Official No:  118159   Port Number and Year:  5th in Granton, 1905 (GN19)

                                                                                 -    in Aberdeen, 1932  (A188)

                                                                               2nd in Milford, 1939.

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen

Crew:  10 men (1934); 12 men (1944).

Registered at Milford: 15 Dec 1939

Built: 1905 by Hall, Russell & Co., Aberdeen. (Yard no. 388)

Tonnage: 172 grt  36 net  (1914: 161.39 grt  60.9 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 112.25 / 21.1 / 11.1  

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 66 hp.10 kts.  1905, by builders.




12 Jul 1905Thomas L. Devlin (Jnr.),  203 Newhaven Rd., Trinity, Edinburgh.

Managing owner.


17 Jun 1919: John Inglis, Woodhouse, Glenternie, Peebles.

Managers: Thomas L. Devlin & Robert D. Devlin, Lower Granton Rd., Granton.


15 Jul 1923: Thomas L. Devlin, 'Linthorpe', Craighall Rd., Leith.

Robert D. Devlin, 'Carisbrooke', 56 Netherby Rd., Leith.

Managing owners.


1929: Thomas L. Devlin & Son, 'Linthorpe', Craighall Rd., Leith. 

Manager: Robert Devlin.     


5 Feb 1930: Adam Bros. Ltd., 17 Gracechurch St., London EC3.

Manager: Thomas L. Adam, 42 Regent Quay, Aberdeen.


31 Mar 1932: Benjamin Allenby, Aberdeen.

Managing owner: Alexander King, 65 Gairn Tce., Aberdeen.

22 Nov 1932: As RIVER YTHAN A188


As  M51

15 Dec 1939:  Joseph Leslie Yolland, 'Hartland', Pill Lane, Milford.     (17/64)

John Yolland (Jnr.), Broadway, Fleetwood.   (17/64)

Thomas Steward Yolland, St. Ann's, Sketty Green, Swansea.  (13/64)

Managing owner: John Charles Llewellin, 'Camelot', Wellington Rd., Hakin  (17/64)


9 Mar 1941: Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., Fleetwood

Manager:  Basil Arthur Parks, Holmleigh Ave., Cleveleys.


26 Oct 1944: Loyal Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Auckland Road, Fish Docks, Grimsby.

Manager: Albert Wright Butt.


Landed at Milford: 7 Dec 1939 - 10 Mar 1941  (Transferred to Fleetwood, remained M51)

Skippers: Walter Perry (1940)


The River Ythan is in the NE of Scotland, arising from near the village of Ythanwells, to the North Sea at Newburgh.

Mar 1917:  Requisitioned (Admiralty No.3336) and converted to a minesweeper. 1x6 pdr HA. Based at Larne.

7 Sep 1917: Salvage of rubber for which her crew was awarded payment. [The Times, 15 Mar 1919.]

12 Mar 1919: Returned to owners.

12 Oct 1920: Stranded on rocks N. of St. Abbs Head. Later refloated.

9 Jun 1931: In collision 50 miles off Aberdeen with drifter REPLENISH (BF530) which foundered. Crew picked up and landed at Aberdeen.

1940: On requisition list for war service but not taken up.

12 Aug 1940: Attacked and bombed off the Smalls by German aircraft.  [See story below.]

15 Dec 1944: Left Grimsby and crew of 12 posted as missing in the North Sea.

[Thanks to the Granton Trawlers website and The Bosun's Watch and the Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 9 Mar 1945.

Accidents and Incidents

From an unknown local newspaper of c.16th November 1939:


    It is good news for Milford that the trawler fleet, which has been so depleted since the outbreak of war, is to be augmented by three vessels which have been purchased from Aberdeen.

    Two, the River Ythan and the Sureaxe, are being added to the growing fleet of that enterprising firm of Yolland and Llewellin.  These vessels can be adapted for Spanish fishing, of course, but for the meanwhile will probably be put on mixed fishing.  They are 112 ft. and 115 ft. in length.

    The other purchase is by Mr. Herman Westenborg, another go-ahead owner. The vessel is the Craiganeran, and has been bought from Mr. George Craig of Aberdeen. 

    The trawlers are expected to arrive shortly, and will be a welcome addition to the local fleet.



From an unknown local newspaper, dated c.15th August 1940:


    On Tuesday morning three more Milford trawlers arrived in port bearing visible marks of contact with Nazi planes at sea.  The vessels were fishing peacefully when the enemy appeared and dropped bombs, which fortunately missed their mark, though the effect of the explosions were felt.

    Chagrined by their lack of bombing skill, the Nazis resorted to their usual cowardly methods by attacking the helpless fishermen, and relentlessly machine-gunned them.  Evidence of this is to be seen on each side of the trawlers.  Worse still, at least three men were severely wounded. 

    Skipper Walter Perry, of 16, Greville Road, received a nasty flesh wound, whilst his boatswain, Fred McKay, 23, Prioryville, was badly wounded in both legs.  He was on watch in the wheelhouse at the time of the attack.  He had to be taken to hospital.  The other injured man was George Turrel, chief engineer on another trawler.  He was wounded in the legs and arms.

    The other trawler, belonging to the same firm, was the River Ythan.


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th August 1940:


    For the third successive week, Milford trawlers have been attacked by Nazi bombers.  Their names, owners and skippers were: s.t. "Ermine" (H.E. Rees and Company), Skipper Walter Perry, Greville Road, Milford; s.t. "Kernevel" and s.t. "River Ythan" (Yolland and Llewellin); Skippers J. Cheyney, Point Street, Hakin, and W. Davies, Picton Road, Hakin, respectively.

    Only one of the bombs came dangerously close to a trawler ("River Ythan").  It hit and split the mizzen boom, then dropped onto the leading tackle rope and glanced off into the sea astern before exploding.  The bombing having failed, the Nazis machine gunned the defenceless fishermen, and when the three trawlers docked at Milford bullet holes could be seen all over them.

    The "Ermine" was bombed and machine gunned for twenty minutes, and the boatswain, Mr. Fred McKay, Prioryville, on watch on the bridge at the time, had a bullet through one knee, while the other leg was also injured.  He was taken to the County Hospital.

    Skipper Walter Perry and Mr. George Turrell, chief engineer on the "Kernevel", were also slightly wounded.


[ The three trawlers were all attacked by aircraft off the Smalls on 12th August.]



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