H.F Bailey, Cromer

H.F Bailey – a 13m Watson class motor lifeboat – was built by JS White and Co in 1924.  She was provided from a legacy of Henry Francis Bailey of Brockenhurst, Hampshire. H.F Bailey was the second lifeboat with this name at Cromer and, like her predecessor, her coxswain was Henry Blogg – the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history.

Coxswain Henry Blogg was a local man who became a national hero. During his 38 years as coxswain, he carried out 387 rescues and helped to save 873 lives. He was awarded many honours, including three Gold and four Silver Medals for Gallantry from the RNLI.

In 1927, H.F Bailey launched to the aid of the Dutch oil tanker Georgia, which had broken in two on 21–22 November. Fifteen men were rescued and Coxswain Blogg received a Gold Medal. Bronze Medals were awarded to his crew.

Five years later, Coxswain Blogg was awarded a Silver Medal for the rescue of Monte Nevoso, which had run aground on the South Haisborough Sands. By the time they returned home, the crew of H.F Bailey had been at sea for 52 hours. In addition to his Silver Medal, Henry was also gifted the rescued dog from Monte Nevoso who he renamed Monte.

Henry Blogg remained as coxswain until he was 74 years old –  10 years beyond statutory retirement age.  By that time, he had served a remarkable 53 years on Cromer lifeboats. 

H.F Bailey served at Cromer from 1924–1935 and was later stationed  at Southend and Dover. At the end of her operational life, H.F Bailey launched 160 times and saved 344 lives.

Photographed 14 August 1924