S.T. Irvana FD181


Admiralty Number: 3510
Official Number: 145114
Yard Number: 671
As built: 360disp 125.6 x 23.5 x 12.8 feet
Gross Tonnage: 276
Net Tonnage: 107
Length: 125.6 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough


16.11.1916: Laid down.
9.3.1917: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.671) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as ARTHUT LESSIMORE (Ad.No.3510).
25.5.1917: Completed as a minesweeper (1 – 12pdr and W/T).
1920: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I) as ARTHURE LESSIMORE (603/1920) O.N.145114. Laid up at Brightlingsea.
10.2.1924: Sold to Kingston Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Hull (Walter Scott, manager) after inspection at Brightlingsea by Capt. William John Lown & Lawrence Spring (directors). Purchased at asking price £5500 (Others inspected and purchased at £5500 each – ANDREW SACK, JAMES PEAKE, JOHN DORMOND & SAMUEL DRAKE).
13.2.1924: Arrived Hull from Brightlingsea.
2.1924: London registry closed.
21.2.1924: Registered at Hull (H15).
6.3.1924: Registered at Hull as AVANTURINE (H15). Estimated total cost including fit out and classification £8,900.
15.3.1924: Sailed Hull on first trip.
28.3.1924: Landed 442 kits grossed £547.
24.3.1925: William J. Lown designated manager.
22.6.1928: Sold to J. Marr & Son Ltd, Fleetwood for £5,750.
25.6.1928: Arrived Fleetwood.
26.6.1928: Hull registry closed.
28.6.1928: Registered at Fleetwood (FD181). Joseph Arthur Marr designated manager.
1.4.1929: Joseph A. Marr retired from Board to run Dinas Company.
1.4.1929: Geoffrey Edward Marr designated manager.
24.5.1929: Registered at Fleetwood as IRVANA (FD181).
1930: Outward for fishing grounds in dense fog, stranded on Knott Spit. Refloated and proceeded to sea.
2.1940: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (1-12pdr) (P.No.FY.663) (Hire rate £80.10.0d/month).
16.1.1942: Based Gt. Yarmouth (Sk. J.L. Borrett RNR). Sunk by German air attack off Great Yarmouth 270°, 2 cables off Corton Sand Buoy in position 52°31N/01°46E. No casualties. (German aircraft, a JU88, engaged by ship and badly damaged by gunfire, ditched and four crew later picked up).
10.12.1945: Fleetwood registry closed.

(Arthur Lessimore, Quartermaster (prest), age 34, b. Aldborough, Suffolk – VICTORY (SB533))

The following quote is from “Battle of the East Coast” by J P Foynes

Early in 1942 the Luftwaffe bombers made many ferocious attacks, then virtually abandoned East Coast shipping targets for good. On 16 January 1942 the Yarmouth M/S trawler IRVANA was bombed and sunk close to base, followed on the 30 th by the Grimsby trawler LOCH ALSH, near 59 Buoy.

British warships and merchantmen had claimed many Luftwaffe bombers shot down since the middle of 1941, but only the finding of aircraft wreckage, corpses or survivors confirms these. On these grounds we can accept the following:

A Do 17 shot down by Grimsby trawlers near the Humber Light Vessel.
A minelayer by the paddle ship Balmoral in the Thames Estuary, both on 6th July.
An He 111 by the Ipswich patrol trawler NORLAND at 54B Buoy on 4 August.
A bomber by the Grimsby M/S trawler WELLSBACH near Withernsea on 9 August (a PAC was used, and Feldwebel Markert, the pilot, was picked up by the trawler GREY MIST).
A Ju 88 by the Lowestoft trawler EUCLASE at No 5 Buoy, on 15 September, with all four crew captured by the trawler ALFREDIAN.
A Do 217, off Yarmouth on 12 November, by accidentally striking the topmast of the trawler FRANCOLIN while sinking her.
The Ju 88 which sank IRVANA in Yarmouth Roads on 30 January 1942, from that ship’s fire, all four airmen being captured.
Another Ju 88, by the Lowestoft trawler FYLDEA near 54G Buoy, during a snowstorm that same day one body was found and buried at sea.

Click to enlarge image

S.T. Irvana FD181

S.T. Irvana FD181
Picture courtesy of The John Clarkson Collection

25/01/2009: Page published. 5 updates since then.
18/04/2017: Removed FMHT watermark from image.
27/07/2019: Updated information.