Coastguard Station

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A Coastguard Station was established at Worbarrow by 1840. It was designed to house eight Coastguard men and their families.

Tragedy struck the Coastguard men and their families three times in three decades, first in 1865, then in 1874 and finally in 1886. On the first occasion five Coastguard men were drowned, and on the each subsequent occasion, three Coastguard men were drowned. See later for more information.

The Coastguard Station closed by 1911 and was purchased by William Bond who demolished it around 1912 supposedly to stop the cottages being used as holiday homes.

In 1861, eight coastguard men and their families were living at the station. The Coastguard in charge was John Wingent. In total 36 people were living at the station.

In 1865, Charles Baker, Thomas Chope, William Dunn, John Hickey and ? Purnell were drowned. Each left a widow and a total of 19 children lost their father.

In 1871, eight coastguard men and their families were living at the station. The Coastguard in charge was George Blunden. In total 40 people were living at the station.

In 1874, William Skinner aged 41, William Bennett aged 38 and Henry Stroud aged 48 lost their lives. Each left a widow, two of whom were expecting, and a total of 18 children lost their father.

In 1881, seven coastguard men and their families were living at the station. The Coastguard in charge was Edward Newbery. In total 35 people were living at the station.

In 1886, Edward Newberry, William Marshall and James Sullivan lost their lives. Each left a widow and a total of 15 children lost their father. 

In 1891, seven coastguard men and their families were living at the station. The Coastguard in charge was John Peek. In total 30 people were living at the station.

On 2 February 1894 William Sparrow was appointed as Chief Boatman in Charge.

In 1901, seven coastguard men and their families were living at the station. The Coastguard in charge was John Johns. In total 30 people were living at the station.

1844: Miraculous Escape

Poole, Saturday, April 13

MIRACULOUS ESCAPE. – Lieut. Wilmot, R.N., of the Warbarrow Coast Guard Station, received some severe injuries about a fortnight ago whilst on night duty, he having (owing to the extreme darkness of the night) walked over the highest part of Gadcliff, which is an elevation of 128 feet. The first portion of the cliff is about 40 feet perpendicular, the remainder being on the slope, both rugged and rocky; he was shortly after being picked up by one of his men, who fortunately heard him call for help, and by the assistance of others , was carefully cenveyed [conveyed] to his residence.

Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, Saturday 13 April 1844