Additional information courtesy of John Wilson and David Slinger
Official Number: 132407
Yard Number: 471
Gross Tonnage: 299
Net Tonnage: 121
Length: 130.5 ft
Breadth: 23.0 ft
Depth: 13.2 ft
Engine: T.3-cyl by Shields Engineering Co Ltd, North Shields
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
11.5.1911: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.471) for The New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood as CLARA BELLA.
15.6.1911: Registered at Fleetwood (FD138).
6.1911: Completed at a cost of £7,881 and insured for £7,000. Ernest Tomlinson appointed manager.
29.6.1911: At Fleetwood landed from first trip.
26.1.1914: Sailed Fleetwood for Icelandic grounds (Sk. Harry Kluver); thirteen crew in total.
Early 2.1914: Reportedly seen by Grimsby trawler SWEEPER (GY853) (Sk. James Westerby), five or six miles SW of Reykjanes Peninsula, SW coast of Iceland.
14.2.1914: Seen anchored at the entrance to Onundafjord, west coast of Iceland by Sk. Henry Steel of steam trawler INA WILLIAM (GY872) which, with other trawlers, was sheltering from extreme weather. Later same day when weather lifted she was not seen. Assumed that she had left to resume fishing though the weather closed immediately and continued with heavy easterly gales, continuous snow storms and icing for a further ten days.
1.3.1914: Missing from this date.
29.4.1914: At Lloyd’s “… put up for inquiry as very much overdue”.
5.5.1914: At Lloyd’s “… posted as missing”.
8.5.1914: Fleetwood registry closed.
(Lost – all Fleetwood unless stated – Sk. Harry Kluver, Hull; Thomas Newby (34), Mate; Robert Henry Gawne (20), Bosun; Martin Burnett, Kintore, Aberdeen, Ch Eng; Oliver Crosswell (Australian), 2nd Engineer; William Braham (19) and Richard Tomlinson (17) deckhands; James Patterson (25), Patrick Gregan Jnr (20), J. Blackwood, ??, spare hands; William Stone, (29) & James Maher, ??, firemen; Archibald McLean (66), cook).
The CLARA BELLA belonged to the New Dock Steam Fishing Company LTD and was three years old when she left Fleetwood on the 26th of January 1914 for her ill-fated trip. This was the first time this vessel had gone to Iceland and crew members included Robert Gawne, Thomas Newby, Wliiliam Braham, James Patterson, Patrick Gregan jnr, James Maker or Maher, Oliver Cranwell or Crosswell, J. Blackwood, William Stone, Archibald Mclean, Richard Tomlinson, (son of the New Docks Managing Director), Martin Burnett and Harry kluver. James Patterson (spare hand) was my grandfather. He was 25 yrs of age.
The last sightings of the CLARA BELLA were by the Grimsby trawlers (INA WILLIAM, the SWEEPER, and the CHALCEDONY). The INA WILLIAM put in for shelter in an Onunderfjord off the west coast of Iceland on February the 10th 1914. There were many trawlers sheltering there due to the extreme weather conditions at the time and most of the vessels were encased in ice.
The Skipper, Henry Steel, recalls seeing a Fleetwood vessel anchored near the entrance of the Fjord. He remembered it because at the time, he had thought it was a bit of a novelty to see a Fleetwood trawler at the Icelandic fishing grounds. Skipper Steel went on to say that two hours later there were slight breaks in the snow storms and that is when he noticed that the Fleetwood trawler had disappeared. He concluded that they had possibly ‘Slipped out to try for fish’. He told the Board of Trade enquiry, ‘The weather thickened again almost immediately and continued with heavy easterly gales and continuous snow storms for the next ten days’.
James Westerby, Skipper of the Grimsby trawler SWEEPER, said he saw the Fleetwood trawler in early February off Csar Bay, five or six miles South-West of Rykgaves on the South-West coast of Iceland. Why the CLARA BELLA had left was not known, but no trace of her had been found since, nor had any wreckage been found. The presumption was that either she had gone down in the blizzard or she might have struck a rock or floating ice.
Board of Trade Enquiry
The Secretary of the New Dock Steam Fishing Company – Joseph Allen Taylor, said he was satisfied that the vessel sighted by the Grimsby trawler SWEEPER must have been the CLARA BELLA. The conclusion he came to was that the skipper of the CLARA BELLA tried to resume his fishing during an interval in the rough weather and had probably struck a rock or some floating ice during the blizzard which had continued for sometime after he left.
In another write up of the Fleetwood Chronicle dated March 24th 1914, the President of Hull Fishing Vessel Owners Association states, ‘that the trawler CHALCEDONY saw a Fleetwood trawler in Fara Bay on Sunday, March 1st. Later the skipper of the steam trawler, SWEEPER, which arrived in Grimsby on the 9th of March, reported having seen a Fleetwood trawler. And his description of the vessel he saw corresponds with that of the CLARA BELLA seen on Saturday the 28th of February. If the CLARA BELLA was sighted on March 1st she would have been at sea for thirty four days at that point.
The CLARA BELLA came to Fleetwood brand new. She was built in 1911 so was only three years old when she went missing. She was built at Middlesborough at the cost of £7881 and was insured for £7000. Her gross tonnage was about 299, and her speed ten knots. The CLARA BELLA was of standard design. The only difference from other trawlers being that she had an extra fish room aft and an extra bulk head forward. Her bunkers would take from 165 to 170 tons of coal and her ice capacity was about 35 tons. Her capacity for fish would be about 100 tons maximum. Dead weight calculated on freeboard would be about 279 tons.
Bosun – Herbert or Robert Henry Gawne – twenty years of age, resided in Addison Road, Fleetwood. He left a wife and one child ages four months old.
Mate – Thomas Newby – thirty four years of age, resided at 53 Carr Road, Fleetwood. He left a wife and one child aged seven years.
Deck Hand – William Braham – nineteen years old, single. He lived in Milton Street, Fleetwood.
Spare Hand – James Patterson- twenty five years, resided 55 Mount Street, Fleetwood. He left a wife and two children aged two years and one ten months.
Spare Hand – Patrick Gregan jnr – twenty years of age – single. Resided at Preston Street, Fleetwood.
Fireman – James Maher (or Maker) – age and address unknown.
Second Engineer – Oliver Cranwell (or Crosswell) single, a native of Melbourne Australia, lodging in Adelaide Street, Fleetwood.
Spare Hand – J. Blackwood – age and address unknown.
Fireman – William Stone – twenty nine years, single, resided at 5 Garfield Street, (off Victoria Street) Fleetwood.
Cook – Archibald Mclean – sixty six years, widower, and has a daughter in the Post Office at Birkenhead. He is a native of Glasgow and resided at the Imperial Cafe Fleetwood.
Deckhand – Richard Tomlinson – seventeen, single, the son of Captain Ernest Tomlinson, the Managing Director of the New Dock Trawling Company – resided Poulton Road, Fleetwood.
Chief Engineer – Martin Burnett, age and address unknown, from Kintore Aberdeen.
Skipper – Harry Kluver – married man. This was his first sailing out of Fleetwood.
Click to enlarge image
18/05/2012: Page published. 5 updates since then.
04/02/16: Minor information update.
Official Number: 132419
Yard Number: 398
Gross Tonnage: 318
Net Tonnage: 131
Length: 130.7 ft
Breadth: 23.6 ft
Depth: 13.3 ft
Engine: 69HP T.3-cyl by J. Abernethy & Co, Aberdeen
Built: J. Duthie Torry Shipbuilding Co, Aberdeen
17.12.1913: Launched by J. Duthie Torry Shipbuilding Co, Aberdeen (Yd.No.398) for The New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood as BEGA.
1.1914: Completed (Ernest Tomlinson, manager).
6.2.1914: Registered at Fleetwood (FD233).
14.11.1914: Requisitioned for war service as an auxiliary patrol vessel (1-12pdr) (Ad.No.923).
1917: Joseph A. Taylor appointed manager.
18.6.1917: Torpedoed by U-boat (U58) 40 miles north of Muckle Flugga (61.36N 00.35W). Nine crew lost*.
29.1.1919: Fleetwood registry closed.
(*Lost – Thomas Wright, 2nd Hand; Laurence Thomson & Finlay Macleod, Seamen; Alfred Williamson & Harry Wittup, Deckhands; Patrick Cosello & George R. Harvey, Trimmers).
Official Number: 141959
Yard Number: 579
Gross Tonnage: 257
Net Tonnage: 100
Length: 125.6 ft
Breadth: 23.1 ft
Depth: 12.6 ft
Built: A. Hall & Co Ltd, Aberdeen
Engine: T.3-cyl by A. Hall & Co Ltd, Aberdeen
17.8.1920: Launched by A. Hall & Co Ltd, Aberdeen (Yd.No.579) for The New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood as GAVA.
12.10.1920: Registered at Fleetwood (FD380).
10.1920: Completed (Joseph A. Taylor, manager).
1924: William W. Brierley appointed manager.
16.7.1932: Laid up for 36 hours NEbyW of St. Kilda with leaking boiler tubes and water in the stokehold. Effected temporary repair and returned to Fleetwood. SEA SWEEPER (FD171) in radio contact.
20.10.1935: Off Barra, assistance rendered by Barra Island lifeboat LLOYD’S.
17.2.1939: Sold the The Clifton Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood.
27.11.1939: Requisitioned for war service and appointed for boom defence duties.
Pre 4.1940: Employed on Fishery Protection (WA/Fort William/Fleetwood).
26.5.1940: At 6.57pm. ‘Operation Dynamo’ (Dunkirk evacuation) put into effect.
27.5.1940: Sailed Fleetwood for English Channel, requisitioned for war service as an anti submarine trawler (P.No. 4.14 ) (Hire rate £83.10.6d/month). As Leader (Sk. F. Day), in company with DHOON (FD438), EDWINA (FD205), EVELYN ROSE (GY9), JACINTA (FD235) and VELIA (FD49).
1.6.1940: At Dunkirk (Sk. F. Day) sailed at 12.24 pm with French troops embarked. At 1.05 pm stopped ship, crewmen, A. Munn, H. Gawne and J. Jones dived overboard to rescue three wounded French sailors. At 6.30pm. at Ramsgate landed 160 troops. (transported 502 troops in total not confirmed).
2.1942: Fitted out as a minesweeper.
9.1942: Engaged in target towing.
6.1946: Reclassed at Liverpool and returned to owner.
24.8.1946: Re-measured 256g 99n.
22.2.1949: Took WILLIAM MANNELL (LO370) in tow after refloating from stranding at Glengad Head, Co. Donegal. WILLIAM MANNELL sank under tow 21/2 miles E of Dunmore Head off Portaleen, Co. Donegal; crew saved.
1.11.1950: Sold to Stroud’s Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Aberdeen (George D. W. Stroud, manager).
29.3.1951: Fleetwood registry closed.
30.3.1951: Registered at Aberdeen (A676).
1954: Horace E. Stroud appointed manager.
1956: Went ashore on the Pentland Skerries; part crew rescued by motor fishing vessel ENTERPRISE (WK229). Refloated and towed to Lyness. 1959: Sold to B. J. Nijkerk S.A., Antwerp for breaking up.
31.12.1959: Delivered Boom.
18.3.1960: Aberdeen registry closed “Vessel sold to foreigners (Belgian subjects).”
Click to enlarge images
26/01/2009: Page published. 3 updates since then.
02/06/2016: Minor information update.
Official Number: 136905
Yard Number: 415
Gross Tonnage: 330
Net Tonnage: 135
Length: 139.5 ft
Breadth: 23.2 ft
Depth: 12.9 ft
Engine: 94HP T.3-cyl by J. A. Abernethy & Co Ltd, Aberdeen
Built: J. Duthie Torry Shipbuilding Co, Aberdeen
18.3.1915: Launched by J. Duthie Torry Shipbuilding Co, Aberdeen (Yd.No.415) for The New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood. as ERNA.
17.5.1915: Registered at Fleetwood (FD158).
5.1915: Completed (Joseph A. Taylor & Ernest Tomlinson, managers). Requisitioned from the builder and fitted out as a minelayer and later a minesweeper (1-6pdr HA) (Ad.No.1586).
23.2.1916: Attached to Unit.104, Dover Patrol, picked up one crew member of steamer SEA SERPENT mined in Channel.
1.4.1916: Sweeping with PRINCE LEO (GY920)(Ad.No.1634), caught German submarine in sweep wire. Destroyer exploded depth charge over wire and trawlers freed, but could not determine if submarine was destroyed.
12.3.1919: Waiting instructions whether required for Post-War Service (SS).
1920: Returned to owner at Fleetwood.
1924: William W. Brierley appointed manager.
8.6.1930: In Wyre Channel, one of 23 trawlers inbound, attempted to pass grounded steam trawler NELLIE BRADDOCK (FD175) aground on Tiger’s Tail off lock pit, came fast and completely blocked channel. Refloated on next tide and entered Wyre Dock.
27.9.1930: Stripped propeller on way home from fishing grounds. Steam trawler THE ROMAN (FD151) connected and commenced tow to Fleetwood.
12.1938: Sold to The Clifton Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood.
9.1.1940: Requisitioned for war service and appointed as a boom defence vessel.
17.1.1940: Returned to owner.
1.2.1940: Requisitioned for war service as a boom defence vessel (P.No. Z.112) (Hire rate £94.15.0d/month).
23.11.1943: Compulsorily acquired by M.O.W.T.
1944: Based at Portsmouth (Fraser & White Ltd, agents).
1948: Laid up pending survey.
1948: Sold to Salvedor Co Ltd, London (Philip Bauer, manager).
1951: Sold for breaking up.
Click on image to enlarge
23/01/2019: Page published. 5 updates since then.
30/05/2016: Information updated.
Admiralty Number: 3839
Official Number: 148228
Yard Number: 846
Gross Tonnage: 324
Net Tonnage: 3839
Length: 148 ft
Breadth: 23.7 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Engine: 89 hp T.3-cyl by C. D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull
Built: Cochrane & Sons, Selby
1918: Launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby (Yd.No.846) (“Mersey” class) for The Admiralty as SAMUEL JAMESON (Ad.No.3839).
20.9.1918: Completed (1 – 12pdr and W/T).
9.1920: Renamed ETTRICK.
1926: Sold to Sam Robford & Co Ltd, London.
12.3.1927: Registered at Fleetwood as LOUGHRIGG. (FD148) (Keith R. Hoare, London, manager).
27.2.1928: Sailed Fleetwood for St. Kilda with mails (11 bags). Could not locate island due to dense fog, eventually anchored in Village Bay and islanders came out. Very short of flour and other provisions.
8.3.1928: Returned Fleetwood, coaled and took on provisions.
9.3.1928: Sailed Fleetwood for St. Kilda.
1929: Sold to The Clifton Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood (William W. Brierley, manager), managers).
21.8.1929: Registered at Fleetwood as PHYLLISIA (FD148).
27.3.1930: Sold to New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood (William W. Brierley, manager).
17.7.1939: Sold to The Clifton Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood.
12.11.1939: When homeward off St Kilda, closed by U-boat (U.41) which had onboard survivors from steam trawler CRESSWELL (M129) which she had shelled and sunk two days previously 18 miles NW by N of the Islands. Took onboard survivors, seven in number.
14.11.1939: Landed at Fleetwood.
4.12.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a boom defence vessel (P.No. Z.144) (Hire rate £97.4.0d/month). South Atlantic Command.
16.11.1942: Transferred to West Africa Command. Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone.
8.10.1943: On loan to Portuguese Government (P.No.B1).
23.11.1943: Compulsorily acquired by M.O.W.T. Remaining on loan to Portuguese Government.
17.1.1944: Fleetwood registry closed.
19.8.1945: Returned to M.O.W.T. Based at Plymouth (W. Tamlyn Ltd, Plymouth, agents).
6.1946: Surveyed and restored at Plymouth.
7.1946: Sold to East Fisheries Ltd, Cape Town. Registered at Cape Town (CTA121).
7.9.1952: Sold to South African Navy. Stripped of all useable parts and non-ferrous metals and used as a target. Subsequently scuttled off Robben Island.
(Samuel Jameson, OS (prest), age 21, b. King’s Lynn, Norfolk – VICTORY (SB439)
Click to enlarge images