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National exhibition featuring First World War lifeboat rescues coming to Norfolk

Lifeboats News Release

A national touring exhibition which recounts inspirational RNLI lifeboat rescues during the First World War will be based at the charity’s Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer this summer.

The wreck of HMHS Rohilla. Whitby RNLI Coxswain Thomas Langlands was awarded an RNLI Gold Medal for Gallantry for the Rohilla rescue

RNLI

The wreck of HMHS Rohilla. Whitby RNLI Coxswain Thomas Langlands was awarded an RNLI Gold Medal for Gallantry for the Rohilla rescue

The free Hope in the Great War exhibition, which commemorates the centenary of the First World War, will be open to the public until 10 September 2017.

Funded by Arts Council England, Hope in the Great War honours the bravery of volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews who risked their lives to save others during between 1914-19, by raising awareness of six heroic lifeboat rescues.

Opening to the public from 5 August 2017 at the RNLI’s Henry Blogg Museum in Norfolk, Hope in the Great War features Cromer RNLI lifeboat’s rescue to the ‘Pyrin and Fernebo’, which saw 33 people saved from the sea on 9 January 1917.

Hope in the Great War highlights the extraordinary achievements of ordinary people who volunteered for the RNLI throughout the war, conveying a sense of hope with many lives saved at sea by the charity. The exhibition offers an ideal way for families and young children to learn about the work of RNLI volunteers during the First World War.

Other lifeboat services to feature within the exhibition include:

  • The 1914 Whitby RNLI crew rescue to the wrecked hospital ship ‘HMHS Rohilla’ which saw 144 people saved from the sea.
  • Fraserburgh RNLI lifeboat’s rescue of the steamer ‘SS Glenravel’ which saw 14 people saved from the sea on 8 August 1915.
  • RNLI Port Eynon crew’s service to the ‘Dunvegan’ that took place 1 January 1916.
  • The saving of 20 lives from the tanker ‘Ponus’ on 3 November 1916 by Falmouth RNLI lifeboat crew and service men.
  • The rescue of 23 survivors from the ‘SS Alondra’ which was wrecked on the Kedge Rock off Baltimore on 29 December 1916 by Baltimore volunteers together with two trawlers.

Jacqui Palmer, RNLI Heritage Development Manager said: ‘This exhibition highlights just a few of the many volunteers who saved others while the world was at war. Bravery and volunteering is central to the ethos of the RNLI and is as relevant today as it was during World War One. RNLI volunteers answer the call for help whenever it comes. Modern crews are fully equipped and trained thanks only to donations from a generous public. We hope that this exhibition will help to inspire current and future generations of supporters and lifesavers to enable the RNLI to continue to save lives at sea.’

The exhibition is touring until December 1918 and has already proven popular at almost 20 venues. The RNLI worked with local community groups to create inspirational artwork that interprets their own local lifesaving story. These items, including a giant jigsaw, a podcast and animation, are included in the exhibition and allow the fullest story of the rescues to be told nationally, in an interactive and engaging manner.

RNLI media contacts

  • Jacqui Palmer, Heritage Development Manager, 01263 511294, Jacqui_Palmer@rnli.org.uk
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
Port Eynon lifeboat, the 'Janet'.

RNLI

Port Eynon lifeboat, the 'Janet'.
The tanker SS Ponus on fire

Brian Osborne - taken from ‘Images of the Past' collection

The tanker SS Ponus on fire
One of the displays in the 'Hope in the Great War' exhibition

RNLI

One of the displays in the 'Hope in the Great War' exhibition
A multimedia display from the exhibition

RNLI

A multimedia display from the exhibition

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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