'A Lough legend of Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI' - past Coxswain dies
On the morning of the 19th March 2021 past Coxswain Ted Lough peacefully passed away at the Turret Residential Home.
Ted Lough came from a long line of family serving as volunteers in the RNLI at Berwick-upon-Tweed lifeboat station, the 'Lough', name being legendary.
Taken from an article published in December 1953 from the Lifeboat Magazine Archive Volume 33, this sets the scene of how he and his family served at Berwick-upon-Tweed lifeboat station:
'Chairman of the Berwick-on-Tweed Life-boat Station THERE has been a life-boat station at Berwick-on-Tweed for 118 years, and for the last thirty-four of those years the coxswain has been a Lough. A Lough is coxswain today, four of the other seven members of the crew are Loughs, and at a pinch we could man the boat with Loughs. It is a record which I think deserves to be added to the other great records of family service in the life-boats.
It began in 1919 when Bartholomew Lough the first became coxswain, and three Lough brothers, Prideaux, Bartholomew the second and John, all nephews of Bartholomew the first, became members of the crew. In 1929 Prideaux was appointed second-cox- swain and in 1936 John was appointed second motor mechanic. Meanwhile, in 1930, a third Batholomew, son of Bartholomew the first, had joined the crew, at the age of eighteen, as motor mechanic, and in 1934 another son of Bartholomew the first, Andrew Wilson Lough, had joined the crew.
In 1939 the war came. Prideaux, the second-coxswain, went on war service. His work was the disposal of mines, and he won the B.E.M. for gallantry. Andrew joined the Navy.
After the war they returned to the life-boat. All this time Bartholomew the first had continued to serve as coxswain. In 1945 he retired at the age of sixty-seven, and his nephew Prideaux, just returned, became cox- swain in his place. Bartholomew the second succeeded his brother Prideaux as second coxswain. In 1948 Andrew, son of Bartholomew the first, was appointed bowman. He served until 1950, when he left Berwick to become fisheries officer at Hull.
We come to the third generation. Prideaux, now serving as coxswain, had three sons, Edward, John and George. Edward joined the crew at the age of sixteen in 1941, John in 1942 and George in 1944. George served in the crew until 1949 when he joined the Navy. He is serving in it today. In 1951 Prideaux retired. His brother, Bartholomew the second, who was second coxswain, succeeded him. His son Edward, who had been made bowman in 1950, was now appointed second-coxswain.
So in the crew today we have Bartholomew the second as coxswain, his nephew Edward as second-cox- swain, his cousin, Bartholomew the third, as motor mechanic, his brother, John the first, as second motor mechanic, and his nephew, John the second, as a member of the crew.
It is a notable, though perhaps rather complicated, record. It only remains for me to add that since the station was established in 1835 its boats have been launched on service 186 times and have rescued 255 lives.
Eighty-eight of those services have been carried out, and 71 of those lives have been rescued, since Bartholomew Lough the first became coxswain, and his three nephews became members of the crew, in 1919.'
Its hard to write such a fitting tribute to a man who gave so much in voluntarly saving lives at sea, from the age of 16 in1941,serving as Coxswain from 1958 until 1968.
Ted had no family of his own but would tell us all at the station how proud he was when his great-nephews, Michael Percy, joined our station in 2004 and his brother Steven in 2009.
Our lifeboat family have fond memories of him coming to the station to have a good chin wag with the Crew relating the stories of his past, telling us how different it was when they had to go and save a life.
He would tell us how grand it was that people now recognised the importance of fund raising for the RNLI charity so we could have the best of kit and equipment, to go out and save a life at sea.
Coxswain Ally Laing said, 'Ted was some man, he was proud of how the Lough family served the RNLI and are through his great Nephews are still serving at Berwick -upon-Tweed lifeboat station.. He is a legend and his legacy will live on.'
RIP Ted from your lifeboat family, 'May you have fair winds and following seas as you cross the bar.'
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 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.