On 21 October 1904, the Gamecock Fleet, which consisted of approximately fifty trawlers, was attacked by the Russian Baltic Fleet in the North Sea off Dogger Bank. Despite signals to call off the attack, the Russians bombarded the trawlers for ten minutes, sinking one ship and damaging five others. As Russia was at war with Japan, it is believed that the British ships were mistaken for enemy vessels.
This black and white transparency image entitled ‘Russian Outrage on Hull Trawlers’ is part of Hull Museums Collections. It shows people gathered at St Andrews Dock after the Gamecock Fleet had returned. Among the crowd there is a Black gentleman dressed in dark clothing. His presence demonstrates the inclusion of men of African descent in the region’s maritime sphere during the early twentieth century. It is possible that one of his friends or relatives were on board the Gamecock Fleet or he was simply on the dock to show his support or hear the latest news.
Thanks to Alec Gill and Nicholas Evans for bringing this image to our attention.
To learn more about Black seamen in Hull click here
Dr Lauren Darwin
African Stories Project Researcher.