1861 commemoration Gallery Two
The following photographs feature a second selection of photographs captured by Ceri Oakes during part of the service to commemorate the 12 men who died in the 1861 lifeboat disaster 150 years ago during a great storm in one of the region’s worst lifeboat disasters. The following photographs were part of a wider service, held at St. Mary's Church on the East Cliff overlooking the scene of the ill fated tragedy.
Whitby's lifeboat capsized with the loss of all but one of the crew, during attempts to rescue sailors from the stricken collier Merchant despite having put to sea for the sixth time that day. The sole survivor Henry Freeman, was on his first lifeboat launch and is thought to have survived because he was the only man wearing the new design of cork lifejacket.
During the comprehensive service the names of those lost in the lifeboat disaster were read out, at the same time the present coxswain, Mike Russell lit a candle for each man.
The prayer below was used at the actual funerals of the men
The Service of Commemoration was attended by members of the lifeboat crew and the Bishop of Whitby. Marske Fishermen’s Choir performed a song written about the tragedy where it was performed for the first time at the 1861 lifeboat disaster commemoration service.
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