Daily Event for January 5, 2014

As was the case in the Great War, much of the British fishing fleet was pressed into service to help protect shipping and search for mines and submarines. The dangers faced by these men, who were not trained to fight, was no less than those faced by their countrymen in the Royal Navy. While they were not engaging large surface warships, they were still subject to attack by U-boats, aircraft and MTB's. They did all of this in small boats, sometimes made of wood, with antiquated armament and with a minimum of training. But the pluck of these men was no less than that of those who sailed in His Majesty's modern warships.

It was not however an enemy submarine or even a mine which caused the loss of HM Trawler Kingston Cornelian FY-121. Unlike many such trawlers she was owned by the Admiralty (rather than hired) and manned by the Royal Naval Patrol Service. She was bought from the Kingston Steam Trawling Company Ltd. in August of 1939 and converted into an anti-submarine trawler and assigned to the 7th Anti-Submarine Group at Gibraltar.

At about 2300 on January 5, 1940 she was conducting operations in the Strait of Gibraltar when she was run down by the French steamer Chella. It is a quick and sad tale from that moment, for the trawler sank immediately with the loss of all seventeen men in her. The lifeboats from Chella were put down straight away, but a search in the dark found nobody. The 449 ton trawler was just no match for the 8,920 ton Chella.

It was not long before Chella herself would join the unfortunate trawler. Five months later on June 2, 1940 she was at Marseilles when she was damaged during a German air raid. Ablaze and a wreck, but not sunk, she was towed into shallow water northwest of Marseilles and put down by a French coastal battery. Following the war she was raised and scrapped.
© 2014 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honour
In memory of those who lost their lives in
H.M. Trawler Kingston Cornelian FY-121
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Rank / Rate
Adams, James
Seaman (RNR)
Anderson, William G.
2nd Hand (RNRPS)
Bartlett, John D.
Signalman (RNVR)
Blackburn, George T.
Stoker (RNRPS)
Bruce, Norman D.
Seaman (RNRPS)
Crimlis. Ronald
Seaman (RNRPS)
Dennant, Arthur G.
Seaman Steward (RNPS)
Dunlop, James
Stoker (RNRPS)
Fish, Lawrence
Seaman (RNRPS)
Green, William
Skipper (RNR)
Commanding Officer
Hayter, William H.
Seaman (RNRPS)
Hossack, James
Seaman (RNRPS)
MacKay, Donald H.
Seaman (RNRPS)
McDonnell, John
Engineman (RNPS)
McGuire, John
Leading Seaman (RNRPS)
Norman, Arthur E.
Able Seaman (RN)
Smith, James
Engineman (RNRPS)

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