HM Trawler James Ludford
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    HM Trawler James Ludford

    Hi Guys

    HMT James Ludford sank off the Tyne at 55 02’.483 N 001 16’.297 W in 50m on 14 December 1939. Information about the sinking is usually just "detonated a mine and sank off the Tyne" and I could not find anything different. However a lady called Beth Hill wrote to me after reading an article about my last book which mentions the James Ludford because her father, Leading Seaman John Mitchell RNR, was killed on the vessel.
    Mrs Hill said:
    "On 14 December 1939 JAMES LUDFORD (Lt.Cdr. Harry Richard John Lewis, RN retired) was searching for mines and was some 5-miles east of Tynemouth, when a mine detonated and she sank with the loss of 17 crewmen.
    The trawler, which was based at North Shields, had been out searching for mines all day on the 13 December and on the way back to port, another mine was located; however Lt.Cdr Lewis said “We will mark it and take it in tomorrow”. Next morning Leading Seaman John Mitchell from Lossiemouth and a man from Golspie near John O’Groats, were working on deck when Lt.Cdr Lewis informed the crew that the mine was to be taken on board the trawler, which was his idea and not the way the men had been taught to treat mines. Ld/Sn Mitchell then moved away from his colleague and at that moment the mine exploded and blew John Mitchell to pieces. The other man was thrown clear over-board and into the sea, where he grabbed a broom handle and bits of wood from the sinking vessel. A ship then rescued him and he was taken to North Shields The man was given special leave and on arriving home, he told his father what had happened; he then wrote to John Mitchell’s wife’s mother, informing her of the incident and blamed the Skipper for the loss of the vessel and crew; only three out of the twenty men on board survived.
    The men who died were:
    Allam, George, Petty Officer, P/J 104781, MPK
    Bourner, Leonard, Signalman, P/J 109164, MPK
    Carpenter, Albert 36yrs, Stoker, P/K 61240, MPK
    Crichhton, Alexander 31yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7989 C, MPK
    Graham, Malcolm, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7618 C, MPK
    Kay, Charles Henry 36yrs, Stoker 1st Class, P/K 56987, MPK
    Lewis, Harry Richard John 47yrs, Lieutenant Commander, MPK
    Macarthur, Dugald 46yrs, Chief Skipper, RNR, MPK
    Main, Alexander King 23yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 18718 A, MPK
    Matheson, Alexander 31yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 77650, MPK
    Meredith, Matthew, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7313 C, MPK
    Mitchell, John 39yrs, Leading Seaman, RNR, D/ 6092 D, MPK
    Parfitt, Thomas Frederick 44yrs, Chief Mechanician, P/K 26982, MPK
    Pocock, Stanley John 40yrs, Stoker 1c, P/SS 121559, MPK
    Stowell, William Charles, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), P/X 10322 B, MPK
    Treagus, Arthur Frank, Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 23304, MPK
    Warwick, Frederick 33yrs, Leading Stoker, P/KX 77134, MPK

    Bronte’s Kriegsmarine destroyers: Z 4 (Richard Beitzen), Z 8 (Bruno Heinemann), Z 14 (Friedrich Ihn) & Z 15 (Erich Steinbrick) had laid the mines during the night of 12/13 December 1939, under the cover Z 19 (Hermann Künne).

    The JAMES LUDFORD was a steel-hulled 438-ton ‘Mersey’ class steam trawler that measured: 45.11m in length, a 7.23m-beam and a 3.96m-draught. Cochrane, at Selby built and delivered her on May 1st 1919 for the Royal Navy as Admiralty Trawler No.4232. The single propeller, using one shaft was powered by a reciprocating (VTE) 600ihp steam engine that used one boiler and gave 11-knots. Normally armament consisted of two 3-inch guns (singles), but this varied.
    After the WW1 hostilities ceased, JAMES LUDFORD was laid up in reserve in 1921; then she was brought back into commission in 1930 and was employed as a Mark Buoy Vessel.
    In 1939 she was converted to Admiralty minesweeper No.4232 - Port No. T.16.

    Probably not many people will find the post interesting or even the wreck, but I thought people should know what actually happened. The wreck should also be treated with some respect as it is a war-grave where 17 men died.

    Cheers Ron
    Ron Young

  2. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Ron Young For This Useful Post:

    AlisonGraham (21-11-11), Allan Carr (15-09-11), Bluto (15-09-11), Dangerous Dave (15-09-11), jackdiver (15-09-11), jimbob (15-09-11), JonP (22-11-11), LearnerDiver (15-09-11), MJaneAliceKay (07-05-20), ray (15-09-11), The Duck (15-09-11)

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    and his lucky wooden reel Dangerous Dave's Avatar
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    Great post Ron, keep up the good work , we appreciate it.

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    A VS Cash Cow 42's Avatar
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    I've been finidng it difficult to get good information on many of the armed trawlers. Always nice to see a little bit more information come to light.

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    Thanks for that Ron, it is nice to see info like this.

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    Hi.
    Thanks Ron, as professional as ever..
    Thinking about things and weighing it all up. Ok thought about it.. Bye.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Young View Post
    Hi Guys

    HMT James Ludford sank off the Tyne at 55 02’.483 N 001 16’.297 W in 50m on 14 December 1939. Information about the sinking is usually just "detonated a mine and sank off the Tyne" and I could not find anything different. However a lady called Beth Hill wrote to me after reading an article about my last book which mentions the James Ludford because her father, Leading Seaman John Mitchell RNR, was killed on the vessel.
    Mrs Hill said:
    "On 14 December 1939 JAMES LUDFORD (Lt.Cdr. Harry Richard John Lewis, RN retired) was searching for mines and was some 5-miles east of Tynemouth, when a mine detonated and she sank with the loss of 17 crewmen.
    The trawler, which was based at North Shields, had been out searching for mines all day on the 13 December and on the way back to port, another mine was located; however Lt.Cdr Lewis said “We will mark it and take it in tomorrow”. Next morning Leading Seaman John Mitchell from Lossiemouth and a man from Golspie near John O’Groats, were working on deck when Lt.Cdr Lewis informed the crew that the mine was to be taken on board the trawler, which was his idea and not the way the men had been taught to treat mines. Ld/Sn Mitchell then moved away from his colleague and at that moment the mine exploded and blew John Mitchell to pieces. The other man was thrown clear over-board and into the sea, where he grabbed a broom handle and bits of wood from the sinking vessel. A ship then rescued him and he was taken to North Shields The man was given special leave and on arriving home, he told his father what had happened; he then wrote to John Mitchell’s wife’s mother, informing her of the incident and blamed the Skipper for the loss of the vessel and crew; only three out of the twenty men on board survived.
    The men who died were:
    Allam, George, Petty Officer, P/J 104781, MPK
    Bourner, Leonard, Signalman, P/J 109164, MPK
    Carpenter, Albert 36yrs, Stoker, P/K 61240, MPK
    Crichhton, Alexander 31yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7989 C, MPK
    Graham, Malcolm, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7618 C, MPK
    Kay, Charles Henry 36yrs, Stoker 1st Class, P/K 56987, MPK
    Lewis, Harry Richard John 47yrs, Lieutenant Commander, MPK
    Macarthur, Dugald 46yrs, Chief Skipper, RNR, MPK
    Main, Alexander King 23yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 18718 A, MPK
    Matheson, Alexander 31yrs, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 77650, MPK
    Meredith, Matthew, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), LT/X 7313 C, MPK
    Mitchell, John 39yrs, Leading Seaman, RNR, D/ 6092 D, MPK
    Parfitt, Thomas Frederick 44yrs, Chief Mechanician, P/K 26982, MPK
    Pocock, Stanley John 40yrs, Stoker 1c, P/SS 121559, MPK
    Stowell, William Charles, Seaman, RNR (Patrol Service), P/X 10322 B, MPK
    Treagus, Arthur Frank, Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 23304, MPK
    Warwick, Frederick 33yrs, Leading Stoker, P/KX 77134, MPK

    Bronte’s Kriegsmarine destroyers: Z 4 (Richard Beitzen), Z 8 (Bruno Heinemann), Z 14 (Friedrich Ihn) & Z 15 (Erich Steinbrick) had laid the mines during the night of 12/13 December 1939, under the cover Z 19 (Hermann Künne).

    The JAMES LUDFORD was a steel-hulled 438-ton ‘Mersey’ class steam trawler that measured: 45.11m in length, a 7.23m-beam and a 3.96m-draught. Cochrane, at Selby built and delivered her on May 1st 1919 for the Royal Navy as Admiralty Trawler No.4232. The single propeller, using one shaft was powered by a reciprocating (VTE) 600ihp steam engine that used one boiler and gave 11-knots. Normally armament consisted of two 3-inch guns (singles), but this varied.
    After the WW1 hostilities ceased, JAMES LUDFORD was laid up in reserve in 1921; then she was brought back into commission in 1930 and was employed as a Mark Buoy Vessel.
    In 1939 she was converted to Admiralty minesweeper No.4232 - Port No. T.16.

    Probably not many people will find the post interesting or even the wreck, but I thought people should know what actually happened. The wreck should also be treated with some respect as it is a war-grave where 17 men died.

    Cheers Ron

    I for one find this very interesting as my grandfather, Malcolm Graham, was one of the men lost on that boat. It is so sad he lost his life in that way, leaving my grandmother alone who was pregnant with my mother at the time. Thank you so much.

    Alison

  10. #7
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    Hi Alison

    Sorry to hear about your Grandfather being one of those lost on the vessel; terrible thing war

    Ron
    Ron Young

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    Hi Alison,my grandfather Charles Henry Kay was also on the James Ludford when it went down, do you have any photos that your grandfather Malcolm left ?
    I have some which I will post soon. I would just like to find out more about how the ship sunk, and some sources say there was one survivor and others say there were 3 survivors ?
    We now live in Sydney Australia.
    Regards
    Melanei

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    Hi Ron, my grandfather Charles Henry Kay was a First Stoker on the James Ludford when it sunk, are you aware of any underwater photos of this trawler?

    Thank you so much
    Melanie J Alice Kay

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