Remembering Today

1918 - 1921



18 January 1918 H.M. Trawler GAMBRI Admiralty No.1263
274 gt. 123.8ft. x 22.7ft. 1 x 6pdr. O.N. 139923
Built 1916 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley for the -
        Grant & Baker Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
Nov.1916 Registered Gambri GY 992 (Grant & Baker S.F. Co.)
Feb.1917 to A. Grant Grimsby.
Apr.1917 Requisitioned by the Admiralty, converted for Minesweeping.
C.O. Chief Skipper George Bee RNR

17 January 1918:
At 10:15 am the "Gambri" struck a mine three-quarters of a mile off
the Royal Sovereign Light Vessel, Sussex and sank with the loss of
twenty-one men. Mines had been laid in the area earlier that day by the
German submarine "UC 71" (Ernst Steindorff).
[ADM.1/8512/27 & ADM.242]

ARMSTRONG, William James Augustus (33) Trimmer,
No.3037 ST. RNR. Born 20 May 1884, Middlesborough. Son of William and Eleanor Armstrong, of Thornton-le-Moor, Northallerton, Yorks. Native of Gateshead-on-Tyne. RNR District: Newcastle on Tyne.
BEE, George (33) Chief Skipper, No.41 WSA. RNR.
MiD - Honours for Miscellaneous Services (No. 30564 - 5 MARCH 1918).
1915: Skipper of H.M. Tr. "Longset" Admiralty No.1503 (GY 376), -
(She was mined 06.02.1917, 8 of the 15 crew lost).
1916: Skipper of H.M. Tr. "Raglan Castle" Admiralty No.11957-
(SA 30), (She survived the War.).
1917/18: Skipper of H.M. Tr. "Gambri".
Born 10 November 1884, Wainfleet. Peacetime Skipper of the Grimsby trawler "Reporto", Certificate 8843. Son of George and Mary Bee, of Wainfleet, Lincs.; husband of Jane E. Bee, of 166, Fairmont Road, Grimsby. RNR District: Grimsby.
BERRIGAN, John Thomas (32) Seaman, No. 1455X. Newfoundland RNR. Canadian, born 1885. Son of Edward and Elizabeth Berrigan, of Mount Road, Renews, Ferryland.
BLANSHARD, George (33) Trimmer, No.6965 TS. RNR.
Born 19 January 1881, Hull. Son of George and Mary Blanshard, of Hull; husband of Ada Blanshard, of 3, William's Terrace, Walcott Street, Hessle Road, Hull. RNR District: Hull.
BLOOMFIELD, Charles William (23) Ordinary Telegraphist,
No.Z/7263 RNVR. Born 17 October 1895, London. Son of Charles Henry and Susan Bloomfield, of 31, Howley Road, Croydon, Surrey. Booking Clerk L.B. and S.C. Rly. RNVR Division: London.
CORSTORPHINE, Alexander (19) Trimmer Cook, No.67 8 TC. RNR.
Born 3 July 1897, Cellardyke, Fife. Son of David and Jane Corstorphine, of St. Abbs, West Forth Street, Cellardyke, Fife. RNR District: Granton.
COTTER, William (28) Engineman, No.5221 ES. RNR.
Born 21 October 1893, Swansea. Son of Matthew and Margaret Cotter, of 113, Oak Terrace, Llangyfelach, Swansea. RNR District: Swansea.
DAVIES, William John (28) Deck Hand, No.15108 DA. RNR.
orn 31 October 1889, Fishguard. Son of John and Martha Davies, of Sea View. Penwallis, Fishguard. RNR District: Goodwick.
DENNETT, Rowland (18) Ordinary Telegraphist, No. Z/3816 RNVR.
Born 25 August 1899. Son of Alfred and Agnes Dennett, of Warrington, Lancs. RNVR Division: Mersey.
LYNCH, James (27) Deck Hand, No.370 TS. RNR.
Born 15 September 1890, Wigan, Lancashire. Husband of Mary Elizabeth Lynch, of 12, Ditchfield Street, Leigh, Lancashire. RNR District: Hull.
McNEIL, Roderick (24) Deck Hand, No.14676 DA. RNR.
Born 26 December 1896, Barra, Inverness-shire. Son of Angus and Christian McNeil, of Gaigston, Isle of Barra. RNR District: Stornoway.
MORTON, Henry (23) Deck Hand, No.2957 SD. RNR.
Born 6 April 1895, Brantford, Canada. Son of Henry and Margaret Morton; husband of Isabella Morton, of 71, Low Greens, Berwick-on-Tweed. RNR District: Berwick.
NUNN, Harry George (26) Deck Hand, No.17980 DA. RNR.
Born 25 February 1891, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft. Husband of Gertrude, E. Nunn The Firs, Oulton Broad, Nr Lowestoft. RNR District: Lowestoft.
OSBORNE, Thomas Henry (17) Deck Boy, No.665 SBD. RNR.
Born 20 July 1900, Newlyn, Cornwall. Son of Emma Osborne, 33, Duke Street, Deal, Kent. RNR District: Penzance.
PRINCE, Harold Heber (21) Seaman, No.1973 X. Newfoundland RNR. Canadian, born 1896. Son of Mrs. Lizzie Prince, of Charlestown, Bonavista Bay.
REESE, John (28) Telegraphist,No. Z/5731 RNVR.
Born 11 October 1899. Son of John and Jane Reese, of 2, Marion Street, Blaengarw, Bridgend. RNVR Division: London.
ROBERTSON, James Lees (21) Second Hand, No.10303 DA. RNR.
Born 22 March 1896, Torry, Aberdeenshire. Son of Mrs Elsie Robertson, 13 Abbey Place, Torry, Aberdeen. RNR District: Aberdeen.
SAYERS, Albert Edward, D.S.C. (47) Skipper, No.820 WSA. RNR.
Born 14 January 1871, Hull. Son of Thomas and Martha Sayers, of Hull; husband of Kate Sayers, of 4, Flinton Grove, Woodcock Street, Hessle Road, Hull. RNR District: Hull.
SMITH, Ralph Philip (25) Deck Hand, No.6804 DA. RNR.
Born 24 October 1892, North Shields. Husband of Mary Smith of 22, Dockway Square, North Shields. RNR District: North Shields.
SPEIGHT, Ernest (24) Ordinary Seaman No. J73844 RN.
Born 23 December 1893, Leeds. Son of the late Samuel and Susannah Speight; husband of Matilda Speight, of 4, Rydal Avenue, Frizinghall, Bradford.
VICARS, Fred (41) Engineman, No.4204 ES. RNR.
Born 10 March 1874, Cleethorpes. Husband of Florence F. Vicars, of 15, Cooks Row, New Holland, Lincolnshire. RNR District: Grimsby.



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8 February 1918 S.T. STRATON GY 694
197 gt. 112.5 ft. x 21 ft. O.N. 110900
Built 1899 by Cochrane, Cooper, Beverley, for the -
                                                       United Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
Aug.1899 Registered Wamba GY 381 (United S.F. Co. Ltd. Grimsby)
16 Jan.1910 The "Wamba", was stranded N. end of Cara Island,
        Bernera, Hebrides. She was salved and then sold to R.W. Lewis,         Aberdeen and Registered A 326
Oct.1915 Sold to Strand Sea Fishing Co. Ltd. Grimsby -
                                                       Registered Wamba GY 694
Nov.1915 Renamed Straton GY 694 (Strand S.F. Co. Ltd. Grimsby)

9 Dec.1916 The "Straton" was in a collision in the river Humber with
        the Grimsby trawler Battle Abbey GY 1171 which sank with
        the loss of three lives. See report 9 Dec.1916
1917 The "Straton" was requisitioned into the Fishery Reserve.
08 Feb.1918 She was lost - Mined 26 miles E. from the Humber
        Light Vessel. No lives lost.

7 July 1918 F.V. ALBION GY 1130
21.97 gt. 48.4 ft. x 13.6 ft. No O.N. given
Built 1905 at Boston, builders name not recorded.
Description: Line fishing vessel. Powered by Sail and motor.
        Ketch rig, (Main, Fore, Jib and Mizzen). Crew: 5.
8.May 1918 Sold to Edward Ernest Cox of Grimsby.
      Registered (1st Class) Albion GY 1130
7 July 1918:
The ketch "Albion" was captured 25 miles E. 3/4 N. from Spurn Point by the German submarine "UB 40" (Hans Joachin Emsmann). Sunk by bomb, after her crew had taken to the ship's boat. They landed safely.
Registry closed 16 July 1918


24 August 1919 S.T. FAWN GY 1008
191 gt. 107.5ft. x 21ft. O.N. 109842
Built 1898 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverely for -
Thomas E. Fisher & Henry Morris Co. Ltd. Grimsby.
Dec.1898 Registered Fawn GY 1008 (T. Fisher)
Sep.1916 Sold to Henry Croft Baker Grimsby.
Apr.1917 to John Green Grimsby.
1918 Requisitioned into the Fishery Reserve. Returned 1919.
24 August 1919 Vessel posted missing. Lost with all hands presumed mined off Hartlepool.
Thursday 28th August 1919:
The Grimsby Telegraph first reported the loss of the "Fawn" as follows:

                           SUPPOSED LOSS OF GRIMSBY TRAWLER.

        It is feared that the Grimsby trawler Fawn (Messrs, Baker and Green) struck a mine at sea and has been lost with all hands. It is understood that wreckage has been picked up off Hartlepool which leaves little hope for the safety of the ship.
        The vessel left Grimsby about three weeks ago on a voyage to the Faroe, and presumably met with disaster on the return journey. Her skipper Mr. Tom Mothersdill, was one of the best known of Grimsby trawler captains.

On the next day, Friday 29th August, The Telegraph reported more details of the loss as follows:

                                               FATE OF THE FAWN,

                           DRIFTER SKIPPER FINDS WRECKAGE.

                                           LIST OF MISSING CREW.

        As reported in the "Telegraph" on Thursday night the steam trawler Fawn (Messers. Baker and Green) is believed to have been lost with all hands.
        It is stated that the skipper of a Lowestoft drifter, whilst off Hartlepool on Sunday morning last, heard an explosion, and on going to the spot, found a boat bearing the name Fawn, which had been badly smashed. A man's cap was found floating on the water, but no signs of any of the crew.
        There were eleven men in the crew of the Fawn, and seven of them were married, there being eighteen children dependant.
        Their skipper Mr. T. Mothersdill, was one of the best known of Grimsby's trawler captains.


The following composed the crew:
BARKER. George Pulling (28) Deck Hand.
Born 07 August 1981, Grimsby. Son of Mrs. Barker, of 97, Lovett Street, Cleethorpes. 1919 AVL: BARKER, George Pulling, 97 Lovett Street, H.M.S. Queen, TS 37 RNR. Service Record: TNA Link
BROWN. Harry (43) Cook.
Born Barnetby, Lincs; of 64, Blake Street, Hull.
CHESTER. Fred (54) First Engineer.
Born 25 December 1864, Alford. Son of the late William and Mary Chester; husband of Annie Frankham (formerly Chester, nee Ellis), 305, Weelsby Street, Grimsby. Born: Alford.
From Grimsby Crew Lists: 2nd. Eng. "Ostero" (GY 200), 1911. Chief Eng."Narberth Castle" (GY 1021), 1913. Service Record: Chester, Fred, Engineman No. EX 9. RNR. (HMS Davenport). TNA Link
CHRISTIANSEN. Herry Nicolie (17) Deck Hand
Son of Mrs. Christiansen, of 14, Barcroft Street, New Cleethorpes, Lincs.
COONEY. Patrick (32) Trimmer.
Born: London; of 100 Nelson Street, Grimsby.
HILLAM, John Philip (48) Second Hand Certificate No. 7228
Born Sheffield 10 October 1870. Son of Alice Hillam and the late Mr. Hillam; husband of Sarah Ann Hillam (nee Sutcliffe), of 50, Ward Street, New Clee. Service Record: HILLAM, John No. SA 537 RNR.TNA Link
MOTHERSDILL, Thomas (53) Skipper; Certificate 1277.
Born 2 October 1864, Hull. Husband of Emma Sophia Mothersdill, of 35, Harrington Street, New Cleethorpes, Grimsby. Skipper of many Grimsby vessels pre-war 1886 - 1908, including: "Harold", "Specimen", "Save All", "Silver King", "Marther Somerville", "Volunteer", "Leonora", "Agonist", "Agami", "Lynmouth", "Harrier", "Loveden", "Petunia", "Buzzard", "Carthagenia", "Catania" and "Gullemot". Served at H.M. Base, Swansea, H.M.Tr. ("Coalsin") Skipper W.S.A. 1987 RNR. Service Record: TNA Link
NUDD Charles Henry (36) Third Hand.
Born 25 September 1892, Hickling, Norfolk. Son of Joshua and Charity Nudd, of Stubb Road., Hickling, Norwich. Service Record: NUDD, Charles Henry DE371 RNR. TNA Link
STEVENSON Ben (25) Deck Hand.
Born 17 October 1883, Grimsby. Husband of Mrs. Stevenson, of 101, Garibaldi Street, Grimsby. Service Record: STEVENSON, Ben Deck Hand (H.M.S. "Pembroke"), No. DA 346 RNR. TNA Link
SWAINSTON Abraham (27) Trimmer.
Born: Sheffield. Husband of Mrs. Swainston, of 5, New Market Street, Grimsby.
TAYLOR Thomas (23) Second Engineer .
Born: Burnley. Son of William Henry and Jessie Taylor, of 111, Havelock Street, Hull.