Additional information courtesy of Granton Trawlers
Admiralty Number: 3527
Official Number: 143964
Yard Number: 706
Gross Tonnage: 275
Net Tonnage: 107
Length: 125.5 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
9.5.1917: Laid down by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.706) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty.
20.7.1917: Launched as JOHN THORLING (Ad.No.3517).
1.9.1917: Completed as a minesweeper (1-12pdr and W/T).
1919: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I) as JOHN THORLING O.N.143802.
1919: Allocated to Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and engaged in commercial trawling.
24.8.1920: Registered by The Admiralty as a fishing vessel at London (LO430).
1919: Allocated to the National Fishery Scheme for the setting up of the Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London.
13.08.1920: Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London registered.
24.08.1920: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part IV) (LO430).
Laid up. 1920: Sold to William H. East Snr, Milford Haven.
12.1920: At HM Dockyard, Pembroke completed fitting out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and classed 100A1 Stm Trawler at Milford. William H. East designated managing owner.
6.12.1920: First landing at Milford after trials.
30.10.1935: Last landing at Milford.
11.1925: Sold to The River Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood.
28.11.1925: London registry closed.
30.11.1925: Registered at Fleetwood (FD75). Thomas F. Kelsall & Henry Blackburn designated joint managers.
10.12.1925: Registered at Fleetwood as RIVER KENT (FD75).
17.01.1930: On the Rockall grounds (Sk.James Drake). At around midnight while on deck mending the trawl in a heavy swell, James Wilson (20) and the mate Lawrence Rawcliffe (21) both of Fleetwood were swept overboard. Wilson was carried away in the darkness and it was impossible save him. The mate was swept under the trawler and managed to grab hold of the trailing net. The skipper saw him and leaning over the side of the vessel, was able to hold him in spite of the trawler rolling. Other members of the crew rushed to the rescue and Rawcliffe was hauled aboard unconscious.
20.01.1930: Arrived back at Fleetwood.
03.07.1930: At Fleetwood Magistrates court William Cartmell and Frank McCann, two deck hands, were charged with being disobedient seamen. Thomas Bamber, ship’s husband, stated that the accused, along with another man not yet in custody, signed on as deck hands and were ordered be on board at 2.00pm on 30.06.1930. They turned up at 3.15pm when the ship had just finished taking her ice. Cartmell made the request that they should be allowed to clear up the deck, and sail the following morning. When this was not granted the men refused to stay aboard and as a result the ship was delayed for 12 hours. The accused alleged that the ship was not seaworthy at the time, as she had no hatch on. If they had taken her to sea, going round the Lune buoy they would not have had a chance in rough weather. Mr. D. F. Addie. Prosecuting, said the chief engineer said that the ship was seaworthy and everybody else was willing to go. Cartmell who had nine previous convictions, and McCann, one were each fined 40/-and ordered to pay £1.11.6d. advocate’s fee between them.
5.4.1932: Sailed Fleetwood for North of Scotland grounds (Sk.J. Gornall): twelve crew all told.
6.4.1932: Off Mull of Kintyre in heavy heavy seas and strong gale, rudder damaged and unmanageable; jury rudder rigged. When some 2 miles NW of Mull of Kintyre jury rudder broke, feared being carried ashore. At 5.55 pm. drifting and 5 miles NbyE of Rathlin Island. At 10.30 pm. Having rigged second jury rudder, underway and about 6 miles W of Sanda Island. Steam trawler LOWTHER (FD48) outward for fishing grounds asked to stand by until daylight.
7.4.1932: At 9.59 am. steam trawler EDWARD CATTELLY (FD204) connected and commenced tow to Belfast; LOWTHER released. Delivered Belfast.
8.4.1932: Temporary repairs carried out and sailed Belfast for Fleetwood, in tow of Glasgow tug FLYING KITE (260grt/1929).
10.1.1934: Sailed Fleetwood for Rockall grounds (Sk.Jack Carter).
16.1.1934: In very heavy weather, 60 miles SW of Rockall, making water in forepeak, several rivets sprung below waterline. Pump coping and steaming for Barra Head and shelter.
17.1.1934: Arrived Oban and temporary repairs effected. Sailed for fishing grounds.
31.1.1934: Arrived Fleetwood and landed 250 boxes of fish.
1934: Sold to Thomas L. Devlin, Leith.
9.11.1934: Fleetwood registry closed.
11.1934: Registered at Granton as CONCERTATOR (GN8). Thomas L. Devlin designated managing owner.
27.012.1936: On the Coral Bank,190 miles ENE from Aberdeen, responded to call for assistance from steam trawler INVERFORTH (GN 52). In stormy weather, connected and commenced tow but warps parted on four occasions and eventually the anchor cables were used.
30.12.1936: Delivered Aberdeen.
01.09.1938: Disabled close to Dubh Artach Lighthouse with trawl warp entangled round propeller. Steam trawler CONQUISTADOR (GN10) responded to request for assistance, connected and commenced tow to Oban. After 40 miles delivered Oban and beached for removal of warp and survey.
1939: Sold to Thomas L. Devlin & Sons, Granton. Thomas L. Devlin Jnr designated manager.
31.8.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (P.No. FY.637) (Hire rate £80.4.2d/month). Based Gt. Yarmouth with M/S Group.
28.21939: Adopted by a group of ladies from Bradford Yorkshire who sent them home comforts and freshly knitted sea socks.
4.1941: Chief Skipper George Youngson Abernethy, R.N.R. awarded the Distinguished Service Cross; Engineman Albert George Allan, R.N.R and Signalman Douglas Arthur Elvidge R.N.V.R mentioned in dispatches.
1942: Company reformed as a limited company – Thomas L. Devlin & Sons Ltd, Granton. Thomas L. Devlin, designated manager.
1942: At Plymouth with M/S Group 28 (Ty/Lieut K. A. Grant RNVR).
1.1946: Returned to owner.
22.7.1946: Sold to John Yolland, Milford Haven & others. John Yolland designated managing owner.
27.6.1948: Last landing at Milford (Sk. James Hewitt).
8.7.1948: Sold to J. Marr & Son Ltd, Fleetwood for £12500. Granton registry closed. Registered at Fleetwood (FD276). Geoffrey Edwards Marr appointed manager.
9.3.1951: Sold to Stephen Fishing Co Ltd, Aberdeen.
4.1951: Fleetwood registry closed.
6.4.1951: Registered at Aberdeen (A680). John N. Stephen designated manager.
1.8.1951: Registered at Aberdeen as THOMAS STEPHEN (A680) (MoT Minute R.G.N.1116/51 dated 8.6.1951).
8.7.1958: Sold to Seafield Fishing Co Ltd, Aberdeen.
1959: Sold to J. Lewis, Aberdeen for breaking up.
8.1959: Re-sold to Netherlands for breaking up.
12.8.1959: Arrived Rotterdam.
26.8.1959: Aberdeen registry closed “Vessel sold to foreigners (Dutch subjects).”
(John Thorling, Quartergunner (volunteer), age ?, b. North Yarmouth, Norfolk – VICTORY (SB596))
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28/01/2009: Page published. 4 updates since then.
22/07/2016: Information updated.
06/12/2016: Information added.
04/03/2017: Information updated and picture added.
30/03/2017: Added image and removed FMHT watermarks.
02/03/2021: Updated history and technical details.
29/07/2021: Added newsclipping.