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 1939 to 1945 HMS WALLASEA - Yard No 339 - Isle Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1943

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HMS WALLASEA - Yard No 339 - Isle Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1943



 HMS WALLASEA (T345) Isle Class Armed Trawler

(photo credit unknown)


Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    21/08/1942
Type of Ship    Isle Class Armed Trawler Launched    22/04/1943
      Commissioned    31/07/1943
Ship Details          
Length Overall    164' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    150' 0" Weather    
Beam    27' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     14' 6"      
G.R.T.    464 tons      
Complement     40 Officers and Men      
Engines    1 triple expansion reciprocating engine producing 850 ihp       
Props    1      
Speed    12 knots      
Armament     1 x 12 pdr Gun, 3 to 4 20mm Oerlikon AA guns with 30 depth charges      
Other known names        
Current Status   Sunk by E-Boats Jan 1944    

Content on HMS WALLASEA will be added as and when available. 



HMS WALLASEA underway making a bit of smoke

(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, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

 HMS WALLASEA was one of the "Isle Class" armed trawlers built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, a total of 145 of the class were built from 1939 to 1945 in British and Canadian shipyards.

Commissioned in the July of 1943 HMS WALLASEA was to have a short war as not 6 months after being commissioned she was to play her role in her last action.

They were mainly used on minesweeping and harbour defence duties, and coastal escort work, it was while on escort duty with convoy WP457 she was called into action against a flotilla of E-boats that had managed to get to the inshore side of the convoy. Attacking from the dark cover of the land mass she was hit by torpedoes and  sunk by a German motor torpedo boat off Mounts Bay, Cornwall on the night of 5th/6th January 1944


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.


This page is dedicated to the loss of HMS WALLASEA (T345) and to those of her crew who perished.


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 #9 Peter Crouch 2016-05-20 14:26

I have just seen your comment on the website, I have some pictures on my phone of some of the war graves in Penzance Cemetery including german graves. my email is (removed by admin) if you would like to see them ?

kind regards Peter
Note-The e-mail supplied did not work Peter.
+1 #8 David Crickmer 2016-05-20 08:23
My father, Seaman Steward Percy Edmund Crickmer, was killed when the Wallasea was sunk. I was two weeks old but luckily he had been given leave to attend my birth. His family and my mother always kept him alive in their memories for me. Dad was from Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) and had been training to be a teacher when the war broke out. His whole service was in the Naval Patrol which included a stint on the Russian convoys. Although I visited Penzance often in the 60's, I never knew of the memorial to the men of the Wallasea - just wish I had. However, I have made many trips to the Sparrows Nest in Lowestoft. Far too many names of gallant men who went down to the sea in ships. When next in England (I live in New Zealand), Penzance will be a definite visit.
0 #7 Peter Crouch 2014-11-02 20:25
I have recently visited Penzance Cemetery many of the War-Graves there are of the crew of the "Wallasea" it is a very resting and peaceful place.
0 #6 Robert Johnson 2013-11-10 21:06
My Late mothers brother was lost on the MV Underwood .George Robert Turner.
He was first officer. Apparently he made it off the ship into the water but was lost his body never found. My grandmother never got over her loss.
The family never forgot him but when me and my sister go he will be gone for ever. Just a name on a monument in London
+3 #5 Helen Wicks 2012-11-05 22:45
My great uncle Harry Wright was killed aged 21 on HMS Wallasea. He was from Battersea London. My grandmother his sister told me the sad story when I was a little girl. There is a lovely memorial at Penzance Cemetery that I visit
+1 #4 Cherie Watts 2012-09-17 17:50
My uncle Frank Watts was an Ordinary Seaman on this ship. My dad (his brother) died recently and had always spoken of this loss even 60 years later. I am looking for any photographs of the crew as all photographs from the family were lost and there is nothing to show Frank Watts at all. If anyone has anything I would be pleased to hear from you.
+5 #3 john wood 2012-05-07 17:06
My uncle Donald Baker was a Sub Lieutenant on the Wallasea and lost his life when she was sunk. His memory is commemorated on the Royal Naval patrol service memorial at Lowestoft along with other members of the crew. Donald's story is unremarkable for the time but stirring to those of us reaping the rewards of his sacrifice and others like him. He was a working class lad brought up in East ham London the oldest of 3 children. His family history had naval connections which led to his joining the navy and ultimately studying for his commission. Wallasea was his first posting as an officer. From correspondence passed to me it is clear he was a gifted and talented young man like so many others with whom he served. His two sisters still feel the loss 67 years later but have ensured his memory lives on. I am proud to call him my uncle albeit one I never met
+2 #2 David Betts 2012-04-28 17:26
My grandfather, FWW Betts, gunner on board MV Underwood, was killed when e-boats attacked convoy WP457. I'm going to write a book about it.
+2 #1 Anthony Cartwright 2011-11-19 20:25
Whilst I know very little about HMS Wallasea I do know that my mothers brother William Archer lost his life whilst serving with the ship, he was from Liverpool.

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