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coastguard in arklow
gina45
:)My great grandfather was a coastguard/boatman in arklow in 1901 as I found him in the census of that time and lived in the coastguard house in arklow.. the photograph is actully on this site.. by the time the next census in 1911 he had died and his wife and family living elsewhere in arklow.. but i cannot seem to find anything about him on the site at all.His name was Nicholas Brennan and his wife s name was Catherine. The only thing I found was the photograph of the house and a mention of him attending a funeral for other coastguards in wicklow town... also what is the difference between a coastguard and a boatman.. i am new to all of this so please forgive...
 
crimea1854
Hi Gina and welcome to the Forum.

I don't know if you have tried downloading his service record from the NA website, but I think this is your man - the birth place is correct, but maybe from what you already know you will be able to confirm if he was born in December 1856?

http://www.nation...ultcount=2

On your question re Coastguard/Boatman; Coastguard is a general term and Boatman a rank.

If you need any further help please do come back.

Regards

Martin

Gina, since posting my response to your question I have been doing a little more digging through the ADM 175 series of records. While my statement about the title 'Coastguard' might be true when first under Admiralty control in 1856, in the early 1900's the rank of Boatman was dropped and replaced by Coastguard.
Edited by crimea1854 on 26/11/2008 07:32
 
gina45
Thank you so much for your reply and i guess it must be him because he was born in wexford but i had no birth year for him so hopefully when i get his birth cert i can go back further as i am doing my family tree.. when i went onto a link it brought up something about a testomial for Nicholas Brennan as he house was burnt.. have you any knowledge of this as i couldnt find anything else .. maybe its a different Nicholas Brennan.. He died before the next census in 1911 and he was very young so i may send for the death cert to see cause etc. but again thanks so much for your help I am really delighted....
ginaSmile
 
Declan
Hi Gina
We are definatly related as My Great Grandfather was Nicolas. My Dad was Andrew Joseph, brother of Nicolas and George and a sister named Catherine. I am at a loss at finding anything out about the Brennan side of the family as my dad died in 1995 and he didn't really give much away to my now disappointment. Hopefully we can share stuff as I am also trying to research my family tree. Better if you use my email address on my profile as I can access that anywhere
Regards
Declan
 
Exmarca
Hi,
I'm new to this site and a total newcomer to Genealogy. My great uncle was Dawson Downey and I have a BOT Gallantry medal of his. Stumbling onto your site after many attempts to find any information on him in the British census sites, I learn that he was awarded this medal for duty involved in asssisting the fishing yawl "Mary Immaculate" of Dublin on December 15 1910. This corresponds to the info on the edge of the medal.
Also from your site I find he was serving in Arklow at the time.
I can find no further information on this interesting relation of mine (those of his generation being long gone) and would appreciate any help or advice on the subject.
I also have his LSGC medal and his WW1 Service medals (1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal) I believe he was also awarded the Carnegie Medal but can not find anything concerning that online.
Being a Coastguard in Arklow (#168796 LG BOATN) Would he have lived in the house pictured in the Photo Gallery (Arklow 1 & 2)?
 
crimea1854
Hi Exmarca, and welcome to the Forum.

To provide information on the Lifesaving award we need to wait for Roger. However, Downey's service record is available to download from the National Archives site in ADM 175/82B.

From this you would see that he was born on 9 March 1876, in Jarrow on Tyne.

He appears to have joined the CG service on 15/11/1910 at Arklow as a Boatman. On the 31/7/14 he had 'Service Afloat', which I can only assume was somehow linked to active war service, particularly given the medals you quote. This came to an end on 12/3/15 when he returned to Arklow.

On the 24/3/16 he transferred to South Arran, and moved again on 30/8/19 to Seaton Sluice (?). The final station on his record is Beadnell 1/3/1921.

He was promoted to Lg Seaman on 1/12/1913 when part of the 'Old' Force, joining the 'New' Force on 1 May 1919, where he was promoted to PO 1 March 1921.

You can also buy his service record from the NA, just follow the link below:

http://www.nation...ultcount=1

Regards

Martin
Edited by crimea1854 on 15/02/2009 23:40
 
Exmarca
Hi Crimea,
Many thanks for that information and help. Using your link, I was able to download his service record. However, my lack of experience on these sites was probabbly to blame for my not being able to get any further than a list of indexes for any other search I tried. I will persevere however, as my interest is now piqued.
Any medal info would be much appreciated - I have found the entry concerning the award of the Gallantry Medal but as yet have no more information on the unfortunate vessel and what occurred. The list shows that on the same day as the "Mary Immaculate" required assistance, another medal was awarded to an Arklow Coastguard for rendering assistance to another Dublin fishing vessel. Must have been quite a day for them all.

Thanx again for all your help
 
willoughr
Hi Exmarca, Martin and everyone else,

Dawson Downey: a very interesting man and I'm very glad to hear his medals survive in the family. I would appreciate details of the precise naming on the edge of each and if there are any good photographs of Downey that would be fantastic. I ask for those and any other details as I'd like to add them to the research I already have on him and the rescue, all to be included in my planned book on Irish lifesaving. What I have so far is below for your interest.

Regards

Roger

Downey, Dawson. 168796 Boatman, HM Coastguard, Arklow. SGM in silver. 15.12.1910. Wicklow.
Award: On the afternoon of 15 December 1910 during bad weather two fishing boats, the Fisher Lad and Mary Immaculate, went in tandem down the river and as they attempted to cross the bar into Arklow Bay they were met huge waves. Both boats capsized and their crews were quickly in difficulties: six men were soon drowned. Dawson Downey undressed and swam at great risk to the Mary Immaculate with a life-line and tied this to the boat, on which Murtagh Somers (the Master) and William Forde remained (Forde – being unconscious – was being supported above the water by the brave elderly Somers). Using this line a boat was hauled out to the wreck and the two men were brought ashore. Unfortunately, Forde succumbed to his injuries. Coastguard Hitchcock bravely entered the surf and succeeded in seizing and bringing ashore one of the crew of the Fisher Lad, who was unconscious. Using artificial respiration, the man was revived. Coastguard Budden also bravely entered the surf and made several attempts to reach another crew-member of the Fisher Lad, who, however, sank and drowned before he could be seized (The Times 3rd May 1911, p. 11 and TNA ref: BT261-6). The decision to award Downey with the silver and Hitchcock and Budden with the bronze SGM was announced in The Times (on 8 March 1911, p. 11). The medals were ordered on 10 March 1911 and the King presented them to all three men at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 2 May 1911 (The Times, 3 May 1911, p. 11). The Board of Trade also granted monetary awards of £1 to each of the coastguards. Following the initial announcement of the awards, the local press took up the story thus: ‘Amongst the awards recently granted by the King, acting on the recommendation of the Board of Trade, we find the names Dawson Downey, George H Hitchcock and George Budden, Coastguards at the Arklow station. It will be remembered that these men took an active part in rescuing the survivors of the fishing boats Fisher Lad and Mary Immaculate, which were wrecked in Arklow Harbour in December last, and as a result of which six men were drowned. Downey showed conspicuous bravery on the occasion, no one can deny that he has well deserved the recognition he has now received, a silver medal. Coastguards Hitchcock and Budden, who lent most useful assistance, have each been awarded with a bronze medal. In the meantime poor old Murt Somers, who though an old man played the most heroic part of all in sticking to his comrade, when the waves momentarily threatened to engulf his frail craft, has been entirely overlooked, but for the solatium he received from the Distress Committee. Such however is the solicitude with which government departments deal of the kind, more especially when it is only “the mere Irish” are concerned’ (Wicklow People, 18 March 1911). Five months later Downey, Hitchcock and Budden were further rewarded for their bravery, this time by the Carnegie Hero Fund. In covering the story the Wicklow People described how: ‘Captain Mareaceux, RN, Inspector of the North Irish District Coastguards, accompanied by Lieutenant R M Haynes, Divisional Officer at Wicklow, visited Arklow on Wednesday to make a presentation to Coastguards Dawson Downey, G H Budden and George Hitchcock of the Arklow station. The presentation consisted of £10 to each of the Coastguards, and a Silver watch from the Carnegie Hero Fund in recognition of the bravery displayed by these men on the occasion of the wreck of the fishing boat Mary Immaculate, during a gale at Arklow on 15 September 1910 when six lives were lost’ (Saturday 19 August 1911). For further details of the rescues see Liam Charlton’s ‘Arklow fishing disasters of 1910’, Journal of the Arklow Historical Society, 1985: 46-49. Awards also to George Budden and George H Hitchcock.
Biographical details: Born on 9 March 1876 in Jarrow, Durham, Dawson Downey was the son of another Dawson Downey (who had been born in Ireland in the early 1840s) and his wife Elizabeth. At the time of the 1881 census the Downey family were living at 72 Bell Street, East Jarrow, South Shields, with four daughters and Elizabeth’s widower father and unmarried brother, both named William Cashley (aged 70 and 30 respectively). Downey worked for a time as a labourer, before joining the Royal Navy on 9 March 1894. By the time of the 1901 census, Downey was serving as an Able Seaman aboard HMS Trent at Kent, the census noting him as being single. He transferred the HM Coastguard on 15 November 1910, being posted the Arklow. With the outbreak of the First World War he returned briefly to the RN, before being posted back to HM Coastguard, serving in Arklow and Arran. He received his Navy LS&GC medal in 1917. Dawson Downey transferred to the new coastguard service on 1 September 1919 (TNA ref: ADM 188/275).
Roger Willoughby
 
crimea1854
Roger, what an amazing story, and for the family to still have the medal as presented by the King is a real bonus!

Exmarca out of interest does Downey's Naval Service Record name the ships he served on during WW1?

Martin
 
Exmarca
Good evening Willoughr and Crimea,

WOW !! I seem to have stumbled upon a mine of information here, thanks for the insight into this ancestor of mine. He certainly deserves a mention in my family history.
In reply to your queries - The precise wording on the edge of his medals is as follows:-
Gallantry Medal - DAWSON DOWNEY "MARY IMMACULATE" 15TH DECEMBER 1910 (The "TH" in 15th is superscript in capitals)

British War Medal and Victory Medal - D. DOWNEY L.S. R.N.
The same inscription is on the reverse of the 1914-15 Star

LSGC Medal - DAWSON DOWNEY LG BOATN H.M. COAST GUARD - (The "N" in BOATN is superscript in capital and the words Coast and Guard are seperate)

I also have the War Medal and the Defence Medal from WW11 but, as they are not inscibed with a name, I do not know if they were Dawson's (he would have been in his 70th year at the end of hostilities) but may have served in the Home Guard or some other capacity.

Crimea - I am not familiar with the method of uploading to a forum as I could send the relative part of his service record - if you have any ideas or an e.mail address, I can send the Pdf file.
As far as I can decipher from Aug 1 until Oct 12 1914 he was on board "King Alfred" from Oct 16 1914 until Feb 01 1915 "Victory 1".
From Feb 2 until March 12 1915 he served on "Excellent" All as Leading Seaman before returning to Arklow to resume as Ldg Boatn.

As you rightly say, he was transferred to the "New Coastguard Force" on May 1 1919 but I have been unable to figure out how to access these records. Maybe you guys have some suggestions.

I will be leaving the country for a few weeks tomorrow evening and look forward to any follow up on my return.

Thanks again for the wealth of information and the assistance, it is much appreciated.

Marc
 
Exmarca
Hi,
To carry on from the previous posting, I do not have any photographs in my posession but will certainly check with any relatives who may have old photographs stowed away somewhere.
One point I would like to bring up willoughr, you mention that he was rewarded from the Carnegie Fund with cash and a watch. You do not mention a medal. Could it be that he did not, in fact, receive a medal in this instance and that my mother's account of the "Carnegie Medal" may have been incorrect. (An "Award" as opposed to an actual gong)? I have googled "Carnegie Medal" and found that there have been very few awarded in the history of the UK branch.
Back to the watch. I was given a pocket watch by my grandfather when I was very young (my mother always said it belonged to Dawson) but it did not look like much, no inscription and (to my mind) of no great value, so I paid little attention to it. However, I still have it somewhere and it may merit some further examination. I have a rough idea of where it is but will have to wait until I return before I have time to dig it out - watch this space!

Boy! - I didn't expect to unearth so much with a few short lines in a forum. I can see what I will be engrossed in for some time to come.

Thanks again

Marc
Exmarca attached the following file:
downey.pdf [126.69kB / 771 Downloads]

Edited by Exmarca on 18/02/2009 09:04
 
Exmarca
Hello again,
I thought I should keep to this thread as it is all relative to Arklow, rather than use the Medals forum. I'm not too sure of the protocol.
Looking again at the GSLS medal, I notice it has the head of Edward VII on the obverse. Considering the event for which the award was made occurred mid December 1910 and Edward had been replaced by George V on May 6 1910 - is it normal to award a medal with a past monarch's head? The medal was presented by the dead king's son and successor.
Exmarca attached the following file:
medals.zip [142.53kB / 709 Downloads]

Edited by Exmarca on 18/02/2009 11:39
 
crimea1854
Marc

I'm outside my normal collecting period, but I have consulted Capt. Douglas-Morris's book, The Naval Long Service Medals, which is the collectors Bible. This indicates that Edward VII's head was in use from 1902-1911, then it was George V bust as Admiral of the Fleet, then George V - coinage head - in use from 1931 - 1937.

The image you have attached is the George V coinage head, which suggests that the medal must have been awarded after 1931. I have to say this does seem rather late, but the service record should have a note of the date the medal was awarded.

Martin
 
willoughr
Hi Marc,

Its an interesting story your ancestor has. I do hope you manage to uncover a photograph of Downey; I'd love to be able to illustrate him in my forthcoming book.

As regards the Carnegie Hero Fund my research suggests they gave him a watch and monetary award, rather than a medal. They only award medals in very exceptional cases, about 174 having only been issued by the Fund since 1908 when it was founded in Britain (for further details see: www.carnegiehero.org.uk). They should be able to supply you with some further details if you contact them (enquirers usually send a donation when asking for research). If you do contact them I would be interested to see what further details they may send.

There are further details in the National Archives on the 'New' Coastguard Service that should be able to add some further history to Downey's story.

Do you have details of any marriage, children, retirement and death? I would like to be able to add these to the partial account I have gleaned so far.

One final thing, and perhaps Martin can comment on this, the naming on the British war and Victory Medals, and indeed the LS&GC, does this include his service number (I think it usually should for this period)?

Regards

Roger
Roger Willoughby
 
willoughr
There is a very poor copy of a picture from the Daily Sketch of 3 May 1911 showing Dawson Downey, Budden and Hitchcock following the presentation of their Sea Gallantry Medals.

Roge
Edited by willoughr on 19/02/2009 21:34
Roger Willoughby
 
Philip
willoughr wrote:
There is a very poor copy of a picture from the Daily Sketch of 3 May 1911 showing Dawson Downey, Budden and Hitchcock following the presentation of their Sea Gallantry Medals.

Roge


Attached on Rogers behalf
Philip attached the following image:
downey-budden-hitchcock.jpg
 
Exmarca
Hi,
Apologies for the tardy reply but I am out of the country and do not have regular access to a computer.

As to the question regarding the date of issue of the war medals, I realised that the images I posted were ones I downloaded while attempting to identify what I had. The actual medals I have do show the correct head.

Thank you for the shot of Downey from the newspaper - when I get back home I must check with any family members who may have further info / photos concerning him. In the meantime I can tell you that he never did marry and lived with his sister for the remainder of his life. This sister was my maternal grandmother and my mother was brought up to treat him as something of an elder brother. There may be some more info with my brother who has the majority of my mother's remaining photographs, cuttings etc. I must dig through these when I next get the chance. Anything I find on the subject I will get to you, although I do not remember ever having seen any shots of him, that is not to say we could not find something of interest.

Regards

Marc
Edited by Exmarca on 22/02/2009 15:11
 
marymmurphy
Hi I am new to this site but am tyring to trace Tyrrells of Arklow (Richard was a ship's captain? and I believe he he sailed on the Prince Rupert in 1886 or thereabouts).

I have not got much information on this family but I know they were Church of Ireland/Protestant and eventually settled in Dublin where James (my grandfather became a Catholic and married my grandmother Catherine Gaffney in about 1870). If anyone has any information I would be most grateful.

Thank you.

Mary MSmileWink
 
Dasiymay
Hi

I am new to the site and am trying to find out information about my Great Grandfather John Joseph Kavanagh born 21st April 1902 in Arklow.

I believe he served with the Coastguard in Arklow some time in the 1930's. My Grandmother has confirmed that the family definetly lived in the one of the Coastguard Cottages during this time as she remembers what a long wlak to school she had from there!

Would be grateful if anybody can help me out.

Kelly Grin
 
Tony
Hi Kelly,
The British Navy Coastguards left the 26 Southern Counties of Ireland completely in 1922. although they are still operating in the six Counties of Northern Ireland. It is quite likely that your Grandmother and family inhabited the old Station cottages. Also in many local areas the Coastdguards left behind them the rocket apparatus and life-saving equipment . In their place and making splendid use of this equipment, in many areas were founded local Coast Life Serving Services, run on a shoe-string. This abandoned equipment, operated by local volunteers saved many lives over the following years up into 1he 1980's. In 1925 Captain Casement ,(the brother of Roger Casement) was an Inspector and in charge of a unit in Greystones, Co.Wicklow.
In the last number of years the Irish Government has formed the Irish Coast Guard, again mostly manned by volunteers, well eqippped, and doing marvellous work, and saving many lives, around our coasts.
Tony
 
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