Remembering Today


26 March 1915 S.T. ARGENTINA GY 566
177 gt. 110.7ft. x 21.1ft.; O.N. 110905
Built 1899 by Edwards Bros. North Shields.
Sep.1899 Registered Argentina GY 566 J. & G. Alwood, Gy.
Dec.1911 Sold to Spurn Steam Fishing, Co. Grimsby.

26 March 1915.
        The "Argentina" left Grimsby on March 26th for the North Sea fishing grounds, since then she has not been seen or heard of.
        The Board of Trade at Grimsby on Wednesday May 19th officially notified that the Spurn S.F. Co. had given up as lost their trawler "Argentina" with a crew of nine hands.
[Hull Daily Mail 19 May 1915 p.5]
n.b. Loss is not listed in fishing vessels section of:
"British Vessels Lost at Sea, 1914-1918", published by HMSO, 1919.

The members of the crew were:
FISHER, Francis Edward (30) Second Engineer.
Husband of Mrs. Fisher, of 128, Barcroft Street, New Cleethorpes.
Born at Cheltenham.
FORRESTER, William Nixon (50) Cook.
Husband of Mrs. Forrester, of 35, Buller Street, Grimsby.
Born at Stoke.
GIBBS, Joseph Samuel (42) Trimmer.
Husband of Mrs. Gibbs, of 18, Wellington Terrace, Great Grimsby.
Born at Great Yarmouth.
GIBSON, Robert, (42) Skipper, Certificate No. 4395.
40 Kew Road, Cleethorpes. Born Manchester. Former Grimsby Sea Fishing Apprentice. Signed indentures - 29 Nov. 1886.
Pre-war skipper of the Grimsby trawlers "Lillian" 1902-05 and "Argentina" 1912-14.
OTTLEY, John William (34) Chief Engineer.
Husband of Mrs. Ottley, of 46, Montague Street, New Cleethorpes.
Born at Grimsby.
PAYNE, Harry Charles (37) Mate, Certificate No. 11883.
Son of the late John Payne; husband of Agnes Payne (nee Briggs),
of 151, Daubney Street, New Cleethorpes. Born at Whittington.
PERCY, Robert William (29) Deck Hand.
Husband of Mrs Percy, of 39, Montague Street, New Cleethorpes.
Born at Scarborough.
SMITH, David (45) Deck Hand.
137 Guildford Street, Grimsby. Born at Stockport.
SMITH, Robert James (25) Third Hand.
Husband of Mrs Smith, of 7, Montague Street, New Cleethorpes.
Born at Scarborough.


26 April 1915. S.T. RECOLO GY 668
176 gt. 105.2ft. x 21ft.: O.N. 132120
Built 1912 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley for -
                Hagerup &G.F. Sleight, Grimsby.
Feb.1912 Registered Recolo GY 668 (G.F. Slieght).

26 April 1915
Sunk by a mine 60 miles E by N from Spurn Point in a minefield
laid by SMS Straßburg on 14th January, 1915. 2 lives lost.

On Tuesday 27th of April the Hull Daily Mail reported the loss of the "Recolo" with bold headings, GRIMSBY TRAWLER BLOWN UP - SHOCKING INJURIES TO CREW - TRIMMER KILLED & ENGINEER DROWNED - HULL TRAWLER PICKS UP SURVIVORS.
        The news of another terrible disaster to a Grimsby trawler the "Recolo" resulting in one man being killed, one drowned, and the rest of the crew injured, some in a shocking manner, was made known late on Monday night, when skipper J. Jackson of the Hull trawler "Sebastian" put into Grimsby in order to report the loss, and also to land the body of trimmer Fred Aisthorpe (23) of 85 Kent Street, Grimsby.
        Skipper Jackson, interviewed Tuesday morning stated he had picked up eight of crew of the "Recolo" on Monday afternoon after they had been adrift in the North Sea for six hours. They presented a pitiable spectacle. In addition to Aisthorpe, who was dead. the other seven men were all injured, skipper Gladwell least of all. Many of the men had terrible cuts on the face and body, and in two instances there were fearful wounds on the arms. After getting the men on board he made full speed for Grimsby, and on reaching the Humber he signalled to a warship, and a naval surgeon subsequently boarded the "Sebastian". After temporary treatment, all the injured men, with the exception of the skipper, were transferred to the warship for further treatment, were they at present remain, the skipper coming into Grimsby with the "Sebastian", to superintend the removal of Aisthorpe's body to the hospital mortuary to await an inquest. Skipper Jackson further stated that whilst coming to Grimsby with the survivors he had a conversation with Skipper Gladwell, who stated that the disaster occurred on Monday morning whilst they were engaged in hauling up the gear. The explosion occurred immediately under the net, and the terrible injuries were due to the men being occupied in leaning over the side of the vessel in order to drag up the net, and they were thus in a direct line with the explosion. Gladwell owes his lesser injuries to the fact that he was driving the winch at the time. He though the explosion was due to a torpedo, but he had not seen any sign of a submarine, but he also said they were all stunned by the explosion and although in a shocking plight they had to quickly come to their senses and managed to get the small boat out, seven of them got in to it. An eighth man fell into the sea, but was picked up, and the second engineer, F. Smith, thirty-six, of Daubney Street, Cleethorpes, who was down below and had no time to reach the deck before being drowned by the rush of water, went down with the "Recolo", which sunk in a few minutes. After drifting for six hours in an utterly helpless state, they were sighted by the "Sebastian" and picked up.
        All the injured men were brought ashore Tuesday morning, and the worst cases removed to hospital. The explosion wrecked the engine room, and in addition to the second engineer Smith being killed, the chief engineer was terribly scalded on both arms, and had a fearful gash on the left arm. Despite his injuries, he saved his life by climbing on the deck through a grating, the companion ladder having been blown to bits.
        The owner Mr G. F. Sleight said this was the ninth vessel he had lost since the outbreak of war. Her loss was particularly distressing to the injured men and the relatives of the two men killed. She had just completed her full trip, and was making her last haul.

The two casualties were:
SMITH, Robert F. (36) Second Engineer.
Son of Mrs. Smith, of 21, Hanbury Street, Grimsby.
Born at Grimsby.
AISTHORPE, Fred (23) Trimmer.
Son of Mary Ann Aisthorpe, of 7, Hildyard Street, Grimsby,
and the late Fred Aisthorpe. Born at Boston.
n.b.        While researching the loss of the "Recolo", I noticed Fred Aisthorpe was remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial for those who lost their lives and have no known grave. Because his body was brought back into Grimsby and an inquest was held, it follows that he would have been buried. I visited the N.E. Lincs. Archives and with the help of the staff, found the record of his burial and location of his grave, which is in Grimsby (Scartho Road) Cemetery, Section 34, Row A. Grave 6. I checked this location and found that he lies in an un-marked grave, any headstone or marker there may have been, no longer exists. These facts have been submitted to the CWGC who will begin the process that will eventually result in the commemoration being moved from Tower Hill to Scartho Road Cemetery and a CWGC headstone being place at his grave.

22 May 1915 (Saturday)
        The Hull trawler "Sebastian" with a crew of nine, sailed for the North Sea fishing grounds with Skipper Jackson in command. They were not seen or heard of again and eventually given up, presumed mined and lost with all hands.

3 May 1915 S.T. UXBRIDGE GY 465
164 gt, 104ft. x 21ft.: O.N. 108491
Built 1898 by Irvines Shipbuilding Co. Irvine for -
                Hagerup & Doughty, Grimsby.
Feb.1898 Registered Uxbridge GY 465 (Hagerup and Doughty )
Apr.1906 Transferred to Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice Co. Grimsby.
3 May 1915, Sunk by a mine in the North Sea. No lives lost.

Wednesday 5th May 1915:
The Dundee Courier, [p.5] along with several other newspapers reported the loss of the "Uxbridge" as follows:

                           GRIMSBY TRAWLER NETS A MINE,


        Information was received yesterday by the Consolidated Steam Fishing Company of Grimsby that their trawler Uxbridge was sunk in the North Sea by a mine.
        The skipper and crew of nine were picked up by the trawler Sutterton and landed in Boston yesterday morning. Two were slightly injured.
        The Uxbridge got a mine in her fishing net, and while an attempt was being made to free it the mine exploded, causing such damage to the vessel that she quickly sank.


n.b. 15 April 1917
        The Boston trawler "Sutterton" [BN 39], was stopped and sunk by the German mine-laying submarine UC 44 (Kurt Tebbenjohanns), 65 miles E.S.E. of St. Abb's Head. The trawler's Fireman Tom HADDINOTT, (45) Born at Wolston. Died of exposure 17 April 1917.
CWGC Link    Tower Hill Memorial

n.b. Tom Haddinott is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial. The memorial is for those who lost their lives and have no known grave. Because his body was brought back and "An inquest was held at a north-east coast port ", he would have been buried, most probably at that port's cemetery. I've checked the burial registers at Boston and Grimsby, but didn't find him, so for the time being he lies in an unmarked grave. Hopefully when this work is finished I will continue the search. - Port identified April 2018 see news clip from Western Times below. Search for the grave is on!

From the Boston Guardian, Saturday, April 28, 1917 p.9:

                                  Inquest on a Boston Fisherman.

                                              VICTIM OF PIRATES.

                       THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN OPEN BOAT.

        "An inquest was held at a north-east coast port on Friday evening
on the body of a trimmer, believed to be Thomas Hoddinoth [sic] (45), whose last known address was the Blue Lion, Boston. He was a member of the crew of a trawler which was sunk by a German submarine, after the German sailors had ransacked it and taken off as much food as they could lay their hands on. The crew of the trawler were adrift in their small boat in bad weather with little food. They were picked up after having drifted nearly 160 miles in three days. The deceased died during that time from exposure.
                                              SKIPPER'S STORY.

        "The skipper of the trawler said the submarine fired four shots, and they launched their small boat. He was ordered on board the submarine, and kept there whilst German sailors ransacked his vessel and finally blew her up. The English sailors were turned adrift with half-a-dozen tins of corned beef, three pounds of biscuits, and a keg of water. There were ten of them in the boat, and a little dog. All the crew suffered from frost-bite. The deceased appeared to be in his usual health from Sunday to the Tuesday afternoon. One man, the mate, rowed for 52 hours.
        On Tuesday afternoon the deceased complained of thirst, and later he became delirious. About 9.30 in the evening he shook hands with several of the crew, and told them he was going to die. The skipper thought this was only part of his delirium. Later he commenced to sing, and shortly afterwards he was found to be dead. The next morning they were picked up…."
                                              A SAD STORY.

        "The Coroner said of it was not such a sad story - a story that made one's blood boil - it was really a romantic story. It seemed almost impossible to believe that a civilised race, or a race that says it was civilised, would think of leaving these ten men adrift in such terrible weather. The only surprise was that only one of these men perished."
        The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from exposure, due to the action of the enemy."

From the Western Times 24 April 1917 Tuesday p2 of 8:

        Nine members of the crew of a fishing vessel landed at Scarborough had been adrift in their small boat for seventy hours. The coal trimmer succumbed to exposure.

                Feedback welcome. To email click: LOSTGW


17 May 1915 S.T. KING CHARLES GY 1210
163 gt, 105.5ft x 21.1ft.: O.N. 113216
Built 1901 by Schofield, Hagerup & Doughty, Grimsby, for -
        Monarch Steam Fishing Co. Grimsby.
Jan.1901 Registered King Charles GY 1210 (Monarch SF).
Apr.1906 Sold to the Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice Co. Grimsby.
17 May 1915,
Captured by torpedo boat N.W. corner of Dogger Bank,
but fate of vessel not known, crew made prisoners.
Interned at Ruhleben unless otherwise stated.

BROWN Harold, Trimmer, 53 Weelsby Street, Grimsby.
BURGESS H. Skipper, Orwell Street, Grimsby.
CONNELL C. Chief Engineer. 4 Kesgrave Street, Grimsby.
HURSTWAITE J. Mate, 5 Thomas Street, Grimsby.
LYNCH Samuel, Second Engineer, 2 Outram Terrace Grimsby.
MCLEAN Alex, Third Hand, 22 Watkin Street, Grimsby.
Released 7/1/1918
WALLACE Henry Steward, 20 Wellington Street, Grimsby.
Released 7/1/1918
WILKINS D. Deck Hand, 41 Orwell Street, Grimsby.
WOODLIFF H. Deck Hand, 102 Garibaldi Street, Grimsby.

5 June 1915 S.T. PERSIMON GY 126
255 gt. 126.7ft. x 22.1ft. O.N. 132099
Built 1911 by Cochrane at Selby for W.J. Barratt, Grimsby.
Apr.1911 Registered Persimon GY 626 (WJ Barratt).
Feb.1914 Sold to Danish owners.
Aug.1914 to W.J. Barratt, Registered Persimon GY 126.
5 June 1915
The Grimsby trawler was attacked by U 19 (Constantin Kolbe), 50 miles N.E. from Buchanness, and sunk by gunfire.

Sinking of the "Persimon":
        Captain Pigeon[sic] stated that the trawler "Persimon" (GY 126), left Grimsby on Thursday morning for Iceland. When off Buchan Ness at 10.30 on Saturday morning the trawler was attacked by a German submarine, which fired two shells, one striking the forward part of the ship, and the other aft in the bunker, the latter sinking the vessel. The crew, 13 in number, took to their boat, and pulled towards land. Ten hours later they were picked up by the Grimsby trawler "Magnolia"
(GY 226), and taken in to Peterhead. Landing at eight o'clock Sunday morning.
[Hull Daily Mail 07 June 1915 & other sources]

n.b. I'm confident that Captain Pigeon was actually Skipper PIDGEN, Jasper Alfred, Certificate No. 6948. former Grimsby Sea Fishing Apprentice, who signed indentures 18 Feb. 1897 and peace-time skipper of several Grimsby trawlers from 1904 (aged 24), including "Persimon" in 1911.


6 June 1915 S.S. IMMINGHAM
2083 gt.: 271ft. x 41ft.: O.N. 125042
Type: Passenger ship
3 x Steam Turbines.: Speed 18 knots.
Built 1906 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson,-
Wallsend, for the Great Central Railway Co, Grimsby.
Launched 8 May 1906. Completed September 1906.
Modified May 1911 - A single normal funnel replaced -
the original two flat-sided funnels.

October 1914.
Taken over by the Admiralty for use as an accommodation ship. Then used as a supply transport, men and equipment. Pennant Y8.50.
March 1915. Moved to Mudros as part of the Dardanelles force.

6 June 1915.
When off Lemnos while steaming "blacked out" between Mudros and Imbros she was in a collision with the requisitioned, 1281 gt. Great Western Railway's H.M.S. Reindeer , also running "blacked out", and sank. The Great Central Railway Co. requested £100,000 for the loss, but had to settle for the Admiralty award of £45,000 replacement damages.

Initially I had not seen any reports of casualties associated with this collision, however some time later I came across two records of one casualty in the BT334 series. This is the most detailed of the two:

Name: VAUSE, Thomas, Fireman and Trimmer.
Date of death: 12 June 1915. Age: 20.
Last Place of Abode: 94 Charlton Street, Grimsby.
Place of death: Off Isle of Lemnos - Drowned - Ship sunk through collision.
Place of birth: Grimsby.
Ship's name: Immingham (Grimsby) O.N. 125042.
Series: BT334 - Registers and Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea Box: 0065 Page: 26.

Thomas Vause is not listed on the CWGC database (not commemorated), and he probably should be. Merchant Seamen (named Mercantile Marines in the Great War), only qualified for commemoration if their death was due to a war related cause. Collisions of merchant vessels were considered to be mercantile accidents and any casualties other than those serving do not qualify for commemoration. However this case has a clear war related cause, vessels had to sail a course within the range of enemy shore batteries. Passages, only during the dark hours with lights dimmed were the norm, any light visible or undue noise would attract the batteries attention.

I have submitted his case to the CWGC for consideration - details on this here: Link
[Merchant Fleets, Britain's Railway Steamers & BT 334 Series]


11 June 1915, S.T. DOVEY GY 425
160 gt. 100.2ft. x 21ft. O.N. 108481
Built 1897 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell at Hull for -
                D. Line Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Grimsby.
Oct.1897 Registered GY 425 by D. Line Steam Fishing Co Ltd.
Apr.1913 Sold to Alfred Bannister, Grimsby.
Jun.1913 Sold to East Anglia Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
11 June 1915:
Sunk by a mine 50 miles E. by S. from Spurn, 9 lives lost including Skipper.
Friday 30 July 1915 - Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer

                       GRIMSBY TRAWLER GIVEN UP FOR LOST.

                              SUPPOSED LOSS OF NINE LIVES.

      It was officially announced at Grimsby yesterday that the steam trawler Dovey, owned by the East Anglia Steam Fishing Company, had been given up for lost with all hands. A patrol vessel reported that the Dovey was torpedoed by a German submarine.

The nine men who formed the crew were:
BRISCOE, Henry (36) Deck Hand.
of 108. Stanley Street, Grimsby. Born at Birkenhead.
COOPER, Robert (37) Chief Engineer.
Husband of Mrs. Cooper, of 84, Annesley Street, Grimsby.
Born in London.
DAVIS, Arthur H. (56) Deck Hand.
of 274, Convamore Road, Grimsby. Born in London.
GIBSON, Thomas (48) Third Hand.
Husband of Mrs. Gibson, of 116, Nelson Street, Grimsby.
Born at Manchester.
HALL, William (52) Trimmer.
Husband of Mrs. Hall, of 44, King Edward Street, Grimsby.
Born in Notts.
HARRIS, W. Giles (43) Cook.
of 116, Nelson Street, Grimsby. Born at Greenwich, London.
NORMAN, Mark (30) Mate, Certificate No. 8911.
Husband of Mrs. Norman, of 71, Neville Street, Grimsby.
Born at Grimsby.
OLDERSHAW, Richard B. (41) Second Engineer.
Husband of Mrs. Oldershaw, of 59, Bedford Street, Grimsby.
Born at Gedney.
SHORT, George Walter (43) Skipper, Certificate No. 6403.
of 144, Lovett Street, New Cleethorpes, Grimsby. Born North Thoresby, Lincolnshire. Pre-war Skipper of the Grimsby trawler "Grimsby" 1910.


8 September 1915 S.T. DEVONIAN GY 89
128 gt. 96.7ft. x 20.2ft. O.N. 106664
Built 1896 by Edwards Bros., North Shields, for -
                        Gt. Gy. Co-op Box & Fish Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
Sept.1896 Registered Devonian GY 89 (G.G. Co-op Box & Fish Co.)
Nov.1896 Sold to W. Allen Grimsby.
Sept.1899 to W. Allen Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
9 September 1915:
Believed sunk by a mine 30 miles N.E. 1/2 N. of Spurn Light Vessel. 9 lives lost including Skipper.

Wednesday 20 October 1915, From The Lincolnshire Echo:

                                    ANOTHER TRAWLER LOST.

        The Grimsby steam trawler Devonian, owned by the Allen Steam Fishing Company, was on Tuesday officially given up as lost with her entire crew. On September 6th the vessel left Grimsby with a crew of nine hands for a weeks fishing in the North Sea. Three days later incoming trawlers reported that on the 8th September they heard an explosion from the direction in which the Devonian was believed to be fishing, and nothing was seen of the vessel afterwards. Since then nothing has been heard of the vessel.

The men who formed the crew were:
BANKS, Walter Edward (37) Mate, Certificate No. 7355.
Former Grimsby Sea Fishing Apprentice, signed indentures 3 Aug. 1892. Born Grimsby. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Husband of Eunice Theodosia Banks (nee Starfield), of 87, New Market Street, Grimsby.
CAMPBELL, Hamilton Blackwood (48) First Engineer.
Husband of Mrs. Campbell, of Suggits Lane, New Cleethorpes.
Born at Seaham.
DEAKIN, Joseph (26) Third Hand.
Husband of Mrs. Deakin, of 78, Strand Street, Grimsby.
Born at Sheffield.
GALES, Matthew (48) Second Engineer.
of 9, Buller Street, Grimsby. Born at Sunderland.
HANNEMAN, Frederick Charles (19) Trimmer.
Son of Mrs. Hanneman, of 55, Weelsby Street, Grimsby.
Born at Grimsby.
LAMBERT, Arthur (44) Skipper, Certificate No. 4025.
Former Grimsby Sea Fishing Apprentice, signed indentures 3 July 1887. Husband of Clara Lambert, of 32, Brereton Avenue, Cleethorpes. Born at Skegness. Pre-war skipper of Grimsby trawlers: "Uganda" 1894/95/97, "Ursula" 1895/97, "Rupert" 1898, "Noble" & "Croton" 1899, "Argo" 1900/01, "Trafalgar" 1902, "Elk" 1903, "Pinewolw" 1904/06, "Adrian" 1907/13, "Devonian" 1907 to 1912, and "Cynthia" in 1913.
LOTT, John Henry (29) Deck Hand.
of 3, Adam Smith Street, Grimsby. Son of Mary Lott, of Row 50, No. 9, Great Yarmouth, and the late John Lott. Bor: Yarmouth
ROWSTON, Arthur (25) Deck Hand.
Husband of Mrs. Rowston, of 77, Tiverton Street, Grimsby.
Born at Grimsby.
STANLEY, Walter (42) Cook.
of 71, Castle Street, Grimsby. Born at Sheffield.