Coastguard Snippets

These are general snippets of information that I have come across in my searches, I will add to them as and when I find more.  For some there are more details, denoted by a succession of dots ……

29 Sept 1855THE FALL OF SEBASTOPOLOn Friday 21st, the dinner given by the residents and visitors of Sandown to the soldiers of the detachment and men of the Coastguard stationed there in honour of the successes at Sebastopol, took place at 2oclock on the green-terrace within the sea wall of the Battery, the present occupant of the delightful marine residence having gladly devoted that portion of the grounds to the use of the committee of management….. (IW Observer)

10 May 1856
Coastguards relieved from service on board various ships of war at Portsmouth, arrived at their respective stations in the Isle of Wight, for permanent duty, on Thursday and Friday last, in place of the Pensioners, who were discharged on the arrival of the ratifications of peace and final termination of war. …..(IW Observer) 

19 Jan 1861 .. BROOKE A correspondent, signing himself “an officer in the Royal Navy”, writes in reference to the case reported in the Observer of the 5th inst., recording “the loss of a brigantine, belonging to Jersey, under the cliff near Freshwater-gate, when Donald MCLEOD, a Coastguardsman, lost his life by a piece of the cliff falling upon his head, while in the execution of his duty of endeavouring to assist crew of the said vessel, leaving a widow and a large family totally unprovided for, and for whom a subscription has been collected, chiefly through the activity and perseverance of a lady, which all here gratefully acknowledge, I beg to mention that, among others, a voluntary subscription of £2.10s. was made for the widow by the Battery of the Royal Artillery stationed at Fort Victoria, Isle of Wight.” (IW Observer)

27 Apr 1861 .. SMUGGLING AT BEMBRIDGE At the County Petty Sessions, Commissioned Boatman Joseph HOCKADAY said he was on duty the night of the 3rd/4th, at 1 oclock near Rock Lane and met 5 men, one had a stick and the others were carrying tubs, he struck a blue light and he saw one was James WYATT of Brading, who let 3 barrels fall from his back ……(IW Observer)

26 Mar 1863 .. MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT  An accident happened on Saturday afternoon to a preventative man from the Lake station and his wife, in a small boat passing from Cowes to their station vessel.  It appears the unfortunate couple had, as was their custom, been to Cowes to purchase necessities and in crossing to regain home, a sudden squall upset the boat and though both were picked up by a boat that was near, they were dead when taken out of the water. (IW Times)

7 May 1863 .. FOUND DROWNED An inquest was held on the body of a man about 20 years of age, that was picked up on the 2nd by coastguard George BULLEY at Spring Vale …… about 11 days before he was picked up, coastguardsman HICKS  spoke to a man answering the deceased’s description, who said he could easily swim the distance of 5 miles to Portsmouth ……(IW Times)

31 Dec 1864 .. ASSAULTED At the County Petty Sessions on Saturday, George WILLIAMS a boatman, was charged with assaulting Thomas PITT, an officer of the coastguard at Ventnor, on the previous Sunday at half past 12 in the day.  Complainant was on duty at the time, but he was content to treat it as a common assault, when the defendent was fined 10shillings and costs.(IW Observer)

1 Jan 1866 .. INFANT FOUND IN CLOSET – On Sunday morning last, the body of an infant child was found in a closet belonging to the house of Mr WADE, coastguard, which stands on the cliff at St Lawrence.  An inquest was held at the St Lawrence Hotel …… Elizabeth WADE, the wife of George WADE, coastguard, said “we live at Orchards Bay, St Lawrence, which is used in connection with the preventative station.  It only consists of one house and no-one occupies the house but ourselves, a girl age 14 and a boy age 12” ……(Ventnor Times)

12 Feb 1876 .. MEETING – A meeting of the Lifeboatmen took place at the Brook Lifeboat Station …… Mr ELLIS , officer of Coastguards was present …… the matter under discussion was the wreck of the”Mignonett”…… (Ryde & Ventnor Times)

29 Apr 1876 .. INCIDENT AT RYDE – An excess of zeal was the verdict, concerning an incident on Ryde esplanade, about action  taken by Coastguard WILTSHIRE, when well-known local resident and fisherman, Robert HAWARD , was seen handing some brandy to his son……(IW Times)

6 May 1876 .. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF WRECKAGE William ATTRILL of Bembridge was charged;   Mr George WEEKS said he was Chief Officer of the coastguard station, Bembridge and in the beginning of March last, a vessel laden with flour & c. and called the “Glenaray” was wrecked at Blackgang.  On 13th March he went on board a small vessel belonging to the defendant called the “Traveller” and asked if he had any of the wrecked flour onboard his vessel?  He replied that he had 8 to 9 gallons of it, with which they had been making puddings.  He told defendant to bring him the remainder on shore, which he had promised to do, but he failed to keep his promise.  The flour was valued at 1s. per gallon. – Defendant pleaded guilty and threw himself on the mercy of the court.  He was ordered to pay 16s. being double the value of the flour and costs of 5s.(IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times) *

12 July 1877 .. PEDESTRIAN FEAT – On the forenoon of Monday, one of the men named NEALE attached to the coastguard force at Ventnor, proved himself a good walker, and, what we suspect was more gratifying him still, the winner of a sovereign – this being the amount of a wager laid between himself and a gentleman visiting the town, that he could walk to Blackgang and back, some six and half hours each way, in two hours and a half.  The distance was performed by NEALE in two hours and a quarter, who therefore won the wager.  Who says a match will not be found for O’LEARY? – aye even in Ventnor; (IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times)  *

5 Apr 1879 .. BAPTISM An unusual scene was witnessed in St Paul’s church, Sandgate on Monday morning. A coastguardsman, at his own desire, was baptised by immersion by the incumbent, the Rev Francis J. JONES. A congregation, numbering about sixty persons, principally ladies, was present. The incumbent delivered a short and suitable address, and the Church of England form for the baptism of adults was used. At the appointed portion of the service the candidate, who was dressed in white coastguard uniform, was immersed in a large bath. (IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times) * although not on the Isle of Wight, I would be interested to know who this was.

19 July 1879
.. DEATH IN ZULULAND We regret to hear that Richard OLIVER, son of Mr OLIVER who was for many years connected with the Ventnor Coastguard Station — has succumbed to fever whilst serving with the Naval Brigade in the Zulu War. Deceased was about 19 years of age and since he had been in the Navy, had borne an excellent character. Much sympathy is felt with Mr OLIVER by those who know him, as it is not very long since his eldest son William, who was at Mr NICHOLSON‘s establishment in this town, died rather suddenly. Mr OLIVER is now the Officer-in-Charge at Marshwood near Southampton.(IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times) *

11 June 1881 ..  SUDDEN DEATH –  On Monday evening one of the coastguard men stationed at Fishbourne, named George HONEYMAN died with frightful suddenness. It seems that he was near the boathouse talking to some young gentlemen who came over from Southsea in a boat, when he dropped down without warning and died.  No inquest, however, will be held, as it seems the poor man had been attended for rheumatism and heart disease.  He was about 36 years of age and leaves a wife and 5 children. (IW Observer) ~

03 March 1883 .. ACCIDENT – On Thursday week morning Mr. J. H. CORBETT, coastguard, was somewhat seriously hurt.  It appears that he was engaged in helping some other men at the St. John’s-road Station to shunt some trucks, and got caught by a truck as he was standing against one of the sheds,  There was not sufficient room for him to stand, and the truck severely jammed him.  He was found on the line by one of jis comrades, and was taken to the Infirmary, where it was found that he had sustained serious injuries to his collar-bone and shoulders.  He is however doing well. 

February 1886.. H.M. Coastguard Revenue cutter “Spy” embarked some of the customs officers and coastguardsmen from Totland and Yarmouth and proceeded to Cowes for the annual drill on board H.M. Coastguard ship “Hector”.

17 July 1886
.. BOAT FATALITY – It will be remembered that on the 19th last, a coastguard boat was capsized off the coast of Dorset, when three men were drowned, amongst them being chief boatman NEWBERRY, a native of Shorwell, IW.  On Sunday last the body of the deceased chief boatman was found on the beach near Atherfield, by a fisherman named William COTTON, and was taken to Atherfield coastguard station.  It is most remarkable that the body of the unfortunate man, after being in the water for three weeks, should have been carried such a distance and washed ashore on his native Island, and in his own parish. (IW County Press) 

1 Feb 1890 .. WRECK OF SAILING SHIP “IREX” One the the most disastrous wrecks which have occurred for many years …… the rocket apparatus arrived from Freshwater Bay and through the excellent management of the officer in charge, Coastguard Mr SPILMAN, the first rocket was fired from the inside of the Fort at 1.10, it was a spendid shot fired by Coastguard HALLET …… The brilliant and skilful handling of the rocket apparatus by Mr SPILMAN and his gallant corps of coastguards cannot be too highly praised …….. Coastguard MACHIN went off and brought a lad safely to shore …… (County Press) there are four large pages to this report, with other names mentioned.

 8 Feb 1890 .. COASTGUARD HONOURED – Mr SPILMAN of the coastguard at Freshwater, is a native of Bembridge and his many friends here are pleased to hear of the honour bestowed upon him ……(County Press) 5 Apr 1890 .. SANDOWN IMPROVEMENT ? – A letter from the Lords of the Admiralty was read, stating that they had no objection to the strip of waste land immediately opposite the Coastguard Station being let to the Board, with a view to the forming of an ornamental recreation ground, the land to be let to the Board on a yearly tenancy, at a nominal rent of 1 shilling per annum. 

30 Apr 1892 .. FIRE AT FRESHWATER When fire broke out at 1.30 am, at the old cottage occupied by William KELLEWAY a gardener, the Coastguards were amongst willing hands on the spot, who endeavoured to subdue the flames. (County Press)

11 Oct 1892
.. MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTION – Charles REYNOLDS Chief Boatman in charge of HM Coastguards died age 48.  Deeply missed by his widow and five children.  Buried with Naval Honours at St Helens on the 13th Oct.(See County Press report Jan 1893) 

30 Mar 1895 .. INSPECTION Admiral CULME-SEYMOUR made his triennial of the Sandown Coastguard station last Tuesday afternoon.  He was accompanied by Commander BURT and expressed satisfaction with the inspection.(County Press)

29 Aug 1896 .. STRUCK BY LIGHTENING During a sharp thunderstorm that passed over the Island on Wednesday, the Atherfield Coastguard Station was struck by lightening.  The chimney of the house of Chief Boatman in charge, Mr MCCARTHY, was destroyed and much other damage done to the masonry and woodwork. The lightening fired the telephonic communication with Mr MCCARTHY‘s bedroom and set on fire the woodwork of the instrument.  Mr MCCARTHY who was at the time receiving a communication and Jesse WOLLVEN the watchman on duty, were thrown violently through the doorway for some yards, but they fortunately escaped without serious injury.  (County Press) 

January 1894 .. A young lad named Herbert WARDER had a narrow escape from drowning, he was fishing for crabs at the Town Quay when his foot got entangled in the line and he fell overboard head foremost.  Hearing his cries the Coastguard on duty, E.H.BILLETT, without divesting himself of any clothing, jumped overboard with commendable promptitude and bravery and rescued the lad just in time.  Great credit is due to Coastguard BILLETT for his gallant act.

15 June 1901
.. CLEVER CAPTURE BY COASTGUARDJames CONNELL a coastguard stationed at Newtown coastguard station and the stratagem displayed by him, resulting in the re-capture of 2 escaped convicts from Parkhurst Prison, is deserving of the highest praise .CONNELL is an old sailor and has seen a good deal of service…… (County Press)

29 June 1901
.. CAPTURING CONVICTS – The reward of 10pounds has been paid by the Prison Authorities for the recent capture at Newtown, of the two escaped convicts from Parkhurst, who were found by Coastguard CONNELL of that district.   (County Press) 

2 May 1908 .. NAVAL DISASTER OFF YARMOUTH – During a blizzard the 2nd class cruiser “Gladiator” was rammed by the American liner “St Paul” …… the Yarmouth Coastguard who were early aquainted with the accident, lost no time in getting a boat out. They made immediately for the sinking “Gladiator”, but on reaching it, were despached to the “St Paul”, where they took off three of the “Gladiator’s” crew who had boarded the liner during the collision …… (County Press)there are four large pages to this report with many names mentioned  

 3 Sept 1910 .. REUNION – An enjoyable concert was held at the Ship & Launch on Saturday, the occasion being a social gathering of the Coastguards and Trinity House employees who took part in the East Cowes regatta.  An excellent programme of songs was contributed by members of both services.  Mr F. WILSON was the pianoforte accompanist, assisted by Coastguard SAINSBURY (guitar).  Coastguard ARNOLD occupied the chair.  Mr F. FOWLER spoke on behalf of the Trinity Service, expressing gratification at the cordial feeling existing between the men of both services ……  (County Press)

 4 Nov 1911 .. RUSSIAN SAILORS – On Thursday between midnight and 1 o’clock, the mate and two hands of the schooner “Swicks” of Riga, landed on Ventnor beach in an exhausted and drenched condition.  Coastguardsman CREESE assisted them ashore and Chief Officer DAWS took then to the agents of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society (Messrs. SPENCER & Son) who kindly supplied them with the much-needed refreshments and dry clothes.  It appears that the “Swiks” was homeward bound from Plymouth with a cargo of china clay…… (County Press)

13 Mar 1914 .. Mr. E. HIGGINS who has been in the office of the Ventnor Coastguard Station for the past few years, left the town yesterday, having been attached to the Coastguard at Southsea.  (Mercury)

31 July 1914 .. THE WAR – The outbreak of hostilities on the Continent will have an undoubted effect on holiday resorts. Several Germans have hurriedly left Ventnor, and there has been a clearance of Austrian waiters from the several hotels.  The Ventnor telegraphic office remained open throughout Wednesday and Thursday nights.  On Thursday morning members of the local Coastguard were called up. (Mercury)

Comments are closed.