John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  145069    Port and Year:  London, 1920 (LO482)        

Description: Castle Class steel side  trawler; coal fired. Ketch rigged.

Crew: 10 men (1920)

Built: by Smith's Docks Co., South Bank on Tees, Middlesborough; in 1917.  (Yard no. 717)

Tonnage:  275 grt  107 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.5  / 23.4 / 12.8                                                        

Engine: T.3-Cyl; 61 rhp; by builders.




29 Oct 1920: The Admiralty, London.

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


26 May 1922: Thomas J. Jenkerson, The Docks, Milford

Managing owner.


1926: Jenkerson & Jones, Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: Thomas J. Jenkerson, 'Norfolk Villa', Milford.

(1945+)   Leslie F. Jenkerson, 'Homeland', Marble Hall Rd., Milford.


Landed at Milford: (RN: 24 Sep 1919. Laid up until sold.)

3 Jun 1922 - 24 Aug 1939; 10 Nov 1939 - 21 May 1956

Skippers: Percy Tucker (1939); Albert Seeling (1947); Walter R. Robertson (1951-54)


William Bunce, born 1750, St. Mary's, Pembroke (died 6 May 1832); Carpenter, HMS VICTORY, at Trafalgar.

16 Nov 1917: Completed for the Admiralty (no. 3538); 1 x 12pdr.; 1 x 3.5" bomb thrower.

1920: For sale to mercantile.

Aug - Nov 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and designated a minesweeper, but returned to owners.

1956: Broken up.

Accidents and Incidents

From an unknown local newspaper, dated c. 5th January 1939:


    Two of the youngest school of skippers in Milford's port have topped the dock in the results of the year's work.  Among the castle and larger type of trawlers, Skipper Percy Tucker, of the s.t. "William Bunce", has a wonderful record, and carries off the Blue Riband by grossing over 13,000, and in the crabber class of trawler Skipper Harry Salter with 9,500.  The latter wound up the year in a befitting manner, his marriage being recorded in our column last week.



From an unknown local newspaper, dated c. 11th May 1939:


    A large number of steam trawlers from Milford's fishing fleet were amongst those to greet their Majesties the King and Queen on their voyage to Canada in the "Empress of Australia", as they passed close to them amidst the rolling breakers of the Atlantic fishing grounds.  It was 4.30 p.m. on Sunday that the Royal tourists and their accompanying escort passed them, and all the ships in the vicinity kept up a continuous whistle on their sirens.

    This information comes from the s.t. "William Bunce" (Jenkerson and Jones).  Promptly came the response to the nearest trawler, the s.t. "Milford Countess" (Milford Steam Trawling Company), which, it will be recalled, represented the Milford fishing fleet at the Spithead Review.    

    The message reads, "Please pass to all fishing boats in your company from His Majesty the King - Thank you and good fishing."

    Later, the "Milford Countess" (Skipper Albert Saunders) received the following reply to a message of best wishes sent on behalf of the Milford fishing fleet: "The King and Queen sincerely thank all in the Milford fishing fleet for their kind message", signed Private Secretary.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th January 1948:


    If those gallant men who go down to the sea in ships, or others connected with the industry ashore, were asked to name the port's leading skippers last year, there would be much scratching of heads and even more heated argument.

    Our records, however, indicate that Skipper-Lieutenant Tom Donovan, North Road, in the Hatano, with crack Milford Skipper Albert Riby, Shakespeare Avenue, Gunner, and Skipper William Rostron, Shakespeare Avenue, Cotswold, finished on level terms.

    In the Castle Class, Skipper Bobby Kettle, Vaynor Road, Richard Crofts, topped the list of catches just ahead of Skipper Jimmy Hewitt, North Road, Concertator, though the average of Skipper Albert Seeling, Edward Street, during his nine months in charge of the William Bunce, gave the port's best monthly return.

    In the inter-Castle Class, 36 year old Skipper Jack Foster, Picton Road, had the best returns, while Skipper Jack Ryan, Stratford Road, once again earned his title of "Crabber King", which he held before the war.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:





    After two years as "runners-up", Skipper Albert Saunders and the "Milford Duke" are once again in top place in the Milford fishing "league".  In 1951 Skipper Saunders caught a greater value of fish than any other individual trawler captain in the port.

    Second in the league on last year's results is Skipper W. Burgoyne, who has moved up a place, closely followed by Skipper Steve Pembroke, who was sixth in the list of 1949 catches.  "Crack" Skipper for 1948 and 1949, Skipper Tom Donovan, D.S.C., is a close fifth in results while consistent Skipper James Jobson again occupies fourth position.

    Here are the leading positions, the ships being classed according to size.



    Capt. Kettle has done it again!  In 1949 Skipper Bob Kettle was runner-up in the Castle boats; in 1950 he topped the list and his catches in 1951 gave him a winning lead over steady Skipper George Knight, who took the Lephreto into second place for the second year running.  Two captains who have moved up in the "table" are Skippers Gue and Lawrence.

1.  Richard Crofts (Bob Kettle),  Mr. W. Wilcox.

2.  Lephreto (Geo. Knight), Messrs. Jenkerson.

3.  Thomas Leeds (Harry Gue), Mr. H. Westonborg.

4.  Alexander Scott (J. Lawrence); 5, Their Merit (Jeff Tucker); 6, Settsu (Norman Brown); 7, T. Booth (late Skipper R. W. Limbrick); 8. W. Bunce (W. R. Robertson); 9, Milford King (Albert Beckett) [sic]; 10, Sea Hunter (J. McLelland).




L to R, Back row: Deckhand John Furlong (20 Warwick Rd., Milford), 2nd Eng. V. Ryndoch (17 Military Rd., Pembroke Dock) , Cook G. Knap, Fireman V. Dawes (17 Portfield Ave., Haverfordwest)

Front row: Deckhand J.H. Smith (Ramsgate), Ch.Eng. R. Hicks (51 Milton Crescent, Milford), Fireman George William Lowe (51 Kings Street, Pembroke Dock), Skipper Walter Robertson, Mate Bill Armes (Wellington Road, Hakin), Bosun Jack Phillips (2 Glebelands, Hakin), Deckhands Harry 'Shill' Parker and R.F. Abramson (14 Greville Rd., Milford

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th November 1954

John Stevenson Collection



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th May 1956:


    A staggering blow to the depressed Milford fishing industry is the news that the old established trawling firm of Messrs. T. J. Jenkerson and Sons is going out of business.  The decision means that five Castle class trawlers and the only oil-fired post-war vessel in port will be withdrawn from fishing, throwing another 70 trawlermen out of work.  In addition, the firm has a considerable administration and maintenance staff, and is principally concerned in the Milford Engineering Company, Ltd., which will also be seriously affected.

    Two weeks ago Messrs. Jenkerson, whose principals are the brothers Leslie and Kenneth, scrapped two Castle boats, the Hatano and Alexander Scott. 

    The present fleet consists of the coal burners Lephreto, Damito, William Bunce, Our Bairns, Their Merit, and the oil burner David Ogilvie, which was built in Aberdeen in 1949. 

    It is expected that all the ships with the exception of the David Ogilvie will go to the scrap yard.



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