Watch this short minesweeping video.

Although we have no photograph of the Arcady, she would have looked similar to these British armed trawlers minesweeping in the North Sea.

The Arcady was requisitioned by the Admiralty in December 1939 to serve as a patrol boat/minesweeper.

In 1939/40 she was based at Portsmouth, but with extensive minelaying in the Thames Estuary and East Coast by German surface vessels and planes, the Arcady was transferred to Sheerness to serve at the Minesweeper base, Wildfire III, Queenborough.

Dec 1939, the Arcady was requisitioned by the Royal Navy.

When Drifters and Trawlers were requisitioned, often their Captain and crews volunteered and came with the vessel.

June 1940, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Portsmouth Command, Portsmouth Sub Command.

Minesweeping drifters - ARCADY (Temp. Skipper, E W B Norton RNR) under repair, CHARDE (Skipper M Slater RNR), CONSOLATION (Temp. Skipper J Tipple RNR) at Cowes, GILT EDGE (Temp. Skipper R S Mills RNR), JEANNIE LEASK (Temp. Skipper J C Boyd RNR), REFRACTION (Skipper, J W Howard RNR), ROSEBUD (Temp. Skipper, J R Buchan RNR) under repair, SOLSTICE (Ch Skipper J W Christian RNR), all but one at Portsmouth.

1 July 1941, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command, Sheerness.
Minesweeping drifters - ARCADY (Temp. Skipper, J C Ainsworth RNR), GILT EDGE (Temp. Skipper, R S Mills RNR) undergoing repair, GIRL NANCY (civilian crew) general service duties, RENASCENT (Skipper R E Hannaford RNR), all at Sheerness.

January 1942, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command Sheerness.
Minesweeping Drifters - ARCADY, GIRL NANCY on general service duties, GILT EDGE, RENASCENT, all at Sheerness.

1942, Arcady was at Wildfire III, her Captain was Temporary. Skipper R.N.R.  E. W. B. Norton who joined her on 30 Jan 40. Skipper or Skipper Lieutenant is a designation usually given to a highly experienced Captain with extensive local knowledge who has had no formal training in the disciplines of the Royal Navy.

June 1945, returned to owner.

For more information on what the Arcady was doing and when go here,


1940, Temporary Skipper, RNR.,  E. W. B. Norton.

1941, Temporary Skipper, RNR.,  J. C. Ainsworth,

If you, your father or your grandfather have any additional information about this ship, crew lists, stories, photographs, please send copies of them to be added to our records and this website.

Thank you.

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Minesweeping Drifter.

Arcady was a drifter, a fishing vessel using long drift nets in the North Sea. It is believed she served as a minesweeper during World War One as the following seems to indicate:

Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy, Monday, 18 June 1917, KAVENEY, John H, 2nd Hand, RNR, DA 183, illness