HMS Sir Galahad (T226)
|Name:||HMS Sir Galahad|
|Laid down:||13 June 1941|
|Launched:||18 December 1941|
|Commissioned:||28 February 1942|
|Fate:||Transferred to civilian ownership|
|Name:||Star of Freedom|
|Owner:||Walker Steam Trawling & Fishing Co Ltd|
|Fate:||sold March 1956|
|Owner:||Milford Fisheries Ltd|
|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)|
Construction and war service
The vessel was built by Hall, Russell & Company of Aberdeen to a 1936 design of the same company. Although the design was for a trawler the ship was commissioned as a minesweeper (Pennant number T226). Launched in December 1941 she was the second member of the Round Table class. 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. In 1944, having been converted to a danlayer, Sir Galahad was attached to the 14th Minesweeping Flotilla, part of Force U. The 14th Minesweeping Flotilla took part in Operation Neptune, the maritime part of the Normandy Landings.
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. Walker's sold the vessel onto Milford Fisheries Ltd of Milford Haven who renamed the ship again as the Robert Limbrick
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 ( ) and that the crew had abandoned ship. 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. 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.
A memorial service was held for the crew at St Katherine's church, Milford Haven on 27 February 1957.
- "Sir Galahad". Aberdeen Ships. Aberdeen Built Ships Project. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- Index of ships by pennant numbers (PDF). US Navy Directorate of Naval Intelligence. p. 47. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- "Admiralty Trawlers". Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- "A history of HMS Dasher". Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- Johnson, Barry. "Robert Limbrick". Milford Trawlers. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- "HMS Romney". Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- "12 Feared Lost In Wrecked Trawler". The Times. 6 February 1957. p. 8.
- "Robert Limbrick". Lloyd's Weekly Casualty Reports. Lloyd's of London. 12 February 1957.