Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm and Birgir Þórisson
Official Number: 127829
Yard Number: 544
Gross Tonnage: 283
Net Tonnage: 123
Length: 135 ft
Breadth: 23 ft
Depth: 12.1 ft
Built: Earle’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Hull
Engine: 500ihp T.3-cyl by Earle’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Hull
7.3.1908: Launched by Earle’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Hull (Yd.No.544) for Crown Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Grimsby as NEW CROWN.
6.4.1908: Registered at Grimsby (GY369). George E. J. Moody designated manager.
4.1908: Completed. Fishing out of Fleetwood. William Moody Kelly managing agent.
26.4.1908: Landed maiden catch at Fleetwood (Sk. J. Dyer), 10 days 740 boxes.
29.4.1908: At Fleetwood Police Court, John Hall was charged with disobeying lawful commands in failing to join the ship which was delayed for one hour while a replacement was found. Hall was engaged as cook at £1 per day and trip money. The Magistrates having heard all the evidence sentenced Hall to 21 days imprisonment with hard labour.
7.10.1908: Landed 500 boxes (430 herring, 40 coallies.
17.3.1909: Landed 165 boxes.
14.3.1910: Landed 156 boxes.
3.8.1910: Landed 255 boxes.
21.8.1910: Homeward from St. Kilda ground, in vicinity of Mull of Galloway, picked up boat with eleven crew and two trippers from steam trawler VIVO (FD22), ashore 31/2 miles NW of Mull of Galloway. Landed skipper, Richard Wright, mate and chief engineer at East Tarbet to standby vessel for possible salvage. Called Dunmore to inform owners and continued passage to Fleetwood.
22.8.1910: Landed survivors at Fleetwood and 405 boxes fish.
15.12.1910: Landed 270 boxes.
31.3.1911; Landed 400 boxes.
28.9.1911: Landed 400 boxes.
28.2.1912: National Coal Strike. Miners’ Federation of Great Britain seeking to establish a minimum wage. Bunker coal prices treble the contract price, but fish prices fell by 50%.
11.3.1912: Landed 419 boxes.
11.3.1912: Temporarily laid up along with MARJORIE (FD139), LIZZIE MELLING (PN45) and ANNIE MELLING (PN61). “ … if the present state of affairs continues other trawlers will follows suit … other vessels are going to sea with depleted bunkers. “
6.4.1912: Government intervention. Coal Mines Act passed, establishing a minimum wage for miners.
30.12.1912: Landed 175 boxes.
4.2.1913: Sailed Fleetwood for grounds off NW coast of Ireland (Sk.James Brunton); twelve crew all told.
7.2.1913: Left the fishing grounds off Tory Island for Moville, Co. Donegal to land Ernest Wood who was seriously ill. Returned to fishing grounds. After 12 hours fishing encountered the full force of a hurricane outside Inishowen Head and ran for shelter in Culdaff Bay.
9.2.1913: Sailed Culdaff Bay to try and fish again but too rough to shoot the trawl and returned to the Bay. After dinner another attempt was made to fish, heavy seas were running at the time, coped with weather until about 6.35pm. Some nine miles SE of Tory Island encountered huge seas, one striking the trawler on the starboard bow, taking out the wheelhouse windows, the port boat and everything moveable on deck. The skipper and deckhand William Stewart were in the wheelhouse, the latter on the wheel. The skipper was badly cut by broken glass. Shortly after, three more huge wave struck the ship, shifting the bunker coal giving a heavy list to port, washing overboard Jonathan Snape, second engineer, and the lights went out leaving them in darkness. The mate, Frank Brunton, brother of the skipper, went into the wheelhouse to tell his brother that the second engineer had been washed overboard. He noticed that the skipper was bleeding from a gash on his forehead. The ship was put about before the sea to search for Snape, but whilst going round, struck by yet another huge sea carrying overboard the cook, Carl Hansen, the starboard boat, the wheelhouse roof, flooding the engine room and washing the hatches off. In the wheelhouse all were thrown in a heap. The mate found his brother lying unconscious on the deck and assisted in getting him into the forecastle. At about 10.00pm. the mate, James Brunton, took charge of the trawler and steered for calmer water on a course for Moville. At midnight, Stewart came into the wheelhouse and said that the skipper was dead.
10.2.1913: Arrived Moville at 10.00am. Dr Riley attended. After examining the deceased he stated that death was due to bleeding from a severed artery in his wrist. In the evening Capt Wright and Mr Joners, Superintendent Engineer accompanied by the Insurance Surveyor left Fleetwood by Belfast boat for Moville arriving at 6.00pm on Tuesday evening.
11.3.1913: After examining the trawler the Surveyor decided that she was fit to proceed to Fleetwood. With Capt. Wright in command, sailed Moville at 9.100pm. for Fleetwood.
12.3.1913: Arrived Fleetwood at 3.30pm.
13.3.1913: At the Coroner’s Court at Fleetwood, the story of how Skipper Brunton died was told and having heard all the evidence and taking the circumstances into account, presented the facts to the jury, who returned a verdict of accidental death as a result of the injuries received.
22.5.1913: Landed 190 boxes.
2.9.1913: Off Point of Ayre, IoM, at about 8.00pm in collision with steam trawler KITTY (FD179), striking her a glancing blow, slightly twisting her stem and dinging her shell plating. Sustained superficial damage. Subsequently KITTY making water in forepeak, put into Campbeltown for temporary repairs before returning to Fleetwood.
26.9.1913: Landed 230 boxes.
21.11.1913: Rough weather on the fishing grounds, landed 106 boxes.
2.3.1914: Landed 230 boxes.
14.4.1914: Landed 165 boxes.
22.6.1914: As a result of the dispute existing between the Fleetwood Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association Ltd and the Humber Amalgamated Steam Trawlers Engineers’ and Firemen’s Union (Fleetwood Branch) concerning the dismissal of the ASHLYN Ch.Eg, one of 53 trawlers ‘held up’ at the port.
24.6.1914: Following a meeting between Association and Union representatives, Ch Eng re-instated, all action withdrawn.
7.1914: Sold to Joseph Arman, Marseilles.
26.3.1915: Grimsby registry closed.
4.1915 – 1916 not accounted for.
1916: Sold to Marine National Francaise. Converted to an armed patrol trawler. Renamed RENARD.
27.8.1916: Commissioned and based at Bône, Algeria.
1917: Based Brest as part of the Central Patrol Division of Brittany (Senior Master Pilot Pierre Auguste Le Blay); thirty crew all told.
9.10.1917: Escorting a convoy in the Atlantic off Finistère.
14.10.1917: Left the convoy.
19.10.1917: In very dark weather but a calm sea arrived at Wolf Rock for a rendezvous with a convoy at 0400. By early forenoon the convoy had not arrived Sailed slowly towards Brest, crossing to the north of the entrance to Fromveur Passage between the island of Ushant and Kérêon Lighthouse on Men Tensal. The northern limit of the Iroise Sea.
At 0910, 3 miles N60E of Men Tensal, suffered a violent explosion at the after end, the engine and boiler room flooded and the ship foundered very quickly in position 48.28N 4.58W. The captain, quartermaster and helmsman were on the bridge, two gunners forward and aft and a look-out at the mast. The life rafts were swamped or demolished and only rose to the surface several minutes after the ship had sunk. Among those who escaped seven men were in their bunks in the after cabin; the rest were on deck or on the casings. Those on watch were wearing lifejackets and this saved two of the men who could not swim. The crew who were aft, including the master mechanic, were killed by the explosion. Captain Le Blay was thrown into the sea wearing a life jacket but was pulled under by the swell and no one saw him afterwards. Torpedo Boat 260 was 3 miles north of Platresses and on hearing the explosion came to the scene picking up thirteen survivors and one body. 260 returned to Brest at 1145 landed survivors and the body. Also on the scene was the Molène, Finistère lifeboat AMIRAL-ROUSSIN (Cox. Yves Cariou) which had been launched at 0915. Cariou took the lifeboat down the Fromveur Passage searching the islands before returning to Molène at 1300. Twelve men MPK/drowned*.
Note: The position given for the sinking corresponds with the minefield laid by U-boat (UC79) on 14.10.1917.
Lost*. Thirteen men are listed.
APPRIOU Antoine, born 6 Jan 1882 at LANDÉDA (Finistère), Sailor gunner. Batchelor
BERGEAULT Jean René, born 29 June 1891 at SAINT-RENAN (Finistère), Quarter master electrician.S.F. Batchelor
FOUCAULT Félix François Marie, born 14 June 1892 at AMBON (Morbihan), Second class sailor helmsman- Batchelor
GOUABAULT Albert Marie Pierre, born 14 April 1888 at SABLÉ-SUR-SARTHE (Sarthe), Master mechanic Married
GUILLOU Jean Guillaume, born 15 November 1884 at ROSCOFF (Finistère) Second class sailor, no speciality. Married
GEFFROY Laurent Marie, born 26 March 1887 at PLOUEZOC’H (Finistère), Quarter master gunner. Married
HÉLIAS Julien, born 1 April 1882 at PENMARCH (Finistère), Third class sailor no speciality.
LANGELLIER Louis Marc, born 17 September 1886 at PUTEAUX (Hauts-de-Seine), First class sailor, mechanic Married
Le BIHAN Louis, born 4 May 1888 at SAINT-POL-DE-LÉON (Finistère), Quarter master for manouvres. Married
Le BLAY Pierre Auguste, born 19 October 1879 at SAINT-QUAY-PORTRIEUX (Côtes-d’Armor), Captain Pilot- married
MOREL Louis Marie Victor, born 26 February 1887 at JANS (Loire-Atlantique), 1st class sailor gunner.
PELLÉ Ernest, born 4 January 1882 at GOULVEN (Finistère), Second in charge, mechanic. Married
QUILGARS François Marie, born 4 January 1891 at Le MERZER (Côtes-d’Armor), Quarter master artillery. Married
Click to enlarge images
31/12/2008: Page published. 3 revisions since then.
29/10/2014: Picture added.
16/05/2018: Removed FMHT watermark from image.
21/08/2021: Added image.
04/11/2021: Updated history and technical details.
11/11/2021: Further update to history.