Captain W H Hume
The steamer, 'Ocean Mist' was built in
1919 by George Brown & Co, Greenock. It was originally named
'Samuel Green' and was built for the Navy, but the 1st World War was
over by the time it was completed, so it was sold as a yacht.
narrative is an extract from a paper of maritime historical into the
background of British Steam Trawlers, circa 1870-1970,
compiled by Captain W. L. Hume, M.N.I..
The paper deals with one particular vessel - Ocean Mist.
Walter L Hume served as Chief Officer for some time on
board this vessel, which was built during the period of the first world
war as part of an Admiralty program to replace the large number of
minesweeper losses, most of which had been commercial fishing trawlers at
the out break of war in 1914.
Requisition of Fishing Boats by the Royal Navy
far back as 1907 the Admiralty realised that fishing trawlers were ideally
suited to be adapted as mine sweepers with minimal alteration being
necessary, equally the fishing crew-members, well accustomed to handling
similar type of gear became the obvious choice of operating personnel.
During the quiet period between 1907 and 1914 fifteen or so, commercial
trawlers of varying sizes and age were purchased by the Royal Navy and
adapted to become mine sweepers, after much trial and error a reasonable
system was introduced and fishermen were encouraged to join the new
Auxiliary Patrol Service - similar to the Territorial Army. When the war
did start many of these fishermen immediately commenced mine-sweeping
duties, often on the ships they had been fishing on shortly before.
These commercial trawlers were hurriedly
requisitioned and converted to suit the Royal Navy requirements for the
dangerous task of sweeping mines laid by the German Navy.
More Commercial Trawlers Needed
1916 it became obvious to the Admiralty that no additional further
commercial trawlers were being replaced for the vast number of mine
sweeper losses. It therefore became an urgent priority, resulting
contracts were placed with many recognised shipyards throughout the U.K.,
in addition to smaller firms with little or no experience, and ordered
commencing construction as soon as practicable.