Position Paper.- Harbour Research No 12. J.Rushton.2012

Scarborough and the  Royal Navy  etc.

Additions and corrections are welcomed to this introductory note on connections between Scarborough and the royal Navy.

The Admiralty Wireless Station                                                  20th Century

The Admiralty first bought substantial wireless equipment in 1900.Soon afterwards a wireless station was established at Withernsea. (G.C.H.Q.Nigel West 1986)           .A Naval Wireless Telegraphy Receiving Station  began life  near Scarborough in world war one. After the war, it remained with the Admiralty. The  station began in a house at Sandy Bed lane, with Captain McClennon in charge. but moved to the Irton Moor  “race course”  in 1942-3. This was bought for the Admiralty for £9780 in 1952. (Prescott 1586). The ”Wireless station” buildings and tall masts appeared on  some maps.                                                                                                                               

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) took over  the station in 1964.  It was announced in 1971 that  this was to be  rebuilt . The  scattered wartime  huts were nearly thirty years old . The  new buildings would have  modern facilities including a heat recovery system. The number of masts and the  maintenance charges were  reduced. (Prescott 2476a ) Other buildings were  constructed in the 1980s, including an underground bunker . CSOS, Irton Moor stood for 'Composite Signals Organisation Station'. its purpose was intelligence gathering through the interception of signals (SIGINT).

It has been said  that Winston Churchill thanked Scarborough Signal Station for intercepting messages and so contributing to the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. It is also said that Irton Moor was used to intercept Soviet naval communications during the cold war. Personal reminiscences of life  at the station recall the nautical language used. They spoke of  the “foretop watch” “going topside:”  Characters are  remembered such as  Smokey Cropton. A recent  biography of a Wren serving at  the station gives some details.

Admirals resident at Scarborough                                                        17th Century


--Sir John Lawson, Vice-Admiral (c1615- 1665 )  

He was born at Scarborough and  married Isabella Jefferson of Whitby. Lawson commanded parliamentary ships 1642-6, 1651-3,and 1654-6 including  the Covenant of Hull 1642-5. He  supported the Scarborough distress petition  in 1645. By 1651 he was  C.in C. fleet. He was Involved in the 5th Monarchy conspiracy and was arrested as an Anabaptist. He lived at the lower end of Merchant Row in 1657 and  was charged with  not dressing the channel before his  house in 1658 (Ash 2 245). Lawson  was Vice Admiral  of the Red in the second Dutch War of 1659.He declared in favour of the restoration of the monarchy in 1659 and was knighted the next year. He died of gangrene in 1665. leaving £100 for the Scarborough poor. 

                                                                                                                      18th Century Charles Cotterill       Admiral                      19.7. 1754            Burial register

                                                                                                                        19th Century

Admiral  Kendall      Admiral                      1811               Directory

Admiral Mitford         Admiral                      18.6.1870.     Died Hunmanby

Admirals visiting Scarborough

--Edward Augustus, Duke of York, Rear-Admiral of the Blue, 1761 

--Earl Jellicoe was given the freedom of the  Borough, 1928

The Armada                                                                                             16th Century

            When men and ships were prepared for the defence of the kingdom in 1588      Yorkshire mariners played a  substantial part -

            Earl of Cumberland                        600     250 men        The Elizabeth  Bonaventura

            Lord Thomas Howarcd      500     250                 The Golden Lion 

            Lord Edmund Sheffield      1000   500                 The White Bear

            Sir  Martin Frobisher           1100   500                 Triumph 

(A Collection of state papers relating to affairs in the reign of Queen eEizabeth 1571-96 Wm Murdin 1759)

The Spanish fleet  sailed  on the 18th of  May 1588. Lord Howard of Effingham led the British attacks. Yorkshire men Lord Sheffield  George Lord Clifford and  Frobisher commanded large ships. On 19th July, the Yorkshire beacons blazed  and coastal men mustered to defend the coast. A  fire ship attack on the night of 28th  July was successful, after which winds took  the ships  northwards  from Flanders. Legend has claimed that  Thomas Ferris  of Danby  sailed from Whitby against the Armada and piloted the fireships  (H.J Gee. Yorkshire and the Spanish Armada)

The Armada ships passed Flamborough head  in a fierce gale  on the 8th of  August . One wrote  “We followed them on Tuesday and Wednesday, by which time they had got as far as Flamborough Head. It was resolved on Wednesday,at night , that, by four on Thursday , we should have a new fight with them, for a farewell; but by two  in the morning ,there was a flag of council hung out in our Vice Admiral, when it was found that in the whole fleet, there was not munition enough to make half a fight “:(Baker 358)(Meadley 13).Drake wrote  from Revenge to the Queen . The Spanish Armada passed Scarborough.(Baker 358).

Sir Francis Drake

Leonard Appleby ,who had been apprenticed at Scarborough with merchant William Peaock, was on the Portugal voyage with Sir Francis Drake  .(SS 1912 2 169)(Roi 386). 

English  Mediaeval fleets                                                  13th-15th Centuries

During the Middle ages, ships were appropriated for national service when needed but occasionally  a few vessels were built  for the king. Crown ships were required from certain ports, a galley from Scarborough in 1294.  The borough was  ordered to send two ships against the Scots in 1301-2. A Scarborough ship with nineteen men, was at the Calais seige in 1346. ,(Mem Scarb p22).Scarborough was expected to put a fleet to sea against pirates in 1398 and to build a barge with Whitby in 1401.

The German Battle Cruiser Bombardment of Scarborough in 1914

A coastguard lookout on Castle cliff reported “strange ships” approaching out of  the mist to the north just before 8 a.m on Wednesday December 16th, 1914. The German  battle cruisers Derfflinger and Von der Tann ,and the light cruiser Kolberg came into the bay. The capital ships  fired nearly 500 high explosive shells into Scarborough in half an hour, killing eighteen, injuring eighty more and damaging 200 buildings.The Kolhberg sailed south to lay a hundred or so mines towards  Filey. The Admiralty were aware that attacks on  the east coast were imminent. The 8th battalion of the West Yorkshire Regt was rushed by train to the town and formed a sandbag barrier across Eastborough

The German  attack on the MineSweepers in 1916

An attack by a German U boat on 25th September, 1916  almost wiped out the Scarborough fishing fleet . Eleven trawlers from Scarborough were sunk amongst others. The crews escaped with their lives. One trawler got away. All the Scarborough trawlers were in close formation using oil lamps to signal that they had their nets down. The Ben Hope was a little further away. Her skipper, Walter "Wanny" Crawford heard gunfire and ordered his crew to haul the nets in and then sailed away at great speed. 

The boats were :-

- The Tarantula (skipper J Heritage). Scarborough Fishing Company.

- Marguerite(Walter Hodds) Fish Selling company.

- Fisher Prince(The skipper was ashore and D Naylor in charge)Sellers and Son Ltd.

- Seal(J Blackman) Sellers and Son

- Otter (R Watson) George Alderson Smith 

- Harrier(T Crawford) Mr JS Ellis. 

- Game Cock(T Christian) Mr JS Ellis. 

- Sunshine(W Normandale) Mr JS Ellis. 

- Nil Disperandum( H Cammish) Messrs G Harrison and Son

- Otter Hound (H Eade. 

- Quebec(J Foster) Neville S Clarke and Co. 

The German Submarine Bombardment of Scarborough in 1917

Scarborough was  attacked by a German submarine. on the 4th September .1917 at 6.45.p.m. firing thirty rounds.Three people were killed and five injured.  (Prescott Vol.16)/1680)


                        There are said to have been  ten HMS Scarboroughs, going  back to 1691  (*MJ 7.7.1993)  

--a 10-gun ketch launched in 1691 and captured by the French in 1693., 

--A 32-gun fifth rate frigate launched in 1694. She was captured later that year by the French who renamed her Duc de Chaulnes, but she was recaptured in 1696 and renamed HMS Milford. She was rebuilt in 1705 and wrecked in 1720. 

--A 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1696 was captured by the French in 1710. She was recaptured in 1712 and renamed HMS Garland. She was sold in 1744. 

--A 32-gun fifth rate was launched in 1711. She was rebuilt in 1720 as a 20-gun sixth rate and was sold in 1739. 

--A hospital ship purchased in 1739 was sold in 1744. 

--A 24-gun sixth rate launched in 1740 and sold in 1749. 

--A 22-gun sixth rate launched in 1756 foundered in 1780. 

--A 74-gun third rate was launched in 1812 and sold in 1836. 

--A Hastings class sloop was launched in September 1930, used as a survey vessel  and sold in 1949. 

--A Whitby class frigate launched in 1955 was sold to Pakistan in 1975. She was not taken over and was scrapped in 1977.

John Paul Jones

The Bailiffs of Scarborough tsent a message to  Major General Hall 13.3. 1781.  ” Sir., Lt Col Foord having done us the honour to communicate the contents of your letter of the 7th inst, concerning the firing of a morning and evening gun from the battery at  the castle. we beg leave to inform you that the order was given at our request, because we apprehended the town and shipping to be in some danger at that time from the appearance off the coast of a very large cutter privateer, with an American and French commission .but the gun was discontinued as soon as the enemy quitted our coast.

                        If we may credit the affidavit of deserters from Paul Jones ship he certainly meant to destroy the shipping in our harbour .Some few days before his engagement with Capt.Pearson, before day break, he laid his ships near the castle, hoisted out his boats, muffled his oars and was preparing to land, but on the firing of  the morning gun he took in his boats and went off. Whenever any ships of the enemy, of considerable force, were known to be skulking near our castle, it has always been thought necessary to keep up the appearance of a garrison  and at such time, the firing of a morning and evening gun for some days has been thought  indispensable. We on our part think the service absolutely requisite, but would be glad to receive your directions for future government.” 

One account of what follows reads --”On the 23rd Sept 1779  the privateer John Paul Jones entered the bay and beneath the walls of Scarborough castle  attacked and defeated two men of war, HMS Serapis and HMS Countess of Scarborough   which were convoying a merchant fleet “.A more accurate account  can be found in Baker.  ”The battle with John Paul Jones off Flamborough head.was fought on 23.9.1779.” (Baker 368-9). A considerable literature is devoted to the subject. Jones is presented from the American side as winning a great victory. The British view has been that the convoy was saved.The “east country flotilla under their convoy “  was preserved

On October 25th 1779, a congratulatory resolution was passed by vote at Scarborough and Thomas Piercy the late  commander of  H.M. armed ship; Countess of Scarborough and Richard Pearson commander of the Seraphis, for gallant behaviour,  were made honorary freemen of the borough by  Bailiffs William Porrett and Thomas Haggit . A heart of oak, silver dressed casket was inscribed “juvat ire periclis ad decus” and on the reverse in English”We are always ready”.(Buckley 109)

An anchor  purporting  to be linked with John Paul Jones was displayed along with a Sebastopol gun of 1858,  in front of the Grand Hotel in 1904. This large anchor  was picked up by the trawler Dunrobin that year . Some supposed it to be from the English vessel Serapis

A third attempt by an American scientific research group to locate the Bonhomme Richard, financed by Clive Cussle was called off in 1979 .(Telegraph  2...7.1979)

War Memorials                                                                                           20thCentury

A memorial at the  old Mission to Seaman listed members of the old town killed in World War one, as-

A Williamson, N.Codgers, H.Jaques, C. Wilding. J.Kaye, T.Duncan,A Walters, E.Bean, .H.Crawford, G.W. Sheader , J.Feather, G.Wilson, J.Walters,A.Bullamore, F.Leadley, J.W.Gowan, N.Sheader, H.Bean, J.Lancaster, W.Cammish, F. Appleby, H.Wood, A. Wright, R.Heritage, J.Casey, J.C.Barker. 

Mulberry Harbours.                                                                                    20th.Century

During World War Two (1939-45) , the firm of Pickups, at  Roscoe Street, Scarborough   prepared steelwork components for the  two Mulberry Harbours constructed as part of the invasion of Europe, one for the Americans and one for the  British beaches . They had earlier  prepared  gas decontamination centres,and the  fixed steelwork over  six inch  naval guns.


Scarborough had twenty two  offenders in piracy in 1578 ,while Bridlington had seven, Filey three ,and Whitby two. (APC.157106./213)

Press Gangs ( the Impress Service)                                                       18th. Century 

Richard Sellars , a Quaker, was impressed at Scarborough in 1665. Captain Fox of the Speedwell tender brought a  press gang into Scarborough which took150 men in 1777. (Baker 368) During 1778 Lieutenant Manners agreed to impress “such idle and  disorderly persons as shall be found abroad in the streets after nine at night”. Notice of the press was given by the bellman. William Tindall at the age of sixteen served in the impress service .He was in command of a brig by the age of 18. in 1780.(Buckley 105). Another press gang was active at the port in May 1790 , taking several adult males to serve in the navy(Baker 369)

Rates of Warships in  the days of Sail

Ships of the line were classed by their guns and decks

            First rates      100 guns (120 in 1820), great fire power., on three decks

            Second rates  90-98 guns, on three decks

            Third rates    80-84 guns 3 decks at first but later two

            Standard ship of the line with 64,70 or 74 guns  on two decks

            4th rates        50-60 gun on two decks

Royal Naval Association Club, Scarborough

This closed  in 1992.

Royal Navy.16th and 17th Century 

An organised Royal Navy was formed under Henry VIII . On the  14th of December. 1558 ,seven of the Queen’s ships passed Scarborough (B 352). During 1596.        twenty nine .£10 and £20 bonds  were taken from owners of twenty  ships at Scarborough “not to sail to foreign parts but to remain at the Queen’s service” the owners  or masters (?) .-William Bawmer junr, John Bickers, Anthony Clark, John Clark, Henry Cokerell, Matthew Danbie, William Dicconson, Robert Fflynton, Thomas Furde, Christopher Harrison, Nicholas Hastings, Robert Heathrop, William Jackson, Peter Nichols, Nicholas Stone, Christopher Roger, William Rosdell, Nicholas Watson, John Wedderell, and John Wedderhead.

Scarborough was assessed at £30 for ship money in 1636. A London barque with munitions for the king approached .Scarborough at Mid Summer 1642.  Sir Hugh Cholmeley in charge of Scarborough Castle changed sides from Parliament to the Crown during March 1643 .Sir John Hotham acting from Hull, attempted to fire the harbour with fire ships in April. Captain Browne Bushell and others made raids on the coastal collier fleets.(Binns 72). The Marquis of Newcastle sailed from the port for the continent, after his Marston Moor defeat  in 1644. 

Scarborough  town and castle came under seige from Parliamentary forces. The town fell in February 1645, when 120 ships were taken in the harbour. The Castle continued under seige until it was surrendered. The port petitioned Parliament over  its heavy losses. The Admiralty sent coast protection vessels. in 1648. Colonel Boynton  declared  the castle for the King again  in July that year. Colonel Bethel  stormed the castle on September 15th. Captains Nesfield and Lawson sought frigates to guard the coast in 1649.

The new Commonwealth expanded the navy and passed Navigation Acts requiring English goods to be carried in English ships.The  first Dutch war followed during 1652-54,the second war 1665-7 and the third 1672-4. A Dutch fleet under De Witt attacked colliers in Scarborough bay in 1653. Hackness timber was  felled for building a ship of war at Scarborough in 1689

Royal Navy Officers active at Scarborough 

-Lieut,Henry T Layton.R.N. Albion Place. 1846

-Captain Laye R.N. went out to meet the two vessels Enterprise and Investigator , when Sir James Ross ,returned from the search for Sir Jophn Franklin and landed at Scarborough .The Mayor and Corporation escorted Sir James from the pier to the railway station.Old Jenkinson of Scarborough was pilot for the two vessels as far as Yarmouth roads

-Captain Robert E.Andrews.D.S.C; Harbour Master (1937).Lighthouse

- Lt Commander David Nightingale RNVR taught at Scarborough  college and ran the Naval Section, six of  whom crewed a naval whaler 

-Chief Petty Officer Ernie Stankison , joined as a boy in 1936, served 24 years in RN and was later at Irton Moor 

Sea Fencibles.                                                                                 18th-19th.Century

In 1749 300 Scarborough and other local men were enrolled as sea fencibles (Baker 117) The admiralty enlisted sea fencibles again in1803 as war was renewed with Napoloeon .They served  under retired  naval officers to man coast batteries, watch the coast and man large rowing boats to defend coasters against privateers. Fishermen and  watermen enlisted,were paid 1s a day for training and 8d a day rations if on board ship. Many were half pay navy men. A great attraction was the protection certificate it gave against the impress service. The .coast was divided into Filey, Scarborough , Whitby, and Flamborough  commands. Seaport towns were urged to equip vessels for fencibles at their own expense. 

Sub Aqua Club Finds

Notable finds by Scarborough Sub Aqua  Club include a 1914 Vickers Patten, 13 PDR, Gun raised in 1982. This came from SS Harnsund sunk by torpedo on the 23rd September.1917 several miles south east of SCarborough. This was  placed on display in the harbour in 1984.

The Revenue Protection service

As smuggling declined, the trained men of the Revenue Protection Service became an emergency naval reserve. After 1845 their seamen signed to serve in HM ships if required .There was gunnery training and in 1850 replica guns at stations, a naval type uniforms and pensions system.

The Royal Navy School of Music  

The School arrived at Scarborough in August 1941 and stayed till  26.4.1946 when 184 left for Deal (LF.19.2.1946)

The Royal Marine School of Music 

Members were billetted  at the Clfton and Norbreck Hotels, North Cliff.

and made use of the Floral hall  1940-1946. (R.J.Percy 1939-45)

The Royal Navy - Visits to the Port  by Royal Navy warships

1789. 10. March. Harbour celebration for recovery of George III, frigate Racehorse and a revenue cutter fired guns in the harbour (Mem Scarb 114)

1799. 2 Feb.HMS Nautilus wrecked at filey Bay

1860. June Channel Fleet off SCarborough

1874-Six line of battle ships of the Channel Fleet came to Scarborough Bay  in September  including Agincourt , Resistance and Devastation.

1887.-Planned arrival of Channel Fleet impossible due to storms.

1888,-Sept 18.Four ships  of the Channel Squadron 

1890 .Seven Royal Navy ships under Admiral Seymour 

1891 -Twenty one of H M ships of the “north squadron” visited for July 17 & 18

1895.- Sept 14-18. Eight ships of the Channel Squadron

1901 -July 26.Part of the B fleet in south bay.Also 15 warships in the north bay 

1903-The Channel Fleet had 8 vessels in the bay in September under Vice Admiral Lord        Beresford.

1906.- Twelve Channel Fleet vessels called in July under Vice Admiral Curzon-Hower.

1908. A cruiser and four submarines spent a May night off Scarborough

1908- A Channel Squadron came in September for four days  .There was a printed programme for the visit . 29.9.1908

4.9. to 7.9 . 1926. September HMS Repulse and HMS Hood

1928- Admiral Earl Jellicoe visited SCarborough

1930.  HMS Scarborough  a sloop

1932- HMS Rodney & HMS Valliant .(YG. 8.7. 1932)

1933  HMS Malaya 

1938  HMS Walrus  aground on Mascus rocks North bay,14 men on the destroyer.

1938. The cruiser H.M.S.Southampton 

1946- A destroyer at Whitsun, the Birmingham in July, the cruiser Diadem in September

1947 H.M.S.Birmingham & H.M.S.St James.(R 65) 

1949-The destroyer Cowdray, received 8000 visitors in seven days.

1951-The cruiser Swiftsure. 10-17July. 


1971, Three frigates moored off Scarborough,”Scarborough, Eastbourne and Tenby.

1974  A Royal Navy hovercraft landed at South beach in October

1977. Frigate H.M.S.Apollo

The lords of the Admiralty called at Scarborough in their yacht early in September 1874. A week or two later  ,some of  the great ships of the Channel Fleet , HMS “Agincourt”, ”Devastation” and ”Resistance” with “Northumberland”, “Monarch” and “Sultan” anchored offshore .(B 512) (MJ 18.3.1994).Small boys came from all parts of the kingdom  wearing sailor suits . For three days, James Swallows  with the new “Avalon” of Scarborough, G. Wraith’s “Emu” of Whitby and  George Legge’s  “Friends”, a Bridlington tug, took thousands out  to view the smokey battleships (Godfrey 22).

Admiral Seymour  brought his squadron to the port in 1890.  The weather was adverse, so  they slipped anchor  and steamed out to sea, leaving some liberty men ashore(Foord 78).Visits from the Royal Navy to the port were encouraged as a great attraction for holiday visitors . 

Royal Visits

1822   12.8. King George IV was voyaging north.A Scarborough deputation embarked on the schooner Moscow reaching the royal vessel about 3 p.m..Cannon fired a royal salute at scarborough.On 30.8. Royal yacht and two steam vessels  passed two miles off Flamborough Head (Mem sCarb 58)

1869 & 1870 Prince of Wales  at Scarborough

1871   Princess Alexandra at Scarborough

  1. Prince Napoleon at Scarborough in  yacht.

1873   King Leopold of Belgium landed from yacht and  entertained at the Grand

1890-91. Duke of Clarence visited Scarborough

Scarborough Sea Cadet Corps

The Corps manned the motor torped boat “755”  in the outer harbour from 1946. .This was renamed the training ship St James at a ceremony on board on 28.11.1948. (Prescott Vol.13.1240)The  vessel was sold as scrap in 1954 .The Corps bought “Daimler  Lodge” in Trinity Back Road for a head  quarters in 1955. (SEN 23.11.1955). A formal opening was made by Rear Admiral Robert St.Vincent Sherbrook V.C. in 1957.(Prescott 1240).They had the training ship “St James” the next year with Lt.Cmdr B Atkinson RNR.

A girl’s section was launched  in 1966( SEN 24.5.1966).With the Scarborough Girl’s Nautical Training corps , the cadets changed the vessel’s name from St. James, to T.S. “Scarborough” in 1969. The commander was Lieut.Commander W. T. Haworthy..There were twenty boys and twelve girls in the unit . The commander retired in  1987 Lieut -Bennet-Farrar,.  Lt.Cmdr Ken Sagar  took command at the HQ in Paradise lane. (LF.3.1.1987).They moved into St Thomas’s church in 1989

Ship Adoptions 

Scarborough had  adopted the Whitby class Frigate “Scarborough “ by 1969. The town  adopted the warship HMS Fearless.in 1996. (LF. 27.11.1996)


American War

1776   A Governrment  official came to take Scarborough ships into the Transport Service 

1781   Feb 8. A Folkstone privateer captured a Lubeck ship laden with linseed  and brought it into Scarborough.The Sea Nymph Captain Storry  Hebden was            taken by the French into Dunkirk .

1782.  July 22 .HMS Winchelsea arrived in Scarborough roads, Captain Warren having taken             two french privateers, a lugger of 12 four  pounder guns and a brigantine of 4 twelve pounders. 1oo prisoners were sent ashore. (Mem.Scarb. 179)

1778.  Scarborough night watch established 

1778   Impress Service active in Scarborough.

1779.  John Paul Jones off the coast

            23.Sept. Captain Richard Pearson  in Serapis 44 guns with  Captain Percy         ”Countess of sCarborough” 20 guns fought for nearly 3 hours, Le Bonhomme     Richard 40 guns, Captain Jones, the Alliance 40 guns ,the Pallas 32 guns and an armed brig.Serapis. Pearson was knighted, The Bonhomme Richard sank          the next day(Mem Scarb 60) 

1779   Scarborough independant Volunteers formed. Lt.Col. Child

1780   Privateers off Scarborough . Scarborough vessels  taken were the Duke Capt     W.Maxwell  June; The Catherine July C.Marshall captain , July 15 Royal        Union             Benj Hewitson captain ,Sept the Crow Christ Harrison off Norway ,Oct      the Aislaby Capt Thomas Boaz sailing Archangel to Hull .

1780. The Scarborough brig Emerald sailed for America with 1509 soldiers 

1781   American cutter reported off the coast

1781   Morning  and evening guns fired 

1781.  Ordnance delivered to Scarborough.(Baker 118-19)

1781   Emerald of Scarborough on transport service lost at Yorktown, in October  

Napoleon Wars,11793-1801;1803-1814,& 1815

1794. A small gun battery placed in the Castle Holmes 

            4 june 400 men raised to man batteries and do garrison duty. Major Tindall in    command new force of Scarborough Volunteers

1796.  French prisoners at the Castle 

1798   5 Oct. Scarborough illumination for Nelsons victory at Alexandria

1797   Lancashire Militia at Castle

1796. Gun battery sited in south corner of Castle yard. 

1799   East Yorkshire regiment at Castle

1801   Evacuation of coastal areas planned in event of an invasion

1802  Volunteer Corps disbanded 

1803.  Crew of Scarborough ship Lady Johnston, Captain Williamson,  taken by             French

1803  Sea fencibles raised at Filey under  Capt Marshall

1806   300 enrolled in Scarborough Volunteers

1807. The Tindall ship Alfred the great, 383 tons lost to a French privateer

1814.  Napoleon deposed .Scarborough men freed from French prisons 

War 1914-19 with Germany

Eight german u boats qwere sunk off the Yorkshire coast in world war one 

The paddler Cambria went into Admiralty service 1914-18

War 1939-45 with Germany

Convoys passed scarborough along the coast. Manymines came ashore over five years. The “royal lady” at Scarborough  1954-70,had done three trips to rescue soldiers form Dunkirk.The “coronia” was requisitiioned by the Admiralty in 1938 serving in the Mediterranean and ferried troops to Normandy.The orginal coronia built in 1935  was a naval detention vessel.

Warship building

                        1626 Trinity house certificates addressed to the Admiralty for a warrant to place guns on board ships for defence specify these ships built in Yorkshire (CSPD.1625-=6.p530)

-Mary of Newcasle 160 tons built Selby

Margaret of Queenferry 110 tons built Whitby

Built at Hull Hopewell 200, Furtherance 140, Supply 140, Defence 160, a new ship 180, Grace 120, Ascension 120, Increase, Unity, Hector, Mary Bonaventure. Hare, Advice, Diamond, Elizabeth, Anne/Rose,Anne Katherine, Anne francis, Bonaventure all 100 tons , George and Trial both 80 tons


In 1941 SCarborough became a base for Wireless telegraphy wrens, using the Hotel Cecil. A seat on the Lighthouse Pier  was dedicated to the memory of twelve members of the Womens Royal Naval Service  in July 1972. They were lost at sea thirty years earlier. They left the Royal Naval Wireless telegraphy station  on the SS Aguila or aguila en route to Gibralter, a 3300 ton vessel in convoy.They were shadowed by German aircraft and a wolf pack of submarines. Four teen ships were sunk.The tribute was attended by members  of the Scarborough branch of the Association of Wrens.

The wrens were  Phyllis Bacon, Madge Barnes, Cecilly Benjamin, Dorothy Bonsor, Madaleine Cooper, Mary Grant , Elizabeth Shepherd, Catherine Slaven, Beatrix Smith, Rosalie Wells, Ellen Waters. (See “On the Fourth Watch” June Markwell 2005)

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