Saturday, 5 March 2011


The Borneo was built by, Cook, Welton and Gemmell, ship builders of Hull and Beverley, 1883-1963
She was one of a pair of trawlers built for Grant & Robinson of Grimsby,with 60 NHP engines built by C D Holmes and a speed of 10 knots.
Both vessels were of 211 Gross tons, with 21.5 beam and 115.33 feet in length.
Her yard number was 100 and her sister ship Aucuba,pictured below, was 101, Launched 28/12/1905, with port reg number of GY115

The wheel house was sited to the stern of the trawler behind the engine and boiler, this design would significantly reduce visibility towards the bows as the helmsman would have been looking at the back of the
single funnel.

She was requisitioned by the Admiralty for mine sweeping, on the 18/6/1917 while on sweeping duty's with Grenadier, the Borneo struck a mine that was laid by the UC 17 and quickly sunk, only two survivors
were found.

We as a club have been looking for her for a number of years, at one time we thought she might lay amongst the scatted remains of her younger sister Avanturine, torpedoed by E boats 01/12/1943, but all the remains on the site pointed to one loss not two.
In 2009, John Liddiard very kindly agreed to do a bit of diving with the club, (after much arm twisting) one of the dive sites was DS 271 (dive Sussex 271) we had done a few dives on her, the first i remember was not very nice as it was very dark three meters viz and i bumped in to the buoys and trawl net on the way down the shot only to find the others had enjoyed the slack and it was now running like a train !
This wreck is in the alleged area of Plodder, lost 13/02/1927, this was the wreck i was trying to match her up with, without a lot of success of course.

During the journey back on the boat, i was chatting about the wreck with John, he was suggesting the wreck was an old trawler, this got the Grey matter going by the time we arrived at the moorings we had a name, that needed to be confirm with the line drawings, as luck would have it, i had my wreck file to hand.
John gave us the nod and was very confident that we had found the resting place of the Borneo, what an excellent day and great moment for the wreck team.
We are very grateful to John Liddiard for confirming the resting place of more of our unsung hero's, a wreck with no name has no history, this wreck now has both.

Hudson, Bertie
18th June 1917. Age 22. Son of Mary Hudson, of Hull, and the late John Hudson; husband of Olive Hudson, of 61, South Parade, Anlaby Rd., Hull.

Kilminster, William
18th June 1917. Age 21. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Kilminster, of 8, East North St., Aberdeen.

Allan, William
18th June 1917. Age 30. Husband of Barbara Allan, of "Braehead," St. Monance, Fife.

Bell, D

Cadwell, William
18th June 1917. Age 23. Son of the late James and Eliza Jane Cadwell, of St. John's, Newfoundland

Harris, John
18th June 1917. Age 38. Son of Nicholas James Harris, of Brixham; husband of Alice Harris, of Paradise Place, Brixham, Devon

Newby, William Wilson
18th June 1917. Age 20. Son of William Wilson Newby and Eliza Ann Newby, of 38, Rickman St., Kirkdale Liverpool

Scott, Joseph Edward
D S M. 18th June 1917. Husband of Elizabeth Scott, of 144, King Edward St., Grimsby

Thompson, Robert Dick
18th June 1917. Age 23. Born at Lesmahagow Lanarkshire

Wileman, Edgar
18th June 1917. Age 37. Brother of Susanna Wilkinson (nee Wileman), of 85, Wellsted St., Hessle Rd., Hull

Yates, Frank
18th June 1917. Age 22. Son of Mrs. S. G. Yates, of 116, Grafton St., Grimsby

information sourced from;
Dive Sussex by Kendall McDonald
WW1 channel ship wks by Neil Maw
Cook,Welton & Gemmell by Michael Thompson,Dave Newton,Richard & Tony Lofthouse
War Graves phtographic project

18th June 1917.

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