THE WRECK OF THE ALONDRA
The appearance of a barometer awarded by the RNLI in a recent auction intreagued me as it was awarded for a shore rescue rather than for the usual long and meritorious service. Therefore, I thought some details of this may be of interest to our members.
On the night of 29-30 December 1916, the 2,244
ton ss Alondra en route from
This shore rescue was reported in The Life-Boat as follows:
of the crew of the Alondra were
drowned as the result of leaving the ship in one of the ship’s boats. As soon as information of the casualty
reached the shore, Archdeacon Becher, who is the Honorary Secretary of the
Institute’s Baltimore Branch, called for volunteers to launch a boat, and in
this he attempted to make a landing on the Kedge Rock; but this proved
impossible, and the boat was recalled by a signal to
Meanwhile, some of the crew from the wreck had managed to get on to the island, and when this was seen, the boat again put off from the shore, but failed to reach the wreck, and as the night was closing in all attempts at further rescue had to be abandoned until the next morning.
At daylight, Archdeacon Becher and others again put off to the island, taking with them some of the gear of the rocket apparatus, and about the same time two of H.M. Trawlers came to the assistance of the shipwrecked men, and established communication with the shore.
Eventually, thanks to the efforts of Archdeacon Becher and the two naval officers, twenty-three men were saved, some of these having to be lowered sheer down the face of the cliff, 150 feet”.
Rewards: (Voted by the RNLI on 12 January 1917)
The Venerable John Richard Hedge Becher, M.A., Archdeacon
Lieutenant Arthur Lakeland Sanderson, RNR, - HM Trawler Indian Empire
Mr John Beamish – Fisherman
The other 40 men who assisted in the rescue received Ł47 between them.
The Aneroid Barometer awarded to John Beamish.
A brass and black japanned aneroid
presentation barometer Dollond,
Brian Wead – Royal National lifeboat Institution
Cox, Barry, Lifeboat Gallantry, Spink, 1998
RNLI, The Life-Boat,
* * * * *
 Dreweatts Auction,
Donnington Priory Saleroom,