| The No.1 Pilot Boat (Mersey Examination Vessel), the S.S. Alfred H. Read was deployed by the Liverpool Lighthouse and Pilotage Authority and engaged in examining incoming neutral vessels for contraband cargo. Pilots, with their local knowledge, would assist in the safe navigation of the Mersey estaury to dock. The ship was named after a former chairman of the Liverpool Marine and General Insurance Company, Sir Alfred Henry Read. She had been a recently built (1913) steam driven cutter of the Murdoch and Murray shipyard, Glasgow. |
The 457 ton vessel was carrying pilots in addition to her twenty-five crew when she detonated amine at 0700hrs and sank almost immediately, taking 23 of the crew and all of the pilots down with her.
Three crewmen were picked up alive and landed at Liverpool, along with several bodies' ADM 137/2963 - LR 1915-16 No.649 (A) No 1 pilot boat, S.S. Alfred H. Read struck a mine at the Bar Station The mine that sank her was laid by the submarine UC 75. A similar event occurred on New Years Eve 1916 when virtually the entire complement of Tyne pilots was wiped out in a "jolly-gone-wrong" on the Pilot Boat - Protector"