Greater London (Civil Service No. 3), Southend-on-Sea

Greater London (Civil Service No. 3) was built in 1928 by JS White and Co. She was a Ramsgate class lifeboat – a special design by the RNLI for the three stations providing cover along the Thames Estuary.

She was provided by the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund.  One of the fund’s founders was Charles Dibdin, a civil servant in the General Post Office who left to become secretary of the RNLI in 1885.

From 1928–1955, Greater London (Civil Service No. 3) was stationed at Southend-on-Sea and, in 1940, she became one of the Dunkirk Little Ships evacuating allied troops from France.

From 1942–1945, Greater London (Civil Service No. 3) was temporarily stationed at Yarmouth, and she later returned to the Isle of Wight as part of the RNLI relief fleet.

In total, Greater London (Civil Service No. 3) launched 278 times and saved 240 lives. She was sold out of service to Uruguay as the country’s first lifeboat – and she is still operational in South America.

As of 2018, the Lifeboat Fund has provided 53 lifeboats to the RNLI.

Photographed 23 May 1938