S.T. River Clyde FD418


Official Number: 135789
Yard Number: 353
Completed: 1919
Gross Tonnage: 276
Net Tonnage: 109
Length: 125.5 ft
Breadth: 23.5 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Built: Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Ayr
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl by Fawcett Preston & Co Ltd, Liverpool


12.8.1919: Launched by Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Ayr (Yd.No.353) (“Castle“ class) for The Admiralty as RICHARD CUNDY.
5.2.1919: Forms for tender to purchase received by the Admiralty.
13.10.1919: Completed as a fishing vessel.
26.8.1919: The Admiralty (Director of Contracts) letter giving Charles F. Paton, Glasgow the option to purchase twelve steam trawlers at a price of £182,000.
21.10.1919: Option transferred by Charles F. Paton to The Montrose Fishing Co Ltd.
13.10.1919: Completed as a fishing vessel for The Montrose Fishing Co Ltd (64/64), Montrose. Charles F. Paton, Glasgow designated manager.
28.11.1919: Registered at Montrose (Part I & IV) as RICHARD CUNDY O.N.135789 (ME49). Charles F. Paton, Glasgow designated manager.
16.3.1920: Registered at Montrose as RIVER CLYDE (ME49).
1922: W. C. Simpson designated manager.
10.1922: Sold to Thomas F. Kelsall & Henry Blackburn, Fleetwood.
12.11.1924: Sold to River Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood.
14.11.1922: Montrose registry closed.
20.11.1922: Registered at Fleetwood (FD418). Thomas F. Kelsall & Henry Blackburn designated managers.
4.6.1928: Typical landing 225 boxes.
14.2.1931: In gale force winds and driving snow, at 3.00am. responded to distress call to Malin Head Radio by Finnish steamer MALVE (1488grt/1917) (Capt Boxberg) stranded on Tiree whilst on passage Tallin to Manchester with wood pulp and timber. With steam trawlers DHOON (FD54) and CALDEW (FD347) stood by to render assistance. Vessel refloated after pumping out ballast and moving 40 tons of cargo from No.3 to No.4 hold, and went to anchor in Balephetrish Bay, Tiree. Wind freshened and started to drag, with insufficient steam, drove ashore among rocks, held fast and making water. Crew abandoned and landed on Tiree. Vessel was a total loss.
30.12.1932: In calm seas stranded on west side of Gothail Island in Stornoway Harbour.
31.12.1932: Refloated at 9.30 am; vessel sound.
12.1.1938: Sailed Fleetwood for Rockall grounds (Sk. J. Carter).
22.1.1938: On a trip plagued by bad weather and dodging for prolonged periods when it was only possible to make four hauls. Riding out another gale with deck awash and requiring two men to hold the wheel, just after dusk a huge wave was observed sweeping towards the ship. The wave struck, lifting the ship almost vertical and crashing down, lay over on her port side, practically swamped. Confirming that all in the engine-room were safe, full ahead was ordered and slowly the ship righted herself. The damage was considerable and the skipper was injured by flying glass when the wheelhouse windows were stove in and other crew members injured. Shortly afterwards the generator tripped, plunging the ship into darkness. Fortunately the whole scene was lit up by the moon which had appeared through a break in the clouds and damage could be seen. In the wheelhouse the wireless and depth sounder were damaged, on deck the trawl winch had been wrenched from its bed and flung against the port bulwark, the boat had been carried away, funnel and ventilators damaged and guardrails and wires torn and twisted. Whilst assessing the damage and setting the pumps to work to clear the water below, the wind freshened and a new storm, with thunder, lightning and sleet broke. At about 9.00pm. a second heavy sea hit the ship and as the ship shuddered the winch was carried almost back to its bed. With an improvement in the weather all loose gear, including the winch, was secured and course set for home, though progress was slow in the confused seas in the wake of the storms *.
31.8.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (P.No.NR) (Hire rate £86.5.0d/month).
5.8.1940: Mined off Aldeburgh, Suffolk (Temp Prob Sk J. L. Grant RNR) **.
22.10.1940: Fleetwood registry closed “Vessel lost on Admiralty Service”.

(Richard Cundy, Landsman, age 21, b. Cork, Co. Cork – ROYAL SOVEREIGN (SB677))

Note *: 5.1938: The Mayor of Fleetwood (Alderman Charles Saer) presented awards on behalf of the insurers to Sk. Carter and crew members, A. Parkinson, C. Goodfellow, L. Soloman, R. Anderson. W. Thacker and H. Atkinson in recognition of their efforts that saved the ship.

MPK ** – Clifford L. Swann, 2nd Hand; Alexander Brown & George Crackett, Enginemen; Alfred H. Parker, AB; Malcolm J. Mackay, Donald Smith (LT/X7294C) & Thomas William, seamen; Arthur R. Ford, seaman/cook; Charles W. Warner, telegraphist; Chris B. Milbank, O/signalman; Bernard A. Ready, stoker 2c.
(Died of Wounds – Donald Smith (LT/X18113A))

Click to enlarge image

S.T. River Clyde FD418

S.T. River Clyde FD418
Picture courtesy of The Fred Baker Collection

04/01/2009: Page published. 4 updates since then.
15/07/2016: Information updated.
29/07/2017: Removed FMHT watermark from image.
19/09/2021: Updated history.