Hoylake lifeboatmen remembered 200 years on

A memorial unveiled today will mark the bicentenary of a Mersey lifeboat disaster in which eight lifeboatmen perished

A bronze memorial will be unveiled today in Hoylake to commemorate the 200th anniversary of a Merseyside lifeboat disaster.

On 22 December 1810 eight lifeboatmen out of a crew of 10 died when Hoylake lifeboat was overwhelmed by huge seas while attempting to rescue the crew of the sailing vessel Traveller, which had gone ashore in the River Mersey.

Despite the horrendous conditions, coxswain Joseph Bennett managed to place the pulling and sailing lifeboat alongside the wrecked vessel before disaster struck. He was one of the two survivors. Among the victims were 40-year-old John Bird, who died alongside his teenage sons Henry and John and nephew Henry, and Richard Hughes who died with his brother and his son.

The 6ft-tall bronze memorial outside Hoylake Lifeboat Station will depict one of the lifeboatmen at the helm shortly before the boat was lost. It has been funded by a public appeal and will be unveiled during a ceremony that starts at 11am today.