RNLB Henry Blogg (ON 840)

RNLB Henry Blogg (ON 840) was the eighteenth lifeboat to be stationed at Cromer in the county of Norfolk.[1]

Model of the Lifeboat Henry Blogg Henry Blogg museum in Cromer.JPG
Millie Walton/Henry Blogg ON840
British RNLI Flag
Name: Henry Blogg
Namesake: Henry Blogg
Owner: Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Builder: Sussex Yacht Company Shoreham
Official Number: ON 840
Donor: Legacy of Mrs M E Walton of Derby.
Station Cromer
Cost: £15,241 17s 6d
Laid down: 1945
Christened: 7 August 1948 by Sir John Cunningham
In service: No 1 Lifeboat from 20 December 1945
Out of service: 3 April 1966
Fate: The Henry Blogg was damaged while launching on service in April 1966, and never returned to Cromer. After repairs she entered the Reserve fleet serving until 1976. Sold out of service in April 1977 for the sum of £5,500
General characteristics
Type: Watson Class boat
Length: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m) overall
Beam: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Installed power: Twin Ferry VE4 Diesel engine of 40 bhp (30 kW)
Speed: 8.22 knots (15.22 km/h)

ON 840 was stationed at Cromer from 1945 until 1966.


In 1945 after 10 years service which included busy service through the second world war H F Bailey ON777 was replaced with a new No 1 lifeboat in December 1945 named The Millie Walton (ON 840). This lifeboat had originally been destined for Douglas on the Isle of man and had only been sent to Cromer for evaluation. Millie Walton was a Watson-class lifeboat but had a new midship steering position which the Cromer crew found much to their liking[1] and so after request from the Cromer crew she remained at Cromer. In 1948 Millie Walton was renamed Henry Blogg in homage to Cromer’s famous lifeboat man Henry Blogg who was the Coxswain. Henry Blogg made his last voyage on the Millie Walton under the new coxswain Henry "Shrimp" Davies on 4 September 1948 at the age of 71. The call was to the rescue of the steam trawler Balmoral and 11 lives were saved. Henry Blogg retired after 53 years service with the service and he was the holder of the most awards by the RNLI.

Notable rescuesEdit

Francois TixierEdit

In heavy seas on 8 July 1948 a French steamer by the name of Francois Tixier[2] Bound from Goole to the French inland port of Rouen, got into difficulties of the north Norfolk coast four miles (6 km) off Sheringham.[2] The steamer was laden with a cargo of coal and in worsening gale she capsized. With the Sheringham lifeboat undergoing a refit[2] at Oulton Broad, Henry Blogg was launched to the steamer's aid and stood by. With the Francois Tixier heavily listing on the port the lifeboat went alongside but the captain and his crew refused to leave the stricken vessel. Despite the attempts by the crew to secure the cargo, it shifted further to port. With their failed attempts to steady the vessel the captain and crew agreed to leave their ship. One crew man jumped into the water and was rescued; another reached the lifeboat by rope passed between the boats. Using a Breeches buoy, eight more of the crew were rescued.[2] After the eleventh crewman was rescued using the breeches buoy the stricken steamer rolled over and began to sink. The last five remaining crew scrambled on to the stern and as the steamer slipped below the waves they scrambled on to a raft and were picked up by the lifeboat shortly after. The sixteen rescued French seaman were landed at Great Yarmouth by the Henry Blogg. In recognition of their efforts Coxswain Henry Davies[2] and his crew were presented with awards by the French government.[2]

Sheringham lifeboat Forester's CentenaryEdit

On 31 May 1958[1] Henry Blogg took part in an unusual rescue when she was called to aid the Sheringham lifeboat Forester's Centenary.[1] This service began with a call at 9.50am to the Sheringham honorary secretary from the Trinity House Superintendent of Great Yarmouth requesting that a sick man be taken off the Dudgeon Light-vessel.[1] At 10.15am the Sheringham lifeboat Forester's Centenary was launched with a doctor on board and she reached the light-vessel by 1.10pm. The doctor went aboard the light-vessel and dispensed a sedative[1] to the sick man and he was then strapped to a stretcher and transferred to the Forester's Centenary. The lifeboat then set off on the return journey to her station. Nine miles north east from home at around 4.40pm the Forester's Centenary was in trouble when her skew gear which drives the lifeboat's oil and water pumps broke down. Henry Blogg was called out and had to take the Sheringham lifeboat in to tow. Both boats arrived back at the Sheringham station at 7.00pm and the sick man was taken to hospital.[1]

Service and rescuesEdit

Rescues from Cromer as Millie Walton
Date Casualty Lives Saved
7 March Steamship CORCREST of London, assisted to save vessel 22
Renamed Henry Blogg (ON 840)
4 January Steam trawler BALMORAL of Grimsby, gave help and saved 11
23 April Motor Yacht SWITHA of Inverness, gave help
8 July Motor vessel FRANCOIS TIXIER of Dunkirk, saved 16
7 August Rubber dinghy, saved dinghy 1
25–31 August Steamship MONTE NURIA of Bilbao, stood by and gave help
2 September Rubber Dinghy, saved dinghy 1
10 December Motor trawler GEORGES LANGANAY of Fecamp, assisted to save vessel 19
20–21 December Motor vessel BOSPHORUS of Oslo, assisted to save vessel 37
4 October Yacht MARJELLEN, gave help
19 November Steamship SUNTRAP of London, Landed an injured man
21 November Barge THYRA of Rochester, gave help
9 January Cabin cruiser DIMCYL of Lowestoft, gave help
24 July Gloster Meteor aeroplane, gave help
1 August Motor Yacht ZIPPALONG of Boston, gave help
23 November Steamship GROVE HILL of Middlesbrough, gave help
11 June Sea Cadet Motor Vessel NORFOLK of Goole, saved vessel 16
2 October Cromer Light vessel, Landed a sick man, saving 1
15 October Fishing boat WHY WORRY of Cromer, saved boat 2
19 February Bathers with rubber tyre, saved 3
19 February Steamship COLCHESTER of London, landed a body
10 August Yacht AMBIDA of Hull, saved yacht 7
9 September Sailing dinghy, saved dinghy
23–24 September Fishing boat BRITANNIA of Cromer, saved boat 2
26 October Trawler JOHN WILLMENT of Lowestoft, took out doctor
31 May RNLB FORESTERS CENTENARY of Sheringham, gave help
27 August Yacht WIMA of Rochester, gave help
17 August Yacht, saved yacht 2
5 September Motor Launch GAY CRUSADER of London, saved boat 8
31 December Aircraft, Landed a body from motor vessel BROUGHTY of Dundee
11 July Steam trawler CRADDOCK of Grimsby, gave help
3 August Rubber mattress, saved 1
16 February Haisborough Light-vessel, gave help
16 February Steam tanker WAVE CHIEF of London, gave help
8 March Motor vessel CORSTAN of London, landed a sick man
29 May Cabin cruiser MAYFLY, saved cruiser 5
23 September Yacht ELIZABETH ANN, saved yacht 4
2 November HM Survey vessel SCOTT,[3] Landed a sick man
24 November Motor vessel VISCOUNT of Groningen, gave help
9 April Haisborough Light-vessel, landed sick man
12 May Sailing dinghy, saved dinghy 1
11 June Motor vessel WARWICKBROOK of London, put a doctor aboard
23 December Motor fishing boat FOUR BROTHERS of Lowestoft, gave help
11 March Motor vessel JOIKA of Oslo. Gave help
5 July Yacht SALLY BROWN of Boston, saved yacht 2
28 December Oil Rig SEA GEM, stood by
16 January Steam salvage tug OCTOPUS of IJmuiden, escorted vessel
16 January Motor vessel START of Groningen, escorted vessel
3 April Oil rig CONSTELLATION, stood by rig



  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Cromer Lifeboats, by Bob Malster & Peter Stibbons,:Poppyland Publishing, ISBN 0-946148-21-X
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cromer Lifeboat, A pictorial history, By Nicholas Leach & Paul Russell, Pub; Landmark Collector’s Library, ISBN 978-1-84306-363-6
  3. ^ David A Thomas, A companion to the Royal Navy, 1988, ISBN 0-245-54572-7