Sunday, 20 August 2017

Robert Edward George -Trawler skipper turned mine sweeper

I missed this one hundred year anniversary earlier in the year so I’m putting it to right now.

Robert Edward George (1857 – 1917) was a first cousin three times removed and I just discovered this George story while snooping around the branches.

He was a Skipper in the Royal Navy Reserve during World War I.

At 60 you'd expect to be sitting at home with expectations of retirement instead Robert was skippering a war time trawler which in peacetime was owned by the Reunion Steam Fishing Company in Grimsby. Robert was a local from Grimsby so presumably he had an association with FV “Senator”. It had been requisitioned in August 1915 by the British Royal Navy as a minesweeper.

This steam propelled 211 ton trailer was built in 1905 by Cook Weldon and Gemmell Ltd. For the duration of the war she was named HMT “Senator” performing minesweeping and was armed with a 3 pound gun.

HMT "Senator" Casualties  - Ancestry

On 21 May 1917 she was sunk by a mine explosion off Tory Island in the north Coast of Ireland by the German submarine U – 80 which was commanded by Alfred von Glassenapp. Tory Island is a little island off the coast of Donegal, Ireland .Eleven casualties including Robert Edward George resulted – husbands, brothers, sons.

Many including Robert are remembered at the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Robert was the husband of Patience who he married in 1877 and father to 6 children. He was awarded a medal by King Haagen of Norway for saving lives at sea.

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