Diving finds

#3
Armed trawlers and other auxiliary services were armed with all sorts of obsolete & foreign weapons. There are indeed accounts of .577/450 Martini-Henrys being used - the ammunition was still around in quantity even up until WW2.
 
#5
Its not my stuff guys and i have already expressed my concerns!

I thought Martini Henry as well but the other one has stumped me a bit as it looks like a .303 but its a rimless case.
 
#6
Could it be .256 Arisaka that was a 6,5mm x 50 mm semi rimless round and there were over 150.000 of then issued in WW1. they were most certainly used on minesweeping trawlers, And some Martini Henrys were still used even by front line units in the East Africa when Enfields were in short supply in the early part of the war
 
#7
That doesn't look like a Martini-Henry 577-450 to me - not 'fat enough" See attached.

It is difficult, with nothing to give scale. The headstamp could be R [Broad Arrow] L = Royal Laboratories (Woolwich)
 

Attachments

#8
In WW1 the minesweepers were issued with a complete hodgpodg of weapons, including Arisaka, Snider Enfields,French Gras,, single shot Remingtons,Russian Berdans,Belgian Albini-Braendlin, American 44/40 Wincesters, and even 7.92 Mausers, from captured stocks, and dont even ask what calibres that lot came in,

So Ill go a 44/40 and a 6.5 Arisaka
 
#9
44/40 is basically a bottleneck pistol cartridge, so it definitely isn't that.

Could be .450 Gardner Gatling, .450 No.2 Musket or similar (there were quite a few similar .450 blackpowder cartridges in use for hand-cranked machine guns, and it is entirely plausible that such devices would be mounted on an armed merchantman of that time period)

Right-hand one is definitely 6.5 Japanese.
 
#10
.450 Gatling:



.450 Gardner:
 
#11
I must be a bit speshiul but I cannae see any difference between the Gardner and the Gatling.

Tam
 
#12
The difference is small, and I believe that they are probably interchangeable, particularly with the sloppy chambering and exceptionally generous throating of the era:

Gatling:


Gardner:
 
#13
The difference is small, and I believe that they are probably interchangeable, particularly with the sloppy chambering and exceptionally generous throating of the era:

Gatling:


Gardner:
what the F**k would a minesweeper have a crap out of date machine gun for?. the rifles were used to detonate mines when they came up after being cut loose by the sweep, so why a machine gun, there is no record of such guns in the RN WW1 history in home waters
 
#16
Self-defence. As an example, look at all the WWII Royal Air Force ASR launches armed with "a crap out of date machine gun" - the Lewis Gun.
The Lewis was only invented in 1911 so it was a lot more modern than the Vickers, and that stayed in service until the 60s, and the Royal Nave put 8 Lewis guns on some of their MTBs in early WW2, but there is no record I can find of Gardener or Gatlings being used in WW1 minesweepers. Appart from the 60 Canadian built Trawler minesweepers most of the WW1 armed Trawlers were "Taken from Trade" and the former skipper was given the rank of Petty Officer, they normally then had 4/6 navel ratings put on board to operate the guns or sweeping gear, and these would have been the only armed personel, as there was a shortage of SMLEs Lewis, and Vickers guns at the time these other rifles were issued and it was not likely that these "Armed Trawler minesweepers" actually had any other weapons on board, Other Armed Trawlers normaly had the same system only they were armed with a deck gun of about 6pdr or 12pdr but still only a few navy personel, the Canadian built ships had a full navy crew but still very few weapons, it was not much better in the first months of WW2, but then they did get Pom-Poms and machine guns
 
#17
Skippers were not rated as Petty Officers. Second Hands were though. This is born out by the awards to RNR Trawler Section personnel, with Skipprs getting DSCs and officerly decorations and Second Hands gettting DSMs, CGMs etc. Notable awards are the VC DSC given to Skipper Crisp and DSM to his Seconf Hand, his son, of the Nelson.
 
#18
Skippers were not rated as Petty Officers. Second Hands were though. This is born out by the awards to RNR Trawler Section personnel, with Skipprs getting DSCs and officerly decorations and Second Hands gettting DSMs, CGMs etc. Notable awards are the VC DSC given to Skipper Crisp and DSM to his Seconf Hand, his son, of the Nelson.
Your right, later in WW1 they did get comissiond, but in 1914 most were still POs My Grandfather being one of them, he worked for Neil and West who ran Trawlers out of Cardiff, some of their ships became Q Ships
 
#19
One of my mates has just told me that the records of all the WW1 Armed trawlers are held in the FAA museum in Yeovilton, might be worth a call if you want to learn more about this wreck.
 
#20
Skippers were not rated as Petty Officers. Second Hands were though. This is born out by the awards to RNR Trawler Section personnel, with Skipprs getting DSCs and officerly decorations and Second Hands gettting DSMs, CGMs etc. Notable awards are the VC DSC given to Skipper Crisp and DSM to his Seconf Hand, his son, of the Nelson.
Your right, later in WW1 they did get comissiond, but in 1914 most were still POs My Grandfather being one of them, he worked for Neil and West who ran Trawlers out of Cardiff, some of their ships became Q Ships
Most if not all Skippers in the Royal Naval Reserve (Trawler Section) - the RNR(T) - had officer status by the start of WW I.

From 'Swept Channels (Being an Account of the work of the Minesweepers in the Great War)' by 'Taffrail' (Captain Taprell Dorling DSO, FRHistS, RN), Hodder & Stoughton, London: 1935:

Taffrail said:
It was Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, when Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet in 1907, and after a visit to ports on the east coast of England, who first recommended the Grimsby trawlers for minesweeping... In December, 1907, two Grimsby trawlers were hired by the Admiralty with their fishing crews and sent down to Portland for experiments...

Soon afterwards the Trawler Reserve was instituted with approval for 100 trawlers to be mobilised during any future period of strained relations, and for the immediate enrolment of 1,000 officers and ratings to man these vessels. This brought a new rank, that of 'Skipper', R.N.R., into the Navy List, and the first officer enrolled at Aberdeen on February 3, 1911. His name deserves to be remembered. It was Peter Yorston.

Fifty-three skippers had joined by the end of 1911; twenty-five more enrolled themselves in 1912, and thirty-one more before the war period - a total of 109.
In 1912 the Trawler Reserve was augmented to 142 trawlers and 1,278 ranks and ratings, and in this year and the next, minesweeping trials were carried out with the old torpedo-gunboats...
Within the first week of war, 94 trawlers were allocated for minesweeping duties and dispersed to priority areas including Cromarty, the Firth of Forth, the Tyne, the Humber, Harwich, Sheerness, Dover, Portsmouth, Portland and Plymouth. The groups were commanded by naval officers, some from the retired list, who had received a brief training in minesweeping. Apart from the skippers, officers were also required to supplement the handful of naval officers of the existing minesweeping service. Most of the trained pre-war RNR and RNVR officers had already been called up for service in the Fleet. For the new minesweeping and auxiliary patrol flotillas, officers and civilians were obtained from the Merchant Navy and given temporary commissions in the RNR and RNVR. To bolster naval discipline, various Royal Fleet Reserve and pensioner petty officers were distributed among the vessels.

When the Armistice was signed at the end of WW I, the Trawler Reserve comprised 39,000 officers and men of whom 10,000 were employed in minesweepers and the rest in the auxiliary patrol.

(Edited to add: If the name of the trawler is available, I may be able to provide something of its history.)

 

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