Stained Glass, Cromer Lifeboat Station, Cromer, Norfolk 03/05/2008
The stained glass window at the lifeboat station at the end of the pier, Cromer, Norfolk.
This impressive stained glass window commemorating the rescuing of the crew of the Sepoy a sixty-five ton sailing barge that run aground some two hundred yards offshore at Cromer on the 13th December 1933.
At 4am a call came into Cromer Life Boat station saying that the
sailing-barge Glenway had gone aground on Happisburgh beach. The number
one lifeboat (Bailey) was launched with Coxswain Henry Blogg at her helm.
There was a real gale blowing and the sea was unbelievably rough.
Unfortunately the ‘Glenway’ was in such shallow water that the lifeboat
was unable to get close enough to offer her any assistance. As the weather
continued to deteriorate Henry Blogg decided to hole up at Great Yarmouth
rather than attempting to return to Cromer. Back at Cromer the lifeboat
station received a second distress message this time about the Sepoy.
The remaining crew launched the second lifeboat the Alexandra an old
rowing vessel. Despite valiant attempts on their part they were unable to
reach the Sepoy with its two-man crew. The crew consisting of Captain
Hemstead and his First Mate had been forced to take refuge in the rigging
of the barge and were in a bad state as they were battered by the
elements. Blogg hearing about the Sepoy’s plight and despite the awful
weather returned immediately to Cromer as he neared the coast he appraised
Blogg attempted to get a line out to the Sepoy but it didn’t succeed and
as a result the Bailey lifeboat became holed. In a desperate maneuver
Blogg drove the lifeboat straight over the wreck managing to snatch the
young Mate to safety before the lifeboat was swept away again. He repeated
the tactic and this time got the Captain.
Dangerously low on fuel Blogg realised that he would not be able to return
to the safer harbour of Great Yarmouth but instead would have to attempt a
landing at Cromer. This he managed and he and his crew and the two
survivors eventually reached dry land. Henry Blogg (on the left of the
picture) received the RNLI’s Silver Medal first Service Clasp for this