(Listed as Boy Alan in Lloyd’s Register but sometimes recorded as Boy Allen)
Wildfire III, Queenborough.
The Boy Alan collided with another vessel while returning through the Yatlet gate in the anti-submarine Boom across the Thames Estuary. The Yatlet channel was the busiest waterway in the world leading to the largest port in the World. At that time the Port of London had 36 miles of deep water quays with over two hundred ships docked at any one time.
Navigation aids were few and far between and being under constant attack by the enemy lights on shipping were few and dim. In addition to the merchant shipping, arriving and departing in huge convoys all passing through the bottle neck of the Yatlet Boom Gate, there were minesweepers, barrage balloon vessels, boom vessels, anti-aircraft vessels and war ships of every kind. In this confusion of shipping, navigating through narrow channels, with new hazards such as recently sunken ships, collisions were inevitable.
There were no casualties recorded on the 10 February 1941 and it is thought the crew of the Boy Alan were all safe, possibly rescued by the very vessel which collided with them.
Type of Vessel: Minesweeping Drifter (Former Fishing vessel) Carvel built, Wooden Dandy, 2 masted, Steam Drifter.
Pennant: Nr 2375
Fishing Number: 1110, 2375.
Other Names: LT. 331 Lowestoft.
Year Constructed: 1914
Built by: J. Chambers Ltd.
Built at: Lowestoft.
Owner: Charles Alfred Brittain.
Engine: 3 Cylinder, Triple Expansion, Reciprocal, DA, Vertical, Inverted cyl engine,1914 by Elliot & Garrood.
Gross Tons: 109 tons
Length: 89.5 feet
Beam: 20.3 feet
Armament: 1 x 3 pound, WW1. 1 x 6 pounder, WW2.
Fate: Sunk in a collision 10 Feb. 1941
The Boy Alen would have looked like these Minesweepers sweeping in the North Sea.
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Watch this short minesweeping video.
1914. Requisitioned for Naval Service and used as a net vessel.
1919. Returned to owner.
6 December 1929. The Boy Alan and the Lord Suffolk stood by the disabled Spanish steamer in the North Sea, in a gale, until tugs arrived from Hull.
July 1935. Fouled propeller with nets off Lerwick and towed in by Constant Friend LT 1172.
3rd November 1935. Lost mizzen mast and fishing gear.
August 1936. The Boy Alan towed the disabled Boy Roy LT 1167 into Lerwick.
November 1938. In collision with Scottish vessel the COSMEA.
6th December 1938. Damaged stem at Ijmuiden, Holland.
June 1940. ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
Minesweeping drifters - BOY ALLEN (Sk E H Crowe RNR), DEVON COUNTY (Sk S Wilson RNR), FORERUNNER (Sk S F Wilson RNR), GO AHEAD (Sk W N Hurn RNR), PLUMER (Sk L George RNR) repairing, WELCOME HOME (Sk W F Wilson RNR), all at Sheerness.
15th September 1940, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
M/S Drifters: Boy Alan, Girl Nancy, Forerunner, Plumer, Renascent, Lichen, (Vernal, being repaired, date uncertain), Welcome Home and Go Ahead.
January 1941, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command. Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
Minesweeping drifters - BOY ALAN (Sk E H Crowe DSC RNR), FORERUNNER (Sk S F Wilson RNR), GIRL NANCY (civilian crew) repairing, ITCHEN (no CO listed), PLUMER (Ty Sk J E C Wright RNR), RENASCENT (Sk R E Hannaford RNR), all at Sheerness.
10 February 1941. The Boy Alan was in a collision in the Thames Estuary and sunk.
To find out more of the Boy Alan's movements go to DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST Dec, 39
Not on List. But it would have been Skipper R.N.R., E. H. Crowe who joined the Boy Alan on the 25 Nov 39.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST July 40
Skipper R.N.R., E. H. Crowe, 25 Nov 39
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 41
Not on List.
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