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]

Millie Walton/Henry Blogg ON840
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.
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 rescues

Francois Tixier

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 Centenary

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 rescues

Rescues from Cromer as Millie Walton
Date Casualty Lives Saved
7 MarchSteamship CORCREST of London, assisted to save vessel22
Renamed Henry Blogg (ON 840)
4 JanuarySteam trawler BALMORAL of Grimsby, gave help and saved11
23 AprilMotor Yacht SWITHA of Inverness, gave help
8 JulyMotor vessel FRANCOIS TIXIER of Dunkirk, saved16
7 AugustRubber dinghy, saved dinghy1
25–31 AugustSteamship MONTE NURIA of Bilbao, stood by and gave help
2 SeptemberRubber Dinghy, saved dinghy1
10 DecemberMotor trawler GEORGES LANGANAY of Fecamp, assisted to save vessel19
20–21 DecemberMotor vessel BOSPHORUS of Oslo, assisted to save vessel37
4 OctoberYacht MARJELLEN, gave help
19 NovemberSteamship SUNTRAP of London, Landed an injured man
21 NovemberBarge THYRA of Rochester, gave help
9 JanuaryCabin cruiser DIMCYL of Lowestoft, gave help
24 JulyGloster Meteor aeroplane, gave help
1 AugustMotor Yacht ZIPPALONG of Boston, gave help
23 NovemberSteamship GROVE HILL of Middlesbrough, gave help
11 JuneSea Cadet Motor Vessel NORFOLK of Goole, saved vessel16
2 OctoberCromer Light vessel, Landed a sick man, saving1
15 OctoberFishing boat WHY WORRY of Cromer, saved boat2
19 FebruaryBathers with rubber tyre, saved3
19 FebruarySteamship COLCHESTER of London, landed a body
10 AugustYacht AMBIDA of Hull, saved yacht7
9 SeptemberSailing dinghy, saved dinghy
23–24 SeptemberFishing boat BRITANNIA of Cromer, saved boat2
26 OctoberTrawler JOHN WILLMENT of Lowestoft, took out doctor
31 MayRNLB FORESTERS CENTENARY of Sheringham, gave help
27 AugustYacht WIMA of Rochester, gave help
17 AugustYacht, saved yacht2
5 SeptemberMotor Launch GAY CRUSADER of London, saved boat8
31 DecemberAircraft, Landed a body from motor vessel BROUGHTY of Dundee
11 JulySteam trawler CRADDOCK of Grimsby, gave help
3 AugustRubber mattress, saved1
16 FebruaryHaisborough Light-vessel, gave help
16 FebruarySteam tanker WAVE CHIEF of London, gave help
8 MarchMotor vessel CORSTAN of London, landed a sick man
29 MayCabin cruiser MAYFLY, saved cruiser5
23 SeptemberYacht ELIZABETH ANN, saved yacht4
2 NovemberHM Survey vessel SCOTT,[3] Landed a sick man
24 NovemberMotor vessel VISCOUNT of Groningen, gave help
9 AprilHaisborough Light-vessel, landed sick man
12 MaySailing dinghy, saved dinghy1
11 JuneMotor vessel WARWICKBROOK of London, put a doctor aboard
23 DecemberMotor fishing boat FOUR BROTHERS of Lowestoft, gave help
11 MarchMotor vessel JOIKA of Oslo. Gave help
5 JulyYacht SALLY BROWN of Boston, saved yacht2
28 DecemberOil Rig SEA GEM, stood by
16 JanuarySteam salvage tug OCTOPUS of IJmuiden, escorted vessel
16 JanuaryMotor vessel START of Groningen, escorted vessel
3 AprilOil rig CONSTELLATION, stood by rig


  1. The Cromer Lifeboats, by Bob Malster & Peter Stibbons,:Poppyland Publishing, ISBN 0-946148-21-X
  2. 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
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