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Three county men added to Poole RNLI memorial
THREE brave men whose selfless actions led to them losing their lives off the coast of Dorset have been honoured by having their names put on a unique national memorial.
The RNLI Memorial, designed by sculptor Sam Holland, was first unveiled at the charity’s Poole headquarters in 2009 to salute the courage of 778 people who had died trying to save others at sea.
Now a further dedication ceremony has been held to mark the addition of a further 28 heroes whose stories have come to light over the last three years through further research and talking to their families and friends.
Among them is John Gerrard, master of the fishing smack Busy, who died on November 29, 1861, while trying to rescue the crew of fishing boats being driven ashore in a heavy gale at Burton Bradstock in West Dorset.
Also remembered are Coastguard Inspector Commander J R Pennington Legh and Coastguard Robert Treadwell.
On October 13, 1944, the Weymouth lifeboat was launched to help a US tank landing craft manned by Royal Navy personnel after it got into difficulties in a severe gale off Chesil Beach.
Coastguard personnel on shore were using lifesaving equipment to help the operation when Cdr Pennington Legh and Mr Treadwell were washed into the rough seas and drowned.
RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said: “The memorial at the home of the RNLI is designed to be a beacon of hope. It tells the stories of thousands of people: those lost, those saved and those who go to the rescue.
“We are pleased that the names and stories of these 28 people from the UK and Republic of Ireland who gave their lives trying to save others at sea can now be remembered along with their fellow lifesavers in a timeless and memorable form, ensuring they are never forgotten.”