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RNLI Gallantry Medals

Royal National Lifeboat Institution Gallantry Medals won by Coastguards Stationed in Ireland from 1824 till 1922.

Extracted from “Lifeboat Gallantry” edited by Barry Cox.

Honorary Librarian, Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

ROSS,RICHARD, Chief Boatman, Coastguard Curracloe. Co. Wexford Silver Medal 9 November 1825.

On the 20th.October 1825 the ‘Mary and Eliza’ was wrecked on passage from Bangor to Wexford at Curracloe Island at 5 a.m. and four seamen were drowned. Mr. Ross and his crew of six men carried their gig on their shoulders to a point opposite the wreck off Wexford Harbour. The gig was swamped and her side completely stoved in, whilst the casualty’s mast and upper works separated from her hill. Heavy seas broke over both craft, and the rescuers were give up for lost by those on shore. The damaged gig reached the shore safely, and the coastguards immediately launched a strand cot and after many attempts, rescued the Master and one seaman, the former apparently dead but he was revived.

BARRY, GARRETT, Lt. Coastguard, Sandy Island. Co. Cork. Silver Medal. 22 February 1826.

On the 15th.January 1826 in a gale and heavy seas the vessel ‘Eliza’ was wrecked at 4 a.m. on Sandy Island, Kinsale.At daylight by putting off in a boat through heavy surf, Lt. Barry with five coastguards was able to save all of her crew except for one boy. Lt. Barry had to make two trips and at times, the boat was nearly swamped.

MORRIS, JOHN ROW. Captain Coastguard, Newcastle. Co. Down. Gold Medal

DOUGLAS, ALEXANDER. Boatman, Coastguard, Newcastle. Co. Down. Silver Medal 5 April 1826.

On the 6th.March 1826 the barque Richard Pope was driven ashore in Dundrum Bay, near Newcastle in a strong gale and amid tremendous surf. A galley with Captain Morris aboard was launched from the shore at 1 p.m. but, nearing the casualty, because of the gale and only being able to row with the lee-side oars, the galley filled with water and drifted ashore. Another boat then made an unsuccessful rescue attempt but was compelled to return. A boat launched from the barque was upset and four of the five occupants drowned. Alexander Douglas almost drowned when he swam through the surf and just failed to save a seaman. The surf continued to be very heavy until after dark and during the night another survivor drowned. By daybreak the sea had abated; the coastguards and shoreboatmen then combined to save the remaining ten men aboard the barque.

WOOD, THOMAS LAMB, Chief Officer Coastguard, Dunany. Co. Louth. Silver Medal. 7 June 1826.

On 25th.March 1826 three fishermen set sail from Cooly to return home, but a violent easterly gale and tremendous seas made it impossible to weather Dunany Point, north of Clogher Head. The boat was twice upset by the sea and this was seen by the coastguard who made two unsuccessful attempts to launch their own boat. Being the only man amongst his crew that could swim, Mr. Wood then stripped, swam off from the shore with a rope tied round his waist. He was able to rescue one man, but the two others drowned.

*Some years later Mr.Wood reported the theft of his medal, and on 11th.March 1840 a replacement medal was voted.

MORRISON, RICHARD JAMES. Lt.Coastguard, Youghal Co. Cork. Silver Medal 27 February 1828

27 February 1828. Bound for Cork from Newport, the Sloop ‘Mermaid’ was wrecked in Whiting Bay, near Youghal. Lt. Morrison and five of his men saved the Master and four seamen by using ropes.

BLOIS, JOHN RALPH .Inspecting Commander,Coastguard, Glynn, Co. Wexford. .Gold Medal .20 August 1828

On the 18th.March 1828 at 9 p.m. a boat belonging to the steam packet ‘Venus’ of Glasgow came ashore at Glynn,Co.Wexford with the Master, a lady and seven others aboard. The steam packet had been left in a sinking condition with 16 people aboard. Captain Blois put off in a small coastguard boat to try to effect a rescue. There was a gale blowing over a very heavy sea so this proved impossible. Captain Blois then sought the help of two fishing boats, but they each refused to put to sea even though a light could be seen which it was assumed belonged to the wreck. By this time the light had disappeared, So the coastguards returned to the shore and gave comfort to the people who had managed to reach safety in the steam packet’s boat. Captain Blois ordered that a most strict lookout be maintained through the night and, at dawn, after the masts had been sighted, he launched and ten survivors were brought ashore.

CARTER, JOHN, Chief Officer Coastguard, Skerries.Co. Dublin. Silver Medal. 23 April 1828

On 26th.March 1828 the ketch ‘British Oak’ was wrecked on the south strand of Skerries while on passage from Liverpool to Dublin. With another coastguard and five fishermen, Mr. Carter launched a yawl and saved the Master, Mate and two seamen clinging to the wreck’s masthead with a tremendous sea breaking over them.

HANNING, NICHOLAS, Boatman Coastguard Minard. Co. Kerry. Silver Medal. 24 December 1828.

MARK, WILLIAM, Boatman Coastguard, Minard. Silver Medal.

RENOWDEN, JOSEPH, Boatman Coastguard Minard. Silver Medal.

ROWE, WILLIAM. Boatman Coastguard Minard. Silver Medal.

During the 7-8th.December 1828 in stormy weather the Belfast brig Veronica was driven ashore on the sands outside Inch bar in Dingle Bay. The vessel soon became a total wreck and her crew and a passenger were forced to take to the rigging with the mountainous seas breaking over them. It was impossible for rescuers to get near to her and after a short time, the wreck was driven into deeper water where it sank with the mainmast gone; and her foretop out of the water with all the survivors clinging to it. The Coastguard four oared gig launched and got clear but filled and had to be bailed out. Still she managed to take on board the brig’s Master, Mate, Carpenter, 13 seamen and a passenger. The gig then paddled or drifted to the shore, a journey lasting two and a half hours, which ended with the gig being overturned and everybody having to be rescued from the surf.

LITHABY, PHILIP. Chief Boatman Coastguard Ballywalter Co. Down .Silver Medal.18 February 1829

On 30th.December 1828 in a very strong wind and heavy sea , the steam packet “Sheffield”, Liverpool to Belfast was seen to be on Skullmartin Rock, about one and half miles from the shore, at Ballywalter with a distress signal flying. The coastguard manned their boat. Because of the wind, the sea and the boats weight, it took an hour and a half to reach the rock. Meanwhile three other boats had been manned. Mr. Lithaby succeeded in getting hold of a buoy with a rope attached, by which he was drawn on board the steamer. With the Master, he organised the passage of women and children passengers on to the rock where the surf was breaking with such force that great judgement was needed to bring the boats along side. However in six hours the Master, two Mates, two engineers, 16 seamen and 24 passengers were landed safely.

LLOYD SAMUEL. Lt.Chief Officer Coastguard, Ballycotton Co. Cork..Gold Medal18 February 1829.

HENNESSEY, JOHN. Extra man Coastguard, Ballycotton. Co. Cork. Silver Medal

On the 25th.January 1829 at about 2 p.m. the Spanish brig ‘Capricho’ bound for Bristol from Bilboa with a cargo of wheat, struck on a small island off Ballycotton. Lt. Lloyd and Mr. Hennessey put off in a four oared boat. In their anxiety to get alongside the wreck, they were driven by a violent sea on to a rock that stove them in amidships. They managed to return to shore, where a fisherman's whaleboat was commandeered and put out again to find that the brigs Master and crew were now on the rock. All efforts to rescue them failed. Twenty minutes later another boat was seen to put out from the shore with armed men intent on plunder, but under Lt. Lloyds orders this boat was used to save the brig’s crew. The Master was twice washed off the rock and saved by Mr. Hennessey who dived into the water. The brig had first got into difficulty when she sprung a leak and her pumps had become choked. The Master had been trying to make Cork but, failing to recognize the correct route because of heavy snow, he had run his ship ashore. Although the Master and all nine crew were saved the task of the coastguard was not yet finished as, for 6 days, they had to protect the ships remains from thousands of locals intent on plunder.

LLEWELLYN,DAVID. Chief Officer Coastguard Roberts Cove Co. Cork. .Silver Medal.1 April 1829

On the 25 January 1829 Mr. Llewellyn and his crew saved the entire complement of Master and 10 seamen from the Portuguese schooner ‘Souza and Bastos, wrecked at Rocky Bay.

HENRY, JOHN ALPHONSO. Lt.Coastguard, Groomsport Co. Down. Silver Medal 18 March 1829

On the 26th.January 1829 the sloop ‘Friends’ was wrecked in bad weather on Cockle Island, off Groomsport. Hearing cries Lt.Henry put off with his seven man crew. As the ridge of rocks completely encircling the vessel made it impossible to reach her, he landed on the island and burned two blue lights. The night was very dark with snow showers, but he went from rock to rock with waves breaking over them until he reached a point 15 to 20 yards from the survivors. He persuaded the crew - the Master, mate and two seamen - to get into their own boat but as it reached the spot where Lt.Henry waited, it upset, and the men were then dragged on to the rocks and saved.

FLETCHER, THOMAS.Chief Boatman, Rosslare, Co. Wexford Coastguard.Silver Medal.10 June 1829

On the 24th.April 1829 in severe weather the brig ‘Two Brothers’ was wrecked near Rosslare. Mr. Fletcher led eight coastguards to the rescue of the Master, seven crew and two passengers. Seven vain attempts were made to get a line on board by rocket, before four of his men launched a small punt in which, after three unsuccessful attempts in tremendous seas, all the survivors were brought ashore in three further trips.

HUTCHISON, WILLIAM. Lt. Coastguard, Kingstown. Co. Dublin. Gold Medal. 11 November 1829

On the 14th. August 1829 the brig ‘Duke’ was driven ashore in an easterly gale at 4 a.m. at Dalkey, in Sandy Cove, near Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) with the crew and passengers, five men, three women and three children on board. In spite of the danger of being dashed to pieces against rocks or the brig Lt. Hutchison with a crew of three coastguards and nine other men put out through tremendous surf and saved all eleven from the wreck. Immediately afterwards the masthead was washed away and the brig broke up completely.

CASEY, MICHAEL. Silver Medal 24 February 1830


On the 4th.December 1829 Casey and Phillips were volunteers in the crew of the coastguard boat which, with three other boats including the Rossglass ( Ardglass ?) lifeboat, saved the Master and 12 seamen from the ‘Sir James Kempt’ which was wrecked in Dundrum Bay, Co. Down, while on passage from New Brunswick, Canada to Liverpool. A woman and her infant child was also saved during the service.

THOMPSON, ROBERT KIRKPATRICK. Chf.Off. Coastguard, Clogherhead Co. Louth..Silver Medal.15 Dec.1830

20th.November 1830.Across the Irish Sea bad weather was causing trouble at Drogheda where the brig ‘Raven’ had grounded at night near the bar on the river Boyne. Mr. Thompson and a crew of fishermen double banked the oars of a country boat and put out. They succeeded in taking off the brig’s crew, the Master and four men , who had been in the rigging for several hours.

HYNES, BARTOLOMEW. Boatman Coastguard, Galway Silver Medal 15 December 1830

20 November 1830.On Ireland’s Atlantic coast the brig ‘Lillies’was wrecked on Black Rock, off Galway, Co. Galway. Two men were drowned, but the master and four men remained on board in the violent weather. Both a Coastguard boat and a boat from a man-o-war failed to save them and, during their several hours awaiting rescue, the survivors contrived, vainly to build a raft. Finally Mr. Hynes and a crew of nine fishermen took them off in a sailing boat.

DABINE, THOMAS DYMOCK JONES. Lt. Coastguard Wicklow. Silver Medal 2 March 1831

During the night of the 31st.January 1831 with the sea making a complete breach over her, the schooner ‘Jane’ was wrecked off the port of Wicklow. Entering the surf with ropes attached to their bodies, Lt. Dabine and his team of six coastguards tried to throw a boat-hook, with a lead line attached, to the schooner. After two hours unremitting effort, they succeeded in taking off the Master and three seamen. At daybreak they boarded the schooner to find only one dead seaman lashed to the foremast. One other seaman had drowned.

PROSSER, HENRY. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Nanny Water. Silver Medal

On the 31th.March 1831 during a heavy westerly gale, at 5 a.m., the Skerries smack ‘Wellington’ was reported sunk at Nanny Water, about two miles from the coastguard station. Only part of the topmast with men clinging to it could be seen. Mr. Prosser launched his boat with five coastguards and rescued two men. The remainder of the smack’s crew , including the Master - five in all - had been washed overboard

AUTRIDGE, Charles. Lieutenant . Coastguard Doonbeg. Co. Clare. Silver Medal 25 January 1832

21 December 1831. In strong westerly winds and a heavy running sea the Whitehaven brig ‘Cyclops’ was discovered at daybreak ashore at Doonbeg Co. Clare. Ireland, with her foremast and bowsprit gone, apparently waterlogged and her crew in the rigging. Lieutenant Autridge launched his gig with a crew of five Coastguardmen and pulled for three hours before he succeeded in reaching the brig which he found to be a complete wreck, with the sea making a complete breach over her. At the third attempt, during a lull in the weather, he pulled alongside and took off seven men and two boys. The Master had been washed overboard, and the carpenter had died in the rigging.

CARRINGTON, LAWRENCE GEORGE. Lt. Coastguard, Sheephaven. Co. Donegal. Silver Medal. 14 March 1832

On the 26th.January 1832 the Dublin brig ‘Bittern’ was wrecked at Dunfanaghy and her Mate and three seamen were drowned. After several attempts, Lt. Carrington and five local men put off in a boat and saved the Master and three other men.

ADAM, JOHN. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Blackwater. Co. Wexford. Silver Medal 9 May 1832

SAWTELL, EDWIN. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Cahore Co. Wexford. Silver Medal

On the 8th.April 1832 in a strong gale and heavy sea, the brig ‘Hawk’ was wrecked on Blackwater Bank. When she struck, five of her crew got a boat off and made for land. Seeing this, Mr. Adam and others brought their galley to the waters edge, but when the ‘Hawk’s” boat reached the outer bank, she swamped and her occupants were washed away, The galley put out to the wreck and took off the Master, two men and a boy. Meanwhile Mr. Sawtell also rescued a seaman who had set out from the wreck with a rope.

STUART, THOMAS. Lt. Coastguard, Cushendon. Co. Antrim. Silver Medal 3 December 1834

On the 7th.November 1834 the sloop ‘James’ was stranded 400 yards outside a bed of rocks in Cushenden Bay. Lt. Stuart with a crew of coastguards and fishermen, dragged their boat along the beach to the sloop’s lee. With the sloop’s crew taking refuge in the shrouds, ropes were thrown over and several unsuccessful attempts were made to get through the surf. Eventually the boat was worked alongside the wreck and took off her Master and five men but, on returning to the shore capsized. The occupants were dragged through the surf to safety.

DARRAGH, HUGH. Chief Officer, Coastguard Innisbofin. Co. Galway. Silver Medal 20 May 1835

On the 22th.April 1835 the boat belonging to the Light-house on Tory Island was upset while crossing Ballyness Bay and two men and two women were drowned. Mr. Darragh and four men put off in the Coastguard galley and rescued two men who clung to the upturned boat.

ROSS, RICHARD. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmore, Co. Waterford. Silver (2) Medal. 23 December 1835

On the 24th.November 1835 the brig ‘Collins’, Quebec to Liverpool, was wrecked near Dunmore Pier. Mr. Ross and five of his men launched a boat but were obliged to turn back by the violence of the weather. Getting

on to a rock abreast of the wreck, they succeeded in passing ropes on board by which the crew were hauled ashore one by one: the coastguards had other ropes had other ropes fastened around their bodies. When the rope around the Master broke and he was swept away, one of the coastguards plunged in and saved him; nearly lifeless, both of them were hauled on to the rocks. A total of eleven men were saved.

EDINGTON, CHARLES. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Knockadoon, Co. Cork. Silver Medal. 17 February 1836.

25th.November 1835. On passage from Newport to Youghal, the schooner ‘Ann and Elizabeth’ was wrecked near Youghal in violent weather. Collecting seven local men Mr. Edington launched a boat and saved the Master and four men.

THOMPSON, ROBERT KIRKPATRICK. Chief Officer Coastguard, Clogher Head. Silver (2) 11 January 1837.

At 7 p.m. on Christmas Day 1836, during a heavy gale, the sloop ‘Isabella’, Liverpool to Dundalk, was stranded on the north side of Clogher Head, Co. Louth, and sank soon afterwards. Some local fishermen brought a boat from the harbour, a mile and a half away, using a cart. Manned by Mr. Thompson, three coastguards and five fishermen, the boat went off through heavy surf and despite intense frost, reached the wreck at 3 a.m. where three men had been in the rigging since 8 p.m. One man had died from cold and fatigue, but the Master and another man were rescued.

TRIPHOOK, RICHARD. Captain, Revenue Cutter ‘Hamilton’ Silver Medal 19 April 1837.

On the 14th.February 1837 the Kilrush Brig ‘Leda’ on passage to London was wrecked at Kilrush. Co. Clare, Captain Triphook and six of his crew went off and saved the Master and Mate: the rest of the crew had previously quitted the brig in its boat.

ROBERTSON,JAMES HECTOR McKENZIE. Lieutenant R.N. Silver 21 June 1837.

30 April 1837; A small hooker set out from the Isle of Lattemore, off the coast of Galway, Ireland, loaded with seaweed and potatoes, and at 1.30 a.m. was wrecked at Greatman's Bay, near Currack in a hard south-west gale. At 11.30 a.m. her two man crew was stuck on a rock. Lieutenant Robertson and four men launched a local boat; it was two hours before high tide and they had to make four attempts before they were successful, even then they had to keep bailing during the rescue of the two men.

STRAINS, JOHN. Chief Officer, Coastguard, St. John’s Point Co. Down. Silver Medal 1 November 1837.

BROWNE, PHILIP R.M. Captain R.N. Silver Medal

ADAIR, WILLIAM. Boatman, Coastguard, St. John’s Point Silver Medal

ADAM, JOHN. Chief Officer, Coastguard, St. John’s Point Silver Medal (2)

HOGG, WILLIAM. Boatman, Coastguard, St. John’s Point Silver Medal

On the 11th.September 1837 the Liverpool ship ‘Coeur de Lion’ on passage to Montreal, Canada, encountered stormy weather and was driven ashore at the lower end of Dundalk Bay. With the regular crew of the Newcastle lifeboat

absent in the herring fleet, a volunteer crew was assembled by captain Browne. Mr. Strains volunteered to take command. They reached the wreck through heavy surf, and while they were bailing out, another boat from the shore took off six of the ship’s crew but was upset immediately and a number of the occupants drowned. The lifeboat and shore boats, in which Messrs, Adam, Adair and Hogg helped, saved the Master, one passenger and 23 seamen.

STUART, THOMAS, Lt. Coastguard, Dunmore. Co. Waterford. Silver (2) 10 January 1838.

On the night of the 19th.December 1837, in a westerly gale, the Cork sloop ‘Edward’ was seen at anchor, but at dusk she was been driven towards the rocks at Ballyman, near Dunmore. The coastguards showed lights from the shore from a gap between the rocks. The Master of the sloop cut the anchor adrift and ran the vessel towards the lights.

When the vessel struck, the three crew got on to the bowsprit and were saved by Lt. Stuart and his men. While saving the Master, Lt. Stuart was washed off the rocks, but he was caught by one of his men and was saved from drowning.

ESSELL, WILLIAM FOLKES. Lt. Coastguard Carnsore. Co. Wexford. Gold Medal 28 February 1838

On the 28th.February 1838 when the sloop ‘Ann and Elizabeth’ went aground off Carnsore Point in a gale she became a complete wreck with her crew lashed to the rigging with no hope of rescue unless immediate steps were taken. Lt. Essell, without waiting for his own men, swam off with a rope but was nearly drowned. Nothing daunted, he swam off again and got the rope on board, enabling the crew (number unknown) to be rescued.

LETT, STEPHEN JOSHUA Lt.Chf.Off.Coastguard, Rosslare Fort Co. Wexford, .Gold Medal. 9 January 1839.

On the 25th.November 1838 the ship ‘Ariadne’ timber laden, having made the Tuskar Rock Light off Wexford, under a heavy press of sail, was trying to wear it when she struck on nearby rocks and was thrown on her beam ends: three of her crew were lost. Some time later, the fore and main topmasts carried away and she righted full of water, her bottom partly knocked out and her boats and deck cargo swept overboard. The ship then drifted in the direction between Raven Point and Curracloe, the surviving crew having lashed themselves to the rigging. By 11 a.m. next morning, three more men had been lost. The cargo washed out she finished about 200 yards from the shore. When Lt. Lett arrived with his six-oared boat and Manby lifesaving apparatus, heavy surf and the tremendous gale prevented any help been offered although two attempts were made. The weather having moderated by 2.30 p.m. the rescuers put off, and a second attempt from a different place was successful but, as the Master, Mate and one seaman took their places, the boat partly filled so, cutting the rope, they returned to the shore. With darkness approaching and the gale increasing again, they fought their way back and brought off the other five exhausted seamen. Timber from the wreck was washed in along the coastline. The storm that hit the ‘Ariadne’ was the worst in the area for 20 years.

Jones, Owen. Chief Officer Coastguard Wicklow. Silver Medal. 21.February 1839.

27 November 1838. During a violent storm the French brig ’Le Nouveau Destin’ on passage from Loucon to the Isle of Man, went ashore near New Town, Co. Wicklow. Mr. Jones led seven Coastguardsmen into the sea, swam to the wreck and brought off the Master and five men.

ROSS, THOMAS. Captain, Inspecting Commander, Coastguard, Swords. Co. Dublin. Gold Medal 9 Jan. 1839.

JONES, GEORGE C. Chief Officer, Coastguard Dublin. Silver Medal

BEGG.... Master of a Collier Silver Medal.

29 - 30 November 1838. In a violent gale, heavy rain and mountainous seas, the Brig ‘Gainsborough’, Liverpool to London , was wrecked on shore near Carrickhill Tower, Malahide. Captain Ross sent for a galley and a small fishing boat, which did not arrive until 2 p.m. By this time the gale had increased, blowing directly on shore with seas breaking as high as her mast tops; the galley was launched, manned by Captain Ross and seven volunteers, Mr. Jones and Captain Begg among them. Four attempts were necessary as the galley filled with water, was driven back and damaged, with her oars broken .The Master, two seamen and one boy were saved, three others were drowned.

HOLLAND, JOHN. Lt. Coastguard, Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal. Silver Medal 21 February 1839

On the 7th.January 1839 in hurricane force winds, the schooner ‘Venus’ was wrecked, falling over on her beam ends on Inch Bar, Lough Swilly. With her mastheads nearly under water, the Master and his eight man crew were left clinging to the rigging. Lt. Holland put off in a boat with six men and saved them.

BATES, THOMAS. Chief Officer, Wexford. Silver Medal 17 April 1839.

During a storm on the 31st.January 1839 the schooner ‘Thistle’ drove on shore near Wexford and three men and two boys were marooned on board. Mr. Bates, two coastguards and five fishermen put out in a boat and, with great difficulty took off the crew. Mr. Bates was originally voted the sum of one pound, but appealed and was voted the Silver Medal.

THOMPSON, ROBERT KIRKPATRICK. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Clogher Head. Gold Medal. 17 April 1839

On the 31st.March 1839 with the Master and three men on board, the Liverpool schooner ‘Minerva’ , Bangor to Dundalk, Was totally wrecked when she stranded on the north side of the Bar near Drogheda. Co. Louth. The men had been in the rigging for twelve hours when seen at 3 p.m. Mr. Thompson went to the spot and, deciding against using the rocket apparatus, ordered his boat and a shore boat to be made ready. With himself and eight coastguards in the first boat, and a coastguard and seven fishermen in the second, they set off in mutual support through the very heavy sea and brought the exhausted crew to the shore.

WEBLIN, JOHN. Boatman, Coastguard, Ballymacaw. Co. Waterford. Silver Medal. 7 August 1839

On the 22nd.June 1839 on passage from Newport to New York, the vessel ‘Prince Regent’ was wrecked in very rough weather in Tramore Bay. Dennett’s rockets failed to throw a line the distance. Mr. Weblin then swam off to the wreck through tremendous surf with a rope by means of which the Master, crew and passengers - 40 men, women and children were saved.

HICKS, GEORGE, Boatman H.M.Coastguard Tyrella. Silver 12 February 1840.

13 January 1840. During a violent storm, the Liverpool schooner ‘Eagle’ laden with salt, was wrecked off Tyrella in Dundrum Bay, Co. Down, northern Ireland with breakers

and surf reaching over her yards. A rope was sent ashore by buoy and after it had been secured, Mr. Hicks succeeded in getting on board and sent the master and crew of seven men to safety by the same rope which was held fast by six fishermen on shore, who stood up to their shoulders in the breakers.

QUADLING, BARNABUS EDWARD. Chf.Off. Coastguard, Courtmacsherry Co. Cork Silver Medal.11 Mar.1840

On the 21st.February 1840 when the sloop ‘John and Ellen’ laden with coal, was nearing Courtmacsherry, from Newport, she was wrecked in very stormy conditions. Mr. Quadling and his men launched their gig, but the sea was too heavy and, with two oars broken and his boat nearly swamped, he was forced to give up. The sloops crew of three men and a boy were forced to take refuge in the cross trees and were rescued by a yawl.

METHERELL, RICHARD ROE. Lt. Coastguard, Youghal. Co. Cork Gold Medal 15 April 1840

On the 23rd.February 1840 Dennett’s rockets used in the rescue attempt on the brig ‘Medora’ proved not to have sufficient range when, on passage from Yarmouth to Swansea, the vessel was wrecked in Ardmore Bay near Youghal. The Youghal lifeboat was transported a distance of seven miles to a point where Lt. Metherell, with six coastguards and a seaman, launched through strong seas and took off the brigs Master and three men.

LYONS, WILLIAM. Lt. Coastguard, Glenarm. Co. Antrim. Silver (2) 27 May 1840.

On the 10th.May 1840 the sloop ‘Industry’ of Belfast was wrecked in bad weather in Glenarm Bay. Lt. Lyons, with three coastguards and three other men, went off in a boat and saved her Master and the three man crew.

SEWELL, HENRY FRED. Lt. Coastguard, St. John’s Point. Co. Down. Gold Medal. 9 November 1840

MACDONALD, GEORGE. Boatman Coastguard. St. John’s Point. Co. Down. Silver Medal. 9 November 1840.

21 September 1840; In a strong gale, thick weather and a heavy sea, the smack ‘Sarah’ Swansea to the Clyde, was stranded and sank at St. John’s Point, Dundrum Bay, Co. Down, northern Ireland, with the Master and four men on board. She was seen at daybreak. Lieutenant Sewell and George Macdonald put off in the punt and rescued the crew from the smack’s cross trees and yard where they had been for three hours.

FRENCH, CHARLES. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Ballymacaw, Co. Waterford. Silver Medal. 21 January 1841

On the 7th.December 1840 when the vessel ‘Glencoe’, Glasgow to Calcutta, was wrecked near Waterford, Mr. French, six coastguards and four local men placed themselves on nearby rocks with lifelines round their bodies. As the Master and his crew of twelve men dropped from the bowsprit and jib boom, they were dragged one at a time through the surf to safety.

PROSSER,HENRY, Chief Officer, Coastguard, Nanny Water. Co. Meath. Silver Medal. 3 June 1841.

31st.March 1841; During a heavy westerly gale, at 5 a.m., the Skerries smack ‘Wellington’ was reported sunk at Nanny Water, Co. Meath, about two miles from the Coastguard station. Only part of the top-mast with men clinging to it could be seen. Mr. Prosser launched his boat with five Coastguardsmen and rescued two men. The remainder of the smack’s crew, including the Master- Five in all- had been washed overboard and drowned.



On the 3rd.February 1842 at 3 p.m. a lighter working its way up to Belfast was seen to founder off Whitehouse between Mandon Point and White Abbey with scarcely time to place a ladder against the mast so that the crew could take refuge, water being already up to the shrouds. Master Sewell, aged 14, the son of Lieut. H.F. Sewell R.N. and master Kennedy, launched the Whitehouse Coastguard Station punt and rowed three quarters of a mile to save two men from the sunken barge.

QUADLING, BARNABAS EDWARD. Chf. Off. Coastguard, Courtmacsherry Co.Cork. Gold Medal 13 April 1842

On the 7th.February 1842 adverse winds forced the brig ‘Latona’ Alexandria to London, to the coast of Ireland and, in trying to enter harbour, she stuck on the Bar at Courtmacsherry Bay, broaching to in the breakers. Mr. Quadling and his crew launched and went alongside, but the brig’s Captain urged him to shove off without delay as he expected the mast to go by the board as she was striking hard with seas going over her continually. The Coastguard boat, however remained in the surf alongside the casualty from 1 p.m. to dusk and managed to prevail upon the Master and 13 crew to leave the wreck. They manned their longboat and gig, and the coastguards towed them ashore to safety.

GRIFFITHS, THOMAS. Boatman, Coastguard, Mulbay (Malbay) Co. Clare. Silver Medal 27 October 1842

On the 3rd.September 1842 three men who had been fishing at Mulbay remained on a rock until they were surrounded by a flood tide. Mr. Griffiths and three men went off in the coastguard boat and saved them despite considerable difficulty and danger.

SMITH, THOMAS. Chief Boatman in-charge, Coastguard, Ballina Silver Medal 17 July 1844

On the 16th.June 1844 in tremendous seas the schooner ‘Stormont’ Ballina to London, struck on the sands near Ballina. Mr. Smith and four other coastguards launched their boat and rowed through part of her floating cargo of oats and pieces of wreckage to find the brig breaking up with sea washing over her and her crew - the Master and six men in the rigging. They were taken off and then put on board a country boat to be landed safely.

BLACK, ALEXANDER. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Strangford Co. Down. Silver Medal 18 December 1844

On the 6th.October 1844 the schooner ‘William’, en route from Cardiff to Belfast, was driven ashore on Gun Island in a violent gale. With great difficulty, Mr. Black and six of his men launched the coastguard boat and went alongside the wreck from which they brought off the Master and seven men

RIDGE, JOHN. Second Mate, Revenue Cutter ‘Kite’ Silver Medal 18 December 1844

On the 2nd.November 1844 a brig ran foul of a barque in Kingstown Harbour and both were driven on shore. A man fell overboard from the brig and another from the ‘Kite’ jumped in after him. A heavy sea was running and both men were in peril. Mr. Ridge leaped overboard with a line and saved them.

TAYLOR,JAMES. Commissioned Boatman, Coastguard, Dundrum Bay Co. Down. Silver Medal 12 February 1845

On the 17th.January 1845 the brig ‘Frolic’ Liverpool to Dordrecht, Holland drove on shore in Dundrum Bay and was totally wrecked. The master and his five crew had taken to the rigging. Mr. Taylor and three of his men and two fishermen put out in the coastguard boat but it was swamped coming alongside the wreck. Eight fishermen then put off in their boats to render assistance and everyone was landed safely.

PURDY, HUGH. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Tyrella. Co. Down. Silver Medal 11 March 1846

On the 13th.October 1845 the brig ‘Industry’ drove on shore at Tyrella while on passage from Belfast to Newport. Helped by seventeen fishermen, Mr. Purdy used a hawser to save the Master and a crew of seven men in spite of the gale and heavy seas.

Mc GLADERY, JOHN. Lt., Coastguard, Dunfanaghy Co. Donegal Silver Medal. 20 January 1847.

On the 22nd.October 1846 on passage from Liverpool to Westport, the schooner ‘British Queen’ was driven ashore in Sheep Harbour, near Dunfanaghy. She was there for 12 hours before Lt. Gladery with a crew of his men, put off at 5.30 a.m. in his galley and saved the Master and crew of six men

KENNEDY, EDWARD. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dunfanaghy Co. Donegal. Silver Medal 20 January 1847

10 - 11 December 1846 In a severe northerly gale, the sloop ‘James McKenzie’, Inverness to Liverpool, drove on shore at Mulroy Station and her five crew took to the rigging. Mr. Kennedy and his four men, helped by local inhabitants, carried the coastguard galley one and a half miles across country to launch it. Nearing the wreck, the galley shipped a sea and was forced to return to the shore. They went out again the next day and brought to safety the Master, who was near to death; the rest of his crew had drowned.

Mc KENZIE, JAMES. Chief Boatman, Coastguard. Galway. Silver Medal 11 March 1847

On the 7th.February 1846, the vessel ‘Sea Horse’ was driven onshore near Galway, Co. Galway and Mr. McKenzie saved a man from the rigging.

MILLS,CHARLES. Chief Boatman, Coastguard. Clifden, Co. Galway. Silver Medal 29 April 1847

20th.March 1847.Mr.Mills was the only person who would put out to the brig ‘Halifax’, which had driven ashore from her anchorage in Ardbear Bay, near Clifden, Co. Galway on to rocks at the harbour entrance. With the help of four other men, the brig’s Master and 16 seamen were taken off in three trips.

RAYE, HENRY ROBERT. Lt., Coastguard, Donegal Silver Medal 8 December 1847

On the 18th.September 1847 the sloop ‘Ninian Lindsay’ was wrecked in a heavy gale on Tun Sandbank near Derry and, after her masts were cut off, she became a total wreck. Lt. Raye, with a mixed crew of coastguards and fishermen, put off in a boat. In two trips, they saved seven men from the wreck on what was considered the worst sandbank in Ireland; the remainder of the sloops crew saved themselves in their own boat.

DILLON, JAMES. Boatman, Coastguard, Arklow. Co. Wicklow. Silver Medal. 6 April 1848.

On the 27th.February 1848 during a severe storm the ship ‘Calypso’ bound from Liverpool to Rio de Janiero, was driven ashore at Mizen Head, near Arklow her crew taking refuge in the main and mizzen rigging. Mr. Dillon waded into the pounding surf but was twice thrown back on to the beach. He tried once again and succeeded in getting a line on board and with the sea breaking over the mizzen mast the Master and crew were brought ashore safely.

HEARD, RICHARD. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Rutland Co. Mayo. Silver Medal 2 May 1849

On 20th.November 1848 the ship ‘Forest Monarch’ , on passage from St. John, New Brunswick to the Clyde was wrecked on rocks off the Island of Inneskeagh, Rutland where she became a total wreck. Mr. Heard with a mixed crew of coastguards and others waded into the surf with ropes and brought off the Master and 35 men.

GLEESON, ROBIN. Boatman, Coastguard, Fetherd Co. Wexford. Silver Medal 31 January 1849

On the 15th.December 1848 on route from Constantinople to Liverpool, the Greek ship ‘Amaltea’ was wrecked on Bannow Bar in Fetherd Bay her mizzen and topmasts going immediately. Her crew collected at the bow, clinging together. They were stranded on the first ebb of an extraordinarily high tide and, at low tide Mr. Gleeson, whose station was half a mile from the wreck, launched his cot and went down the river. It was almost dark before he reached that part of the harbour when, hearing cries, his crew entered the water, held hands, and saved four survivors - all that remained of a 17 man crew.

AGAR, JOHN. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Morren Castle. (Morriscastle) Silver Medal 7 March 1850

On the 12th.January 1850 en route from Liverpool to New York, the ship ‘Hollinguer’ (993 tons) drove on to the Blackwater Bank, off Arklow with the Master, four Mates, 28 Seamen and 11 passengers aboard. Some of them reached the shore in the ships lifeboat, but the Master and 12 men drowned. Three boats were launched from the shore, among them the coastguard boat with Mr. Agar and four men aboard which saved the Master’s son and one woman passenger. Five seamen and nine passengers were saved by the other two boats.

TOWN, JOHN. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Castlegregory Co. Kerry Silver Medal (3) 6 February 1851

On the 19th.November 1850 Mr. Town with other men to help him, waded into the surf and took off 10 of the 12 from the Neapolitan brig ‘Enrichetta’, on passage from Barletta, south-west Italy to Limerick, which was wrecked at Kilshannig, Co. Kerry.

RUSSELL, RICHARD. ESQ. J.P. Silver Medal 2 January 1851

LIKELY, HENRY, Butler to Mr. Russell. Silver Medal

PREVEL, ROBERT. Chief Officer in Charge. Coastguard, Kilkee. Silver Medal

McCARTHY, JAMES. Commissioned Boatman, Coastguard, Kilkee Silver Medal

FLYNN, PATRICK. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilkee Silver Medal

HARRINGTON, TIMOTHY. Boatman. Coastguard, Kilkee Silver Medal

SHANNON, PATRICK. Assistant Boatman, Coastguard, Kilkee Silver Medal

WILSON, JOHN. Captain, Barque ‘Edmund’ Silver Medal 6 March 1851

On the 20th.November 1850 the 400 ton emigrant barque ‘EDMUND’ on passage from Carrigaholt, Co. Clare to New York, was struck by a violent gale on the 19th, which carried away two of her masts, making her unmanageable. Just before midnight on the night of the 20th. the barque struck in the Duggerna rocks off the Bay of Kilkee but the force of the sea washed her off and drove her further inshore where the remaining mast went by the board and the vessel broke in pieces. Fortunately the mast provided a bridge to the rocks and a total of 117 people clambered to safety helped by Mr. Russell, his butler, Mr. Prevel and four boatmen. The barque’s Captain was awarded the Silver Medal for his humane and laudable exertions after the ship was wrecked

GOSS, THOMAS. Lt. Coastguard, Dunmanus Co.Cork. Gold Medal 16 January 1851

BLESSENDON, WILLIAM M. Comm.Boatman, C.G. Dunmanus Silver Medal

CARR, JOHN. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmanus Silver Medal

McNAMEE, PATRICK. Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmanus. Silver Medal

RODERICK, EDWARD. Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmanus. Silver Medal

TUTT, EDWARD. Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmanus. Silver Medal

Details Medal awards.



Awarded to PATRICK McNAMEE, Boatman, H.M. Coastguard,

Dunmanus Bay, Co. Cork. Voted 16th. January 1851.

On 13th. December 1850, whilst on passage from Quebec, Canada, to Newport, Wales, laden with a cargo of timber, the ship Mountaineer got into trouble and drifted towards rocks in Dunmanus Bay, Co. Cork. Next morning, 14th.December, Lieutenant GOSS launched the Coastguard whaleboat through thick haze, tremendous thunder and lightening

and into a strong gale wind, to proceed to the ships assistance. With the wind blowing up the bay, initially Goss was at a loss as to which side of the ship to go down with the lifesaving apparatus. A party sent to the north side of the bay then reported the Mountaineer to be within 40 yards off the rock of Dunmanus Point. Lieutenant Goss immediately went there himself (a distance of 9 miles) with the lifesaving apparatus, and was abreast of the ship about 5pm.He resolved with his men (Patrick McNamee among them) to attempt to rescue the crew and, in a local boat, succeeded in getting alongside the ship. Lieutenant Goss, McNamee and the other rescuers were then hauled aboard the Mountaineer, whereupon their own boat was smashed to pieces and sank, taking with it their spare clothing and Lieutenant Goss’s sword.

Finally ,Lieutenant Goss and his men managed to sail the Mountaineer to safety and run her aground on soft mud, so saving the Master, Mate and 26 crew. The rescue of the crew of the Mountaineer resulted in the award of one gold and five silver Lifesaving Medals to Lieutenant Goss and the men of Dunmanus Coastguard Station.

SOURCE INTERNET. and “Lifeboat Gallantry” by Barry Cox

KENNEDY, ARTHUR Lieutenant Coastguard, Cushenden. Co. Antrim. Silver Medal 6 March 1851

16 January 1851; In a very heavy gale, the Coleraine schooner ‘Martin’ parted her anchors at 3 p.m. and drove on to rocks off Rock Point, near Cushenden, With the schooner’s boat broken to pieces by the seas passing over her, the crew of Master and four men took to a mast. Lieutenant Kennedy and his crew, unable to launch their boat, carried a country boat over the rocks to a position opposite the wreck and launched. They were forced to put back twice because of the very high seas breaking over them but rescued the schooner’s crew at the third attempt.

HOWE, ROBERT. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Ballygerig (Ballygeary) Silver Medal 14 October 1852

PEIRSON, STEPHEN DODGE. Commissioned boatman, C.G. Ballygerig Silver Medal

On the 19th.September 1852 at about 6 p.m. a disabled boat was seen drifting off Ballygerig Point with two men on board. The two coastguards put off in a small punt from Greenore Point and managed to bring the two men ashore despite the very difficult conditions. The boat turned out to be a lifeboat belonging to the ‘Bhurtpoor’. She had left Rosslare earlier that day with the Master and Mate of the ship with three men from a Jersey trawler to go to the wreck. The Master and Mate had got aboard the ‘Bhurtpoor’ when a sea struck the lifeboat , causing heavy damage and washing the Master of the trawler into the sea where he drowned. The boat then drifted away

BARNARD, ADDERLEY. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Clogher Head. Co. Louth. Silver Medal 11 November 1852

On the 26th.October 1852 in a gale from east-south-west, the Dublin brig ‘Fidelity’ ran on to rocks near Clogher Head and broke up. Mr. Barnard with a mixed crew of coastguards and fishermen, put off in the coastguard boat and rescued the eight man crew of the brig in two trips.

BARNARD, ADDERLEY. Chief Officer Coastguard, Clogher Head, Co. Louth. Silver Medal (2) 9 December 1852

On the 11th.November 1852 the Dublin schooner ‘William Pitt’ was wrecked in a heavy sea east-south-east gale near Clogher Head harbour. Mr. Barnard launched a boat, and in two trips, saved her five crew.

McCARTHY, JAMES. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dundrum Co. Down. Silver Medal (2) 9 December 1852.

12th.November 1852 during a heavy gale from the east, the Maryport schooner ‘Martha Grace’ was driven on to Dundrum Bar in Dundrum Bay and wrecked. With four men Mr. McCarthy put off first in the coastguard punt, unsuccessfully, then in a whale-boat. They rescued the three crew and brought them on shore.

BARRETT, WILLIAM. Chief Officer, Coastguard, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. Silver Medal 9 December 1852

BARRETT, WILLIAM. Junior, (his son) Silver Medal

SYNGE, AlEXANDER, Reverend Silver Medal

On the 14th.-15th.November 1852 the Glasgow barque ‘Young England’ was wrecked on Carabates Rocks near the Balbriggan coastguard station. William Barrett, with his son, the Reverend Synge, two coastguards and three fishermen, got to the coast opposite the wreck, and at 9 p.m. saw articles from the shop coming ashore. After much difficulty, Mr. Barrett succeeded in launching his boat and about 1 a.m. reached the ship and took the Master and nine crew from the rigging. A second attempt failed. At daylight he made a third attempt from another spot with the coastguard galley, and after three hours at the oars, rescued the six remaining survivors. Two of the crew had perished.

SINNOTT, RICHARD. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Mullaghmore. Co. Sligo Silver Medal 3 March 1853

On the 10th.February 1853 during a snow-laden gale varying from north-east to east-north-east, the Dutch galleon ‘Ida Gizena’ was wrecked about 13 miles from Mullaghmore. Under the command of Mr. Sinnott, the coastguard boat was rowed a total distance of nearly 30 miles and brought to safety seven of the nine man crew.

BRICE, WILLIAM. Commissioned Boatman Coastguard Greencastle Fort Co. Donegal. Silver Medal 2 June 1853

12 March 1853; The Londonderry schooner ‘Harmony’ sank on a dark night during an east-south-easterly gale off Greencastle Harbour, Co. Donegal. Three men and a woman were saved by a country yawl manned by ten men, one of whom was Mr. Brice who, on nearing the wreck, leapt out of the boat on to a rock hidden by the half tide. From here he saved an exhausted seaman whom he pushed to safety in the boat and followed him in. It had been impossible to get the boat near the man because of rocks nearby and because the boat was swept away and back.

AHERN, JOHN. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Co. Wexford Silver Medal 7 February 1856

COX, WILLIAM. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Silver Medal

DONOVAN, DENNIS. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Silver Medal

GRAY, DONALD. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Silver Medal

REGAN, DANIEL, Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Silver Medal

SMYTH, HENRY. Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore Silver Medal

On the 22nd.October 1853 the New Ross brigantine ‘Exile’ was driven on to a reef of rocks in broken water and a strong tide near Kilmore and about 15 inches of water in her. Seven coastguards put off in their boat without their Chief Officer who was ill, and took off the six man crew. The seventh coastguard, J. Barrett, died before the medals were awarded: his widow received £2. This case was reported late because of the illness of the Chief Officer.

FINLAY, GEORGE. Chief Boatman, Coastguard ,Lambay Island. Co. Dublin. Silver Medal 2 March 1854

21st.January 1854 The 1,997 ton emigrant sailing ship ‘Tayleur’ left Liverpool for Australia on the 19th.January with 71 crew and 501 passengers, many of them bound for the goldfields. As soon as she entered the Irish Sea, she encountered rough weather which worsened during the night, becoming so thick that, next morning, observations could not be taken. The combination of inaccurate navigation and an unsatisfactory crew meant that at 11.30 a.m. on the 21st. she was found to be on a dead lee shore with badly reduced visibility. The vessel dropped two anchors to try to ride out the south to south-westerly gale, but both cables snapped immediately and the ship drifted on to rocks at the east point of Lambay Island, off Howth Head. Because of the broken water the boats could not be launched; a passenger then swam ashore with a line and clinging to this, a number of people were saved, although many drowned in the attempt. A heavy sea washed the ship back and she sank in deep water taking with her 270 people, but one was seen to be still in the rigging from where he was rescued by the coastguard galley , which had been launched by Mr. Finlay, three coastguards and a rescued passenger.

FITZPATRICK, JAMES. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Malin Head. Co. Donegal Silver Medal 2 March 1854

On the 30th.January 1854 when the Greenock brig ‘Lady Octavia’ was wrecked near Malin Head during a south-westerly gale ten of her crew were saved in the ship’s boat but, nearing the shore, this overturned and was dashed to pieces, one boy being drowned. The Master and three of his crew were saved from their refuge on the ship’s bowsprit by Mr. Fitzpatrick and others who waded through the surf to them.

DONOVAN, DENNIS. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Kilmore. Co. Wexford Silver Medal 3 January 1856

On the 18th.December 1855 in the night a heavy gale drove the Cork brigantine ‘Isabella’ on to rocks near the coastguard station at Kilmore. At 2 a.m. with three of his men Mr. Donovan, showing great gallantry, put off in a boat and rescued five of the casualty’s crew. Earlier, in the evening, another attempt had been made but, failing to cross the rocks, the rescuers gave up.

AIKIN, JOHN. Commissioned Boatman, Coastguard, Cushendall Co. Antrim. Silver Medal 4 June 1857

On the 11th.March 1857 at Cushendall a farmer tripped over a mooring chain and fell into the sea. Mr. Aikin plunged in after him and seizing a mooring chain, swam over to the place where the man had sunk. When the farmer came to the surface, the coastguard grabbed him with one hand and supported him for at least five minutes by maintaining his grip on the chain with the other hand. He sustained a dislocated arm and severely damaged hand.

O’SULLIVAN, DANIEL. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Ballycastle Co. Antrim Silver Medal 7 January 1858

On the 2nd.December 1857 the Russian barque ‘Sona Fratella’ was wrecked in a south-easterly gale off White Ball Head. Two boats manned by Mr. O’Sullivan and ten other men, put off and rescued the barque’s crew of 11 men in circumstances of great danger.

WAUGH, EDWARD. Boatman, Coastguard, Wexford Silver Medal 6 May 1858

On the 6th. April 1858 the brig ‘Artic’ was stranded during a south-south-east gale on Kilgorman strand. At great risk to himself, Mr. Waugh swam out through the surf to catch a breaker (a small cask) and rope thrown overboard with which the seven man crew were ultimately saved. Nine other coastguards and nine fishermen also helped in the rescue.

R.N.L.I. Award

JOHNSTON, BERNARD. Captain, Steamer ‘Enterprize’ Silver Medal

SHANKEY, ROBERT. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dundalk Silver & Silver Clasp (2)

And others

6 - 10 April 1858. The bark ‘Mary Stoddart’ standing from Carlingford into Dundalk Bay in a gale was seen to be in distress by Captain Johnson who went to her assistance. Acting on his advice, the barque managed to anchor near the rocks and, after more than six hours, he returned to Dundalk with a high sea running. Next day, in another boat, Captain Johnson returned and managed to get aboard the casualty where the weather forced him to remain; his boat steamed off to seaward. By the end of the day the ‘Mary Stoddart’ had dragged one and a half miles and was aground in 12 feet of water with five feet over her deck and the crew in her rigging. On the 8th. although the gale was still fierce and the sea very high, boats were manned but forced to return. The following morning found the gale blowing with great fury more attempts were forced to turn back. At 5 a.m. a boat in the charge of Mr. Shankey put off from Gyles Quay and was able, three hours later, to land Captain Johnson and six men. Returning to the wreck with two fresh hands in his crew, Mr. Shankey brought ashore the remaining survivors at 6 a.m. on the 10th. Seven members of the barque’s crew had perished. The four other medal winners had led rescue boats inthe sustained efforts.

HAMILTON, HENRY ALEXANDER. J.P. Chief. Boatman, Coastguard, Balbriggan Co. Dublin Hon. Sec. Balbriggan R.N.L.I. Silver Medal (2) 5 August 1858

21st.July 1858. The action of Mr. Hamilton was brought to the attention of the Institution in a letter from Mrs. Burden. She had been thrown out of a boat by accident near Kingstown, (Dun Laoghaire) Co. Dublin and he had dived into the water and saved her. The lady gave £300 to fund the stationing of an additional lifeboat on the Irish coast.

HAMILTON, HENRY ALEXANDER. J.P. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Balbriggan.Co. Dublin Hon. Sec. Balbriggan R.N.L.I. Gold Medal 2 December 1858.

17th.November 1858 In an easterly gale on the 14th. the Austrian brig ‘Trigiste’ stranded mid way between Lambay Island and Portrane. The Balbriggan lifeboat left at 11 a.m. on the 15th. and tried to reach the brig but was compelled to put back to Rogerstown owing to the violence of the gale. Green seas continued to pour into the lifeboat for two hours and threatened to wash out Mr. Hamilton and his crew. He remained at the Coastguard House watching for a favourable opportunity until 4 a.m. on the 17th. when he reached the hulk and took off 13 men.

BOYD, HENRY. Coastguardsman. St. John’s Point , Co. Down Silver Medal 5 January 1860

On the 9th.December 1869 With five other men, Mr. Boyd put off in a fishing boat and, in three attempts, rescued the eight man crew of the Dublin brigantine ‘Water Lily’ which had been wrecked in moderate weather but heavy surf in Dundrum Bay, Co. Down

RIDGE, GEORGE AGAR ELLIS. Capt. Inspect. Commander C.G. Newcastle Co. Down. Silver Medal 5 April 1860

On the 14th.December 1859 the Austrian brig ‘Tikey’ was wrecked off St. John’s Point and her boat containing the crew capsized. A boat manned by 12 men, put off to rescue them but also capsized. Captain Ridge then waded out through the surf and brought one of the men to safety.

CORBERT, WILLIAM. Coxswain , Ardmore lifeboat Co. Waterford Silver Medal 3 January 1861

HALSE, RICHARD. Boatman, Coastguard, Ardmore Silver Medal

STEWART, WILLIAM. Boatman, Coastguard, Ardmore Silver Medal

On the 26th.December 1860 a south-east gale was blowing on Boxing Day when the brigantine ‘Diana’ of Frederickshaven, Denmark, en route from Bordeaux to Belfast with a cargo of wheat and brandy, struck a reef of rocks in Ardmore Bay. The Ardmore lifeboat launched through very heavy surf but in spite of all their efforts they could not reach the wreck. The brigantines crew veered a small boat to the shore on a line, although it swamped near the shore and had to be secured by men wading in to the surf. The Coxswain now took the lifeboat back, and a line from the vessel was made fast to the lifeboat’s bow while another line was fired by rocket, this latter being secured to the stern. She was then hauled off to the brigantine and seven of the crew managed to get in to the lifeboat even though great seas were breaking over them. After the bow rope was cut, the lifeboat was drawn ashore and the survivors landed. An eighth man was left on the wreck by mistake but, as the brigantine was driven closer inshore, he threw himself into the sea with a small raft and retained his hold on it until he could be brought ashore by men wading into the sea.

COOPER, HUGH. CHIEF BOATMAN, COASTGUARD. Dingle, Co. Kerry. Silver Medal 4 April 1861

24 January 1861:Mr.Hugh Cooper, Chief Boatman in charge of the Dingle Bay Coastguard Station who with three others saved two men from the barque ‘Florence Graham’ of Liverpool which during a strong gale of wind, was wrecked on Inch Strand, Dingle Bay on 24th.January 1861.

GOSS, THOMAS. Lt. Insp.Commander, C.G. Queenstown (Cobh) Co. Cork. Silver Medal 2 May 1861

STARKE, JOHN. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Queenstown (Cobh) Silver Medal

On the 27th.January 1861 the Austrian brig ‘Uredon’ drove on to outlying rocks on shore near Guilleen having missed Cork harbour during a heavy gale. Lt. Goss and Mr. Starke, with eight of their men, positioned the rocket apparatus and, by this means, saved 12 of the brig’s 1

1 Comment · 53385 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


#1 | lgr2323 on 27/01/2015 21:12:29
I am an Australian member researching the history of some Mayo relatives (Tighe family). I was trying to find information on George Hamilton of the Coast Guard, who married Mary Ann Tighe and found the article below in an Australian newspaper, The Argus. It refers to a medal awarded to George that was not in the list above. I have attached the newspaper reference citation and teat, which also refers to other medals awarded.

Article identifier

PRESERVATION OF LIFE FROM SHIPWRECK.- Yesterday a meeting of the Royal National Life-Boat Institution was held at its house, John-street, Adelphi, Mr. Thomas Chapman, F.R.S., in the chair, when the sllver medal of the institution was voted to chief boatman George Hamilton, of Buncrana coast guard station, and 10s. to each of his boat's crew of six men (who, with Hamilton, had additionally received £25 from the owners of the vessel), for their conduct in having rescued 13 out of 14 of the crew of the barque Augusta Jessie, which was wrecked on the coast of Donegal on the night of the 6th ult.
-The life-boat in connection with the institution, stationed at Pakefleld, on the 13th ult. rescued the crew, consisting of eleven men, of the brig Thomas, of London. The crew had received £10 for their laudable services.
-A reward of £7 was also granted to 24 old fishermen, some of whom were upwards of 70 years of age, for putting off in the Newbiggin life- boat, with the view of rendering assistance to some of the 22 fishing-cobles which were suddenly overtaken at sea by a violent gale.
-An old sailor, upwards of 80 years of ago, who had exerted himself in saving the Lives of two men capsized from a boat, near Sunderland, was likewise presented with a reward for his prompt services.
-A reward of £13 was also voted to the crew of the lifeboat at Berwick, for putting off during the night with a view of rendering assistance to a vessel which was observed on shore.
- Capt. Martin, harbor-master at Ramsgate, brought under the notice of the institution one of his Manby mortar wooden cones, which, he said, any seaman may, from materials always at his command, prepare in a few minutes on board his ship. As auxiliaries to the mortar shot, these cones may prove invaluable in effecting a communication in cases of wreck from the ship to the shore.
-It was reported that a genteman named Jaffray, of St. Mildred's-court, had expressed his wish to present to the institution an American life-saving car, which he had ordered at New York. It had been most successfully used on the shores of that country in saving life from wrecks. Mr. Jaffray had said that, if the car should ever be the means of saving only one life on the coast of Britain, he should be amply rewarded.-Shipping and Mercantile Gazette.


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