Caister Men Never Turn Back

Today marks the 110th anniversary of a disaster that cost nine lifeboatmen their lives when their lifeboat, the Beauchamp, was wrecked on the Norfolk coast

It was 110 years ago today that nine lifeboatmen perished when the Caister lifeboat, Beauchamp, was launched in horrendous conditions to go to the aid of a ship that was reported to be in trouble on Barber Sands.

Huge waves struck the five-tonne lifeboat as it attempted to tack clear of the beach and it grounded and overturned, trapping many of its crew underneath.

Hearing their cries, shore crew rushed to their aid but despite frantic efforts they were only able to save three of the lifeboat’s crew of 12.

In the wake of the disaster 78-year-old James Haylett, a member of the shore crew but formerly assistant coxswain, was awarded the RNLI gold medal for his actions. His account of the accident at the inquest was reported by journalists as “Caister Men Never Turn Back”, a phrase that has become enshrined in lifeboat folklore.

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Watch the video for a song that tells the story of the disaster.

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