My grandfather was nine years old when he ran off to sea to follow his dreams after receiving a beating from his headmaster. He climbed through the school window and made his way to Lowestoft, where he went as a galley hand on a fishing vessel trawling for Sole off Southwold. This didn't last very long as he inadvertently caused a fire in the galley whilst helping to prepare a meal. He never went back to school and so the rest of his life he had difficulty with reading and writing.

The sea has always held a fascination for me and my family both as beachmen and members of the lifeboat crews, they were involved in many a rescue in the seas around Englands eastern coast, brave men who risked their lives to save others in distress.

 

Beachmen Beachmen

Fishermen Fishermen

RNLI R.N.L.I - Royal National Lifeboat Institute

 

      Forgotten men   Forgotten deeds  Forgotten men  Forgotten deeds

      Wreck of the Optima Wreck of the Optima

 

108

 

My Families Role of Honour as Beachmen

 

John Bensley - Great Grandfather, born 1829 (Date of death unknown)

Edward Phillip Newson Bensley - My Grandfather, born 1858, died 3rd October 1934

John Bensley - Great uncle, born 1853 died 1942 aged 95 years

Arthur Edward Bensley - Great uncle, born 1855 died 19 ? ? in his fifties I believe

Cecil Arthur Bensley - My Father, born 1891 died 1944 aged 53

 

108

 

To finish on a lighter note Ron. Always remember the the immortal words of the most famous of Lifeboat Heroine's Grace Darling, when she said,

I have just picked up a couple of sailors, and I'm taking them back to my place !

 

 

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