Posted - 23 Mar 2011 : 4:41:43 PM Does anyone know anything about Steam Drifters that say sailed out of ARBROATH in WW1 and especially October 1917 - January 1918 as it seems that fishing fleets were attacked by German U boats in the North Sea by often Torpedoes and around the Isle of Skye and Mallaig area by gunfire and sinking with often one or more casualties from the fishing boat crew .
I am now researching an attack of a fishing boat - steam drifter with its home port as being Macduff in Banffshire and the German U boat attacked her crew in January 1918 leaving the crew less one missing clingling to their upturned drifter . The U boat went off and came back for the final kill . The survivors got to Mallaig where the engineman was treated for serious burns to his body and he must have been too serious to be moved to the Belford Hospital at Fort William and a doctor and a nurse cared for him in a hotel in Mallaig. He died of his serious burns several days later and he was buried back in Banffshire .
Seems that in the winter season the Fishing boats such as steam drifters that Arbroath too would have then fished out of Mallaig and there was no Military shipping to protect the fishing fleet doing their normal duties of fishing !
The newspapers in Banffshire report that the STEAM DRIFTER was not armed and the U boats had their usual two guns and of course torpedoes to hand . Does anyone know if Drifters had no weapons at all in WW1 (and possibly WW2 ) to protect themselves against enemy shipping ?
The two crew from the fishing boat are listed on the Commonwealth War Graves commission index and they are listed as Mercantile Marine and the vessel is recorded as being HM Drifter but on this occasion the boat was only being used for its normal trade of being Fishermen . I thought that some fishing boats and crews were employed in both Wars as Mine sweepers and on other occasions able to do their normal work of being fishermen ?
Posted - 13 Apr 2011 : 10:53:08 PM I had a nice walk out to Scurdyness lighthouse this weekend and on some of the info posters along the path there was a photo of a STEAM DRIFTER of that Great War period . Also a good lot of info on the Gun turrets that are along the estuary and info too on the Scurdyness Lighthouse built by the Stevensons but also on the older Ligjthouses that mark the estuary path from Scurdyness lighthouse along to Ferryden and about the old days when the montrose lifeboat was manned by Ferryden and the crew had to go over to the lifeboat on the Montrose side and go out on their rescue mission from there ................
Arbroath, Scotland 2291 Posts Last here: 5 days ago
Posted - 24 Apr 2012 : 7:04:01 PM On a similar subject....
On the outbreak of war between Britain and Germany a German Schooner innocently arrived at Arbroath with a cargo, the crew were duly arrested and sent by train to Edinburgh for internment. Believe it or not Boy Scouts were put aboard to guard the vessel. Aye guard it from the local scavengers mot likely!
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