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Family makes generous donation of memorabilia to Walmer RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The family of former Chairman of the RNLI and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports the Lord Boyce has made a generous donation of his memorabilia to Walmer lifeboat.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Just after Walmer’s regular Sunday exercise last week, Sunday 15 July, the station was visited by Lord Boyce’s, daughter Christine Barling, his son Hugo and their families. They brought with them a number of items of memorabilia which Lord Boyce had on display in his apartment at Walmer Castle, his residence in his role as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. They have very generously donated these items to Walmer lifeboat.

The items include a lifeboat maroon launch system, presented to him in recognition of the contribution he made to the modernisation of the lifeboat call out system. These were phased out in the early 2000s, being replaced by the current pager alert. Also included are a number of photographs of Walmer and other lifeboats, a limited-edition book entitled ‘The Lifeboat. Courage on our Coast,’ a model of the RNLI Memorial Sculpture in Poole, a framed collection of cards entitled The Story of the Lifeboat and his RNLI Certificate of Service commemorating his 22 years of service in a number of roles in the Institution.

Mrs Barling said: ’The family often visited our father whilst working in association with his Cinque Port commitments. In the summer we would all cycle along the seafront and drop into the station to browse the second-handbook shelves and show his grandchildren the RNLI boat before getting fish and chips to eat on the green next to the station. ‘

‘We were thrilled that the RNLI station in Walmer were enthusiastic about accepting the donation of items, books and pictures from our father´s collection that he kept in display at the castle whilst Lord Warden. We often heard about his work with the RNLI and know that he felt truly committed to his role and held the work of the RNLI in high admiration and becoming Chairman was very special to him.’

We have many happy memories and we are pleased to be leaving our donation in the station´s safe hands.’

A frequent visitor when in residence at Walmer Castle, he would often stop and chat to volunteers on a Sunday morning whilst riding his bicycle past the station. In an official capacity representing the Committee of Management of the RNLI accepting the lifeboats from donors he attended the naming ceremonies of our Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and D Class Duggie Rodbard I, and ten years later Duggie Rodbard II, accepting them on behalf of the RNLI and officially handing them over to the station’s Operations Manager Denis Brophy. He also attended that station’s official dinner celebrating 50 Years of the D Class Inshore lifeboat at Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club, presenting the station with a Certificate commemorating 50 Years of operating a D Class lifeboat at Walmer, and where also he presented Boathouse Manager Les Coe with his 60 Year Badge.

Walmer RNLI sincerely thank the family for thinking of our station for their most generous donation.

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

To find out more about Walmer lifeboat station go to

Photo 1 Lord Boyce's family . L to R : grandson Harry, daughter-in-law Sally, granddaughter Lauren, son Hugo, Lifeboat Operations Manager Denis Brophy, daughter Christine Barling, son-in-law Mark, granddaughter Isabella and grandson Zack

Photo 2 Lord Boyce's RNLI Service Record

Photo 3 A lifeboat maroon launch system

Photo 4 Framed collection of cards - The Story of the Lifeboat

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

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.

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