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Former Whitby Lifeboat Museum Curator Pete Thomson on the 200 Voices podcast
200 Voices an RNLI podcast

‘I’ve hung up my wellingtons, but I won’t turn my back on it’

Episode 74 – Lifesaving in Wartime: Pete Thomson

In 1914, the WW1 hospital ship Rohilla was wrecked off the Whitby coast. Pete Thomson MBE tells us about one of the biggest rescues in RNLI history.

When a World War One hospital ship broke into three off the Yorkshire coast, the weather was so bad that lifeboats couldn’t launch directly into the sea. Not to be defeated, RNLI volunteers dragged one lifeboat a quarter of a mile, and lowered another down a 60m cliff.

Ex-coxswain and former Whitby Lifeboat Museum Curator Pete Thomson – whose father witnessed the 3-day rescue operation – reveals the fate of the 228 on board the Rohilla. He even knows what happened to the ship’s cat.