Price = n/a
HMS Gunner R.N.V.R. Brass Tray
We have researched two possible scenarios for the this fine brass tray, the final item from the mainly Royal Naval collection we have just listed. The first possibility relates to WWI when Granton harbour in Scotland was used as the base for mine-sweeping, utilising mainly Scottish trawlers and their crews, called into active service and conscripted as part of the Royal Navy Reserve. Granton was operational from 1915-1919 and was officially renamed as "HMS Gunner" in reference to the name of the largest trawler in its fleet. The harbour was then home to mine-sweepers, decoy ships (Q-ships), and anti-submarine vessels. Conscripted fishing vessels were regarded as part of the Royal Navy so our tray may relate to this trawler/minesweeper or to the associated land base.
The alternative possibility is this relates to a conscripted trawler FY568, built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd in 1927 and taken over by the Admiralty in September 1939; she was 350 tons and was armed with a single 12 pdr anti-aircraft gun, mounted on the foredeck. As in WWI and despite the Royal Navy being the largest in the world, it was still not big enough to protect the convoys of merchant ships bringing goods and raw materials to our Island Nation. The Admiralty therefore requisitioned suitable ships to be used as minesweepers, many being trawler and drifters, that could simply be converted for minesweeping rather than fishing duties. These were normally commanded by RNR/RNVR (Royal Navy Reserve or the Volunteer Reserve) Lieutenants but often the ships were manned by their civilian crews. HMS Gunner served throughout the war, survived and was returned to her owners in 1946 and was finally scrapped in Ghent Belgium in 1954.
The tray carries a standard Royal Navy crest of Crown, Wreath and Anchor with R.N.V.R. above signifying Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. Below is the ships name HMS Gunner;it remains in remakably good condition with just the odd age mark to the brass. Either of the two suggested scenarios fit as no other vessel has ever served with the Navy that has carried the name 'Gunner'. We tend to think the second option is most applicable but all we can say for sure only one is the true story but we will leave that for the new owner to decide! The tray's diameter is 6" (15 cm) and would ne an ideal stocking filler for the Royal Naval collector in your life!