As the minesweeper H.M.T. WILLIAM BRADY

Watercolour by Steve Farrow, commissioned by Mrs. Elizabeth Olsen, whose father was C.O. of the ship in WW2



Official No:  143812   Port and Year: London, 1919 (LO250)

                                                                Grimsby, 1951 (GY167)   

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; single screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged.

Crew: 11 men (1920)  

Built: 1918,  Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley.  (Yard no. 380)

Tonnage:  290 grt  119 net.

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

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 60 rhp; by Amos & Smith, Hull




1919: The Secretary of the Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1.



As LO347

15 Apr 1920: Quintin Dick, 12 Grosvenor Crescent, Hyde Park Corner, London SW1. 

Manager: Charles E. B. L. Curzon, Docks, Milford


13 Feb 1928: Countess Howe, 28 St. James Place, London SW1.

Manager: Charles E. B. L. Curzon, Docks, Milford. (1928-31)

                  Brand & Curzon, Docks, Milford. (1931-32)*


1932: Mrs. Geraldine F. Curzon, 67 Ennismore Gardens, London SW7.

Managers: Brand & Curzon, Docks, Milford. (1932-37?)*

                 Mills Steam Ship Co. Ltd., London. (1937)


1942: Aldred Fishing Co. Ltd., Grimsby.

Manager: H. Markham Cook, Fish Dock Rd., Grimsby.


1945: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford.

Manager: Owen Willie Limbrick.


Feb 1951: Japan Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Grimsby.

Manager: Charles Taylor, Murray St., Fish Docks, Grimsby.

Mar 1951: GY167.


*Brand & Curzon were unlikely to be Milford managers, as this trawler was not fishing from Milford from Nov 1930.


Landed at Milford: (RN - 28 Oct 1919. Laid up until sold.)

12 Jan 1920 - 8 Oct 1930; 1 Oct 1946 - 23 Jun 1949

Skippers: Francis Folland (1922-23); William McLean (1925); Horace F. Setterfield (1927); William Hawkins.


William Brady, age 38, born Co. Cavan, Ireland; OS, HMS VICTORY; at Trafalgar.

17 Dec 1917: Launched for the Admiralty (no.3585) as WILLIAM BRADY.  1x12pdr. 1 x 3.5" bomb thrower. Listening hydrophones.

1919: For sale to mercantile.

Jun 1940: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an auxiliary patrol vessel (P.No. 4.112).

Feb 1946: Returned to owners.

Apr 1961: Broken up at Gateshead.


Accidents and Incidents

The Times, Thursday, Mar 01, 1923; pg. 12; Issue 43278; col E
     Heavy Weather At Sea. Two Vessels Sunk.

The Milford Haven trawler William Brady landed at Milford Haven yesterday the crew of seven men rescued from the schooner Frank H. Adams of Newfoundland, bound for Oporto.  Off the Spanish coast the schooner met with bad weather and began to leak badly.  She lost her boom and rudder and in a helpless condition was drifting quickly on a lee-shore when she was sighted by the trawler, which went to her assistance.  The weather was so bad that the trawler stood by for 26 hours before she could do anything.  The she got a line aboard and dragged the men off the schooner through the sea one by one on to the trawler.  A few minutes later the schooner went down and the trawler returned to Milford Haven with the crew.

Skipper's statement:


STATEMENT by Frank Folland, of No. 14, Gracechurch Terrace, Pill, Master of the "William Brady", and Stanley Lake of No. 56, Waterloo Road, Hakin, Bosun of "William Brady" .

We left the Milford Docks on February 5/23 and proceeded to the fishing grounds off the Portuguese Coast. We fished up to the 22nd of February off Cape Sines (Portugal) and then proceeded, it being my intention to have further fishing off Cape Mondego, but owing to the weather coming on bad I decided I would proceed for Milford Haven.

At about 4.15 in the afternoon of February 23rd we sighted a schooner under our lee about five miles off. She looked to us to be in distress and I altered my course and proceeded towards her and went up within half a mile of her. She appeared then to be all right and showed no signal so I decided to proceed on my course, and just as we were leaving her he run a flag up on his mizzen mast head. On seeing this I steamed up to him again and spoke to him. He asked me if I would give him his position which I did. He did not appear to understand me so I asked him if he required assistance. He replied 'No', so I decided to again proceed on my course.            

When I had steamed about a mile from him he pulled his flag down and a short time afterwards he hoisted it again. On seeing this I returned my vessel again and went up and spoke to him again. He then asked me to stand by him.  He had a mainsail on his foremast and was ranging through the water at about two to three miles an hour. He was heading I should think to the North North East but with leeway he was probably making North East. I stood by him till about 12 noon the following day. I then steamed closer up to him and asked him what he proposed to do.

        He told me that he wished us to take him and his crew off as his vessel was leaking and was in a sinking condition. The weather had been gradually getting worse from the first time we sighted him, and when he requested us to rescue himself and his crew it was blowing a gale with hurricane force from the West, with mountainous seas and thick rain, and at that time I had a sight of land. Our small boat had been disabled by the bad weather and he told me that his boat had been smashed so there were no other means to rescue the crew only for us to steam as close as we could and our ship had to be manoeuvred with the utmost skill. I warned him that he was driving towards the land. I first of all went under his stern, then stopped, then shouted out to the crew of the other vessel that we proposed to do to rescue them and when all was ready I went ahead and came up under his lee quarter and they threw a line to use which we got and then we hauled on a bigger line and as I got my vessel along we managed to get five men on to our vessel and as the two vessels came together for a moment the skipper jumped aboard of us.

        We got clear with the whole of the crew the weather still as bad as ever. During the afternoon the wind moderated a little and we decided to try to take the vessel in tow. We steamed up to her again.  This would be about 5.30 p.m.. The wind was varying from West to West South West still blowing strong. We found the vessel all awash and it was decided that nothing could be done to take the vessel in tow. I however stood by her until 6.30 that night and I then definitely decided to leave her as darkness was coming on and the vessel had no lights and the weather continued bad. I therefore left her at about the position shown (c) on the Chart, about 4 miles West South West of the Vianna Light.

        We brought the crew to Milford Haven where we arrived at 3.30 a.m. on February 28/23. We damaged our port bulwark when we went up alongside to take off the crew.

I have heard that the vessel has been towed into Vigo.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th January 1925:



Royal Humane Medal Presented at Milford

    For the second time within a few days a Milford fisherman has been presented with a bronze medal and certificate of the Royal Humane Society for saving life.  The first event was duly reported in the "Guardian" at the time; .............

    The Chairman [ Cllr. Ivan Reynolds ] said ... A few days ago it was his pleasure and privilege to make a presentation to Skipper Frank Folland for performing an act of great bravery at sea with his trawler the "William Brady" ......



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 27th September 1946:


    A skeleton crew under Skipper Billy Davies left Milford this week for Shields to fetch the re-converted Castle class steam trawler William Brady for Milford Fisheries.



John Stevenson Collection


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 24th June 1949:


    The Milford trawler William Brady (Milford Fisheries) will leave the port next week to fish out of Aberdeen, where another boat of the Fisheries fleet, the Craig An Eran, is already based.  It is understood that other vessels may follow suit, and although no confirmation can be obtained locally, we gather that the reason for the move centres around the fact that running expenses at Milford are heavier than in other ports on the West Coast.

    The local trawler Ijuin (Pair Fishing Company) is now out of Aberdeen, while the steam trawler St. Lucia (Mr. R. P. Lewis) is landing at Fleetwood.  Seen on Thursday Mr. Owen Willie Limbrick would neither confirm or deny the rumours.



Standing (L to R) -  W.(Billy) Hawkins (Skipper); Unknown (Bosun?); (Texas) Jones;

Seated Chris Masterson (Mate).

[Photograph kindly provided by John Masterson.]


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