Additional information courtesy of Colin Reed
Official Number: 121604
Yard Number: 781
Gross Tonnage: 206
Net Tonnage: 81
Length: 117.5 ft
Breadth: 21.6 ft
Depth: 11.5 ft
Engine: T.3-cyl by W. V. V. Lidgerwood, Coatbridge
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, North Shields
29.8.1905: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, North Shields (Yd.No.781) for The Milford Haven Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Cardiff as St. BRIDE.
10.10.1905: Registered at Milford (M88).
10.1905: Completed (George Sheard, Milford Haven, manager).
30.10.1905: While stormbound at Milford waiting to proceed to sea (Sk. J. Kilby), ranged alongside quay and stove in 25ft of shell plating at waterline midships and 12ft on port quarter and other damage.
5.5.1906: At Dungarvan Petty Sessions, Co. Waterford, Sk. J. Kilby was fined £100 for illegal trawling within the limits of Dungarvan Bay.
15.11.1909: While hauling 250 miles WbyS from St. Ann’s Head (Sk. C. I. Wildridge), ALBATROSS (PH17) collided and struck bow and port side aft, causing damage.
28.8.1910: 12 miles off Ballycotton Light (Sk. H. Rostron), collided with CHARMOUTH (M242) while approaching St. CLEAR (M205) to transfer engine oil.
19.4.1911: In heavy weather, 120 miles WbyN of Smalls’ Light (Sk.W. E. J. Smith), lost boat and sustained other damage.
2.3.1912: Last landing at Milford.
3.1912: Sold to Aspeslagh & Zonnekeyn, Ostend (Henry P. Aspeslagh, manager).
16.3.1912: Milford registry closed.
17.3.1912: Registered at Ostend as NIXE (O142).
18.3.1912: Arrived Ostend in company with NAIADE (O144)(ex St. CLEAR (M.205)). To be used for fishing off Iceland, Morocco and African coast.
10.1915: Sold to Patrick Fannon, Aberdeen.
11.10.1915: Ostend registry closed.
21.10.1915: Registered at Aberdeen as MANNOFIELD (A526).
8.12.1915: Sold to Patrick Fannon & John Ellis, Aberdeen.
25.2.1916: Sold to Armitage’s Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Hull (George T. Armitage, manager).
2.3.1917: At Fleetwood. Fitted with 1-12pd H.A. Mk IV gun; complement increased by two gunners.
29.5.1917: Requisitioned for Fishery Reserve.
25.07.1918: Sailed Fleetwood for Icelandic grounds (Sk. B. Hume, Blackpool) in company with J. BAELS-MAURICX (FD362) (Sk. George Cooke), senior ship and NETTLE (GW11).
7.8.1918: Around noon, from a position off Vestmannaeyjar, streamed log and in company set course for home.
9.8.1918: At about 2.30pm. when some 63 miles NW of St. Kilda, sighted a submarine on the surface, which closed and when about 4,500yds away opened fire the shells falling ahead, either side and astern. Sk. George Cook ordered the NETTLE to keep clear and brought both trawlers round so that the guns could bear. Laying broadside the submarine brought all three of her guns to bear on the trawlers and again opened fire which was returned. Control of the trawlers’ guns was exercised from the bridge roof by the skippers and from men placed in the rigging of the main mast.
After about an hour a shell pierced the bulwarks, the deck, boiler casing and the lifeboats of the J. BAELS-MAURICX and shrapnel wounding J. T. Boyaton, Ch Eng. in the head. About two hours into the battle, a shell exploded above the MANNOFIELD and shrapnel hit Sk. Hume on the head, although badly wounded and bleeding, he bandaged the wound and carried on. A few minutes later a shell burst about a foot above the taffrail and shrapnel fell all around the gun severely wounding the MANNOFIELD second gunner. Twice more the submarine ran in towards the trawlers turning broadside to fire and the J. BAELS-MAURICX was hit on the starboard side, the shell piercing the bulwark, deck, boiler casing, lifeboats and shrapnel wounding J. T. Boyaton, Ch Eng. in the head.
A little while later a shell struck the J. BAELS-MAURICX on the port side, shrapnel went through the wheelhouse, breaking the windows, damaging the funnel and wounding the gunner in the leg. About half an hour before the submarine’s final approach a shell pierced the shell plating close to the rudder and the ship started to take in water.
Arrangements were made to transfer the crew to the J. BAELS-MAURICX but examination showed that although the cabin was flooded the vessel had stabilised. On the submarine’s third approach two rounds were fired by each trawler which were considered hits, resulting in the submarine breaking off the engagement. In total 47 rounds fired, five rounds remaining after the 31/2 hour engagement. Despite the damage, it was decided to proceed at best speed to Castlebay, Barra to seek medical attention and assess the situation.
10.8.1918: At Castlebay, the doctor had tended the wounded and after discussion with the other skippers and bearing in mind having already steamed 130 miles in a fresh breeze, decided to sail for Fleetwood, a distance of about 250 miles, keeping inside the islands; sailed for Fleetwood at 9.30pm.
12.8.1918: At 9.00am. passed Lune Buoy and came to anchor, proceeded to Wyre Dock on the afternoon tide and reported incident to Lieut. James A. Robertson OBE RNVR, Port Fishery Commander. On survey found found more shell plating damage and rivets sprung.
5.9.1918: At the Wyre Dock Cafe a a luncheon was held presided over by Lieut. Robertson in his role as president of the Fleetwood Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association. This was followed by an address and presentation by Cdr Abbott RN of a gold watch and gold albert to each skipper and silver watches, all suitably inscribed, to all crew members of the three trawlers. *
1.1920: Sold to Thomas H. Smith, Fleetwood.
19.1.1920: Aberdeen registry closed.
20.1.1920: Registered at Fleetwood (FD366).
11.2.1920: Sold to John Gallen, Donegal, Co. Donegal.
12.4.1920: Sold to Irish Steam Trawling Co Ltd, Killybegs, Co. Donegal. William J. Malloy designated manager.
24.10.1921: Sold to William McCabe, Dublin.
4.5.1923: Fleetwood registry closed.
5.1923: Registered at Dublin (D215). William McCabe designated managing owner.
1926: Sold to Trawlers (Ireland) Ltd, Dublin. Patrick Fannon designated manager.
1927: Sold to Dublin Trawling, Ice & Cold Storage Co Ltd, Dublin. Patrick Fannon designated manager.
1938: Sold for breaking up. Dublin registry closed.
* Due to the commendation submitted to The Admiralty by Lieut. Robertson and endorsed by the Port Commander, Cdr. C. W. Muir RN, The Admiralty awarded Sk. Cooke and Sk. Hume the DSC and the gunners from both ships the DSM.
26/12/2008: Page published. 2 updates since then.
01/06/2018: Significant information update.
14/06/2018: Significant information update.
05/06/2021: Updated information.