History

Celebrating over 150 years of saving lives at sea, Walmer lifeboat crew members have been presented with more than 25 awards for gallantry - most recently in 2000.
Walmer Station - 1933
Walmer Station - Present Day

1830 Gold Medals were awarded to Captain P Graham RN, Lieut HW Johnson RN and Lieut WS Watts RN, and a Silver Medal to John Durban for rescuing 13 crew from the ship Mountaineer and three other boatmen on 24 November 1829.

1856 The RNLI established a lifeboat station.

1859 A Silver Medal was awarded to John Moss for saving one man from the tender of the lugger Stornoway on 19 December 1858.

1871 A new boathouse was built on the sea front.

1896 Crew Member E Young drowned when he was trying to board the steamship Trapian from the lifeboat.

1912 The station closed.

1927 The station re-opened and the lifeboat was kept on a launching cradle at the head of the beach.

1933 The station’s first motor lifeboat was placed on service.

1940 The Walmer lifeboat Charles Dibdin was one of 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in May.

1944 The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Motor Mechanic Cecil Cavell after he brought the lifeboat under control in rough seas when she launched unexpectedly after a hook slipped.

A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Joseph Mercer for rescuing 13 men from an anti-submarine boat stranded on the Goodwin Sands.

1948 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Frederick Upton and Bronze Medal to Mechanic Cecil Cavell for rescuing 30 men, including two stowaways, and a dog from the steamer Silvia Onorato aground on the Goodwin Sands. The lifeboat spent 45 hours at sea. The Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of lifesaving in 1948 was awarded to Coxswain Upton.

Bowman James Rich collapsed and died in the lifeboat when she went out to rescue 32 crew from the steamer Santagata.

1952 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Frederick Upton and Bronze Medal to Mechanic Cecil Cavell for rescuing 38 men from the wreck of the steamer Agen that was aground on the South Goodwin bank, close to three other wrecks from which the Walmer lifeboat had rescued 115 people over the previous six years.

1956 A Centenary Vellum was presented to the station by The Queen Mother.

1964 An inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was established with a D class lifeboat, which was kept in the 1871 boathouse.

1968 A collective Framed Letter of Thanks was presented to the Coxswain and crew for rescuing three people from the yacht Fantasy.

1969 Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Helmsman Bruce Brown and Crew Members Cyril Williams and John Riley for rescuing four people cut off by the tide.

1970 Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum and the Ralph Glister Award were awarded to Helmsman Cyril Williams and Crew Members Leslie Coe and Charles Taylor for rescuing two men cut off by the tide in a cave.

1972 The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Coxswain Henry Brown for saving the yacht Nell and her six crew, plus a cat.

1977 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Bruce Brown for rescuing the four crew from the sinking cabin cruiser Shark, along with the Second Coxswain who had become trapped in the cabin.

1978 Framed Letters of Thanks were awarded to Coxswain Bruce Brown and Second Coxswain Cyril Williams for refloating the vessel Elmela off the Goodwin Sands.

1985 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Helmsman Anthony Evans for rescuing two men who were cut off by the tide after their canoe had capsized.

1990 The all weather lifeboat was withdrawn from service on 5 May and Walmer was permanently established as an inshore lifeboat station. A B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat operated alongside the D Class lifeboat.

1991 The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Helmsman Duane Brown for rescuing the three crew from the yacht Josse aground on Goodwin Sands. Framed Letters of Thanks were presented to Crew Members John Collins and Shaun East.

1992 The boathouse was extended for the Atlantic 21 lifeboat, launching rig and the D class lifeboat and also provided a souvenir outlet and improved crew facilities. The Atlantic 21, B-589 James Burgess, was placed on service.

The Queen Mother visited the lifeboat station as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

1997 The new D class lifeboat, D-514 Lord Kitchener, was placed on service on 22 January.

2003 The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Helmsman Andrew Coe for saving the two crew and the yacht Tahi-Tahi.

2006 The new D class lifeboat Duggie Rodband and the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat Donald McLauchlan were placed on service.

 A Celebration Vellum was awarded to station to mark its 150th anniversary.

Station honours

At Walmer lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

Framed Letter of Thanks 6
Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum 11
Bronze Medal 4
Silver Medal 4
Gold Medal 3

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