KendallQ

Kendall McDonald, a former Fleet Street editor, has been diving (and writing about it) for more than 45 years. He has been DIVERs wreck expert since 1960.
Who identified the armed trawler  
Im told by a veteran Sussex diver that for years he and his mates dived what they called the Armed Trawler, because nobody knew its real name. He said it was only much later that a group of divers found out that it was really a naval trawler on minesweeping duties, called HMS Northcoates. If this is so, how did whoever they were find out
John Messent

They were the divers of Ruislip & Northwood BSAC. The armed trawler was sitting upright in 26m on a sandy bottom, complete with 12-pounder gun on her foredeck and a box of shells nearby. The shells were dated 1942 and the breech of the gun was marked 1939.
But it wasnt until many dives later that the Ruislip divers found that there was more on its breech than the 1939 date. There was another set of numbers which, after much research, they found related to the mounting of a gun on HMS Northcoates during WW2.
The vessel foundered on 2 December, 1944 because of the stress of weather, after her engine failed and she was under tow.
Story of the Hubbuck  
Polish diver Slawomir Makaruk wanted divers help in naming a wreck he had dived in Indonesia (November 2005). He sent a picture of a black mug inscribed HUBBUCK LONDON that he found unbroken among the wreckage, and asked if any readers could identify the company or the ships name from it.

No sooner had the picture of the mug appeared than George Lanham, Divers Production Manager, was hard at work. He was soon able to tell us that the 2749 ton Hubbuck was one of the early Blue Anchor Line steamers.
She was built in 1886, and until 1898 wore the company insignia on her black funnel, a white band containing a blue anchor and chain. Then she was sold to the Talbot Steamship Co.
Blue Anchor never recovered from the loss of its newest ship, Waratah, which disappeared in 1909 with the loss of all 211 aboard off South Africa. It went into liquidation after selling its fleet to P&O.
During her service with Blue Anchor Line, under Captain J R Broddie, Hubbuck made regular runs to Sydney, Australia, carrying 45 crew and many emigrants among the passengers. She sometimes carried on to Fiji.
After being sold, I gather that she continued these Far Eastern voyages, which probably explains her loss in Indonesian waters, though no one has yet come up with a report of her sinking. A casualty report should not be too difficult to find, now that we know the shipping line and a rough date.
Good starting points would be Lloyds reports. Ask Guildhall Library staff in Londons Aldermanbury (0207 3321868) for help; they hold all Lloyds records.
Another source might be www.mariners.records.nsw.gov.au for passenger and crew from October 1890 lists. Also try www.theshipslist.com
Fate of the City of Ghent  
Can you tell me anything about a wreck I dived recently off the Lizard It is called City of Ghent and is in 30m. I cant find anything in the dive guides or on the Internet.
Jason

The City of Ghent is in Volume 1 of the Shipwreck Index of the British Isles by Richard Larn. A 616 ton, 210ft motor vessel with a beam of 32ft, she was built in 1953 in Lübeck and named Dalkey Castle. She was powered by an eight-cylinder oil engine aft and, as the City of Ghent, sailed under the Irish Republics flag, with Dublin as her port of registration.
She was in ballast, going from Dublin to Fowey in heavy rain on 15 November, 1955, when she ran aground on Pehn Boar, near Black Head, some 2.5 miles south-west of Cadgwith.
When she came off the rocks, she was listing heavily to starboard, her engine out of action. She drifted, taking in water fast, and radioing for help. A Coastal Command aircraft, Cadgwith lifeboat and another motor vessel all made for her. The lifeboat picked up her crew from their own boats. Minutes later, the City of Ghent rolled even further before capsizing.
I havent seen any diving reports on the wreck. If you send me some diving, Ill pass it on for the next Guide.
Armoured cars wanted  
I am not a diver but research into early armoured vehicles. Only 40 Canadian Jeffery Quad armoured cars were built and none is known to exist today, but a diver suggested that the remains of four may be among the cargo in the Shirala, sunk in 1918 off Littlehampton by UB57. I gather this wreck has been heavily salvaged and is regularly dived by sports divers. Can any wreck-diving readers help me
Ian Cruttenden, Binfield, Berks.

The Shirala is one of the most popular wrecks in Sussex waters. Readers of this column have spent hours researching the Shirala, though a deal of their underwater time has been directed not towards armoured cars but packets of diamonds said to have been among the 1700 tons of mail aboard at the start of her voyage from London for India. There was also a lot of military equipment for the Indian Army, 5000 tons of general cargo, and 180 tons of ammunition and explosives for the Army in her stern holds.
Items recovered that may interest Ian Cruttenden are lorry spares, including Armstrong Whitworth honeycomb radiators; tyres and axles for Model-T cars; an acetylene headlight from a 1914 Clyno motorcycle, used by mechanised infantry with a Vickers machine gun in the sidecar; trench telephones; binoculars with sliding sunshields over the front lenses; mirror-signalling equipment with legs; stocks of rifles and many shellcases.
I have yet to hear mention of Canadian Quad armoured cars. Has anyone seen any sign of them Ian says he has photos to help any diver identify them, and I can put you in touch.
Come in Andrew:  
Will Andrew Moore, who contacted Wrecks Q&A way back in April, 2002 about HMS Hurworth, please ring Alan Galinski of Sheffield on 01909 562452. He may have some useful information.
Ding-dong!  
As one of the first sport divers on the steam trawler Virginian, sunk in collision with the infantry landing ship Empire Rapier on 5 November, 1946 near the Dogger Bank , I read with great interest the highly accurate Wreck Tour article about her by John Liddiard in last Novembers DIVER.
I thought you would like to see my photo of one of the first things we found on that first dive. Its all right, it was reported to the Receiver of Wreck!
Bill Woolford, Bridlington.