Gate Vessel 17


Battle Class Trawler





Launched: 02 Aug 1917

Commissioned: 13 Nov 1917

Paid off: 

Re-commissioned: 01 May 1923

Paid off: 1934

Re-commissioned: 1939

Paid off: 17 Aug 1945

Fate: Scuttled 30 Jun 1971


Built at Toronto, FESTUBERT was commissioned on 13 Nov 1917, and after brief service was laid up until 01 May 1923. She was then re-commissioned for training and other duties on the east coast until once more placed in reserve in 1934. From 1939 to 17 Aug 1945, she was again in service as Gate Vessel 17 at Halifax. FESTUBERT was sold in 1946 for commercial use and renamed Inverleigh. She was scuttled off Burgeo, Nfld., on 30 Jun 1971.


The end of the Inverleigh, researched by Bud (Donald C.) Rose

     Having been declared surplus in 1946, the FESTUBERT was purchased by Fisheries Products Ltd. In Burgeo Nfld. The vessel was renamed the INVERLEIGH. 

     This Fishery Products operation was started in 1941on a floating ship named the Netherton which was moored to the wharf at Burgeo. This ship caught fire on 5th Nov 1941 (was destroyed) and the operation then moved to a shore based plant. During the mid-1940s two of their trawlers, Beatrice Beck and Bastin, were lost at sea. With all shipbuilding geared to the war effort, trawlers were hard to replace. In 1954 Fishery Products Ltd was sold to Spencer Lake who founded Burgeo Fish Industries, and he acquired the INVERLEIGH along with their other three trawlers.

     By 1970, the Nfld Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union had been certified and a bitter struggle ensued with the fish plant owners. Spencer Lake along with some other owners shut down their plants in defiance of the union. Lake was one of only a few plant owners that owned their own trawlers.

     In 1971 the Nfld Government finally stepped in and offered to purchase all the Lake Plants for a reported $6 million dollars. The Lake family owned a lot of commercial ventures in Burgeo, thus requiring an asset list of what was to be transferred to the new Government Co- Op. The list included all fish plant structures and chattels, wharf, docking and off loading facilities and four of the five trawlers.

     The fifth was the INVERLEIGH; now in her 55th year, she no longer had a role to play with all the new factory / freezer trawlers, plus she had laid idled during the nine month strike (and then some). On the books of a private company she could be listed as an "inventory asset". In a government controlled Co-Op she would be a liability. She was not listed for transfer to the Co-Op.

     On 30th. June 1971, INVERLEIGH, (the former HMCS FESTUBERT) was paid off for the last time. She was scuttled of the coast from Burgeo in an area considered by many to be a graveyard for many a lost ship.



Photos and Documents



Commanding Officers


Lt William James Milne, RNCVR - 16 Jun 1918 - unk 

Lt Howard Emmerson Reid, Lt, RCN - 1923 - unk

Lt John Crispo Inglis Edwards, RCN - 10 Mar 1924 - unk

LCdr George Berkeley Fraser Barnes - 10 May 1927 - unk

Lt Henry George DeWolf, RCN - 14 Apr 1930 - unk

LCdr Maurice Adrian, Wood LCdr - RCN 01 Jan 1933 - unk

LCdr Francis Robert Williams Roberts Gow, RCN - 19 Jul 1933

LCdr Donald St. George Lindsay, RCN - 19 Apr 1943 - unk



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Branch, Charles

Bullock, Harold L.

Desbarats, Duncan Joseph


Drafted to FESTUBERT on 01 May 1918 at W. Op 4th Cl, RNCVR

DeWolf, Henry G.

Dowling, Herbert E.

Doyle, Donald F.

Edwards, John C.I.

Farley, William

Fenerty, Morris St. G.

Gow, Francis R.W.

Hann, John

Houghton, Frank L.

Kiln, Alec R.

Lindsay, Donald St. George

Lindsay, James

McMurdo, Stephen B.

Pattison, Ralph R.

Phillips, Alexander


Drafted to FESTUBERT on 01 May 1918 as Mate, RNCVR

Reid, Howard E.

Smith, Aloysius Joseph


Drafted to FESTUBERT on 01 May 1918 at Ch/Art (E), RCN

Watt, Thomas

Wood, Maurice A.






Former Crew Members


Cairns, Thomas Gillone Shapely, Lt, RCNR - 27 Jan 1944



Photos and Documents





(FTB002) HMCS FESTUBERT  //  RCN Photo # HS-0293-4  //  Courtesy of the Comox RCAF Museum





(HD01) Stoker H.E. Dowling (back row, 2nd from left) with shipmates on HMCS FESTUBERT circa 1929-1933

(HD02) Stoker H.E. Dowling (left) with shipmate on HMCS FESTUBERT circa 1929-1933

From the collection of Herbert E. Dowling, L/Stoker, RCN

Courtesy of Bill Cummins