LARK sunk off Lowestoft 1/8/1915

Roger Griffiths
1st October 2007, 21:14
I'm looking for information on a fishing boat named LARK. She's listed as being sunk on August 1, 1915 "off Lowestoft" by an unidentified U-boat. No tonnage is given in "Lloyd's War Losses" or British Vessels Lost at Sea." Also, no information in the "how attacked" and "how sunk" columns of BVLAS. My own research suggests she was not registered in Lowestoft, Grimsby or Hull. Has anyone details on this vessel (tonnage, fishing number etc.)

Thanks and regards


2nd October 2007, 12:30
Hi Roger,
Have you searched the CLIP project site?
As a by-product of the crew lists, it also provides
lists of ship/vessel by name, and also their ON.
I see there are a great number of vessels named LARK.
Best Wishes, Raymond

Roger Griffiths
3rd October 2007, 20:22
Hello Raymond,
Thanks for the link. I have seen it before but it mainly covers the time before my area of interest.
I found a LARK from GY and LT but both survived WW1.
I think I will have to look at the registers in some of the smaller east coast ports.


3rd October 2007, 20:32
Could she have been under Admiralty use?
Not part of the requisitioned Royal Navy Trawlers,
but many of them were stationed all around the British
Isles and not necessarily anywhere near their originating port.
Just a thought to make things more complicated :-)
Best Wishes, Raymond

3rd October 2007, 20:34
Could this be her I wonder :


IDNo: 1125075 Year: 1907
Name: LARK Launch Date: 10.9.07
Type: Trawler (FV) Date of completion: 10.07
Flag: GBR
Tons: 280
Yard No: 538
LPP: 41.1
Country of build: UK
Beam: 7.0
Builder: Earle's
Location of yard: Hull
Owner as Completed: Pioneer Stm Fg Co Ltd, Grimsby

Kind regards


3rd October 2007, 20:47
I gather UB-5 was the only sub off Lowestoft on 1 August 1915.

3rd October 2007, 21:10
I am afraid U 5 was sunk in 1914 - see below

U 5
Shipyard Germaniawerft, Kiel (Werk 147)
Ordered 8 Apr, 1908 Laid down 24 Aug, 1908
Launched 8 Jan, 1910 Commissioned 2 Jul, 1910
Commanders 1 Aug, 1914 - 18 Dec, 1914 Johannes Lemmer

Career 2 patrols
1 Aug, 1914 - 18 Dec, 1914 I Flotilla

Successes No successes.
Fate 18 Dec, 1914 - Mine or accident off Belgian coast ca. 18-12. 29 dead (all hands lost).


3rd October 2007, 23:00
Thanks for correction Chris, I just came across that on
Just goes to prove how much confusion there is.

3rd October 2007, 23:00
Hello, Roger,
Fleetwood had a steam trawler named Lark,(in fact the first purpose built trawler to operate from Fleetwood, as the fore runners had been converted paddler tugs). She arrived in Fleetwood in 1891 and was owned and operated by Moody and Kelly of Grimsby. She was built in 1891 by R Dixon & Co. of Middlesborough and registered as FD 120. 133 tons, 99' length she was sold to Rangoon in Burma at sometime just after WW1 and scrapped in 1936.

4th October 2007, 11:59
Its not this Lark unfortunately as it went on to GY as GY 383 o/n 99184 broken up in 1936

Trust you to Find a mystery one Roger....

I will start searching and let you know if I turn anything up


4th October 2007, 12:02
Hi Santos,
Don't think its your Lark either as it was renamed Lark II when she was sold to Portugal 11/1923

Oh well.. time to start digging deep....

Roger Griffiths
4th October 2007, 19:57
Hello all,
Thank you for the response. Most encouraging.
Just to clarify things.
Raymond would be correct. UB-5 would be the only U-Boat in contention. She was broken up in Lubeck in 1919. U-5 is a different boat as you say Cris lost in 1914.

LARK FD120 O/N 99184 was first on the FD register around 13/May/1907. She could have been re-registered on 18/Aug/1908 but she went to Rangoon in December 1909. Before that she was GY383 (attached)

LARK GY322 1907 -1915 O/N125075 Sold to foreigners as LARK II GY322 1915-1923

LARK LT1142 was a small longliner of 1.84nrt she survived on the LT register until the late 1930's

So it seems clear that none of the above vessels could have been the one sunk by a German submarine on 1/Aug/1915.
My guess is. The LARK we are looking for was registered in another port? It was a fishing boat with another name? (According to the London Times, a fishing boat named LOWESTOFT was lost in early Aug 1915, cause not stated, but I can find no records of this vessel) It is a typo in Lloyds WL and BVLAS.

Thank you for you interest and if anyone has any more ideas or theories please put them forward, especially details of the vessel LOWESTOFT. I am sure with your help we can sort this one out.

regards to all,

4th October 2007, 22:26
I have records of a tug named LOWESTOFT,
registered at Lowestoft for the period 1903-1910,
involved in rescues of some vessels I am writing web pages for.

4th October 2007, 22:27
What happened to
LARK ON99296 Brixham, still afloat 1913 (CLIP)

4th October 2007, 22:31
Incidentally, I was about to follow up the loss of
Lowestoft vessels on 31st July 1915.
Quest, Strive, Achieve, Athena, Coriander, Fitzgerald, Venture and Prospector. I have seen this loss as being the 30th July.
Which is correct, and which was the strike sub?

4th October 2007, 23:00
Hello Roger, I con't help wondering if she could have been
perhaps Meadow Lark, Sea Lark or Sky Lark? Just a thought.

Roger Griffiths
4th October 2007, 23:02
Thank you Raymond,
I will follow up those leads.
All were sunk by UB-10. Oberleutnant zur See, later Kapitšnleutnant, Otto Steinbrinck on 30th July, except ALERT 1st August.


4th October 2007, 23:12
The FULGENS was lost off Palling, Norfolk on 1st August 1915;
any connection with the loss of LARK or ALERT, I wonder.
Thanks for info on UB-10.
All Best, Raymond

Roger Griffiths
4th October 2007, 23:22
What happened to
LARK ON99296 Brixham, still afloat 1913 (CLIP)

Hello Raymond,
Don't know what happened to her maybe one of the Brixham lads may be able to tell you. According to the MUN site the vessel with this official number was still afloat in 1922. So it seems another possible bites the dust!


5th October 2007, 00:08
Trouble is that LARK was a common name for a fishing vessel.
I believe these records were assembled from confiscated ships'
papers on the part of the German forces? Is that right?
Trouble is too that, as I say, some vessels were appointed to
ports well and truly away from their home port. Proves that
a lark in the hand is worth two in the bush. All Best, Raymond

Roger Griffiths
6th October 2007, 23:57
Hello Raymond,
The tug named LOWESTOFT was broken up in 1954. So not the vessel I am searching for.
I have attached the article from the Times.


7th October 2007, 00:24
Was that the same tug as the one around in 1910?
I seem to have read somewhere that it was owned by GNR.
I thought I read that there was a later tug by that name.
I may be entirely wrong, but I have not had a chance to follow
it up ... I have a photograph of the original LOWESTOFT tug.
Masses yet to do on the Breach vessels and Sleight vessels.
Best Wishes, Raymond

7th October 2007, 00:53
Interesting clipping ... I note that Ben Ardna loss is not in the
lists of trawler losses, either. But Ocean Queen figures in the
NYT report on the loss of the Glenravel. Is it possible that
the reference "Lowestoft 294" could mean LT.294, I think
she was called Reflect, or something like that.
All Best, Raymond

correction .. Ben Ardna figures on minor warship losses.

LT290 Searcher (ended 1939)
LT293 Gleam (sunk 1917)
LT295 Dorandro Petrie (ended 1947)
LT298 Barton Queen.
LT299 Renascent
that's all I have in that range, maybe Clem would know the name of LT294.

Roger Griffiths
7th October 2007, 11:13
Hello Raymond,
LT294 was XMAS ROSE O/N 128617. Sunk by UB-10 Otto Steinbrinck on 6/8/1915 (some sources say 8/8/15)
I think the 294 mentioned in the Times could be her GRT which would make her a large trawler for cica 1915 and if my assumption is correct, she would have undoubtbly been requisitioned by the RN. I have checked my records and I can find no vessel with this name.
I am beginning to think the Times report is a typo.


7th October 2007, 11:31
I have a reference to XMAS ROSE somewhere. At least now
I know her Reg. To be honest, Roger, in view of what you
have just written, I strongly suspect that it was LT294.
I am actually trawling through Toghill, listing the LT Reg
and their tonnages. A 294 grt would have been a large ship
for the time, as you say. Still keeping my thinkin hat on.
All best, Raymond

Fiesty Fay
12th January 2008, 17:26
Hi Raymond, yes there were 2 tugs by the name of Lowestoft the first one was a steam paddle tug and i listed as being in service in Lowestoft docks between 1847 and 1853, and the 2nd was a steam screw tug in service in lowestoft docks between 1898 and 1957. Information found in a Lowestoft Journal article in 1965.



Lord Hood
17th January 2008, 16:19

There has been at least two Lowestoft fishing vessels named LARK, LT135 and LT1142. LT135 was motor driven and LT1142 sail powered. Neither were sunk by a U boat.

Details of the two tugs named LOWESTOFT are as follows:

1) Wooden Paddle Tug. In service at Lowestoft 1846-1853
Built 1846 by Maudslay, Lambeth
103 gross tons, 93ft. x 16.4ft. x 8.7ft.
Also used as a fish carrier.
Sold in 1853 to Londonderry owners and later went to Australia.

2)Steel twin screw tug. In service at Lowestoft 1898-1954
Built 1898 Earles, Hull
172 gross tons 105ft. x 22ft. x 9.5ft.
Scrapped at Oulton Broad in 1954-5.

I spent many hours watching this tug at work, and went on her just before she taken out of service. Her cutting up lasted several months.

The 62ft. sailing trawler LT294 Xmas Rose was built in 1908 by Sanders, Galmpton. Tonnage was 37/27. Owned by E. L.,W. L. & E. S. Painter 1908-13 A., W. L., & E. S. Painter 1913-15. Recorded as being sunk by a U boat on 8th August 1915.

Lord Hood
17th January 2008, 17:05

There are two known fishing vessels named LOWESTOFT. The first is LT504, a sailing converter in the Lowestoft fleet between 1870 and 1886.

The second is YH416, an early wooden steam drifter built by Chambers & Colby in 1900 at Lowestoft. She was built as H492 and registered at Yarmouth on 16th October 1916. LOWESTOFT was broken up in 1923 her registry being closed on 30th August 1923.Her owner whilst at Yarmouth was Richard Irvin & Sons, a major shareholder in the Lowestoft fishing company Jack Breach Ltd.

I am afraid neither appears to be the vessel named LOWESTOFT, possibly lost in August 1915.

17th January 2008, 17:41
That is so very helpful, I am sure this will be of great
assistance to Roger in eliminating those from his search.
The reference to Jack Breach is of great interest.
Best Wishes, Raymond

Roger Griffiths
17th January 2008, 21:51
Thank you for the information Lord Hood. I have been at the National Archive today and am still no nearer to finding an answer. As ever the show go's on!


Lord Hood
18th January 2008, 09:43
Hello Raymond

Thanks for your comments. Unfortuately many people believe that Jack Breach Ltd. was run by the Breach family, this is incorrect. This limited company had over 20 shareholders with John V. Breach holding less than 50% of the shares. I have copies of meetings of the company directors and a full list of shareholders for Jack Breach Ltd. Also for Explorator Ltd., Pevensey Castle and Kittiwake Ltd. The annual returns for these companies make interesting reading for those interested in fishing vessel ownership!
Jack Breach Ltd. was the subject of a High Court petition in 1925 and this led to a rescue package being put forward by Frederick Spashett. As you will know, Breach had shares in all four companies but there were other major shareholders as well. The Small & Co. group, a large UK trawler, supply and safety ship owner and considered Britain's largest herring drifter owner took over all four companies and Jack Breach Ltd. was renamed The Shoals Fishing Co. Ltd. in 1946. The Spashett empire was vast and of course Frederick was the chairman of Jack Breach Ltd. The Small group was run by the Spashetts and later by Major Cartwright. Anyone involved in the herring industry will be aware of the drifters owned by this company, Harold Cartwright, Frederick Spashett, George Spashett and Henrietta Spashet were well known around the British Isles as they followed the herring. Their other well known drifters included Dick Whittington, Madame Prunier, Young Duke, Young Elizabeth, Ethel Mary, Fellowship, Swiftwing and Norfolk Yeoman. They later purchased the Great Yarmouth Bloomfield "Ocean" fleet. According to Major Cartwright, in 1949 they were still operating 29 steam herring drifters, although that year the company stated to scrap these and introduce a fleet of diesel drifter/trawlers. They were involved or ran over 120 companies.
By the way, in 1919 Richard Irvin & Sons owned 5,000 shares in Jack Breach Ltd., a company that had a history of large bank overdrafts! This well documented information has been supplied by Lowestoft Record Office, Companies House in Cardiff and the National Archive in Kew and is available to all.

Kind Regards

18th January 2008, 12:46
Many thanks for the information ... I am working my way through
the vessel histories, and note the various share arrangements. I have
a company history drafted out and have already placed that online.
However, your very kind write up adds considerably more to the story.
Best Wishes, Raymond

Lord Hood
18th January 2008, 14:41
Hello Raymond

Thanks for your message. The Port of Lowestoft Reseach Society Chairman and two others carried out a comprehensive research study into the Spashetts and Small & Co. in 1990, and kept coming up against ties with vessels owned by companies involving the Breach family. This was further investgated and it was found that the so called Breach owned companies were not as straight forward as it seemed to the unsuspecting researcher. The registered ship owners are straight forward and well documented, it is the people who had shares in the companies that surprised many people. Their findings were later proved correct by consulting Companies House. Whilst I do not wish to get involved in what you are doing, I think it is important not to give the impression in such a high profile matter that the Breach family owned everything because they did'nt e.g. Explorator, which I am sure you will know became the largest fish ditribution company in southern England under Small & Co., was half owned by Frederick Spashett and half by John V. Breach in 1923, with 500 shares each.

18th January 2008, 14:46
Thank you again ... that is very helpful . Best Wishes, Raymond

Fiesty Fay
21st December 2008, 00:41
The alert was captured by a german submarine on the 1st of august 1915, set on fire and burned, 18 miles NE of Lowestoft.

regards Janet

Fiesty Fay
21st December 2008, 00:48
I have seen a Ben Aden listed as sunk 14th July 1916 16 miles east of hartlepool captured by german sub sunk by bomb could this have been incorrectly entered as Aden instead of Ardna?

regards janet

Roger Griffiths
21st December 2008, 11:15
Two different vessels.
BEN ARDNA was sunk 8/Aug/1915 by mine laid by the German submarine UC1