Lazarus Roberts joined the Coastguard and Revenue service in 1825 in Weymouth, Dorset and was in until his retirement in 1855, and was stationed at Lulworth, Milton on Sea, Harwich and Brightlinsea, before Yarmouth in 1845. In his own words, in his claim for the Greenwich Out Pension in 1860 he says;
"After the peace in 1815, not from choice but from necessity after waiting years endeavouring to obtain employment in his own profession but without success, he joined the Coast Guard service where he used every effort in putting down smuggling and succeeded in capturing a greater number of goods than any officer then employed and he begs to observe that this was not done by one fortunate seizure, but was the result of constant exertion and perseverance running great risk both at sea and on shore, having been twice seriously injured in normal conflicts with smugglers. On the first occasion being forced over a cliff at Lulworth in Dorset and seriously injured and on the second being opposed by a group of smugglers armed with flails, himself and Chief boatman (the only two present) were left senseless on the ground, the latter dying from the injuries he received and so seriously was this considered the the Board of Customs offered a reward of £500 for the apprehension of the offenders, a larger sum than ever offered on any other occasion."
He also claims he captured "2682 tubs of spirit, 208 bales of tobacco, 9 bales of snuff, 37 chests of tea, 16 cases of plate glass, 18 vessels and boats and 51 men" He was also a strong swimmer and twice saved the lives of men at sea.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Robert Webb.