Tag Archives: Thomas H Smiith

s.v. Comet FD160

Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm


Official Number: 17226
Completed: 1882
Gross Tonnage: 28
Net Tonnage: 22
Length: 57.7 ft
Breadth: 14.4 ft
Depth: 7.1 ft
Rig: Yawl – Trawling
Built: ??, Fish House, Kircudbright


1843: Completed by ??, Fish House, Kirkcudbright as COMET.
1853: Owned by Mr Drummond, Fleetwood.
29.1.1853: Registered at Fleetwood O.N.17226.
1.1.1867: Owned by Hugh Ashcroft, Fleetwood.
1872: Owned by Thomas Smith, Fleetwood.
1872: Crew – Richard Rimmer (40), Master; John Collinson( 30), Mate; Jacob Collinson (16), AB; Thomas Rimmer (15), Boy.
1872: Registered at Fleetwood (FD160).
14.10.1872: Lying in the harbour at Fleetwood, discovered that someone had committed wilful damage to the smack, namely that six of the shroud lanyards had been cut. If the smack had sailed for the fishing grounds with this damage undiscovered it is probable that the mast would have been lost, endangering both the boat and her crew.
1.1.1880: Owned by James Billington, Preston.
1882: Sold to Richard Leadbetter, Fleetwood.
1882: Re-registered after lengthening at Fleetwood and converted to yawl rig at a cost of £600. Remeasured 28.36g 21.67n 57.7 x 14.4 x 7.1 feet.
28.7.1882: Reported that a Trawl Boat Race had taken place – Prizes 1st £15, 2nd £7, 3rd £5. Course. Down channel , round Sandside Buoy on the starboard hand, back round Danger Patch Buoy on the starboard hand, round Helpsforth Buoy, leaving it on the port hand, pass round the Flag Ship to SSW leaving it on the port hand, back round Kingscar Buoy on the port hand, to the Fairway Buoy, into the harbour and through the line. Distance about fifty miles. Entries – Spray (W. Hudson); WONDER (W. Leadbetter): GRATITUDE ( Peter Ball); HARRIET (Maskell); KING DAVID (John Moss); OYSTER GIRL (W. Poole); COMET (W. Leadbetter); PETREL (aka BIG PETREL) (Thomas Tomlinson). Towed out to the start at the Screw Pile Lighthouse by the paddle tug WYRE (165grt/1862). All completed the course with the exception of SPRAY which with a new suit of sails broke both her boom and gaff and returned to harbour. Results – GRATITUDE, BIG PETREL, OYSTER GIRL, etc.
16.9.1885: At the Whitehaven Regatta, came third behind GRATITUDE (F56), both owned by Richard Leadbetter. However, the first boat, SEAFLOWER, was not a registered fishing boat and the subject of an inquiry.
20.10.1888: Sold to John Wright, Fleetwood.
1891: Owned by Richard Leadbetter & others, Fleetwood.
22.10.1889: At sea with the PETREL (FD59) acting as a carrier. Closing PRINCE CHARLIE (FD157) to transfer fish, ran foul of the PRINCE CHARLIE smashing her jigger boom.
29.7.1890: At about 8.00 am, came into Fleetwood with the dead body of James Foster onboard. Foster had jumped overboard from the smack GEORGE & MARIA on 25 July 1890. The corpse was discovered in the trawl early in the morning when fishing some four miles NNW of the Morecambe Bay Lightship. The body was in a good state of preservation and in the pockets was a purse containing five pawn tickets, a knife, two clay pipes and a piece of tobacco. The body was conveyed to the mortuary.
30.7.1890: At Fleetwood Police Court the inquest into the death of James Foster was held. Having heard evidence from crew members of both the GEORGE & MARIA and the COMET and from Phoebe Foster, his wife, the Coroner said there was no doubt that it was a case of suicide and that the deceased was of unsound mind. The jury returned a verdict to that effect.
14.10.1892: In a gale, lost her rudder. Towed safely into Fleetwood in the evening.
21/22.12.1894: A whole fleet of trawlers and cargoes were lost during the great storm over Europe.
22.12.1894: Returned to Fleetwood with “trifling” damage.
1898: Along with BEAVER (DO1) and LEADER (FD165) arrived Jubilee Quay from fishing grounds severely iced up.
5.2.1901: Sold to William Leadbetter, The Emporium, Fleetwood & others.
20.10.1902: Disabled on the fishing grounds having lost her rudder. Picked up by the smack IRISH LILY (FD50) and delivered safely to Fleetwood.
18.7.1903: Sold to Francis McCallig Snr, Ballysaggart, Dunkineely, Co. Donegal. Francis McCallig Jnr skipper.
21.12.1908: Fleetwood registry closed.
12.1908: Registered at Sligo (SO1276).
1912: Francis McCallig Snr, managing owner.
1919: Sligo registry closed.

05/01/2009: Page published. 2 updates since then.
15/01/2023: Updated history.

S.T. Mannofield FD366

Additional information courtesy of Colin Reed

Official Number: 121604
Yard Number: 781
Completed: 1905
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. *
1919: Released.
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.