Tag Archives: Salcombe

The Salcombe lifeboat disaster of 1916

‘On Friday, October 27th 1916, an appalling calamity befell the South Devon port of Salcombe. the lifeboat (the William and Emma) had been called out about six o’clock in the morning to render assistance to the schooner Western Lass, which was reported to be wrecked on Meg Rock, near Prawle Point.

‘In spite of the furious gale that was raging and the tempestuous breakers on Salcombe Bar, the gallant crew of fifteen succeeded in getting out to sea, and in reaching the vessel that was in distress; then, finding that the schooner’s crew had been rescued by the rocket apparatus of Prawle, and that no further help was needed, they started on their return voyage, but in crossing the bar their little craft capsized, and all but two of their number were drowned. Most of them were married men, who leave not only their widows, but also twelve very young children to mourn their loss.’

Read more about this terrible loss that befell the community of Salcombe in the midst of another, the Great War, here, here and here.

Here are some of the graves and centenary commemoration plaques in Salcombe’s graveyard.

Overbeck’s Museum, Salcombe, and a few views of the estuary and beyond

Some photos from the museum at Overbeck’s Museum, Salcombe and a few views… The shots include:

  • a model of a famous sailing ship Herzogin Cecilie, which was wrecked nearby
  • a model Brixham trawler (and an explanation of their work beam trawling)
  • a portrait of Captain William Port of Salcombe, master of the brig Phoenix
  • a splendid phot of a seaman’s family dated 1880
  • a story about a pair of parrots
  • Herr Overbeck’s famous medical electric shocking machine, a couple of boats for sale in Island Street
  • a model of an old Salcombe clipper in the Sailing Club (grand building, good food and cheap beer, by the way)
  • also in the club, a painting by celebrated Victorian artist Henry Moore, and a photo through an alley between two buildings that I wish I had taken…
  • some Mirrors on a beach – this lot are all fitted with little outboards and their retired owners seemed to use them to picnic at a different spot around the estuary every day. Good for them!
  • beach guards at surfing beach and Bantham, and the famous hotel on Burgh Island
  • some local traditionally built boats picked out among the RIBs
  • a mass of RIBs awaiting their generally red-trousered and stripey-shirted owners (following that, I’ve included a shot of a cheery looking dog on the beach at Mill Bay to cheer everyone up… )

Cecilie Herzogin shipwrecked near Salcombe

Once again, my thanks to regular reader Hans-Christian Riecke.