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Author Topic: The loss of "H.M. Trawler Kingston Jacinth" - 12th January 1943  (Read 716 times)
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Craggs
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« on: February 06, 2016, 09:30:22 AM »

H.M. Trawler Kingston Jacinth was built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd of Beverley. Before the war she was owned by The Kingston Steam Trawling Co. Ltd. of Hull.   As with a large number of trawlers she was taken into service to support Royal Naval operations.

On the 12th January 1943 HM Trawler Kingston Jacinth was in The English Channel off Portsmouth.  She struck a mine and was extensively damaged.  It is believed that the mine had been laid by a German submarine.

The explosion led to the death of twenty of the crew.  I have posted a photograph of the headstone of one of the crew, Ordinary Signalman Dennis Simmons who is buried at Hove New Cemetery, East Sussex. (linked on the casualty list below)

After the vessel hit the mine the order was given to abandon ship. There are references to this incident leading to the Court Martial of Lt N H Mangnall, RNVR accused of "negligence on duty".  The National Archives reference for this is ADM 156/254 - I haven't looked this up yet so I'm not sure exactly what part this officer played in the loss of The Kingston Jacinth.

The Naval history Net gives the full list of casualties.  I have reproduced it below and added the place of each man's burial / commemoration myself.  For ease of reference, those buried in our Forum area are listed first.

12th January 1943

Kingston Jacinth, ship loss

SIMMONS, Dennis J, Ordinary Signalman, C/JX 344260, killed  - buried at Hove New Cemetery, Sussex

ELMS, Leslie A C, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 330704, killed - buried at Farnham (Titchfield) Cemetery, Hampshire.

GARNER, Cecil G, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 380152, killed  -  buried at Eastleigh Cemetery, Hampshire.

JORDAN, Henry, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 254442, killed  -  buried at Newhaven Cemetery, Sussex.

DUFFELL, Ronald B, Ordinary Telegraphist, C/JX 211170, killed - buried at Kingston Upon Thames Cemetery, Surrey.

BATCHELOR, John J, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 253440, killed - buried at Dundee Eastern Necropolis, Dundee, Scotland.

BOWRING, Walter F, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 383523, MPK - commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

CLAYDON, Alfred W, Leading Cook, RNPS, LT/MX 87143, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

COWELL, Jack, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/JX 341072, killed  -  buried at Kippax Churchyard, Yorkshire

CRABTREE, Gordon, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 225731, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

DODD, Thomas J, Leading Seaman, RNR (PS), LT/X 21273 A, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

EMSLEY, Walter, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/SR 55724, MPK - commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

FISK, Jack W, Leading Steward, RNPS, LT/LX 27780, MPK - commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

FREETHY, Thomas J, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 110385, MPK  - commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

MOYSE, Ronald P, Engineman, RNR (PS), LT/X 10029 S, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

MULREIN, Owen, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 121458, killed  -  buried at Stirling Cemetery, Scotland.

PEARSON, Matthew H, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 227333, killed  -  buried at Glossop Cemetery, Derbyshire.

WHITLEY, Alfred J, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 210401, killed  - buried at Islington Cemetery, North London.

WILEMAN, Samuel A, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 203761, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial"

WITHERS, Walter J, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 145383, MPK  -  commemorated "Lowestoft Naval Memorial".

_________________________________________________

Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 27 January 1943

KINGSTON JACINTH

FORMER HULL TRAWLER LOST.

An Admiralty Communique last night stated :  
"The Board of Admiralty regrets to announce that H.M. Trawler Kingston Jacinth (Skipper R.W. Denny RNR) has been lost. The next-of-kin of casualties have been informed"
H.M.S. Kingston Jacinth was built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd of Beverley. Before the war she was owned by The Kingston Steam Trawling Co. Ltd. of Hull.  She was adopted by the Swinton Urban District.

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Craggs
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 21:28:17 PM »

I applied to The National Archives for the Court Martial proceedings against  Lt N H Mangnall, RNVR accused of "negligence on duty" in respect of HM Trawler Kingston Jacinth.  My request was : "I would like to see a copy of the final summary of the Court Martial and verdict with, if appropriate, the sentence".

I had a reply from The National Archives today. The document consists of 98 pages recording the Court Martial but I have declined to download them as the NA state that the  ......."Document contains court proceedings but no final summary or sentence". 

The 'final summary and sentence' are the precise details that I was seeking so I am left guessing what happened !!!!
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Icare9
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 13:11:31 PM »

Presumably you have the detail that the Skipper was Reginald Walter Denny, RNR and that his next command wasn't until October 1944 of the trawler Bretwalda. A gap of 18 months may be for recovering from injuries or until the Court Martial verdict?

Neville Harold Mangnall, RNVR. 24 Aug 1939: Midshipman. 19 Jun 1940: Acting Sub Lieutenant. 19 Jun 1941: Sub Lieutenant. 19 Dec 1942: Lieutenant.
20 Oct 1942: Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
Commanded  submarine HMS Uther (P 62) 1 Mar 1945 to 12 Jul 1945
Retired: 8 Mar 1950

So the navy seems to have "forgiven" him by 1945....
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Craggs
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 08:09:08 AM »

I applied to The National Archives for the Court Martial proceedings against  Lt N H Mangnall, RNVR accused of "negligence on duty" in respect of HM Trawler Kingston Jacinth.
I had a reply from The National Archives today. The document consists of 98 pages recording the Court Martial but I have declined to download them as the NA state that the  ......."Document contains court proceedings but no final summary or sentence".  

That statement / reply from the National Archives was not accurate.  I went there just over a week ago and had a look at the file myself.  The NA file ADM 156/254 does show all of the Court Marshal proceedings and it does show the sentence imposed on Lieutenant Mangnall.

The file shows that Lt. Mangnall was the RN officer in charge of HM Trawler Kingston Jacinth.  The vessel still retained her 'civilian' skipper, Reginald Walter Denny who was much older and more experiences at sea than Magnall.  At the time the trawler hit the mine Lieutenant Mangnall was asleep in his cabin.  Skipper Denny was on the bridge with a couple of his crewmen who were on watch.  As soon as the explosion occurred Magnall rushed to the bridge. The vessel was sinking fast.

Very close by was HM Trawler Aise which sailed towards the Kingston Jacinth which was now bow down and submerged from the bridge forwards.   Skipper Denny told Lieut Mangnall that there was no chance of any other survivors and Mangnall didn't challenge him.  It was stated in the court martial proceedings by Magnall's counsel that he was "young, inexperienced and didn't consider challenging Denny who was older and far more experienced".

HM Trawler Aise picked up the surviving crew.  The file shows that Mangnall, Denny and at leats two others got on board the Aise but the file isn't clear.  It was at this point that Mangnall should have ordered a search for survivors and also sent a message to C.i.C. Portsmouth telling them that he hadn't ordered a search.

The NA file contains many of the court martial documents, diagrams and charts and a small number of statements and transcripts of evidence. . Lieutenant Mangnall's cross examination seems to have been paraphrased or shortened because reading it only takes about three minutes to read.

Anyway - Mangnall didn't order a search and didn't tell Portsmouth.   His sentence was to be "Severely Reprimanded".  The second document that I have attached shows that Skipper Denny was also court martialed.  By then he was serving on HMS Marshal Soult.  He was found guilty and "dismissed from HMS Marshal Soult and severely reprimanded".  

I'm still a bit miffed at the NA staff for not reading the file properly in the first place.

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Icare9
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2018, 17:10:03 PM »

Whilst no one can be blamed for striking a mine at night, surely no seaman would leave the site of a sinking vessel WITHOUT searching for survivors, let alone the Commanding Officer, or those on the "Asie" as they'd realise it could easily be them the next time....
Those that have known burials I would have expected to have been recovered by the "Asie" and those not found as likely going down with the ship.
The sea in January is hardly likely to have given those in the water much time for survival.
Seems as if the Admiralty had him guilty one way or another - not carrying out a search (weather conditions? - blowing a gale, sleet, snow no visibility?) or not reporting he hadn't carried out a search...
After all ,it might have been a U boat and hanging around might invite a torpedo...

But 20 plus men seems an unusually large crew for a minesweeper, although I have no idea what size complement she should ordinarily carry, but as a trawler more than 20 seems excessive on one ship...
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2018, 18:46:35 PM »

I always thought that trawler crews were small but then found out most of these were deep sea trawlers (356 tons)  not the inshore "man & boy" crewed vessels. In addition to seaman there would be gunners and depending on the role extras for operating mine sweeping or anti submarine kit, add a few for shift working as well
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2018, 20:52:32 PM »

It would appear the Lieutenant Neville Mangnall was local to Gosport.  His brother is also mentioned in this newspaper report.  His full name, from another newspaper article, was Rollo Barrett Mangnall.

Portsmouth Evening News - Wednesday 11 November 1942

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Craggs
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 07:38:10 AM »

I have found this newspaper article about the trawler's skipper, Reginald Walter Denny.  I can't see that he cared much for the lives of other seamen.  It turns out that he had been charged with, and convicted of, exactly the same maritime offences three years earlier.

Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 12 July 1939

Cleethorpe Skipper on Unusual Charge.

SEQUEL TO COLLISION WITH LIGHTSHIP.

ALLEGED FAILURE TO GIVE ASSISTANCE.

THE first cases of their kind to come before the Bench were heard at Grimsby County Police Court yesterday afternoon when Reginald Walter Denny, of 66, Brereton-av., Cleethorpes, skipper of the trawler Lord Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to failing to render such assistance as might be necessary to the crew of the other vessel after a collision on May 1; and also with failing to give the necessary information to the master of the lightship after the collision.

Defendant had rendered himself liable under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 to a fine of £lOO or six months’ imprisonment.

Mr. W. M. Wright, the presiding magistrate, said that it was a case of considerable gravity, but as it was the first case that had come before the Bench there would be a fine of £5 on each charge.  Defendant would also have to pay 35s. special costs.

Mr. John West, who prosecuted on behalf of the Board of Trade, explained that on May 1 this year the Spurn lightship of the Humber Conservancy Board was doing duty on the Spurn Lightship Station at the mouth of the Humber whilst the ordinary lightship was undergoing repairs.  About 1.25 in the morning the weather was squally, with a moderate gale from the north-east. The tide was half flood, and visibility generally moderate.

STAND BY SHOUT

At that time an unknown trawler came into collision with the lightship while on her station, and continued to pound alongside the light vessel. There were two seamen on watch on the light vessel, and they shouted to the trawler to go ahead to prevent further damage, as the vessel continued to pound alongside with the engines stopped, and made no effort to get away. This the trawler did, and immediately the seamen on watch shouted to the trawler to stand by. The trawler took no notice but steamed away, disappearing into the distance, and not waiting to see if the light vessel was in any danger. The name of the trawler was not visible to the seamen on the lightship, but they saw that the funnel was red with a black top and two white bands.

LIABILITY ADMITTED.

The following day enquiries were made with trawler owners whose vessels bore such marks and eventually, on May 5, the owners of the Lord Shrewsbury admitted liability for the damage done to the light vessel.

On May 8 the defendant went to the clerk in charge of the Humber Conservancy Board and made a statement.  In it he said the trawler was laid to, with orders to watch to keep clear of the lightship.  At 1.15 the watch reported all clear of the lightship and he gave orders to be on the way in a few minutes.  A minute later he found they were bumping into the lightship.  He understood the lightship to say "Go ahead.  Keep steaming ahead. We are all right".

"DISAPPEARING ACT"

Mr. West said there was no need to stress the seriousness of this "disappearing act".  Had the image been more considerable there may have been loss of life. 

Defendant asked why the Board of Trade did not make it compulsory for all vessels to carry lights for signalling to other vessels.  He was told by the magistrate's clerk that he could not ask questions of the Board of Trade representative but any suggestion he could put forward for improving conditions would be considered.

NOTHING TO REPORT.

Denny said that the trawler laid in the vicinity of the lightship approximately an hour and the reason he did not report was that he had nothing to report with.   Answering Mr. W. M. Wright (presiding) as to why the collision occurred, defendant said that when he left the bridge they were two miles from the lightship, drifting towards it, and he left orders if they were to get too close they were to steam ahead.
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