Service will mark final chapter for lost Grimsby trawler –

Service will mark final chapter for lost Grimsby trawler Published:  07 July, 2011

THE ordeal of 20 brave Grimsby trawlermen who lost their lives off the coast of Norway over 50 years ago will finally be laid  to rest this weekend.

The Grimsby Fishermen’s Mission is holding the annual Lost Fishermen’s Service in Grimsby Minster on Sunday, but part of that service will be given over to a special commemoration for the crew of the trawler Laforey which perished on the night of February 7th 1954 when the ship foundered on a reef.

Last year two Norwegian divers found the wreck and rescued the ship’s bell which was brought back to Grimsby. The now somewhat mis-shapen bell will be dedicated at Sunday’s service and then hung permanently in the Grimsby Fishermen’s Chapel.

But it will also mark the end of a long quest for Grimsby skipper Garry Evans whose mother, Sylvia Evans, had three close relatives on the Laforey.

She lost her father, Billy Mogg, who was the skipper, her brother and third hand Kenneth James Mogg and her uncle Jack Debbage Powley. Ironically, her husband, Thomas Evans (and Garry’s father) was skipper of another Grimsby trawler, the Stockham, which was sent in vain to the Laforey’s assistance that fateful night.

Garry and his sister-in-law Sue Evans have recently returned from an emotional trip to the island Fanoya in Norway, close to where the ship was lost. Local people and businesses have raised money to erect a special memorial to the crew which includes the Laforey’s anchor, also found by the divers, and which was dedicated during their visit.

The Grimsby pair scattered 20 red roses – one for each member of the crew – in the area where the ship went down. Garry said: “We were both very moved by the whole occasion. The Norwegians flew their flags in memory of the crew – I cannot thank these fabulous people enough.”