“Having the Archbishop commemorating this today means a lot. It’s not just losing my grandfather. It was my great grandfather and great uncle and many others so it means a lot to remember them today. Although I never knew them, the memory is still here and it has been handed down and will continue to be handed down.”
So said Mary Hubbard (nee Brown), the great-granddaughter of the famous lifeboatman Jimmy Haylett who coined the now famous phrase “Caister men never turn back”. She is also a descendant of William and Charles Brown, both lost in the Beauchamp disaster in November 1901. Mary narrated a dramatisation by school children of the disaster which happened on 13 November 1901.
The crew were attempting to respond to a distress rocket fired by the Cockle Lightship in atrocious weather. However, the boat overturned and nine of the 12 crew were lost. Eight bodies were subsequently recovered at the scene, with another being washed away only to be recovered in April the following year. Asked at the inquest why the crew had persisted in the rescue, retired coxswain James Haylett said “They would never give up the ship. If they had to keep at it ’til now, they would have sailed about until daylight to help her. Going back is against the rules when we see distress signals like that.”
Archbishop Justin blessed the new Inshore Lifeboat and then went out on the boat to lay a wreath to commemorate all those lost at sea – especially those in wars over the past 100 years.