HMS Sir Galahad (T226)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Sir Galahad.
Official photo of Sir Galahad, taken in April 1942
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Sir Galahad
Laid down: 13 June 1941
Launched: 18 December 1941
Commissioned: 28 February 1942
Decommissioned: February 1946
Struck: April 1946
Fate: Transferred to civilian ownership
Career
Name: Star of Freedom
Owner: Walker Steam Trawling & Fishing Co Ltd
Acquired: April 1947
Fate: sold March 1956
Career
Name: Robert Limbrick
Owner: Milford Fisheries Ltd
Acquired: March 1956
Fate: Ran aground on Quinish Point off Mull, 5 February 1957
General characteristics (Royal Navy service)
Class and type: Round Table class Minesweeper, later Danlayer
Displacement: 440 long tons (447 t)
Length: 125 ft (38.1 m)
Beam: 23 ft 6 in (7.2 m)
Draught: 13 ft 9 in (4.2 m)
Complement: 35
Armament: 1 x 12 lb anti-aircraft gun
1 x 20 mm anti-aircraft gun
2 x machine guns

HMS Sir Galahad was a trawler built for the British Royal Navy in 1941. Post war it was sold into civilian service and was wrecked in 1957 after running aground off the Isle of Mull.

Construction and war service[edit]

The vessel was built by Hall, Russell & Company of Aberdeen to a 1936 design of the same company.[1] Although the design was for a trawler the ship was commissioned as a minesweeper (Pennant number T226).[2] Launched in December 1941 she was the second member of the Round Table class.[3] In March 1943 the Sir Galahad was one of the first ships to respond when the aircraft carrier HMS Dasher sank in the River Clyde.[4] In 1944, having been converted to a danlayer, Sir Galahad was attached to the 14th Minesweeping Flotilla, part of Force U.[5] The 14th Minesweeping Flotilla took part in Operation Neptune, the maritime part of the Normandy Landings.[6]

Post war[edit]

Decommissioned in February 1946, the ship was sold in April of the same year to the Walker Steam Trawling & Fishing Co Ltd of Aberdeen and renamed Star of Freedom, her merchant marine registration number being A283.[5] Walker's sold the vessel onto Milford Fisheries Ltd of Milford Haven who renamed the ship again as the Robert Limbrick[1]

Loss[edit]

Less than a year after purchase by Milford Fisheries Ltd, the Robert Limbrick was lost at sea with the loss of all 12 of her crew. She had sailed from Milford on 2 February 1957 under skipper William Burgoyne to fish for hake off Scotland. On Tuesday 5 February reports were received by Oban radio that the ship was aground off Quinish Point, Mull (56°38′00″N 6°13′42″W / 56.63333°N 6.22833°W / 56.63333; -6.22833) and that the crew had abandoned ship.[5] Despite a search by other vessels in the area and the lifeboat from Mallaig, no survivors were found and only two bodies were recovered at the time.[7] The bodies of the rest of the crew were washed ashore over the next weeks.

The ship's total loss was reported by the Salvage Association's surveyor on 7 February 1957 who reported:

Trawler Robert Limbrick, ashore Quinish Point, Mull: Survey shows vessel lying on port side, which not visible but damage to this side suspected extensive. Starboard side so far as visible severely damaged from forecastle to stem. Shell plating fractured from bulwark to keel and badly holed in way of fish hold also abreast of bridge. Deck fractured abreast of fish hold, stern frame broken, rudder missing, suspect propeller and tailshaft badly damaged. Engine-room and hull flooded and lifeboat badly stove in. Forward portion of vessel flexing with action of sea where fractured, not possible to board. Consider salvage impracticable. Further SW gales will accelerate vessel breaking up.[8]

A memorial service was held for the crew at St Katherine's church, Milford Haven on 27 February 1957.[5]

Wreck of Robert Limbrick off Quinish Point, Mull

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sir Galahad". Aberdeen Ships. Aberdeen Built Ships Project. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Index of ships by pennant numbers. US Navy Directorate of Naval Intelligence. p. 47. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Admiralty Trawlers". http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "A history of HMS Dasher". http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Johnson, Barry. "Robert Limbrick". Milford Trawlers. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "HMS Romney". http://www.naval-history.net. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "12 Feared Lost In Wrecked Trawler", The Times, 6 February 1957: page 8 
  8. ^ Lloyd's Weekly Casualty Reports (Lloyd's of London). 12 February 1957.  Missing or empty |title= (help);