WARRIOR was built in 1912 as a naval pinnace. Her own early records, including her involvement in the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, were destroyed when an incendiary bomb struck her while she lay, still under naval command, on the river Thames at Greenwich. At that time WARRIOR served as a coastal defence vessel and was used by Commander C.A. Lund to instruct naval officers in navigation and seamanship at HMS KING ALFRED in 1942.
Since the war, WARRIOR has had five owners. Stanley Crabtree had her entirely refitted at Dickie's Yard, Bangor, Wales, in the late 1960s. In earlier days she had a fine figurehead of an Indian warrior which was maintained faithfully in its original colours even when WARRIOR was painted in battleship grey. Sadly, she lost this figurehead during her restoration. John and Mary Hornshaw purchased WARRIOR in 1972 from Stanley Crabtree at Glasson Dock, Lancaster, and in May 1973, John and his son Michael and a professional skipper sailed WARRIOR through the Bay of Biscay to Gibraltar.
John and Mary lived on WARRIOR in the Mediterranean, exploring from Palma de Mallorca to the Greek Islands, and Malta, and the Spanish mainland coast. In 1985 they brought the vessel back across the Bay of Biscay on their own, and lived onboard in Torquay until selling the vessel in May 1989. She then came under the ownership of Dennis Wells. The vessel’s lower hull was re-planked in 2000 and has had a modern touch with GRP sheathing. The upper helm, despite being rebuilt over the years, retains its original shape. However the saloon behind the helm has changed over the years, from a totally open rear deck to a full saloon.
Under new ownership from October 2010, much work has been done. The vessel was in poor repair so has undergone a major rebuild and at the time of registration, was fully operational again.
This vessel is a survivor from the First World War. You can read more about her wartime history by visiting our First World War: Britain's Surviving Vessels website www.ww1britainssurvivingvessels.org.uk.
- 1912 Vessel built by Camper & Nicholsons
- 1940 Vessel involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War
- 1942 Vessel served as a coastal defence vessel used to instruct naval officers at HMS KING ALFRED
Underwent entire refit at Dickie's Yard, Bangor, Wales
- 1973 Sailed through the Bay of Biscay to Gibraltar
- 1985 Vessel returned from Bay of Biscay to Torquay
Vessel's centenary year
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