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Stained Glass, Cromer Lifeboat Station, Cromer, Norfolk 03/05/2008 | by Gary S. Crutchley
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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

the situation.


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

daring rescue.


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Taken on May 3, 2008