Official No: 165640 Port Number and Year: - in IJmuiden (IJM336), 1917
- in Boulogne (B ?), 1930?
- in Dieppe (DI ?), 1933
10th in Milford, 1938
Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen.
Crew: 9 men
Registered at Milford: 1 Jun 1938
Built: 1917, by Gebroeders Boot, Leiderdorp, Netherlands. (Yard no. 1044)
Tonnage: 139.84 grt 50.94 net
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 101.8 / 20.6 / 9.5
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 35 nhp. 9 kts. Engine and boiler by Maschfbk. Overijn, Leiden
As SCHIELAND IJM336
1917: NV Noordzee Exploitatie Maatschappij , IJmuiden, Netherlands.
[Information from Jan Harteveld ]
As NOTRE DAME DES SUFFRAGES
By 1930: Libert-Bourgain, Boulogne.
1933: Eugène Cavalier, Dieppe.
Managers: Cie. Gle. de Marée et de Consignation.
1936: Delabarre, Dieppe.
As WESTFIELD M278
1 Jun 1938: Wilfred Lovell Hancock, 20 Great North Rd., Milford. (64/64)
Manager: Reginald Llewellyn Hancock.
9 Sep 1938: Reginald Llewellyn Hancock, 'Beachways', Picton Rd., Hakin. (64/64)
3 Feb 1939: A. J. Tilbrook (Haven Trawlers), Docks, Milford. (64/64)
Manager: James Lakin Cobb, 'Frampton House', Great North Rd., Milford.
Landed at Milford: 1 Jul 1938 - 27 Jun 1941
Skippers: T. Stephens (1941).
Schieland is region in South Holland (not the whole country of the Netherlands.)
Notre Dame des Suffrages: "Our Lady of Votes"; the name refers to the intercession of the Virgin for the souls of the deceased to God. (Wikipedia.)
Khombole is a city founded in the eighteenth century in Senegal, a former French colony.
Westfield Pill is the sheltered inlet east of Neyland.
7 Nov 1940: WESTFIELD collided with the coaster DORSET COAST. [See statement below.]
6 Jul 1941: Bombed and sunk in the Bristol Channel off St Govens Head, near Lundy Island. No survivors. [See names below; recorded on Panel 129 on Tower Hill Memorial.]
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 29 Jul 1941.
Accidents and Incidents
Statement made by Frederick Mara of 5I, Oxton Road, Wallesey, on 7th November I940:
I have held a Masters Home Trade Certificate since I925. I have been Master of the "Dorset Coast", belonging to Coast Lines Ltd., for about a month. I have been in command of vessels for 8 years with Coast lines Ltd. The "Dorset Coast" is a motor vessel of 646 tons gross, 244 tons nett. She was built at Ardrossan in I936. She is I99.4 feet in length, 33.I in breadth and II.I depth of hold. She is 35 feet in beam overall and 210 feet in length overall. She is fitted with six cylinder four stroke cycle single acting oil engines of 224 nominal h.p., and carries a crew of II hands all told. Her full speed is I2 knots, half speed 8 knots and slow speed about 3 to 4 knots, the respective normal revolutions of the engine being I60, 80 and 50 per minute.
On November 7th, I940, the "Dorset Coast" was approaching Milford Docks in the course of a voyage from Liverpool to Milford Haven and Bristol. We had come up the buoyed channel through Milford Haven until we came to the anchorages off the entrance to Milford Dock, where we turned 8 points to port making for the Milford Dock. I assumed that there was a recognised channel from that point to the Dock. We were some 5,000 ft from the entrance to the Dock when we made this turn.
About 2,000 ft from the entrance there was a red and white can buoy with a light on a staff, which I took to mark the Western edge of the Channel. This Channel is some 300 ft wide and leads directly to the Entrance Gate to the Docks. There is a slight angle in the Channel about 600 ft from the Entrance, and at that point there are two black and white buoys one on either side of the channel. The turn is to the Westward. The Channel runs almost North and South until you come to the turn and my ship was on a heading of approximately North magnetic at the time in question. We were not steering a compass course in this Channel but following the Pilot's directions.
I was on the bridge of my ship which is amidships, with the Pilot. The Second Officer was at the wheel, the rest of the crew were at their Docking Stations fore and aft, the Chief Officer was on the forecastle head. I was standing in the port wing of the bridge, the pilot in the starboard wing, the Second Officer at the wheel was amidships in the wheelhouse. The wheelhouse is covered in and protected with concrete slabs round the wheel. The man at the wheel can see practically nothing, he can see ahead only. There are a couple of slits on either side through which he can get a restricted view, but I do not think in this case he saw the vessel which subsequently collided with us. It would have been out of sight of him by reason of the concrete slabs.
As soon as we entered the Channel, I saw a group of four or five trawlers lying close together, apparently at anchor to the East of the Channel, at about 2,360 ft. from the Dock Entrance. This is a regular anchorage and there are always trawlers lying there. I paid no particular attention to them as they were clear of the Channel. Two of them had anchor balls up, I am not sure about the others. The vessel which collided with us had not got an anchor ball up. When I first observed her particularly she was then underway.
The weather was clear, the wind Northerly, a moderate breeze, calm sea, the tide was negligible. The time was about a quarter of an hour before high water and at that time there is only a drain of tide setting from the East to West. Close to the Dock Entrance there is a pronounced set and we made allowance for it when we later approached the Dock Gates to go in. The flag at the Dock Entrance giving us permission to enter was at the hoist, and when we were about 500 ft. away from the group of trawlers a man, in what I think was Naval uniform, hailed us from a white motor launch and called out, "All right, Dorset Coast, proceed into the Dock." The white boat was on our port hand and pretty well under our bows at the time he hailed us. He then went back to the Dock Head and was out of the way when the collision happened. About the time he hailed us, I observed a vessel, which subsequently proved to be the trawler "Westfield", about 3 points on our starboard bow and about 500 ft. distant, emerging from the group of vessels and heading I should think something like North West, but I do not feel sure of his heading at this time.
I did not pay much attention to him, as navigation thereabouts is always close, and I supposed he would keep out of my way as I was in the Channel and proceeding to the Dock under the orders I have mentioned. There was also one vessel coming down the Channel, a trawler, and just previously we had passed another trawler port to port. We were on our own side of the Channel and were approaching the red and white can buoy on the port side of the Channel. The buoy was a point or two on our port bow and perhaps three ships lengths away at the time we first saw the "Westfield".
Our heading was then approximately North magnetic. At the time my engines were stopped in order to drift in quietly and had been stopped for a minute or more. In my report to the Company I have said, "But the engines were stopped when 'Westfield' was seen to be crossing the Channel." The word "WAS" was crossed out because I did not want to give the impression that the way was off the ship. I should estimate our speed through the water at not more than three knots, just enough to keep steerage way. The impression I have of the "Westfield" is that she was altering to port to come out to sea, because when I next took particular notice of her, she was coming out into the Channel and heading to cross us at a distance of about a couple of hundred feet away. She was outside the Channel and in a matter of seconds she was inside the Channel.
When I saw her doing this and when her bows were just about in the Channel, I blew two blasts and put the wheel hard-a-port. I gave the orders myself. My ship began to answer immediately and within a few seconds of giving the orders, I hailed the "Westfield" to go astern. Immediately after I hailed him, the Pilot repeated the hail. The "Westfield" then replied he was going astern, but at that time his engines were certainly not working astern and he gave no whistle signal. I could see no wash and I looked particularly for it. The "Westfield" consequently came on altering to port. All the time my ship was swinging away from him and I was waiting for him to go astern. Two or three seconds before he struck us I observed the wash from his propeller. At the time he struck us our head had gone off between two and three points.
When the "Westfield" struck us I should estimate the angle between the ships keels at about 90 degrees. His stem struck the starboard shoulder of my ship about I5 ft. abaft the break of the forecastle, cutting into the rubber. I do not know whether further damage was done, but I did not observe any other damage myself. Immediately on contact I rang the engines full speed astern and blew three blasts on the whistle. This was partly to avoid the other trawler coming down and partly to get our way off in order to straighten up in the Channel.
The place of collision was about 300 ft. from the red and white can buoy on the seaward side of the buoy, and at the time of collision this buoy would be bearing almost dead ahead owing to our alteration of heading, and immediately after the collision our head having swung still more to the westward. The buoy was on our starboard bow, perhaps a point to a point and a half would be the furthest it would get on our starboard hand.
After the impact, the "Westfield" continued to go astern and she scraped down our starboard side with her stem still about at right angles to us and eventually cleared us astern and then proceeded out to sea. As soon as she was clear I rang slow ahead and ordered hard a-starboard and we then straightened up in the Channel, passed this other trawler port to port and entered the Dock. At the time of the contact the trawler coming out of the Dock was only about her own length from the Dock Gates. We were holding back in order to let this trawler clear the Dock Gates for our entrance. The time of the impact was 12.35p.m. I looked at my watch at the time of the impact. My watch was correct by the bridge clock, I checked it myself.
The "Westfield" at no time blew any whistle signals. In my opinion the collision was entirely the fault of the "Westfield" for entering the buoyed Channel at an improper time and in an improper way. The time was improper because we were too close. The manner was improper because he was not coming into the Dock from the Channel or Entrance. The collision could easily have been avoided by his going astern in time. I did not myself expect there was going to be any trouble, because as I have said, there is plenty of close navigation at this place. I think it very likely that although he may have rung his engines astern in adequate time, [but] the engine room did not respond with sufficient promptness, and I was surprised to see him coming on in the way he did. There was nothing I could do to avoid the collision. I did not go astern because when I appreciated risk of collision, there was not time for me to get my engines working astern and the way off my ship and therefore the only thing I could do was to go to port. Had I gone astern it would have thrown my head to starboard and made the force of the impact greater. What I did at least lessened the force of the blow. Not more than a minute elapsed from the time I first saw the "Westfield" at a distance of some 500 feet and the time of the collision.
From the West Wales Guardian, of Friday 1st August 1941:
Ten fishermen from a West Coast port have been posted as missing. They are: Skipper - T. Stephens, 57 years old, 55, Priory Road, Milford; Mate - B.E. Hunt, 46 years old, 49, Dewsland Street, Milford; Bo'sun - J. Rushmore, 42 years old, 21, Starbuck Road, Milford; Deckhands - B.R. Tobutt, 37 years old, 13, Chapel Street, Hakin; S. Watkins, 18 years old, Dartmouth Street, Milford; W. Flowers, "Aston Villa", Highland Way, Oulton Broad; Cook - W. Dainty, 60 years old, 15, Crescent Street, Grimsby; Chief Engineer - P.J. Sandford, 46 years old, 149 Robert Street, Milford; Second Engineer - G. Coleman 47 years old, 39, Point Street, Hakin; Trimmer - M. Kennedy, 44 years old, 21, Gwili Road, Hakin.
The first four men are Lowestoft men and are all married. A few weeks ago Mrs. Stephens lost her son, Lance Corporal Edwin (Tom) Stephens, who was killed during army manoeuvres in England. The Mate leaves a widow and three sons, two of them under seventeen. Both Mr. Rushmore and Mr. Tobutt leave a widow and one child. Young Watkins was a native of Neyland, while Flowers, who hailed from the Lowestoft area, has one son in the army. The sixty year old Cook has a grown up daughter, while Mr. Coleman, a native of Lowestoft has two married daughters. Mr. Sandford, another Lowestoft man, was also married and has two sons in the services. Martin Kennedy was a well-known figure. An ex-serviceman, he was badly shell-shocked in the last war but continued steadfastly to sail on the ships, and was a splendid workman.
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