Aberdeen Trawlers

Steven Virgo
4th June 2010, 11:55
I have been doing a bit of family history research on behalf of my wife and have come across a bit of a problem. Her Great Grandfather was a master on a steam trawler (according to Wedding and children's birth Certificates) around 1900 to 1906 and lived in Nigg Kincardinshire Scotland. He was originally was from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk so we presume he was part of the Herring fleet. The family "Facts" is that he was killed in WW1 minesweeping.

I can't find out any further information about him anywhere - his name was Walter John Minns (he was known as John) born in 1866 in Geat Yarmouth.

Any pointers or answers gratefully received.

4th June 2010, 18:40
Having been bitten by the Scottish steamship bug, I have been off and on researching Herring drifters. (second only to Clyde Puffers) I seem to recall a site dedicated to Yarmouth drifters. I used search terms in google both web and image searches: herring drifter, steam trawler, steam drifter, Yarmouth drifter, Scottish drifter, Lowestroft drifter, etc. also including and excluding the word steam will sometimes return different results.

Seems in ww1 many steam trawlers were armed and converted to mine sweepers , seems also that the design was also used to build new sweepers, so your history has sound basis.

I would certainly be interested in any results of your search particularly drawings for building a model. I 'll try to post any of my findings back here.


4th June 2010, 18:51
here are a few to get you started, try links etc..





John Atherton
24th January 2011, 17:30
Steven, I have just joined the forum and have noticed your posts on Walter John Minns who I have also been studying. He was married to my great aunt Emma Eliza Budd (his first wife) so I have some information on where he came from and his Budd connections but nothing on his WW1 activities. A page of notes on what I have found is attached (if I have worked the system properly). By all means contact me on athertj@btinternet.com if you want to discuss further, I would be interested to know if your wife is related to Walter's first or second wife.

Best regards.

John A

16th March 2011, 22:22
Hello, I'm new here too, and I'm interested in finding any info, especially pictures if any exist, of the steam trawler Loch Morar. My grandfather was one of the crew which perished when it hit rocks during heavy seas off Eyrarbakke, south Iceland in 1937. All hands lost.

gil mayes
17th March 2011, 11:26
Welcome GMCK. This is the history of the LOCH MORAR taken from the FMHT database. Grateful for any crew names that you have discovered so that they can be added to the history profile.

O.N. 143807. 277g 109n 125.5 x 23.5 x 12.8 feet
T.3-cyl by Fawcett Preston & Co Ltd, Liverpool

31.5.1918: Launched by Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Ayr (Yd.No.341) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as Giovanni Guinti (Ad.No.3792) 11.7.1918: Completed as an escort (1 - 4” and W/T). 1.1919: Renamed Idaho. 4.1919: Carried out 4” mounted gun trials. 1920: Renamed Giovanni Guinti. 1.1920: Sold to The Cygnet Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood (Thomas Cardwell, manager). 24.1.1920: Registered at Fleetwood (FD367). 11.6.1921: Name change approved. 24.6.1921: Registered at Fleetwood as Cymrea (FD367). 1932: Sold to W. C. Farrow, Hull. 19.7.1932: Fleetwood registry closed. 26.7.1932: Registered at Hull (H438). 3.8.1932: Registered at Hul as Sir Mark Sykes (H438). 1935: Sold to White Star Steam Fishing Co of Aberdeen Ltd, Aberdeen (H. A. Holmes, manager). 15.10.1935: Hull registry closed. 16.10.1935: Registered at Aberdeen (A361). 21.11.1935: Registered at Aberdeen as Loch Morar (A361). 1936: Malcolm Smith designated manager. 31.3.1937: In heavy weather, drove onto reef 1500 yds offshore at Eyraebakke, south west coast of Iceland; twelve crew lost. 11.5.1937: Aberdeen registry closed.
(Giovanni (Gioanni) Guinti, Private, Marine, age ?, b. Messina, Sicily - VICTORY (ML170))

Roger Griffiths
17th March 2011, 12:28
Morning Gil,
There is a full crew list in George Ritchie's book "The Real Price of Fish" together with a small photograph of her bow.


17th March 2011, 17:32
Many thanks for that info Gil, much appreciated. My Grandfather was Thomas Philip McKay. I'll check out that book Roger, thanks. I understand the people of Eyraebakke and relatives of the crew erected a memorial there.


gil mayes
18th March 2011, 08:32
Thanks Roger.

20th March 2011, 18:57
I found that book, The Real Price Of Fish, in my local family history society library. So thanks for the heads up on that.

17th June 2011, 08:33
Hi there GMCK.
My Grandfather George Duthie was onboard the Loch Morar in 1937, we are all still based in Aberdeen and my Mum who's father was George Duthie has been up to Iceland to see where her father was buiried . All my mothers family ,two brothers and herself are very much still alive and contactable If thats any help to you ?

19th June 2011, 17:05
Thanks for that richali, good to know!