Letitia

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Letitia
Boat Type: 
Motor Sailor
Boat Length: 
30 ft
Boat Beam: 
10 ft 6 ins
Boat Draft: 
5 ft
Boat Displacement: 
7.09 tons
Boat Engine: 
Ford 4D Diesel
Boat Construction: 
Carvel, utile on oak
Boat Builder: 
Johnson & Johnson
Boat Year: 
1938

Letitia's rudder was damaged while she was close inshore at Dunkirk and she took a tow from the drifter Ben and Lucy. The Renown's engine had also broken down and she made fast to Letitia's tow. Half-an-hour later Renown struck a mine and a shower of splintered wood came down on Letitia's deck. The Renown was lost with skipper Noakes and her crew - Frank and Leslie Osborne and Harry Noakes - all cousins - and Harold Porter, a naval rating from Birmingham. A.J. Dench, the Letitia's skipper said: "In the pitch dark we could see nothing and could do nothing - except pull in the tow rope, which was just as we had passed it to Renown three quarters of an hour before." Today Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, has its own memorial to those brave men.

The Resolute and Letitia made it back to Ramsgate, as did the Defender. There they were told by the Navy that they now wanted only ships that could do 10 knots or more, so they returned to Leigh-on-Sea. "On the lighter side," Eric recalled, " we went to Naval Head-quarters to collect our pay - I think mine was just under ?4 and the deckhands' just over ?3 each. Waiting for the train at Southend Central Harold King, the deckhand on Reliance suggested a game of cards. Ten minutes later, on arrival at Leigh-on-Sea, he had one shilling left. As Eric put it with his characteristic humour: ". . . . easy come, easy go, they say! "

Letitia retired from full-time fishing in 1990, and has now been repaired and restored with a sailing rig for cruising and occasional fishing.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 & 13

Updated: 5/11/99