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NAME:   A. M. Leask    


BUILT: 1903, Smiths Dock Co., Ltd., North Shields. Yd. No. 723

TYPE: Steam Screw Ketch, 1st class, 9 men, net and lines.

DIMENSIONS: 80.0 ft.loa., 18.1ft b., 8.3ft d.,79.37grt., 21.40nrt.,

PROPULSION: Steam engine 23nhp


YEARS:1903 to 1926


1903 to 1907 WH Leask, 12 Harbour Street, Peterhead (Manager:Robert L Mitchell, 18 Prince Street, Peterhead)

1907 to 1918c John Mitchell (Manager:Robert L Mitchell, 18 Prince Street, Peterhead)

1918c to 1926, April, Robert L Mitchell, Strathisla, Balmoor Terrace, Peterhead

1926 April to 1935 June, George Gardiner (Skipper) 8 Victoria Street Cullen; John Wood, 2 Blantyre Tce., Portknockie; William Gardiner, 6 Victoria Street, Cullen, and George Findlay, 5 Victoria Street, Cullen; all Fishermen and all in the County of Banff.


1903 completed and registered PD 492 A M Leask

1915 June 23rd., the A M Leask was one of only four out of twenty four British fishing vessels who were attacked by the German submarine U38 (and perhaps a second unidentified U Boat ) while they were fishing Shetland grounds 30 miles East of Unst. The Commander of U38 at that time was Christian Valentiner, one of Germany’s most successful commanders of WW I. The method of attack at that stage of the war was for the U Boat to approach the target and order the crew to abandon their ship and take to their lifeboats. Once they were clear the U Boat sank the target by gunfire or explosive charges.

The result was that casualties at that stage of the war were mercifully few and in the case of this attack only one fisherman was injured, Robert Buchan of the Four, when they U Boat opened fire before they had had time to abandon ship. He died later of his injuries.

Vessels Lost: Steam Drifters:

PD 63. Ugie Brae

PD 203. Elizabeth

PD 475. Quiet Waters

PD 82. Uffa

PD 98. Research

PD 17. Primrose

PD 104. Four

PD 191. J M & S

PD 537. Star of Bethlehem

PD 92. Monarda

YH 297. Piscatorial

YH 978. Josephine

Vessels Lost: Steam Line Fishing Boats:

A 441. Lebanon

A 598, Viceroy

A 12. Vine

A 226. Commander

Other ‘survivors’:

PD 152. Nigella

PD 424. Energy

PD 208. Archimedes

1915 September, on hire to Admiralty as boom defence vessel.

1919 returned to owners.

1926, April, Peterhead Registry closed vessel sold to Portknockie.

1926 April 27th., name changed to Spring Bud

1926 April 28th., registered BF 219 Spring Bud.

1935 June 11th., Banff registry closed vessel sold for scrap.


Aberdeen Press and Journal : Aberdeen Journals Ltd., Publisher.

Aberdeen Evening Express : Aberdeen Journals Ltd., Publisher.

British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 : Patrick Stephens Ltd., now Haynes Publishing, Publisher.

British Warships 1914-1919: Dittmar and Colledge : Ian Allan Publishing Ltd., Publisher.

Customs and Excise Registers of Sea Fishing Boats

Fishing News, Intrafish, Publisher.

Mariners Almanac : Aberdeen Journals Ltd., Publisher.

Mercantile Navy Lists via the CLIP Project.

Olsens Fishermans Nautical Almanack : E T W Dennis & Sons Ltd, Publisher.

Shetland Times

Steam Drifters, A Brief History : Jim Tarvit : Scottish Fisheries Museum, Publisher.

Warships of World War II : Lenton and Colledge : Ian Allan Publishing Ltd., Publisher.



Further detail: much more detail about the U38 attack on the fishing boats can be found in an excellent article by Charlie Smith in the Shetland Times and in the relevant sections of U