Monday, 5 December 2011

Mary Stanford

Just back from few days near Rye in Sussex. Lovely part of the world and all new to me.

Whilst in a bookshop read the story of the Mary Stanford lifeboat disaster of 1928 (it was only a short book but got so engrossed that read the whole thing-I guess I should have bought it!). It's a truly tagic tale of duty, heroism and selflessness. And made all the more awful by the fact that the attempted rescue was unnecessary since the crew of the stricken vessel had already been rescued by another vessel.

You can read a detailed account here.

I visited the memorial in the churchyard at Rye Harbour. It was bleak and cold and sadly a rather forlorn place. Seventeen men lost their lives including a father and two sons. I guess being a landlubber I rather take the RNLI for granted, but thank God for people willing to risk their lives to save others.

It seems that sacrifice is built into the fabric of what it means to be human. Whether a mother's love, a soldiers bravery or a lifeboatman's (or woman's) instinct.
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