north-east coast Scotland.
Aug 1914: Requisitioned for war service and converted to a minesweeper (Admy.no. 357).
Aug 1915: Returned to fishing fleet.
29 May 1917: Requisitioned for Fishery Reserve.
10 Jan 1934: Some 60 miles E of Aberdeen, disabled with trawl around propeller. Steam trawler AURORA (GY172) connected and delivered Aberdeen.
27 Nov 1940: Machine gunned by German aircraft off Milford Haven [See story below.]
31 Mar 1941: Fishing, pairing (Sk. C. K. Cornish) with CHARMOUTH (M242) (Sk.J. Mengel), off 2 miles SE by E of Hook Point, when attacked by German aircraft, returned fire and damaged aircraft which subsequently crashed.
19 Apr 1950: Milford registry closed. Laid up.
Mar 1952: Sold to BISCO and allocated to John Cashmore Ltd, Newport, Monmouthshire for breaking up.
[ Information kindly supplied via The Bosun's Watch and Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust. ]
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 19 Apr 1950.
Accidents and Incidents
From an unknown local newspaper dated Thursday 28th October 1937:
Another pair of locally owned trawlers put to sea on Tuesday night's tide. They were the s.t. Rattray and the s.t. Charmouth, recently purchased by the Don Fishing Company from Fleetwood and Aberdeen, and reconditioned and adapted for the Spanish "Pareja" method of fishing.
This enterprising firm has purchased four more of this class of trawlers from Fleetwood, viz., s.t Aberdeen, s.t. Zania, s.t. Ilfracombe and the s.t Scarborough, two of which have arrived in Milford Docks to be fitted out.
This makes five pairs of boats under the management of Yolland and Llewellyn.
From ADM199/76 (p.576): Admiralty: War History Cases and Papers, Second World War (courtesy of Roger Hollywood):
The 'pareja' trawlers "Charmouth" M.242 and the "Rattray" M.246, were fishing in latitude 53º 30' N., longitude 12º 04' W., at [2?].30 G.M.T. on the 27th November. The wind was blowing freshly from the N.N.W., visibility was good.
A large black aeroplane, of a type of which the skippers could not identify, approached from the North and then circled to track the 2 ships. Two delayed action bombs (with about a 4 -sec. delay) were dropped on the "Charmouth", both of which missed, and the "Charmouth" and the"Rattray" were repeatedly attacked in turn with machine-gun and cannon fire.
An interesting point is that the cannon was apparently [pla?]ced in the rear of the aeroplane.
Both the ships fought vigorously with their machine-guns, firing several hundred rounds between them, and when the aeroplane finally left, black smoke was coming from her.
There was no damage apart from bullet and shell-holes to either ship, and only one slight cut on the finger received by one of the crew.
The most attacked ship, the "Charmouth", chopped her [...] of the warp, but the "Rattray" did not, and therefore no gear [was] lost.
The skippers and owners have especially asked me to [comm]end the machine-gunners of these 2 ships for putting up a splendid performance. The German was never allowed to come very [close?], and it is practically certain that she was hit many times.
December 2nd, 1940
The following item appeared in the "Daily Express" on Nov.30th:-
"Five Nazi airmen have been rescued from an uninhabited island off the coast of Kerry, south-west Eire, after being marooned there for 2 days, it was learned last night. Their bomber crashed about six miles off the Blasket Islands. In rubber boats they reached a rocky islet, and lived on their iron rations until people on the main island (which has a population of 160) saw their distress signals. Now the Nazis are interned. "
[The Blaskets are approximately 60 nautical miles SE of the position given by the trawlers.]
From ADM199/76 (p.571): Admiralty: War History Cases and Papers, Second World War (courtesy of Roger Hollywood):
PAIR FISHING COMPANY LIMITED
TRAWLER OWNERS & MANAGERS
Please reply to
20th January, 1941
We have to thank you for your favour of the 15th inst; Ref. No.TD/DEMS/729; and are very pleased indeed to learn that two of our trawlers have been credited with bringing down an enemy plane.
The names and addresses of the men concerned are:-
Skipper:- C. Cornish, Gunner. J.P.Luca,
"Devonia" c/o Mrs.Evans
Wellington Road, The Drang,
Milford Haven Robert St.
Skipper. J.Mengel Gunner. C. Dyer,
c/o Mrs.Owens, Priory Road,
"Glebelands" MILFORD HAVEN
We trust this information will meet your requirements.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th March 1941:
The news broadcast by the B.B.C. last weekend, that two British trawlers had downed a German plane that attacked them, has given added zest to the men who man our fishing boats in defiance of all dangers.
To the brief wireless newsflash may be added the fact that the Lewis gunner on the steam trawler Charmouth was 18 year old Charlie Dyer, or "Dare Devil Dyer" as his friends call him. He will not be 19 until May next, and immediately volunteered to man the gun. He comes of Lowestoft stock, his father being a trawler skipper, Mr. C. W. Dyer. He has one brother in the Navy.
The other gunner on the steam trawler Rattray was a Belgian, Julien Prosper Luca. Luca has finished with the sea, having volunteered for the R.A.F. "I want to get up a bit closer to those Jerries, and then - pouf!" he declares.
The reports of the skippers of both trawlers coincide in brevity and modesty. Neither claims the plane, although the Admiralty stated that it was later confirmed that a plane which crashed had fallen to the guns of the Charmouth and Rattray.
Skipper C. K. Cornish (Rattray) reported, "We were fishing, when suddenly we saw a large aeroplane flying towards us from a northerly direction. The plane turned out to be a German, and started machine-gunning us. Our sister ship, the Charmouth, was also attacked and bombed, and had to cut away her gear. The plane did slight damage to my vessel, but hit no-one, and after about three quarters of an hour flew away. During this time we kept him under fire from our Lewis machine gun."
Skipper J. Mengel, (Charmouth) wrote, "We suddenly saw a plane, which turned out to be German. It was a black machine with twin rudders. It opened fire with machine guns and small cannon, and dropped two bombs. The only casualty was a slight injury by a machine gun bullet to one of the men. We had to cut the warp to make for safety, and after about three quarters of an hour, the plane flew off."
One of the crew in an interview said that the bombs narrowly missed the Charmouth, and that black smoke was coming from the raider as she made off.
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