Scarborough seafaring casualties in World War One

- Skipper Robert Heritage
- Second Hand John Chamberlain Barker
- Third Hand Arthur Houghton Wright
- Chief Engineer Frederick Nathan Mills
- Second Engineer James Robert Hunter
- Deck Hand Robert Duncanson Cammish
- Deck Hand John Thomas Carsey
- Trimmer Thomas Donkin
- Second Hand William Harwood Brown
- Deck Hand James Jackson Bayes
- Second Hand Thomas William Bayes
- Deck Hand George William Anderson
- Deck Hand James Ezra Feather

Second Hand George William Sheader - A money box for the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society, the now innocuous red painted sea mine standing on the harbourside at Scarborough is identical to thousands that had been laid in the North Sea during the two world wars. When first built however the weapon had been far less innocent and had been capable of sinking the largest of ships.

Filled with more than two hundred pounds of T.N.T. the sea mine had been tethered to the seabed by a ‘sinker’ and had been suspended perhaps six feet below the surface of the sea. Even a glancing blow by the hull of a passing ship on one of the mine’s horns had been enough to break a glass tube inside which had leaked battery acid onto the weapons battery which had in the bat of an eyelid activated and fired the detonator.

Where mines were, there was, as inscribed on the brass plate of Scarborough’s mine; ‘Sorrow on the sea’.

Despite the recent lost of the Doris Burton in December 1914, at the beginning of 1915 the fishing industry in Scarborough had as usual carried on with business, with mouths to feed and a demanding market for fish the crews of the towns fishing vessels had paid little heed to the news that one of their own trawlers had probably become a victim of an enemy sea mine.

During the afternoon of Saturday the 29TH of May 1915 six trawlers of Scarborough’s extensive fishing fleet had cast off their moorings and headed out of the harbour. Steaming out of the harbour a distance, the six vessels had eventually turned northwards towards their fishing ground north east of Cloughton Wyke. The vessels had later in the afternoon begun their business of trawling.

Sometime during the night the crews of the vessels had heard a loud explosion. With no radio’s to communicate with each other to find out what had happened, the vessel’s skippers had thought it prudent to head for home and had ordered their ships trawl’s hauled aboard and had made their way back to Scarborough. Three of the vessels had arrived back in port during the early hours of Sunday morning, another in the afternoon, and a fifth on the Monday.

Of the sixth, the 150 tons Steam Trawler, Condor skippered by ‘Bob’ Heritage and owned by the Ramsdale Trawling Company of Scarborough, there had been no sign.

Believing that the vessel had perhaps put into Whitby there had at first been little concern amongst the fishing community for the safety of the Condor and her crew, enquiries at Whitby by the ship’s owner Richard Crawford had however proved fruitless; no one had seen nor heard of the ship. An extensive search of the area, [thirty miles north east of Scarborough] where the Condor had last been seen, had also come to nothing, not a stick of wreckage, nor had any remains of her crew of nine been found.

On the third of June however, a patrolling naval drifter had found a waterlogged ship’s boat off Flamborough Head bearing the name of the Condor. In the boat had been five oars that had been lashed together, an indicator that the crew had never taken to the craft [a subsequent court of enquiry had believed that the boat had gone down with the Condor and had floated to the surface at a later date]. The drifter had conducted an extensive search of the area where the ships boat had been found and had also picked up a lifebuoy which had also born the name of the stricken vessel and in addition the ship’s registration number, S.H.12.

During the morning of Thursday June 17TH 1915 two young women, Frances Lindsley and Elsie Sellers of Speeton had been walking on the beach there when they had come across the body of a large man dressed in fisherman’s clothing minus boots and cap laid in the sand at the edge of the receding tide at a place known locally as ‘The Gill’. The girls had reported their find to a group of men working nearby who had transported the corpse to the cliff top ‘Woodbine House Farm’, the property of Mr John Sellers, who had informed the authorities.

The body had subsequently been identified as that of the twenty stones Skipper of the Condor, Bob Heritage, by the deceased brother James Heritage. An Inquest had later been opened at the farm on Friday June 18TH 1915 by the East Riding Coroner, Sir Luke White M.P. which had eventually returned a verdict that Skipper Heritage had been; ‘found drowned from the trawler Condor, sunk by a mine on the 29TH of May, 1915, off Cloughton, near Scarborough’.

Aged forty-three years at the time of his death Skipper Robert Heritage had been born in Scarborough in 1872 and had been the son of fisherman Robert and Eliza Heritage. Married at St Mary’s Parish Church on the 30TH of May 1891 to Sarah Ann Monkman, by 1915 Heritage had been living with his wife and only son Robert at No 54 Quay Street and had been one of the town’s most well-regarded fishermen, a fact which had been borne out by a reporter of ‘The Scarborough Mercury’ who had attended the skippers funeral at Manor Road Cemetery on Sunday the twentieth of June 1915;

‘Seldom has there been a greater number of people assembled at the Scarborough Cemetery than on Sunday afternoon, when the remains of Mr. Robert Heritage, skipper of the ill-fated trawler Condor, were interred. The scene was an impressive one, and the respect in which the deceased was held amongst his own fraternity of the fisher folk was evidenced in many ways. There were touching incidents at the graveside, for even hardy, robust fishermen could be seen in tears. The bearers were skippers of the port who also sent a beautiful floral tribute in the shape of an anchor. Amongst those present were Councillor Hopwood, Mr.T.Whitehead, Mr. Cass Smith [Harbour Master] and very nearly all the whole of the trawler masters of the town, every local fishing vessel having come in to enable masters and crew to show their last tokens of regard for one who was much esteemed among them’…

[The remains of Robert Heritage are interred in a designated War Grave in Section H, Row 28A, of Scarborough’s Manor Road Cemetery].

The exact circumstances surrounding the loss of the Condor, were, and never will be known. Nonetheless it is known that the vessel had been fishing near a designated British minefield, therefore she may have strayed into the prohibited area by accident, another theory is that she may have caught a drifting mine in her trawl which had exploded on the ships deck when the net’s ‘cod end’ had been opened. Officially documented as being sunk due to mine explosion on Saturday the twenty ninth of May 1915, all the crew of the Condor with the exception of the Skipper are presumed to have drowned on the same day. However, the bodies of the other eight men of the Condor’s crew had never been recovered. They were;

Second Hand John Chamberlain Barker. Born in Scarborough at No 46 Quay Street in 1888, ‘Jack’ was the fourth of seven children of Elizabeth and fisherman James Stead Barker. In 1915 the twenty seven years old and unmarried Barker had been living with his widowed mother at No 38 Quay Street [in a 1915 Scarborough Directory Elizabeth Barker is listed as a ‘Char Woman’ residing at the above address] John C. Barker is commemorated on a very weathered gravestone in Manor Road Cemetery [Section H. Row 4, Grave 33] which also includes the names of his Scarborough born parents John S. who had died on the 22ND of May 1900 at the age of 49 years, and Elizabeth Barker who had subsequently passed away during May 1926 aged seventy years.

Third Hand Arthur Houghton Wright. Born in Scarborough during February 1891 Arthur was the fifth of six children of Mary Ann, and fisherman Daniel Wright who had been living at No 1 Mast Yard, Sandside at the time of the loss of the Condor. Aged 24 Years at the time of his death, a broken gravestone commemorating the Condor’s Third Hand can be found near to the grave of Skipper Robert Heritage in Section H, Row 1, Border, of Dean Road Cemetery, which also bears the names of the fisherman’s younger brother, Edward, who had died on the 9TH of July 1918 at the age of 26years, and that of his Scarborough born mother Mary Ann Wright, who had passed away on the twentieth of December 1939 at the age of 85 years. Arthur’s Suffolk [Galston] born father Daniel Wright, had died on the twentieth of January 1941 at the age off eighty six years, and his Scarborough born elder sister, Maria Wright, had died on the eighth of February 1962 at the age of seventy three years.

Chief Engineer Frederick Nathan Mills. Born at Lowestoft in 1877, Fred was the son of William Robert and Ester Mills. Married at Hull during 1904 Mills had been the husband of Maud Edith Mills [formerly Page] and had formerly lived in Scarborough at No 4 Church Street in Scarborough. Aged 38 years at the time of his death.

Second Engineer James Robert Hunter. Born at Hull during 1890 Hunter had been residing in the city at No18 Gordon Avenue, Cannon Street in 1915, he was aged 25 years.

Deckhand Robert Duncanson Cammish. Born at Scarborough in 1895 ‘Bob was the son of Robert Duncanson, and Mary Jane [formally Raper] Cammish and had been living in Scarborough at No. 30 Sandside at the time of his death at the age of twenty years.

Deckhand John Thomas Carsey. Born at Scarborough in 1896 John had been the son of John Thomas and Sarah Elizabeth [formally McLean] Carsey and by 1915 the nineteen years old had been living with his widowed mother at No 2 Althorp’s Yard, Tuthill, Scarborough.

Trimmer Thomas Donkin. Born at Scarborough in 1898, ‘Tommy’ had been the seventeen years old son of Charles and Hannah [formally Cowling] Donkin of No 34 Quay Street, Scarborough.

Cook Robert James Appleby. Born at Scarborough in 1899 Bob was the son of Albert Edward and Alice Ann [formally Pearson] Appleby and prior his death at the age of sixteen years had lived with his parents in Scarborough at No. 8 Whitehead Hill.

With the exception of the skipper, all of the crew of the Condor are commemorated on London’s Tower Hill Memorial which bears the names of almost twelve thousand Merchant seamen and Fishermen who had lost their lives during the First World War [and 32,000 from the Second] who have no known graves but the sea.

‘Bob’Heritage, ‘Jack’ Barker, and Arthur Wright had been members of the congregation of ‘the Fisherman’s Church’ [St Thomas’s] in East Sandgate and their names had been included on a ‘Roll of Honour’ which had resided in the church until its closure in1969. The tablet had eventually been taken up the hill to St Mary’s Parish Church where it can be found amongst other plaques of commemoration, which adorn the north interior wall of the church.

Neglected by the myriad of books relating the history of the Great War the men of the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve who had manned the minesweepers and patrol vessels had nonetheless played a vital role during the war. Enduring great hardships the minesweepers had fought a never-ending battle with the enemy to keep the coastal sea-lanes and entrances to Britain’s ports clear of the mines that had usually been sown under the cover of darkness by German minelaying submarines. With little idea of where their quarry lay the men had been at sea in fair weather and foul sometimes for ten days at a stretch relentlessly sweeping the seas in a deadly game of ‘blind mans buff’.

With none of the sophisticated instruments of mine detection that are available today minesweeping during the First World War had been a crude operation. Two trawlers steaming abreast had dragged a thin wire cable through the water, worked into this cable had been ‘stopper knots’ or ‘knuckles’, which had snagged a mines mooring cable. Once a mine had been caught on the ‘knuckles’ the trawlers had then dragged their catch alternatively to port and starboard until the mines cable had been sawn through thus allowing the mine to float to the surface where it had been destroyed by gunfire. ‘Sweeping’ operations had been fraught with danger and hard on the nerves of the vessels crews for at any moment the minesweeper could become the vanquished instead of the victor. Such had been the case in the English Channel during Sunday the 8TH of August 1915.

Built at Aberdeen by Hall Russell & Co. during 1912, before the war the one hundred and eighty seven tons ‘Ben Ardna’ had been owned by the Aberdeen trawling company of Richard Irving & Sons Ltd. Requisitioned by the Admiralty for service with the Dover Patrol exactly a year earlier, that day the vessel had been conducting minesweeping operations off Dover in a sea area known locally as ‘the Downs’ where at around 10pm that night the trawler had struck a mine a mine. Badly damaged by the resulting explosion the Ben Ardna had soon begun to settle in the water and ten minutes later she had vanished beneath the waves. Fortunately for the majority of her crew, there had been time to launch the ship’s small boat and almost all of her crew had eventually been picked up by other trawlers that had been attracted to the area by the large explosion. Unfortunately, one man had been reported as missing from the ship’s ten man crew; 309/S.A. Second Hand William Harwood Brown.

Born at Redmile in Leicestershire on the fourteenth of January 1880, William had been the only son of Mary [formally Simpson] and ‘bricklayer’ William Brown. Following the death of her husband at the age of twenty six years during 1881, Mary Brown had eventually been re-married to Scarborough fisherman William Duck at St Mary’s Church on the 22ND of August 1882. William Harwood Brown had eventually joined the ranks of Scarborough’s then thriving fishing industry and had lived with his mother and step father in the ‘bottom end’ of Scarborough at No 2 Albion Place, Spring Gardens until 1902, when at the age of twenty two he had married Agnes, the youngest daughter [born at Scarborough in 1880] of bricklayers labourer Daniel and Catherine Calpin. The couple had subsequently lived at No 16 Cook’s Row. Sadly the marriage had been short lived, William’s wife had died from the effects of pneumonia on Monday the 27TH of May 1907, at the age of twenty-seven years. [1]

By the beginning of the war, thirty-four years old William Brown had been working in the fishing industry at Aberdeen, where he had been residing at No 245 Union Street. On Friday the seventh of August 1914 the first units of the British Expeditionary Force had begun to embark for France and during that same day Brown had been amongst the first three hundred fishermen to ‘enroll’ into the Royal Naval Reserve at Aberdeen, and had eventually joined the three years old ‘Ben Ardna’ as ‘Second Hand’, or ‘First Mate’ on the tenth of the month.

At the time that she had been sunk the Ben Ardna had been attached to the ‘Trawlers and Minesweeping Patrol’ of then famous ‘Dover Patrol’ and had been operating off the ‘Elbow Buoy’ close to Dover and following an extensive search the body of William Brown had been plucked from the water to be taken into Dover where the seaman’s remains had been deposited in the town’s mortuary. The remains of Second Hand Brown had eventually been buried in Dover’s St James Cemetery in Plot N. W. Grave 8 during the morning of Wednesday the eleventh of August 1915. Mary Duck had not been able to attend the funeral of her son due to a ‘shortness of notice’, and her request to have the ceremony postponed had arrived after the event. It had also been the intention of Mary Duck [who had been living in Scarborough at Sixty Six and a half Longwestgate at the time] to have her son’s remains brought back to Scarborough for burial at her own expense, however a delay in paper work had prevented this.

The demise of William Harwood Brown had not received any extensive publicity in any of the newspapers of Scarborough or Dover apart from an entry that had been made by his mother in the ‘Death’s’ column of ‘The Scarborough Mercury’ of Friday the 27th of August 1915, it had read:

‘Brown—On August 5TH 1915, William Harwood Brown, 36 years, the dearly loved son of Mrs. Duck, 66 Longwestgate, who was drowned off Dover. Friends please accept this [the only] intimation’…

A former member of St Sepulchre Street Methodist Church, after the war William Harwood Brown’s name had been commemorated on the Church’s War Memorial. However, following the closing down and eventual demolition of this church, the whereabouts of this fine memorial is not known. The lost fisherman’s name can be found on a monument in the Roman Catholic section of Manor Road Cemetery [Section G. Row 9, Grave 2C] which also bears the name of his wife Agnes Brown, who had died at the age of twenty seven years, on the 27TH of May 1907. The memorial also contains the name of Agnes’s elder sister Mary Ann Emmerson [formerly Calpin], who had died on the 9TH Of October 1904 at the age of 37 years.

[At the end of the war a Civic Memorial, dedicated to the lost officers and men of the Dover Patrol, had been erected in Dover’s Holy Trinity Church. The memorial had remained in this location until the Church had been demolished at the end of the Second World War as a result of being badly damaged during an air raid. Sadly, although held in ‘safe keeping’ by Dover Museum, the location of this memorial containing the name of William Harwood Brown and the remaining missing men of the Dover Patrol is not known].

During Friday the Third of December 1915 another Admiralty vessel, the two hundred and seventy eight tons minesweeping trawler, H.M.S. Etoile Polaire’ [North Star], had also been sunk by a mine. At the time the vessel had been steaming off the Norfolk coast near the South Goodwin Sands and like the Ben Ardna, she too had been manned by officers and men drawn from Royal Naval Reserve. Amongst the ship’s three fatalities had been;

4429/ D.A. Deckhand James Jackson Bayes. Born in Scarborough at No1 Gas House Yard, Quay Street, on the 29TH of September 1893, Jim had been the eldest son of Ellen Rodgers [formerly Coultas] and ‘fish carter’ James Bayes who had been married at St Mary’s Parish Church after the birth of their son on the 11TH of November 1893. A pupil of St Thomas’s Church School in Longwestgate, Bayes had left the institution in 1905 at the age of twelve to work for a time with his father until he had found work as a deck hand in Scarborough’s fishing fleet. Married in Scarborough’s St. Thomas’s Church during 1912 to twenty years old Miss Phoebe Moss, the daughter of Phoebe and fisherman Joseph Moss, by the outbreak of war the couple had been residing in Scarborough with their two children, James Jackson [born January 17TH 1913] and Helen Rodgers [Nellie], at No 19 Princess Street in Scarborough. James had eventually ‘enrolled’ into the Royal Naval Reserve at North Shields on the 6TH of March 1915 and had subsequently been drafted to the Etoile Polaire’ four days later. [2]

Mrs Bayes had received a telegram from the Admiralty on Wednesday the eighth of December informing her of the loss of her husband, two days later the ‘Scarborough Mercury’ of Friday the tenth had reproduced a photograph of James Bayes that had been accompanied by:

‘A Scarborough seaman named James Jackson Bayes has been fatally injured on a steam trawler working out of another port. Bayes resided at 19, Princess Street. There were several other Scarborough men on the same vessel. Bayes was injured when playing football in the last Boxing Day charity match on the sands, and was incapacitated for some time. Much sympathy is expressed with the relatives’…

The body of the twenty one years old James Bayes had never been recovered following the sinking of the Etoile Polaire, therefore, his name had eventually been included on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent, which commemorates over 8,500 officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserve, and Royal Marines of the port who had lost their lives during the First World War and have no known graves, [James Bayes name can be found on panel 14 of the memorial].

Bayes’s name is also commemorated in Scarborough’s St Mary’s Church on a tablet of stone belonging to St Thomas’s Church in East Sandgate which had been moved up the hill to St Mary’s when the former ‘Fishermen’s Church’ had closed its doors during 1969. Jim’s name can also be found on a headstone in Scarborough’s Manor Road Cemetery [Plot V. Row18. Grave 20], which also commemorates his Flamborough born father who had died on March 16TH 1934 at the age of 62 years, and his Scarborough born mother who had passed away on the 23RD of May1949 at the age of 75 years.

[After the war, during 1926, Phoebe Bayes had been remarried, to local fisherman Jeremiah Bullamore].

Also commemorates on the ‘Dover Patrol’ Memorial at Dover [albeit as ‘J.T. Bayes’] this memorial also contains the names of Bayes’s two shipmates who had also lost their lives with the loss of the Etoille Polaire; 9222D.A. Deckhand John Samuel Lee, who like Bayes is commemorated on Panel 14 of the Chatham Naval Memorial whilst that of 4471T.S. Trimmer John Jones is commemorated on Panel 8 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Aged twenty-eight at the time of his death, John had been the husband of Ruth Ollenshaw [formally Jones] whose last recorded address had been No.91 North Road, Carnforth, Lancashire.

Also to be found on the Manor Road gravestone is the name of Jim’s younger brother Thomas William Bayes. Born in Scarborough in 1899 Tom had also served during the war in minesweepers and had had the misfortune to survive the conflict only to die, ironically, after the war, as a result of a mine explosion off the Lincolnshire coast which had sunk the Lowestoft based Trawler ‘Derwent’ and claimed the life of her twenty one years old Third Hand. A married man [a Mrs T.W.Bayes had lived at No 29, Jacob St. Lowestoft] the body of Thomas Bayes had also never been recovered; his name can be located on the Tower Hill Memorial in London. [According to the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Tom Bayes had been aged 23 years at the time of his death. On the gravestone in Manor Road however, and the 1901 Census his age had been twenty-one years].

Phoebe Bayes had continued to live in Princess Street throughout the remainder of the war; she had still been living there when she had been remarried in 1927 to fisherman Jeremiah Bullamore jnr. eventually to move with her husband and children to No 5 Castle Terrace [off Potter Lane] where she had lived into the 1930’s.

During recent years the wreck of the Etoile Polaire had been located by a group of divers belonging to the Canterbury Diving Club. They report that the ship, lying in around twenty five metres of water, despite having had her bows blown off remains ‘in a reasonable condition’.

Just four days before Christmas, on Tuesday the 21ST of December 1915, another vessel, the 495 tons Paddle Minesweeper ‘Lady Ismay’ had become the victim of a mine. Built in 1911 the converted paddle steamer had been working in the Thames Estuary near the Longsand Light Vessel when she had struck a mine that had broken her back, the vessel had foundered in minutes. Amongst the casualties had been a young seaman who two days before had celebrated his twenty fourth birthday; 6029/D.A. Deck Hand George William Anderson.

Born in Scarborough at No 45 Castlegate on the 19TH of December 1891 George had been the youngest son of Jessie [formerly Gallagher] and fisherman Thomas Anderson, who had been married at St Mary’s Parish Church in Scarborough on the 28TH of March 1889. By April 1915 the unmarried George had been living at No 8 Potter Lane with his recently widowed father [Jessie Anderson had died on Monday 15TH of March 1915] and had been working in a trawler fishing out of the town until the nineteenth of the month when he had ‘enrolled’ into the Royal Naval Reserve at Grimsby, at the time, according to his service record [held at the PRO], the twenty three years old had stood at five feet four and a half inches tall and had had a fair complexion and blue eyes.

A former member of the congregation of the ‘Fishermen’s Church’ in East Sandgate,

George’s name had eventually been included on a ‘Roll of Honour’ which had been presented to St Thomas’s, and put up in the Church on Christmas Day 1916.The ‘Roll’ had been placed, according to the Parish Magazine of December 1916, under a picture of ‘The Great Sacrifice’ and had listed the names of over thirty parishioners who had lost their lives up until the end of 1916.

The body of George Anderson was never recovered and his name had consequently been placed on Panel fourteen of the Naval Memorial at Chatham. It can also be found in Scarborough’s Dean Road Cemetery [Section E.Row12.Grave 20] on a shield shaped sandstone gravestone that is very badly weathered and barely readable. Nonetheless the drowned seaman’s name can eventually be identified. Also commemorated on the memorial is the name of his Middlesborough born mother, Jessie Anderson who had been buried in the grave on Saturday the 20TH of March 1915. Although not commemorated, George’s father, Scarborough born Thomas Anderson is also buried in the grave in Dean Road Cemetery. He had died during December 1945 at the age of eighty one years and had been buried on the 29TH of the month, just over thirty years to the day that his son had been drowned.

The demise of George William Anderson had never been mentioned in the Scarborough newspapers until Friday the thirty first of December when a melancholic epitaph to the drowned sailor had appeared in the ‘Birth’s, Marriages, and Deaths’ column of that day’s ‘Scarborough Mercury’;

‘Alas dear brother and dear son, thy voice no longer shall we hear, the dark cold sea is now thy bed, until the judgement day appears’…

Almost a year after the death of George Anderson, on Sunday the 3RD of December 1916, another Admiralty trawler had been steaming off the coast of Lincolnshire, close to Lowestoft, when she too had become a casualty of the mine. Built at Beverley by Cook Welton and Gemmell Ltd, for the Grimsby fishing company of G.F. Sleight and Sons, the 245 tons Steam Trawler Remarko had been completed just before the outbreak of war, on the 9TH of July 1914, and had almost immediately been hired by the Admiralty for war duties.

Stationed at Lowestoft, at the time of her loss the Remarko had been employed as a Minesweeper/Escort Vessel and with her back broken by the huge explosion caused by her hitting the drifting mine the trawler had sank in a very short time taking the majority of her twelve man crew with her. Amongst them had been; 5666D.A. Deck Hand James Ezra Feather.

Born in the North Yorkshire village of Sherburn on the 4TH of January 1891, ‘Jim’ had been the only son of Kate and ‘fisherman’ William Robert Ezra Feather, who had been residing in Scarborough’s ‘bottom end’, at No10 Quay Street at the time of their son’s death. A pre war fisherman in Scarborough’s then large fishing fleet, Feather had been married in St. Thomas’s Parish Church during 1913 to Hull born [1890] Miss Ada Pye, the youngest daughter of Jane and Alexander Pye, who, at the time of her husband’s loss had been residing in Scarborough at No.9 East Sandgate.

Amongst a large contingent of the town’s fishing community that had journeyed to North Shields during early 1915 to enlist for war service with the Royal Naval Reserve, at the time of his enrolment on the 9TH of April 1915, according to his service record, Jim Feather had stood at a height of five feet one and a half inches and had possessed a ‘fair’ complexion and blue eyes. He had also reportedly had ‘J.E. Feather’ tattooed on his right forearm. Eventually attached to H.M.S. Alcyon, the Base Depot of the Royal Naval Reserve located at Grimsby, after a period of training there, Feather had joined the Remarko in the port on the 30TH of April 1915.

Officially reported as ‘missing believed killed when H.M. Trawler Remarko was sunk by mine’, as far as is known no news of the sinking of the trawler nor the loss of James Feather had ever been included in the local press. Nevertheless, Jim’s name had eventually appeared in ‘The Scarborough Mercury’ of Friday the 12TH of January 1917 in an article entitled ‘East Ward Heroes’, that had told of a ‘Roll of Honour’ in the shape of a picture ‘The Great Sacrifice’ that had been erected in St. Thomas’s Church on Christmas Day 1916 in memory of the thirty men of the Parish that had lost their lives up until the end of that year.

Aged twenty-six years at the time of his demise, no remains of James Feather had ever been recovered and he therefore has known grave but the sea. Eventually included on Panel 19 of the Chatham Naval Memorial, in Scarborough Jim’s name can be found on Oliver’s Mount War Memorial and in addition on a fine black marble gravestone in the town’s Manor Road Cemetery [Section K, Row 1, Grave 78] which also contains the names of the seafarer’s parents; Married in Scarborough during 1889 Sherburn born Kate [formally Woodger] Feather who had died at the age of sixty three years on the 7TH of February 1931, and Scarborough born William Robert Ezra Feather, who had subsequently passed away on the 15TH of August 1937 at the age of seventy one years.

[Following the death of her husband Ada Feather had continued to reside in Scarborough where she had eventually been remarried during 1918 to John Hilton. A daughter, eventually named Iris, had been born in Scarborough during 1919. However, shortly afterwards the Hilton’s had moved to the area around Manchester, where, by 1920 they had resided at ‘Elms Farm Cottage’, Whitefield. However, Ada’s last known address has been noted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as No.63 Blackford Row, Whitefield.

Elsewhere in the town Jim Feather’s name can be found in St. Mary’s Parish Church on two small War Memorials that had once belonged to the now defunct St. Thomas’s Church that had been moved to St. Mary’s following the demise of ‘The Fisherman’s Church’ in the 1960’s. Feather’s name had also once been featured on a ‘Roll of Honour’ that had graced a wall of Scarborough’s now defunct ‘Mission to Seamen’ that had once been located in Scarborough’s Sandside that had contained the names of twenty-six members of the Mission that had lost their lives during the ‘Great War’ of 1914-1918 that can now be found on the north interior wall of St. Mary’s Parish Church

At the time of the 1901 Census the Feather family had been residing in the ‘bottom end’ of Scarborough at No. 38 Quay Street, nearby, at No.36, had lived the family of Catherine Grace [formally Richardson], and George William ‘Cocky’ Sheader whose second son; 5667 D.A. Second Hand George William Sheader, had also been lost with the Remarko.

Born at No.36 Quay Street on the 1ST of November 1893, ‘Will’ Sheader had followed in his family footsteps and for most of his life had been a fisherman in various vessels belonging to Scarborough’s large pre war fishing fleet and had enlisted into the Royal Naval Reserve the day after Jim Feather, on the 10TH of April 1915. According to his service record Will had stood at a height of five feet ten inches, had possessed a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and had had three dots tattooed on his right forearm. Eventually posted to the Remarko, like Feather, Sheader had initially served in the vessel as a ‘Deck Hand’. However on the 3RD of July 1916 Will had been promoted to ‘Second Hand’, the second in command of Remarko to her Captain, Skipper Arthur Bedford.

Married in Scarborough’s St. Thomas’s Church on the 25TH of December 1915 to South Shields born [1887] Hannah Smith Ramsey, Will Sheader and his bride had subsequently resided in the ‘bottom end’ of town at No.37 Sandside where less than a year later Hannah had received news of her husband’s loss.

Like James Feather, Will Sheader had initially been recorded, as ‘missing believed killed’ with the sinking of the Remarko and like his fellow ‘bottom ender’ his remains had never been recovered from the North Sea.

Aged twenty three years at the time of his death, at the end of the war George William Sheader’s name had also been included on Panel 19 of the Chatham Naval Memorial, whilst in Scarborough it had also been commemorated on the now lost Bethel Mission ‘Roll of Honour’, the Oliver’s Mount War Memorial and on the pair of former St. Thomas’s ‘Rolls of Honour’ to be found on the north interior wall of the town’s St. Mary’s Parish Church.

Will Sheader’s widow; Hannah Sheader had continued to reside in Scarborough until the end of the war. However, by 1919 she had returned to her native South Shields to reside at No.127 Back Commercial Road, and to eventually marry Charles F. Shipley in the town during late 1919.

[1] At the time of the 1901 Census the Duck /Brown family had been residing in Scarborough at No36 Albion Place, and had consisted of; William Duck a Scarborough born fisherman aged 44 years, [William had subsequently died on the 27TH of October 1910 at the age of 53 years] Mary Duck [formerly Brown] born at Redmile, Leicestershire, aged 43 years. William Harwood Brown, fisherman aged 21 years, also born at Redmile. Georgiana Duck aged 13 years, John William Duck aged 12 years, [‘Jack’ Duck had eventually died in Scarborough at the age of 25 on the 6TH of February 1915 following a fall onboard a trawler at Hartlepool], Sarah Ann Duck aged 6 years, Mabel Duck aged 4 years, and Daniel Duck aged 2 years, all of whom had been born at Scarborough.

[2] Phoebe Bayes had given birth to a second son shortly after the death of her husband. He had subsequently been named Ronald, he had eventually married Margaret Harwood [the youngest daughter of Mr.and Mrs. C.G.Harwood] at St Mary’s Parish Church on Wednesday 5TH of December 1945. James Bayes’s eldest son, James Jackson had died on December 2ND 1995 and had subsequently been buried in Scarborough’s Woodlands Cemetery [Plot PR. Grave 301]. Jim is commemorated on a gravestone, which also bears the name of his wife Mabel who had been born on the 16TH of January 1916, and passed away on the 8TH of February 1996. Their daughter, Janet Audrey Brayshaw, born January 23RD 1945, died August 11TH 1974, is also commemorated.

[3] By early April 1901 the Feather family had consisted of fisherman William Robert Ezra, aged 33 years, Kate, 30 years, James 10 years, Elizabeth 3 years, and Kate 11 months. All had been born at Scarborough except Kate Snr. and James. The Sheader family had consisted of Fisherman George William; aged 33 years, Catherine Grace 32 years, Florence Mabel 11 years, Arthur 9 years, George William 7 years, and Kate Elizabeth aged 4 years [the family would eventually be augmented by another son Gardiner Sheader who had been born on the 13th of April 1901]. All had been born at Scarborough except Catherine and Florence who had been born at Skinningrove, North Yorkshire].

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