The Coastguard Cutter Vol4 No5

May 2006
Vol. 4 - No. 05.


Apprehended Attack on the Coastguard Station.

It is stated that an attack was expected on the Crosshaven Coastguard Station on Friday night, and that military had been dispatched there from Camden Fort, to protect the Station. It does not appear that any attack was made. (2)

The men of the Revenue Cruisers had a hard and arduous life. The vessels were seldom allowed into harbour, except for repairs or to seek shelter in severe storms. The routine was to move close to land at dusk each day. The boats were lowered and half the crew took to them. They then rowed patrol throughout the night along the coast. They were picked up by the cruiser at a prearranged rendezvous. If foul weather blew up, the boat crew could try to find the cruiser or row to shelter.

One old cruiserman told how he was often dropped at one side of the Isle of Wight at night, and picked up at the other side at dawn. (4)


Wit & Wisdom of Ireland.

The road was dark and the moon high as they drove slowly along a country road. 'Could you drive with one hand?' she asked in a soft sultry voice. 'Oh, yes . . .yes I could, easily,' he stammered as his heart leaped to the call. 'All right. Here's an apple. Have a bite'
-Dublin Penny Journal, 1833


His Majesty’s Cutter, ‘Speed’, Lieut. Thomas A. Henderson, is arrived here, and has proceeded up the river, to act in conjunction with the ‘Wickham’, revenue Cutter, Lieut. Renon for the purpose of protecting the trade above the bridge from any interruption of Lightermen.

(Waterford Mirror) (6)





Coming in June Edition

Friendly Fire and gun accidents.

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Dear Friend, Welcome to the May edition of "The Coastguard Cutter".


With the commencement of building large Coastguard stations in Ireland in the 1860's favourable comment was made on 'lovely windows'. towers and many Victorian Gothic features. Also included were rifle loop-holes and heavy steel plates to cover windows in the event of an attack on the station. These early buildings proved to be too expensive for the Admiralty and later stations were plainer and had less architectural features.



Kilmichael CG Station.

Gun ports at sides of window allows rifle coverage of side of the building. There was also a slot pointing downwards under window for extra coverage. >>

The Troubles.

During the 1870's the English Government feared a Fenian up-rising in Ireland. Accordingly, the windows of every station in Ireland were provided with bullet-proof shutters, loopholed for musketry, while all the houses in the station had inter-connecting doors from one end of the block to the other to render the defence easy should it become necessary. But in order to prevent any unauthorised visiting between families the Station Officer was careful to keep the key of these inter-connecting doors in his own possession and was not supposed to part from it in any circumstances.  (1)

<< Ballymoney CG Station Co. Wexford. Connecting Bedroom doors


Fenian Rising in Cork in 1867.

The first proceeding, in point of time, of an aggressive character, that I have learned, took place at Knockadoon, about six miles from Youghal, on the coast, where there was a coastguard station, occupied by five men and a chief boatman. As early as nine o'clock last evening the coastguard station was attacked by a body of armed men numbering about sixty, led by a horseman. They were well armed. The coastguards surrendered in the face of overwhelming numbers, and they were, with the exception of one sick man taken prisoner and marched off, the Fenians carrying with them all the arms and ammunition in the station. They then marched towards Mogeely, on the Youghal railway, a distance of fourteen miles, and there set their prisoners at liberty, proceeding themselves in a north-easterly direction. It is supposed they were joined near Castlemartyr by another party from the locality.
From our special reporter

Coast Guard Service

On Monday from the hour of 10 o’clock, and on Tuesday morning an Investigation was held at the Coast Guard station, Fair Hill, in consequence of a charge brought against Lieut. Lamb, Chief Officer of the Ardfry District, for some alleged impropriety in the discharge of his official duties. We would have laid a report of the whole before our readers, but that some objections were made to our taking notes of the evidence. The result we understand, is unfavourable to Mr. Lamb, who now intends to appeal to a higher court on several grounds. With this intention he withdrew from court, after entering two or three protests against the manner of proceeding etc. (3)


Coastguard pattern percussion belt pistol, 11 ¼ in. round barrel 6 in. Tower proof, lock with crowned ‘VR’ and ‘Tower 1846’ brass mounted full-stock with lanyard ring, stirrup rammer and steel belt hook.



Dunnycove Coastguard Station. Co. Cork

“It appears that there were at least two coastguard stations in Dunnycove over the years. Coastguards from Dunnycove are mentioned are mentioned as being involved in the rescue of survivors from the ‘Jessy Torrens’ in Dunnycove on November 20th.1846. The commanding officer was named as Lt. Elliott. A new Coastguard station was built approx. ½ a mile up the road from Dunnycove c 1900.The station was built by a contractor from Clonakilty, named Harte. When the coastguards moved up to the new station this may explain the old station being empty in 1911. The new station was burnt by the I.R.A. in 1921, the station comprised of eight houses, the biggest house contained Officers quarters. When the station was burnt , the coastguards had left some time previously and local families lived in five of the houses. The three vacant houses were burnt first and the remaining houses were burnt when the occupants had fled. It was thought locally at the time that the house would not be burnt at all when local families were living in them.


Distress at Sea. 1842

The barque 'Queen' of Hull, Captain John Harwick, from St. Johns to Hull, with a full cargo of timber for that port, after being 29 days out, 7 days of which the crew had not had any provisions. Five of the men died of fatigue and actual starvation, and in a state of insanity. She arrived off Sline Head on Monday last, waterlogged; upon hoisting a signal of distress, she was neared by the schooner 'Heir' of Mardryn, Wm. Hughes, master, who, contrary to all nautical humanity, refused to afford the slightest assistance, denied any relief, or provisions, and withholding a supply of fresh water, although the 'Heir' was within 5 hours of this port.

Upon the Circumstances being communicated to Lt. Gosling RN Commander of the 'Dolphin' Revenue cutter, at once, and with spirit so characteristic of an Irish sailor he proceeded to the assistance of the vessel, and has succeeded in bringing her into port, and was mainly instrumental in preserving the lives of those on board. We should add, the Coastguards were prompt in affording whatever assistance was in their power. (Galway Vindicator) (7)

References :
  1. "His Majesty's Coastguard" by Frank Bowen.
  2. Cork Examiner 11th.March 1867.
  3. Morning Register Tuesday 16th.February 1836.
  4. “Shipminder” The Story of Her Majesty’s Coastguard” by Bernard Scarlett.
  5. Letter 22nd.July 2002 from Tim. Feen.
  6. Saunders News Letter Wednesday 4th.December 1833.
  7. Evening Freeman Tuesday 29th.March 1842.

© 2001-2006 [coastguards of yesteryear]

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