The steam drifter, wood built at Lowestoft in 1904, was bought by Matthew ‘Matty Airy’ CRIMLISK in 1914 when he saw the success ‘Billy Butter’ WATKINSON was having with a similar vessel, Lord Kitchener. Matthew shared ownership with William ‘Billy Trummy’ JENKINSON and the latter’s nephew, Richard Cammish JENKINSON. The war intervened and Emulator was requisitioned by the Admiralty and operated as a minesweeper. It is a terrible irony that she served without mishap until released by the government and then, on the first peace-time fishing trip from her home port, was blown up by a mine, about 25 miles east of Flamborough Head.
‘Matty Airy’ and his sons, Wilfred and Tom Robert CRIMLISK were killed. ‘Billy Trummy’ and his son, Thomas Castle ‘Toye’ JENKINSON also died, with Richard Cammish JENKINSON and Richard Baxter ‘Dick Fipney’ COWLING. Seven in all. A plaque in St Oswald’s Church names nine fishermen who died in 1919 but two were drowned from the coble Annie (yesterday’s post).
Seven Filey Men Lost
Drifter Sunk by Mine
There was great distress at Filey on Wednesday when it became known that the steam drifter Emulator, had been sunk through striking a mine 30 miles out of Scarborough, and that her crew of seven, all Filey men, had been lost. The Emulator left Scarborough on Tuesday afternoon for the fishing grounds, and the steam drifters Tryphena and Fear Not went out at the same time. The Tryphena returned on Wednesday morning and the Fear Not in the afternoon, and reported that shortly before ten o’clock on Tuesday night they heard a terrific explosion in the direction where they last saw the Emulator fishing. They missed the Emulator’s lights, and later, whilst cruising round, discovered traces of oil on the water, but there was no sign of any crew. A search was made at daylight by the Fear Not, but nothing could be seen, and after getting in their own lines the two drifters returned to port. The Emulator was taken over by the Government in 1916, and several members of the crew have been with her all the time. Latterly she has been fishing out of Grimsby, and only returned to Scarborough last Friday. She was owned by three of the men who, it is feared, have gone down with her, namely, Matthew Crimlisk, skipper aged about 40, married, of Filey (who had two sons with him); William Jenkinson, of Filey, mate (who had one son with him); and Richard Jenkinson. The other missing man is Richard Cowling, who married the daughter of a well-known Scarborough fisherman, and who leaves a widow and six or seven children.
Hull Daily Mail, 17 April 1919
There haven’t been enough hours today for me to find all the lost men and their families on FamilySearch Tree. Mainly because I have a studio portrait and headstone photograph, I’ll briefly introduce ‘Dick Fipney’ now.
Richard Baxter, son of William ‘Fipney’ COWLING and Margaret BAXTER, was born in 1871. Through common ancestors Robert JENKINSON and Margaret TRUCKLES, he was a third cousin to the other six aboard Emulator.
He married Alice BAYES in Scarborough in 1898 and the couple had seven children. Filey Genealogy & Connections shows that all but one married. The children of Richard and Alice haven’t been entered on the FamilySearch Tree yet.