Thomas W Ward, Hayle

12th May 2009, 03:00
Opposite Hayle, in Cornwall, lies the village of Lelant; it has a quay that dates from 1876; it was then taken over by Thomas W Ward Shipbreakers in 1920; The quay later from 1939 became known as Dynamite Quay, handling Bickford-Smith's explosives and fuses during WWII, but Thomas W Ward's interests continued. Just to the north of the quay is a steel wall, built of the remains of a WWI destroyer, said to have been brought to the area in 1920-1930 for breaking.
Said to have been at Jutland. With some details still to be seen, I intend to make a proper survey and record photographs. It would be good to discover just which vessel she was. I have identified some vessels which were scrapped at the quay.
HMS Chelmer [1904] in June 1920;
HMS Marvel [1915] in May 1921;
HMS Alarm [1911] in May 1921;
HMS Plyades [1916] in May 1921;
HMS Bristol [cruiser] in 1921.
HMS Oak [1912] in 1922;
HMS Woolwich [1912] in July 1926;
HMS Sunflower [1940] in August 1947;
HMS Aberdeen [1936] in January 1949;
HMS Milford [1932] in June 1949;
Is there any way of discovering which vessels were broken here?
Is there any source that would make identification of WWI destroyers possible?
The 'wall' extends between the arrows, although three sections have collapsed due to the surcharge of fill behind the 'wall'.
The inset shows the northernmost section.
Best Wishes, Raymond

Richard Maskiell
14th May 2009, 14:49
Based on Dittmar & Colledge “British Warships 1914-19” the following WW1 destoyers were scrapped at Hayle and Lelant:
ALARM, OAK, MARVEL, PYLADES, TARTAR, NYMPHE, BADGER, BEAVER, ACASTA, COCKATRICE, SPITFIRE, LEONIDAS, MENTOR, NUGENT, PASLEY, PLOVER, PRINCE were all sold to Ward on 9 May 1921 for scrapping at Hayle. Arrival dates at Hayle are not recorded except for OAK and PYLADES which arrived in Sept 1922.
CHELMER and ARUN had been sold earlier, on 30 June 1920, and MINOS on 31 Aug 1920.
BONETTA was sold 7 June 1920 for intended scrapping at Hayle but finished up at Briton Ferry.
LARNE, GABRIEL were also sold 9 May 1921 for scrapping at Lelant, LARNE arriving Oct 1922.
SABLE (ex-SALMON 1933), TORRID were handed over 28 Jan 1937 for scrapping at Hayle, but TORRID didn’t make it being wrecked while in tow near Falmouth 16 March 1937

If the Jutland story is correct, then only OAK, MARVEL, ACASTA, SPITFIRE, BADGER appear to qualify. WW1 destroyers had identification numbers painted on the hull, but 90 years on I doubt any trace would remain. E.g. OAK finished the war with H92 having earlier been H38 and H12.

14th May 2009, 15:07
That is brilliant and extremely kind of you. I have just placed three pictures in the 'unknown vessel' gallery. I will enhance all the other pictures to see if any trace of identification remains. The only distinguishing mark I have seen so far is the sunrise motif welded on to the side of the hull. Best Wishes, Raymond

18th October 2009, 21:26

18th October 2009, 22:26
Getting more coverage then, thanks.... I am hoping that something can be done on a HES level (Historic Environment Services). Thanks