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Second Hand John Henry Wingate and Deck Hand Robert Henry George Culling, Royal Naval Reserve, and the crew of H.M. Trawler Morococala

November 19, 2019


Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1917, Second Hand John Henry Wingate and Deck Hand Robert Henry George Culling, Royal Naval Reserve, were killed along with eleven other crew members when H.M. Trawler Morococala struck a mine near Queenstown, Cork.

Second Hand Wingate had been a crew member at the time the vessel was commandeered by the Royal Navy in April of 1915.  From Boston in Lincolnshire, he was 35 years old and married.

Deck Hand Culling had joined the Royal Naval Reserve in November of 1915.  From Howdon on Tyne, he was 20 years old.

The trawler Morococala had been built by A. Hall & Co. Ltd. in Aberdeen for John Lewis & Sons.  From June of 1917 she was employed as a minesweeper in the area of the Queenstown command of Cork, helping to keep the shipping lanes open.  On the 19th of November she was a mile and a half from the Daunt Rock Lightship when she struck a mine which had been laid by U-boat 31, captained by Kurt Siewert. 

From a witness:  “Lieutenant Allan and Signalman Bellman were seen scrambling on top of the trawler’s wheelhouse. But another explosion followed quickly, hurling them off the roof into the smoke and flames and clouds of steam and coal dust.  They were never seen again.”  The trawler sank within six seconds with the loss of all on board.  Those who also lost their lives that day were:

Lieutenant Alexander Allan, age 24, from Glasgow 

Engineman Mitchell Anderson, age 34 and married, from Anstruther, Fife

Signalman William Ellis Vincent Bellman, from Cheadle in Cheshire

Second Hand Charles Henry Butler

Stoker Robert Woodruff, age 50

Deck Hand Edward Clifford, age 26, from Lowestoft in Suffolk

Trimmer William Kelman, age 23, from Banchory, Kincardineshire

Leading Telegraphist Robert Glasgow McNaught, age 22, from Strathbungo, Glasgow

Leading Seaman Donald Morrison, age 41 and married, from Port of Ness, on the Isle of Lewis

Trimmer Archelaus Oliver age 24, from Polperro in Cornwall

Engineman John Wingrove, age 41 and married, from Aberdeen.


“O hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in peril on the sea.”




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