FORERUNNER
Minesweeper Drifter.
Wildfire III, Queenborough, (Sheerness).


Built in 1911 the Forerunner served in both the first and second World Wars. As an Anti-Submarine Boom Vessel (WW1) and a Minesweeper (WW2).   Between the wars she fished out of Lowestoft in the North Sea using long drift nets to catch herring.

The dangerous work done by the minesweepers was of the utmost importance. It was the courage of the men on these minesweepers which saved many ships and the lives of many of their crews.

On the 30 August 1941, Wildfire III, Queenborough, minesweepers Monarda, Internos, Forerunner and Vernal blew eleven acoustic and three magnetic mines in just over an hour on the North Thames foreshore, off Southend.

Sadly, Forerunner and Monarda were both sunk within the next ten weeks. Forerunner was in collision with another minesweeper and sunk and Monarda detonated a mine a sank off Sheerness.

Although listed as sunk on 14 Oct 1941, Forerunner appears in the records in January 1942 as being at Sheerness, but under repair. It is probable that after the collision she sank in shallow water, was towed inshore and when the tide went out was temporary repaired and re-floated. However, after that time no officers appear on the Navy List for the Forerunner.

Model of a Drifter similar to the Forerunner.


Forerunner, Armed Mine Sweeper.

Admiralty Number:         1892 (WW1)
Registered:                         (Lowestoft) LT1160                                         
Year Constructed:            1911.    
Built by:                               S. Richards & Co. Ltd., Lowestoft.
WW1 Service:                    Sep 1915 to 1919.            
Gross Tons:                         92.         
Length:                                 85 feet
Beam:                                   18.9 Feet            
Depth:                                  9.3 feet.
Armament:                         1 x 3 pounder. (WW1)

 June 1940, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.

Minesweeping drifters - BOY ALLEN (Sk E H Crowe RNR), DEVON COUNTY (Sk S 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

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.

January 1942, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.

LL Drifters - BOY PHILLIP, EGERIA, EUNICE & NELLIE, FORERUNNER under repair, INTERNOS, JACK EVE,

October 14, 1941. The Forerunner sunk in the Thames Estuary after a collision. It was later declared a constructive total loss.

To find out more of the Eunice and Nellie movements go to DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.

OFFICERS ON NAVY LIST Aug 40.
Skipper R.N.R.    S. F. Wilson         26 Nov 39

OFFICERS ON NAVY LIST Aug 41.
Skipper R.N.R.    S. F. Wilson         26 Nov 39

 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.
Contact: johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk


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