minesweeper

HMT St Ives

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On March 3rd 1915, the 325 ton trawler ‘St Ives H11’ was requisitioned for the navy. It was converted into an auxiliary patrol vessel, it entered naval service in May 1915 as 1192. HM Trawler St Ives, along with other vessels, helped salvaging the SS Keltier on December 11th and 12th 1916. The crew would have received a share of the salvage award, once it had been sorted out with the insurers. On the 21st December the St Ives came into contact with a mine laid by UC17 somewhere in Falmouth Bay. The officer and ten ratings on board were lost. The Commodore at Falmouth sent a telegram; “Regret to report trawler 1192 ST.IVES blown up by mine two miles W.S.W. of St. Anthony Falmouth. Sent to Admiralty and Devonport. 0845.”

HMT St Ives

HMT St Ives

The servicemen who were lost of the ship were:

CARMICHAEL WILLIAM ALBERT 24 Leiutenant 21 Dec 1916 Son of Charles and Mary Ann Carmichael, of 346, Boulevard, Hull
DENTON JOSEPH ALEC 20 Telegraphist 21 Dec 1916 Son of Mr. and Mrs. Elizabeth Denton, of High St., Scawby, Brigg, Lincs
FAREY HORACE CHARLES 19 Signaller 21 Dec 1916 Son of Thomas Henry and Alice Sarah Farey, of 141, Havelock St., Kettering, Northants
GRIMES WILLIAM GEORGE 20 Deckhand 21 Dec 1916 Mother J. Grimes, Hill Top, Clay next the sea, Norfolk.
PASCOE JOHN NICHOLAS 20 Deckhand 21 Dec 1916 Son of Robert and Lydia Pascoe, of Chapel Row, Porthleven, Cornwall.
PATTERSON ALEXANDER 18 Deckhand 21 Dec 1916 Son of Robert and Elizabeth Patterson, of St. Ellas Place, Eyemouth, Ayton, Berwickshire
PENDER SYDNEY .30 Deckhand 21 Dec 1916 Husband of Janie Stevens Pender, of Tresco, Scilly Isles
PROUT ALBERT HENRY 30 Trimmer / Cook 21 Dec 1916 Husband of Mary Jane Prout, of 34, Langton Rd., Falmouth, Cornwall
ROGERS FREDERICK . Trimmer 21 Dec 1916 Wife Sarah, John Street, Maryport.
SCOTT ROBERT . Engineman 21 Dec 1916 Son of Robert and Isabella Scott, of Hull.
STOREY ARTHUR . Engineman 21 Dec 1916 Wife Annie, Church Street, Brentwood?

Until now, the resting place of these servicemen and the wreck has not been known.

A document within the national archive, from the mine sweeping team states the St Ives was lost S.S.W. of St Anthony, not W.S.W. This moves the final resting position of the St Ives to somewhere close to the Caroni River wreck.

HMT St Ives sinking report

HMT St Ives sinking report

There is nothing around the Caroni River wreck, there are some remains of a boiler within the wreckage. A local ex-diver, Ken Matthews stated they pulled a bronze breached gun off the trawler wreck during 1969. No other trawlers would have had a gun. He also stated they used an air lift pump to clear the hull, he says the hull is intact. The report above says struck a mine, not destroyed or blown to pieces as previously rumoured. Ken stated that he has seen intact sunken vessels that have been close to a mine when it exploded, causing the sea cock to crack, filling the vessel and sinking it quite quickly. So that is the most likely scenario, from out understanding at the moment.

We have also acquired copies of the KTB (U-Boat’s log) and the chart, drawn by the captain of UC-17, of where they laid mines around Falmouth on the mission. The hand drawn chart shows the mine’s location, as being very close to the Caroni River wreck.

The evidence point very clearly towards the wreck being underneath the Caroni River. Possibly, the only remains are the boiler parts we found. Ken’s statement regarding removing the gun, is confirmation that this was a small armed trawler. Ken also knows where there is another armed trawler, in the rough location of the Tulip II.