WW1 Hull trawler set to come home
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Thread: WW1 Hull trawler set to come home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Fraserburgh , Scotland

    Default WW1 Hull trawler set to come home


    AN HISTORIC Hull trawler could be returned to the city as part of commemorations to mark the centenary of the First World War.

    The Viola, which is currently rusting in South Georgia, is the last remaining boat of its kind to have fought in what was known as the "Great War".

    Now, campaigners, including a University of Hull academic, hope events being planned next year could provide an opportunity to bring the trawler home.

    Dr Robb Robinson said: "The Viola sailed from Hull barely a few weeks after the war started and, a century later, it has yet to return.

    "I looked into the idea a few years ago but we couldn't get enough momentum behind the campaign.

    "The centenary commemorations are probably the last chance to bring it back."

    The Viola was one of hundreds of trawlers seized by the Government at the outbreak of war in 1914 and turned into fighting boats. It served in the Shetlands and on the River Tyne.

    After the Government requisitioned the Viola, it was armed and initially sent to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands on anti- submarine patrols. The skipper's wife and family moved from Hull to be with him.

    Later, it was switched to minesweeping duties, operating out of Tynemouth, where it was involved in sinking a U-boat with the help of airships, believed to be the first time airships helped sink an enemy vessel.

    Dr Robinson said: "The Viola was built in 1906 within three weeks of the HMS Dreadnought. But while Dreadnought sank one U-boat, the Viola sank two."

    After 1914 the boat was sold to new owners in Norway, renamed Dias and used for whaling off the coast of Africa, before being sold again to an Argentinian firm, which used it for sealing and exploratory trips in the Falklands.

    Although mothballed in the 1960s, it played a minor role in the Falklands War when scrap metal merchants coming ashore on South Georgia where the boat rested pre-empted the conflict.

    Dr Robinson, who works at the Maritime Historical Studies Centre in Hull, believes it would cost about 500,000 to bring the boat back on a barge and a further 1m to restore it.

    He said: "This boat is unique; its story is a voyage through the 20th century.

    "For me, it would be a dream to see it come back after all this time."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    north shields


    be nice to see her come home.

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