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Trawler/Drifter Minesweepers. MMS, Motor Mine Sweepers. BYMS, British Yard Mine Sweepers.
HMS WILDFIRE III, Shore Base, Queenborough. HMS WILDFIRE Shore Base, Sheerness.
Fortress Sheppey. Montgomery. Channel Dash. Amy Johnson. Thames Boom. A Bad day in December.
HMT Tilburyness when named Joseph Barrett.
Tilburyness. (or Tilbury Ness)
Castle Class Minesweeper
Minesweeping Group 3
Wildfire III, Queenborough.
In 1940 shipping on the East Coast of England and in the Thames Estuary again came under heavy attack by the Luftwaffe. On the 1st November 1940 over twenty Ju88’s (Bombers) and Me 109’s (Fighters) bombed and strafed shipping. The SS Letchworth was sunk, the Oaze Lightship was blown up with the loss of all her crew and the Queenborough Minesweeper Tilburyness was sunk with the loss of ten of her crew. The Sheerness Anti-Aircraft Paddle-steamer Royal Eagle and tug Salvo, themselves under attack, valiantly stood by the Tilburyness, fighting off repeated attacks as they rescue survivors.
The Royal Eagle and Salvo are credited with shooting down one of the bombers.
Type of Vessel:
Castle Class, steel side, steam screw, coal burning Trawler converted to a Minesweeper. Built for the Admiralty during WW1, used as a fishing Trawler between the wars and re-converted to a minesweeper in WW2.
Joseph Barrett, Loch Morar, St Barnaby, Harry Hawke, Loch Kinnord.
Cook, Welton and Gemmell.
1919: The Admiralty. Skomer SS Co. 1920. Trident SFC. 1939.
480 IHP = 10.5 K.
290 tons’ gross, 119 tons’ net.
1 x 12 pounder (WW1)
Bomber and sunk 1 Nov 1940
6 April 1939: Renamed Tilburyness by Trident Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., St. Andrew's Dock, Hull.
Sep 1939. The Tilburyness was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper. (Hire rate £83.14.0d/month).
June 1940 Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough
Minesweeping Group 3 - minesweeping trawlers BERNARD SHAW (Sk Lt J H Brown Rtd RNR), EDWARDIAN (Ty Sk F A Cunningham RNR), MILFORD HAVEN PRINCE (Ty Sk C V Eddom RNR, TILBURYNESS (Ty Sk J V Earl RNR), all at Sheerness.
1 Nov 1940. Sunk by enemy aircraft in the Thames Estuary.
Tilburyness crew loss. MPK = Missing Presumed Killed.
ADDISON, David J, Seaman, RNR (PS), LT/X 20787 A, MPK
BESSEY, Edward A, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 210627, MPK
BLANDFORD, James C, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 99044, MPK
GRAINGER, William A, Stoker 2c, RNPS, LT/KX 103781, MPK
LOCKETT, Hugh, Signalman, RNVR, P/ESD/X 1704, MPK
PYBUS, Samuel T, Chief Engineman, RNR (PS), LT/X 5995 ES, MPK
RANDALL, Percy R, Seaman Cook, RNPS, LT/JX 164326, died
SAVAGE, James D, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 106884, MPK
STEPHEN, William, Act/Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 100551, MPK
TERRY, Harold T, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 105504, MPK
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 1 JANUARY, 1940.
DSM. Herbert 'Levitt, Enginemen, H.M.T. Tilburyness. The above Appointment and Awards are for, unfailing courage, endurance and resource in H.M. Trawlers, Drifters and Minesweepers in their hard arid perilous task of sweeping the seas clear of enemy mines, and combating submarines.
To find out more of the Tilburyness’s movements go to DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST Dec 39
Not on List.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST July 40
Temp. Skipper R.N.R., J. V. Earl, 8 March 40
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 41
Not on List, sunk 1 November 1940.
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