Coastguard Station

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The Coastguard Station was demolished over a hundred years ago.

A Coastguard Station was established at Worbarrow by the time of the census on 6 June 1841. It was designed to house eight Coastguard men and their families. They increased the population of Tyneham parish by up to 40.

Coastguards in charge

Coastguards in charge included:

  • 1851: William Lidderdale
  • 1861: John Wingent
  • 1871: George Blunden
  • 1881: Edward Newbery (died in the 1886 tragedy)
  • 1891: John Peek
  • 1894: William Sparrow (appointed 2 February)
  • 1901: John Johns
  • 1911: Station uninhabited

Please see our Coastguard Families page for more information.


Tragedies

Tragedy struck the Coastguard men and their families three times in three decades:

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

Please see our Coastguard Families page for more information.


Station Closure

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.

After the coastguard went away my father had the old and inconvenient houses taken down but left the wall surrounding the enclosure.

Lilian Bond

Paving stones from the Coastguard Station were lifted and used to create the pavement in front of The Row.

Page last updated: 4 April 2020


Coastguard Station

Home|Worbarrow|Coastguard Station|Fern Hollow|Gate Cottages|Hill Cottage|Mintern’s Cottage|Rose Cottage|Sea Cottage|Sheepleaze|The Bungalow The Coastguard Station was demolished over a hundred years ago. A Coastguard Station was established at Worbarrow by the time of the census on 6 June 1841. It was designed to house eight Coastguard men and their families. They increased the… Continue reading

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1893: The Royal Wedding

THE ROYAL WEDDING. – A tea for the people of Tyneham was given at Warbarrow by the Rev. J. Bond, of Tyneham House, to celebrate the wedding of the Duke of York. At the same time and place Mr. N. Bond, of Grange, gave a tea to the children of… Continue reading

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1865: Distressing Accident in Weymouth Bay

FIVE LIVES LOST On Saturday, March 4, five men belonging to her Majesty’s coastguard were suddenly swallowed up in the angry sea. The men, who belonged to the Warbarrow station, about thirteen miles to the westward of St Alban’s Head, were returning in their galley from Weymouth with sundry stores,… Continue reading

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1865: West Lulworth – The Melancholy Casualty at Sea

On Saturday afternoon just before 2 pm, a south south west wind blowing and a heavy sea running the Warborough galley was seen by the watchman at Lulworth returning from Weymouth where she had gone previous evening for Government Stores. She past the cove in safety but about a quarter… Continue reading

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1844: Miraculous Escape

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… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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1886: The Coastguard Accident at Warbarrow

Mr. J.E. Robens, of Weymouth, appeals for help for the widows and children of the coastguardsmen who lost their lives in Warbarrow Bay on the 19th ult.

The Warbarrow Coastguard boat left that station for exercise in the bay at noon. On completing their exercises the men went into Lulworth Cove, in order to land and get provision for their families. About 5.30 they left for their home at Warbarrow, but just before reaching their station they were caught in a heavy thunder squall. The boat was struck first on her port side, and capsized. There were four men in her, three of whom were drowned. The man at the bow was partly clear of the boat when she went over, and his cork jacket kept him afloat till he got hold of an oar, and part of a life-belt beside, and tried to swim for the shore. He was picked up in an unconscious state, but through the aid of Dr. Blakeston, he revived. His name is William Pearce.

The bodies of William Marshall and James Sullivan having become disengaged from the boat were picked up some time after by a Warbarrow fishing boat, but the body of Mr. E. Newberry, the chief boatman in charge, has not yet been recovered.

By this lamentable event three wives were left widows and fifteen children fatherless. Mr. Newberry leaves a widow and three children; William Marshall a widow and seven children; James Sullivan a widow and five children. All the men bore excellent characters for sobriety and seamanship. Mr. Newberry had been twenty-four years on the Lulworth and Warbarrow stations. These widows and children are truly objects worthy of sympathy and help. The Inspecting Commander has shown them much kindness in their distress.

The Mayor of Weymouth, Sir R. N. Howard, has consented, in conjunction with Mr. Robens, to receive any contributions sent for their relief.

Published by Bridport News, 2 July 1886

1865: Distressing Accident in Weymouth Bay

FIVE LIVES LOST

On Saturday, March 4, five men belonging to her Majesty’s coastguard were suddenly swallowed up in the angry sea. The men, who belonged to the Warbarrow station, about thirteen miles to the westward of St Alban’s Head, were returning in their galley from Weymouth with sundry stores, and which might be considered a fair cargo for such a vessel. The men were perfectly sober, but the wind was blowing fresh from S.S.W., and Admiral Fitzroy’s signal opposite the Weymouth Telegraph Station indicated a probable gale from the southward. When about a mile from Lulworth Station (the one below that to which they were bound) the watchman there observed a sea strike her on the quarter. She shipped apparently a good deal of water, and immediately went down, in nautical phrase “like a stone”!  The Lulworth men immediately took to their cork jackets and their boat, but on arriving at the spot nothing could be seen, save a few light articles, forming a part of the stores, floating about. There was a good bit of sea and wind on at the time, so much so that the Lulworth men could not effect a landing at their own place, and were obliged to disembark at a place called Mupes. The five men drowned were: – Chope, who leaves several children, fortunately grown up, had seen upwards of thrirty years’ service, but withal, like the rest, was a smart seaman. Baker had been in the service upwards of a quarter of a century, and leaves a numerous family young in years. Hickey had been in the employ of the Crown about twenty years, and leaves a small family. Dunn’s term of servitude was about twelve years; and Parnell recently married, and his widow on the eve of her accouchement, had been in the coastguard about six months. Owing to one set of tides it was conjectured that neither they or the boat will be found, but swept seawards, though every exertion is now making to recover them.

Published by Jacksons Oxford Journal, Saturday 18 March 1865

1865: West Lulworth – The Melancholy Casualty at Sea

On Saturday afternoon just before 2 pm, a south south west wind blowing and a heavy sea running the Warborough galley was seen by the watchman at Lulworth returning from Weymouth where she had gone previous evening for Government Stores. She past the cove in safety but about a quarter of a mile further on was struck by a heavy sea on her quarter and instantly disappeared. The Lulworth galley was at once launched and with 5 minutes of the boats disappearance was pulling for the spot, fully manned and with mens lifebelts on board.  There efforts were, however, useless for no trace of any of the crew (which consisted of Mr Chope, Chief Officer in Charge, Mr Baker, Chief Boatman, and Dunn Hickey and Purnell, boatmen) could be discovered. It is thought that they must have all gone down together, as the oars and material floating on the surface would have been sufficient to support 3 of 4 men at least. Great praise is due to the Lulworth coast guard who launched and made their boat with wonderful rapidity and though a dangerous sea was running outside vied with each other in their eagerness to go to the rescue of their comrades; also to Thomas Williams and Joseph Miller, Lulworth fishermen, who put off in the formers sailing boat in the hope of being able to give assistance. In reference to the crew of the ill fated boat the writer of the above adds: – a finer set of men would have been difficult to meet; Mr Chope and Mr Bale being especially skilful in the mangement of a boat. She was, however, heavily laden with government stores, which partly, no doubt, caused the accident; and it was noble desire to get these goods home so that they might begin at once to get their stations into order, which was eventually the cause of their sad death. The promptitude of the Lulworth men, both of the coastguard and the two fishermen, in going to the rescue, was beyond all praise and excited the admiration of all who witnessed it. The Rev. W. Gildear [Gildea] was on the beach 2 or 3 minutes after the boat went down; and when no hope remained, went to break the sad intelligence to the poor widows and children. The boat was washed up last Monday on Duddlestone Ledge, but none of the bodies have yet been found.

Published by the Dorset County Chronicle, Thursday 9 March 1865

1844: Miraculous Escape

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.

Published by Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, Saturday 13 April 1844

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.

Published by the Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, Saturday 13 April 1844

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