Note: First British trawler lost in WWII
Official Number: 132409
Yard Number: 517
Gross Tonnage: 291
Net Tonnage: 116
Length: 130.0 ft
Breadth: 23.5 ft
Depth: 12.5 ft
Built: Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby
Engine: T.3-cyl and boiler by Charles D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull
6.1.1912: Launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby (Yd.No.517) for The Mount Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood as DAVARA.
6.3.1912: Registered at Fleetwood (FD152).
14.3.1912: Completed (George E. J. Moody, Grimsby, manager).
11.1914: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (1-6pdr HA) (Ad.No.523). Based Larne.
By 12.3.1919: Returned to owner at Fleetwood.
8.6.1930: In Wyre Channel, one of 23 trawlers inbound, when a few hundred yards from lock pit found channel blocked by trawlers NELLIE BRADDOCK (FD175) and ERNA (FD158) aground on Tiger’s Tail. Swept by tide and also took the ground. Refloated on next tide and entered Wyre Dock.
193?: W. M. Kelly appointed manager.
12.9.1939: Sailed Fleetwood for fishing grounds (Sk. William Boyles).
13.9.1939: When in a position 21 miles NWby N of Tory Island, Co. Donegal, U-boat (U.27) closed and opened fire (at least 35 rounds); twelve crew escaped in damaged boat. Trawler sunk at 2.55 p.m. by gunfire and after five hours in boat constantly baling, crew picked up by the West Hartlepool steamer WILLOWPOOL (4815grt/1925) and landed safely.
19.9.1939: Fleetwood registry closed “Sunk by enemy submarine”.
(Crew (all Fleetwood unless stated) – Sk. William Boyles; G. T. Pugh, Mate; W. Spall, Bosun; A Scott, Ch Eng, Thornton; J. Higgins, 2nd Eng, Burn Naze; E. Prentice, D. G. Gall, C. S. Hunter & H. R. Wright, deckhands; R. O. Welch & J. Gregger, firemen; C. W. Sharpe, cook).
Note: In August 1939 with the prospect of conflict in the offing, several trawler owners on both the East and West Coast recalled their vessels and delayed the sailing of others. Once War was declared, however, and with markets suffering from a lack of supplies, many trawlers returned to sea thinking that on the West Coast at least, the War might be slow to get under way. They were not to know that many German U-boats were already moving into positions to the West of Ireland and outboard of the Western Isles – both areas favoured fishing grounds of the Fleetwood trawling fleet. On Tuesday 12 September 1939, the Mount Steam Fishing Co’s DAVARA (FD152) commanded by Skipper William Boyles and a crew of eleven, sailed from Fleetwood for the West of Scotland grounds. In the early afternoon of Wednesday 13 September she was in a position some 21 miles NNW of Tory Island, County Donegal when she was closed by the U-boat, U.27 which with the deck gun manned, commenced shelling the DAVARA. Despite damage Skipper Boyles managed to get the boat into the water and with all the crew onboard the trawler was abandoned. The shelling continued for about half an hour and thirty five rounds were counted, the DAVARA sinking at 14.55. The crew were in the boat for five hours constantly baling and rowing and were exhausted when picked up by by the West Hartlepool steamer WILLOWPOOL (4815grt/1925) and landed safely.
Click to enlarge picture
21/01/2009: Page published. 7 updates since then.
30/05/2016: Information updated.
01/06/2017: Removed FMHT watermarks from images.