SS Gleaner lost 1940

Wooden steam tender built 1881 Ferguson & Baird, Connah's Quay as Hawarden Castle.
78.5 x 20.7 x 9 ft; 95grt, 60nrt. Engines C2cyl, 49hp, 1 screw.
First Owner Connah's Quay Alkali Co. Ltd.
1892 name changed to Gleaner, owned Liverpool
1940 owned Norwest Construction.
On voyage Mersey to Fleetwood, foundered on 24 Januray 1940
Crew of 3: 2 saved in ship's boat, Captain William Fish lost.

Hydrographic Office Information [as reported in Wrecks of Liverpool Bay Vol II]:

23.2.40 [FOIC Liverpool] Gleaner, wooden SS, sunk 24.1.40 at approximate position 53°38.00N, 3°15.00W.

Foundered while on passage Liverpool to Fleetwood [ex Salvage Vessel]

23.2.40 according to survivors, vessel foundered about half way between Liverpool Bar Light Vessel and Nelson Buoy [off entrance to Ribble]. The top 3 ft of her mast was visible after she had settled. [SOI Liverpool 25 Jan 1940]

23.2.40 no trace of Wk found - presumed broken up as vessel was wooden [FOIC Liverpool 15.2.40]

From Liverpool Daily Post, Friday 26 January 1940 [because of war-time restrictions, vessels details and location of loss were not published]

FLEETWOOD SKIPPER LOST; SURVIVORS ALL-NIGHT ORDEAL: Two men were landed at Ramsey yesterday after spending all night in an open boat following the loss of their vessel. The skipper, William Fish, of North Church Street, Fleetwood, [he had managed the Fleetwood Ferry for 17 years] was drowned when the vessel sank. The two survivors were Peter Dawson Croft, also of North Church Street, Fleetwood and William Burns, of Albion Street, Birkenhead.

Croft stated: We left Birkenhead [on Wednesday morning; 24-1-1940] to take a small [steam] tender to Fleetwood [Heysham in another report] to be fitted with new engines. Some time after we put to sea, the tender began to leak. Eventually she heeled over, and the skipper, a man of about seventy, was thrown against the boom and was swept into the sea. The tender's lifeboat broke loose, but we managed to clamber in. We had no oars, and were carried out to sea. She began to take in water and we had to bale it out with our caps. About 3.50 a.m. we were seen by a ship and taken on board. By that time were about all in. I was on a trawler that was torpedoed three months ago, but that experience was not half as gruelling this.

Burns said: I was standing at a labour exchange when Captain Fish asked me if I would like a job in a boat that was going to Fleetwood. I jumped at the chance, but I little thought it was going to end in the tragic way it did.