19th November 1915 H.M.Trawler FALMOUTH III sunk off Folkestone

Falmouth III was a steel trawler built in 1909, by the builder: J Duthie Torry SB Co., for her owners the Western Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Bristol, her machinery was made by W V V Lidgerwood, of Glasgow; she was propelled by a single screw driven by screw, powered by a 3 cylinder triple expansion engine of 64 horse power. Hired by the Royal Navy as an armed trawler in 1915.

Flamouth III was serving as a minesweeper in the Dover Patrol when she went out on the 19 Nov 1915 with 2 young RNR officers onboard while her Commander Lt H Beadle DSC showed them the procedures of Patrolling the Dover Barrage. While engaged in minesweeping duties, sweeping in the vicinity of the wreck of the H.M. Hospital Ship Anglia, struck a mine and actually sank on top of the wreck. The Falmouth III was struck just before the bridge, and the explosion practically blew the ship in half, she sank at once. She struck one of four mines that had been strategically laid in the area of the No. 8 buoy, in line with the Western Arm of Dover Docks, by the type UC-5 German minelaying submarine UC-5 operating from Flanders, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Herman Pustkuchen. The UC-5, which was engaged on her thirteenth patrol had laid the mines on the night of 16/17 November 1915. Later the same day both the collier Lusitania and the Hospital Ship Anglia, which went down with many wounded soldiers. H.M.Trawler “Falmouth III” was literally blown in half by the explosion, and when she sank, the 198 ton vessel actually settled on top of the Anglia which had fell victim to the mines two days previously, but was dislodged a few days later during a violent storm. Lieutenant H. Beedle who at the time was in command of H.M.Trawler “Falmouth III” had a miraculous escape, as he actually went down with the trawler, but came back up to the surface and was subsequently rescued.


Sunk off Folkestone on 19th November 1915


ABBOTT, Engineman, 126ES. WILLIAM HENRY. Royal Naval Reserve, William had been Mentioned in Despatches “For Minesweeping Services.”

FITZGERALD,. Trimmer, 1657TS. WILLIAM EDWARD. Royal Naval Reserve.

HARVEY, Engineman, ES/99. J. Royal Naval Reserve, Age 41. Husband of Catherine Harvey of 10, Pill Road, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire.

MARTIN, Trimmer, 1055/ST. JOHN. Royal Naval Reserve, Age 40. Son of Thomas and Mary Martin of Birkenhead, Cheshire. Husband of Mrs. Martin of 19, Jersey Road, Custom House, London.

McINTOSH,. Sub-Lieutenant. JAMES ALEXANDER. Royal Naval Reserve, Age 32. Son of Oliver Ross McIntosh and Jeanie Dick McIntosh of 331 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland. James had formerly served as the 2nd Officer of the Anchor Line 10,963 ton vessel S.S. “Cameronia,” that was taken over by the British Government during the Great War and used as a troopship. The S.S. “Cameronia” is probably now best remembered for being associated with some of the passengers who perished when the S.S. “Lusitania” was sunk off the Irish coast, by the German submarine U-20 in May 1915.

MIDGLEY, Deck Hand, 5850DA. ARTHUR. Royal Naval Reserve.

WIGNALL, Second Hand, 315/DA. FREDERICK CHARLES. Royal Naval Reserve, Age 36. Born Deptford, London. Husband of Ethel Wignall of 12, Constable Street, Hessle Road, Hull, Yorkshire.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  We should remember them.


This shipwreck is not protected as an offical War Grave.

However WW1 mementoes or souvenirs taken by divers from this shipwreck including the bones of the dead, should be reported to the Receiver of Wreck . https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/receiver-of-wreck