The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1918 to 1939 HMS MASTIFF - Yard No 247 - Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1938

Leith Shipyards

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HMS MASTIFF - Yard No 247 - Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1938


HMS MASTIFF was the second of the type built in the yard, being another designated as "Dog Class" Armed Trawler she had some improvements to her sister ship HMS BASSET.
Owners    Admiralty (MoD)
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Armed Trawler (Dog Class) Launched    17/02/1938
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    150' 0" Weather    
Beam    27' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     15' 0"      
G.R.T.    520      
Complement     35 to 40 men      
Engines    Triple expansion engine      
Props    1      
Speed    12 knots      
Armament     1 x 4inch gun as fitted, various machine guns.      
Other known names        
Current Status   Sunk by a mine an 1939    
Content on will be added as and when available. 


 HMS MASTIFF Dog Class Armed Trawler

(Photo credit unknown)


Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, as always in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy she would then have to complete her commissioning trials before being excepted into the senior service.



HMS MASTIFF was to have a very short life at sea as a ship of the Royal Navy, she had the mis-fortune to set off a sea mine that had been laid in the river Thames

H.M.S. "Mastiff" was an order from the Admiralty for a second of class armed trawler of the "Dog Class" She was designed and built by Henry Robb Shipbuilders with an obvious eye to the coming hostilities that developed into World War II.

She was an improved version of this class and a bit larger than her sister ship "Basset" she was launched on 17th February 1938.

 She had a displacement of 520 tons with a length overall of 150 feet and beam of 27 feet and 6 inches. She had a top speed of 12 knots and a crew compliment of around 35. Being armed initially with a 4 inch gun for'd and 2 x .303 machine guns.

She struck a mine in the Thames estuary and was lost on 20 November 1939, only two months after war had been declared. 

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.

Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #2 Gary kettless 2017-03-22 18:53
My grand father Leslie robbens was serving on that ship when it hit a mine, he serviced to tell the story . He said the captain saw him go half way to heaven . Grandad can't remember as He was knocked unconscious. I have an old post card of his mastiff which he wrote on the back what the captain said about him half way to heaven.
0 #1 Kiwiwriter 2012-04-06 22:39
I just added the information about HMS Mastiff's fate to my web page on World War II (given above), and it will go live in a few weeks. Sad story.

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