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Coastguard memoirs

I have been researching the coastguard stations and their buildings in the three counties of Londonderry, Antrim and Down in the 19th century.

I have consequently become interested on how the coastguards and their families intergrated with the local people. During most of the 19th century at any one time the population of the coastguards including their famly members living on the narrow strip of the Irish coast amounted to approximately 6, 000 men, women and children.

Study of the ADM 175 books has shown how many coastguards posted to Ireland 'married a native'. Also a number remained in Ireland for many years, including officers.

The writers in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs written in conjunction with the preparation of the 1st 6-inch survey of Ireland in the 1830s give a very desparaging image of the native Irish who are described as 'dirty, uncivilised and unEnglish'. These views were popular with British anthropologist of the time.

It would seem that some of coastguards in Ireland (most of whom were English) did not agree with this representation of the Irish. Does anyone know of 'memoirs', letters etc written by coastguards who were posted to Ireland which give impressions of the country and its people? Impressions both good and bad would be very helpful.

With best wishes

Denis Mayne
Hi Denis

Mixing with the locals was actively discouraged. Where the note appears 'married a native' this meant a change of station.

Although there is only a small section in the piece related to his time in Ireland the following article on the site provides a good insight into the life of a CG: http://www.coastg...cle_id=289

Hi Martin,
Thank you for directing me to Ashby's article. It is vary interesting. How wise of his grand daughter to safe it.
Denis Mayne
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