S.T. Capstone FD78

Additional information courtesy of Geoff Davidson and Barry Johnson Milford Trawlers


Admiralty Number: 3159
Official Number: 143847
Yard Number: 698
Completed: 1917
As built: 360disp 125.6 x 23.5 x 12.8 feet.
Gross Tonnage: 275
Net Tonnage: 107
Length: 125.3 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, Southbank-on-Tees
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl and boiler by R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd, Hebburn-on-Tyne
Armament: 1 x 12 pdr


19.2.1917: Laid down.
6.6.1917: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.698) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as JAMES ROBERTSON (Ad.No.3159).
12.7.1917: Completed (1-12pdr, hydrophone and W/T).
19.11.1919: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I) as JAMES ROBERTSON O.N.143847.
19.2.1920: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part IV) (LO331).
3.1920: Transferred to Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and engaged in commercial trawling (one of 36 vessels transferred).
1.4.1920 – 12.12.1921: Landing at Milford.
1921: Sold to David Pettit, Hakin.
1921: Sold to D. Pettit Ltd, Milford Haven (David Pettit, Hakin, manager).
19.12.1921: London registry closed.
21.12.1921: Registered at Milford (M243).
1.1922: Registered at Milford as CAPSTONE (M243).
28.3.1923: At Milford landed crew of French schooner MADELON destroyed by fire 70 miles WNW of Bishops Rock whilst on passage Fécamp towards Newfoundland.
3.5.1925: Fishing 140 miles NW by N of Bull Rock went to assistance of COTSMUIR (M244) disabled with broken tailshaft. Connected and towed to Milford.
6.5.1925: Arrived Milford.
30.10.1932: Damaged propeller on underwater object. CLYRO (M425) connected and towed to Milford.
17.11.1933: Fishing 25 miles W of Smalls in E fresh gale, hauled to go to assistance of Whitehaven steam coaster HOLME FORCE (1216g/1930) in light condition Brest for Fleetwood, in distress having lost propeller on previous night off Bishops Rock. With difficulty connected and commenced tow to Milford.
18.11.1933: Arrived Milford. Subsequently awarded £1000 salvage money.
1934: Mrs Elizabeth A. H. Pettit appointed manager.
25.10.1934: Sold to Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, Fleetwood. Basil A. Parkes, Cleveleys appointed manager.
29.1.1935: Returned to Fleetwood with storm damage sustained 80 miles off Northern Ireland coast when knocked on beam ends and slack bunkers shifted (Sk. Charles Seeling). Damage included wheelhouse windows broken, lifeboat lost, all moveable fittings including fishing gear swept away, WT and aerials damaged, put out all fires apart from main furnace and flooded cabins.
13.4.1938: Sold to Saint Andrew’s Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Hull. Basil A, Parkes, Thornton-le-Fylde appointed manager.
2.5.1938: Milford registry closed.
3.5.1938: Registered at Hull (H522).
30.5.1940: At Hull last landing before requisitioning. Faroe trip, 13 days – 418kits £826 gross.
1.6.1940: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (1-12pdr) (P.No.FY1555) and also employed on auxiliary patrol (P.No.4.174) (Hire rate £80.4.2d/month).
20.6.1941: Shot down a German bomber (Sk. A. E. Rudd RNR).
9.1941: Employed minesweeping.
10.1945: Returned and re-classed at Liverpool (Basil A. Parkes, Cleveleys, manager).
7.1945: Sold to The Wyre Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Fleetwood (Merchants (Fleetwood) Ltd, managers).
7.1945: Hull registry closed.
26.7.1945: Registered at Fleetwood (FD78).
2.1947: On a trip to the Porcupine Bank ground SW of Ireland (Sk. James Harper).
10.2.1947: In the early morning in heavy seas and high wind started to ship large amounts of water and failing to clear quickly entered below deck. With steam pumps inoperative manned the hand pumps and sounded distress with siren. Steam trawler RICHARD CROFTS (LO365) (Sk. Bobby Kettle) nearby, responded and stood by prepared to recover the crew if necessary, but the skippers decided to make for Castetownbere, Co. Cork just over 100 miles away.
11.2.1947: Arrived Castletownbere safely with RICHARD CROFTS in attendance.
23.12.1948: Registered at Fleetwood as WYRE CAPTAIN (FD78).
1954: Transferred to Wyre Trawlers Ltd (Leslie Wheildon, manager) on purchase of Merchants (Fleetwood) Ltd by Associated Fisheries Group.
1960: Sold to BISCO and allocated to Thos. W. Ward Ltd, Sheffield for breaking up.
15.9.1960: Delivered Barrow-in-Furness from Fleetwood under own power.

(James Robertson, Quartergunner, age 37, b. Hardwick, Vermont, America – ROYAL SOVEREIGN (SB114)) OR James Robertson, Midshipman, age 22, b. Stornoway, Isle of Lewis – VICTORY

Click to enlarge image

S.T. Wyre Captain FD78

S.T. Wyre Captain FD78
Picture from the Internet

24/09/2003: Page published. 3 updates since then.
25/02/2015: Information updated.
30/12/2015: Information updated.
28/10/2019: Information updated.