ST. Mercury GY 1151

9th September 2006, 16:55
The Mercury was out from Grimsby fishing and was sunk by U Boat 23/09/1916
does anyone have any further details to add to this

My grandfather was deck hand during this trip which he survived and went on the sail with many other ships.


9th September 2006, 23:36
Hi there Kerbtrawler, I've just some basic info. on her which I'll post asap.



john shaw
10th September 2006, 00:16
one small part of the jigsaw:

Mercury, 183grt, 23 September 1916, 65 miles SE by E E from Spurn LV, captured by submarine, sunk by bomb

10th September 2006, 01:46
Hi Kerbtrawler, do you have any details of the crew at all?

Official Number: 110948
Port of Registry: Grimsby
Number: GY1151
Name: Mercury
Type: Steam Trawler
Built: 1900
By: Mackie & Thomson, Govan
Gross Tonnage: 183
Net Tonnage: 57
Length: 108.5 ft.
Beam: 20.7 ft.
Draught: 10.7 ft.
(Note: Measurements are in Feet and Tenths of Feet)
Engines: n/k
By: n/k
Owner: Grimsby & North Sea Steam Fishing Co.
Comments: William Larkins Deckhand HMT Mercury
Fate: Captured and scuttled by U-boat in North Sea 23/9/1916

10th September 2006, 08:42
Thanks for the information

I have managed to since find out that it was UC 16 that attacked the vessel after apprentley attacking 10 other vessel in the same area so I am trying to find out which they were.

As to the crew I am still trying to locate the other members

as usual it was only that my father told me about my grandad being on it at the time of the attack.

if I find anything further I will post it

Thanks again


22nd April 2007, 01:45
I have a report which I will transcribe and post later tomorrow...

22nd April 2007, 03:36
The Times - 11th June 1915
More Grimsby Losses
Trawler Skipper's Escape From Submarine
Four more Grimsby trawlers, the TUNISIAN, the CASTOR, the VELOCITY and the CARDIFF were yesterady reported sunk in the North Sea by a German submarine - all on Wednesday. A fifth vessel, the MERCURY, escaped after an exciting chase.
the Tunisian, Castor, Velocity and Mercury were all fishing in the same locality on Wednesday morning when the submarine appeared and fired a shot over the group. The German commander then signalled that the crews would be given five minutes in which to take to the boats. as soon as the crew of the Tunisian had got clear of their ship the Germans sent some men on board with explosives. Skipper Mercer of the Mercury, saw his chance of escape. he ordered his men to chop away the gear and giving his vessel full steam dashed away at top speed. The Germans blew up the Tunisian and th eother vessels, and then started in pursuit of the Mercury, but as she had a good start and was doing 10 knots she got away.
All the crews were ultimately picked up and landed.
The crew of the Cardiff were brought to Grimsby last night by the steam trawler VULTURE. The skipper [of the Cardiff] states that at 3.30 on Wednesday morning when he sighted a submarine there were three other vessels trawling to westward and one away east of him, and with some idea of affording them a chance of escape he set off at full speed to lure the submarine away from the others. The German commander opened fire, and the fourth shot sank the Cardiff.

Best Wishes, Raymond

27th April 2007, 21:03
Absolutely Marvellous

an excellent posting

This add's quite nicely to my grandfathers memories

Roger Griffiths
28th April 2007, 19:17
Raymond's article refers to the MERCURY sunk by U41 on May/9/1915
The Times of Sept.26/1916 should give the correct info. There is some doubt on the sinking of KESTRAL U boat sources say PHOENIX.


8th May 2007, 16:07
Don't quite understand, as 11 June 1915 Times reports Mercury escaped.

Roger Griffiths
8th May 2007, 18:06
Hello Raymond,
All of my sources say that MERCURY O/N 113584. H518. 222grt was sunk by gunfire after being captured by a U-Boat on 2/May/1915. It is also the case that no logbooks are recorded after 1915. (TNA ref BT99/3123) It would seem that the Times report is incorrect.


9th May 2007, 01:01
Hi Roger - I have to say that is one heck of a mistake,
given the anecdote related in regard to her escape -
what of "skipper Mercer"? Is there any clue as to his
being actually the skipper of the Mercury and what
happened to him?
This is over a month after the sinking.
All Best - Raymond

Roger Griffiths
9th May 2007, 18:47
Hello Raymond,
Point taken.
I am sure that the Times article is incorrect regarding MERCURY but as we well know mistakes can happen and the original "fact" is repeated down the ages thus becoming the accepted truth. I will check out MERCURY's logbook and register next time I am at TNA.


9th May 2007, 22:43
Thanks Roger, I am forever fighting urban myths,
but I am now left wondering which vessel got away.
But, maybe their were two Mercury's? Needs checking
when I get a chance ...
Best Wishes

Steve Farrow
10th May 2007, 15:33
There were indeed two MERCURY's......H. 518 & GY. 1151. The Hull trawler was sunk by gunfire 14 miles E1/2 N of Aberdeen by submarine gunfire 2nd May 1915 as Roger says above

Roger Griffiths
11th May 2007, 19:46
Hello Raymond,
Attached from the returns of Hull fishing boats 1914-1918 TNA file reference BT145/73.


11th May 2007, 20:13
That clears that one up then. Confusion lifted, as Confucius said.
Thanks to Steve and Roger.

15th August 2008, 00:16 information for minelayer UC-16 gives the names of these British boats captured and scuttled by this submarine on 23 Sep 16 near the Spurn LV:

Andromeda, Trawler, 149t
Beechwold, Trawler, 129t
Brittania III, Trawler, 138t
Cockatrice, Trawler, 115t
Mercury, Trawler, 183t
Phoenix, Trawler, 117t
Refino, Trawler, 182t
Rego, Trawler, 176t
Restless, Trawler, 125t
Veilla, Trawler, 144t
Weelsby, Trawler, 122t

19th August 2008, 22:07
Looks like my next task is to visit the TNA to see what other information there is concerning the Mercury and My Grandfather

Just like to thank everyone for coming up with such information


20th August 2008, 06:36
Here is the Guardian report for the Hull Mercury

May 4, 1915
The crew of twelve of the Hull trawler Mercury were landed at Aberdeen yesterday morning by the local trawler Japonica. When fourteen miles east of North Aberdeen at five o'clock on Sunday afternoon a big German submarine appeared, and without warning struck the Mercury twice by gunfire. The crew left the trawler in a small boat, and after four other shots had been fired the Mercury sank. The submarine then made off to the north, on the track of fishing vessels. The rescued crew were in sight of land all the time.

And the Grimsby one:

Jun 11, 1915
Our Grimsby correspondent telegraphs:- The Grimsby trawlers The Tunisian, Castor, and Mercury, were all fishing in the same locality on Wednesday morning, when a submarine appeared and fired a shot over the group. The German commander then signalled that the crews would be given five minutes in which to leave the boats. As soon as the Tunisian's crew had got clear of their ship, the Germans sent several men on board with explosives. Skipper Mercer, of the Mercury, snatched the opportunity of escape presented by this action. He ordered his men to chop away the gear and fled at full steam. The Germans blew up the Tunisian and then turned their attention to the other boat, which is said to have been sunk in the same manner. After that they started in pursuit of the Mercury, which, doing ten knots, had got a fair start and escaped. The Tunisian's crew were picked up and landed by the trawler Essex.


22nd August 2008, 20:04
That makes very interesting reading and gives me a start date for the TNA records, Thanks

Roger Griffiths
23rd August 2008, 17:51
If you are going to TNA then there may be something in this reference


23rd August 2008, 19:33
Thanks for that.
I'll let you know how I get on


11th September 2008, 04:59
The Guardian report of Mattarosa and the Times report of Treeve on the GY-1151 Mercury is validated by, which identifies the submarine as the U-25, under the command of Kapitanleutnant Otto Wunsche. The attack took place on 9 Jun 1915, and the U-25 is credited with the sinking of Castor (182 t), Tunisian (211 t), and Cardiff (163 t). Velocity (186 t) is listed as being sunk by the U-25 on 7 Jun.

The UC-16 was under command of Oberleutnant Zur See Egon von Werner when it sank the GY-1151 Mercury about a year later.

As for the Hull boat, U-41 under Kapitanleutnant Claus Hansen is credited with sinking the H-518 Mercury (222 t) on 2 May 1915.

Cheers! Ray