Lost Trawlermen's Day remembers crew of Hull vessel the Dauntless which was lost 100 years ago (video)
IT IS almost a century since one of Hull's most illustrious trawlers and its crew perished at sea.
The city's thriving fishing industry was dealt a bitter blow when the Dauntless was posted missing on April 3, 1913, and all hope of finding the vessel and its 12-man crew was lost five days later.
This year's Lost Trawlermen's Day was made all the more poignant with the marking of this occasion.
On a day when another vessel, Lady Jeanette, and nine of its crewmen was also remembered, about 700 people braved the cold to pay their respects to those who died at sea.
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The congregation gathered inside a marquee on the banks of the River Humber in St Andrew's Quay to be part of one of the city's most poignant services.
Each year, relatives of those who have perished on the waves are joined by hundreds of well-wishers to pay their respects to all 6,000 men in Hull's fishing industry who have lost their lives.
Among those who attended yesterday's service were relatives of crewmen who served on Lady Jeanette, a trawler that capsized after running aground in the River Humber.
Nine men died.
Albert Malton's uncle Thomas Smith was among the dead.
Albert, 73, of Hessle Road, west Hull, said: "I am very humbled to be able to be part of a ceremony like this to remember my uncle and others who lost their lives at sea. It is a chance for me and my family to pay our respects and remember his life."
Albert was joined by his sister Sheila Glew, also of Hessle Road, at the service outside the Sailmakers' Arms, the spot chosen for a planned memorial to Hull's 6,000 lost trawlermen.
Sheila, 65, said: "It was very important for me to come down here with my family to mark the anniversary of Lady Jeanette sinking.
"It is my first time at the service and it is fantastic to see so many people."
The service was held by fishing heritage group Stand in partnership with Hull City Council.
Charles Pinder, chairman of Stand, opened the service.
"It is a great honour to represent the city and the families of those loved ones lost at sea," he said.
"This service is always fantastically supported and ensures that we all take the time to remember those who did extraordinary jobs and who left our shores but never returned.
"This event is made all the more important because those who lost their lives at sea have no graves.
"Hull has such a rich fishing heritage and those who helped create that and gave so much need to be remembered.
"The stories and memories you hear from people about their relatives who worked on board the vessels are fascinating and this is what today's event is all about."
The day of remembrance also marked the 45th anniversary of the Triple Trawler Tragedy.
Fifty-eight men died in Britain's worst peacetime fishing disaster when St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland sank within three weeks of each other during a brutal winter.
Among those who attended the service were Lord Mayor Danny Brown, Hull City Council leader Steve Brady and MPs Karl Turner and Alan Johnson.
Alan Claughton attended the service with his ten-year-old son Joshua.
Mr Claughton, 48, of east Hull, said: "I try to attend every year to pay my respects.
"My dad worked as a trawlermen for a number of years and he always used to tell me and my brothers and sisters some amazing stories.
"Luckily, he returned home from each of his fishing trips and was there to watch us grow up, but a lot of dads were not as fortunate."
Ron Wilkinson, treasurer of Stand, was delighted with the turnout.
"We are blown away each year with the number of people who attend the service, even in the snow," he said.
"We hold it in January because it was very common for trawlermen to lose their lives at this time of year," he said.
"This service is not just about paying our respects to those who lost their lives but also to their families.
"Many of the trawlermen who perished were the breadwinners of homes and supported large families and the loss of them had huge consequences."
The service was concluded with a minute's silence, signalled by Hull Sea Cadet Corps.
The laying of wreaths by relatives and civic representatives and the casting of flowers into the River Humber brought the curtain down on another poignant day in the city's history.