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The Alfred Corry in the First World War

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  1. Introduction  (current page)

Introduction

During her 25 year RNLI service the Alfred Corry only had three Coxswains. John Cragie from 1893 to 1898, Sam May from 1898 to 1918 and Charles Jarvis for the last three months of her service in 1918. As she was not retired until October 1918, the vessel served for all but one month of the hostilities, and during that time Sam May was Coxswain.

 

Of course, throughout the war the Alfred Corry remained available to aid both civilian and military vessels and mariners. During the course of the war she was launched 14 times. She and her crew are credited with saving 15 lives.

 

Her first war time service was to aid a local fishing boat, the Orient, which was in difficulties off Southwold Harbour.

 

Her first service resulting from enemy action was on 18 July 1915 when she went to the aid of a large steamer, the SS Batoum, which was reported as having been torpedoed. The Batoum was loaded with fuel oil and 6 of her 33 crew were killed by the explosion.

 

On 11 October 1915 she went to the assistance of Government Patrol Boat, the Amy, again on Sizewell Bank. At the time the Amy, which was originally a trawler, was serving as a Minesweeper.

 

Her most significant life saving launch occurred on 12 November 1915 when she went to aid of a Brigantine, the John which had run aground near Sizewell Bank during an easterly gale.

 

Her last wartime service was on 27 February 1918 when went to assist a military Seaplane which had ditched off Southwold. Unpaid civilians using sail and oars coming to the rescue of, at the time, high tech military machinery and personnel!

 

In addition to the Alfred Corry's wartime service the Southwold Number 2 lifeboat, the Rescue, was also launched 4 times during the war.

 

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