Built in 1901 in Paisley, Scotland for the Government as a submarine mining vessel, the Janie Seddon spent most of her career on Wellington Harbour and is credited with firing the first shots of the 2nd world war.
Several days before war was actually declared the RNZA manned the coastal defences. The Examination Vessels at the four main ports, previously manned by the General Duties Branch, NZ Permanent Force, were taken over by the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. When at 0945 hrs 3 September 1939 (2145 hrs 2 Sep GMT), the liner City of Delhi did not stop when ordered by the Port Examination Vessel Janie Seddon, the Fort Dorset Examination Battery fired a warning shot across her bows. It had the desired effect; spectators were astounded that so large a ship could ‘heave to’ so quickly. This shot was claimed by the RNZA to be the first of the war fired by British forces. The Captain of the City of Delhi subsequently paid for his lapse. In addition to being heavily fined he was ordered to pay for the complete 4-in round expended which in 1939 cost £40 ($80)
Source: George Klee genealogy
In 1947, the Janie Seddon was sold for use as a trawler to Talley’s Fisheries Ltd which started operations at Motueka.
Not a complete success.
Vessels of this size weren’t permitted to operate in the fish-rich coastal waters of Tasman Bay. Her operating radius was limited by a 5 day coal bunker, frequently resulting in the ship returning with empty coal bunkers and half empty holds.
She was laid up at Motueka Wharf in 1950, beached in 1955, stripped of everything useful and hulked on the beach at Motueka.
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>WEll bless her heart!V
>Glad that she had an important role in WWII but it appears that her working life was frustrated… I wonder if she is a good fish reef now, serving another purpose in her retirement.