Henry Blogg of Cromer Norfolk

Picture (c)
                    by John Ashley Photography

If you take a stroll along the upper promenade at Cromer, Norfolk, you will come across a bronze bust of a man looking out to sea. Turn and follow his gaze, out to sea and try to imagine itís a hundred years ago. There is a fierce storm with waves crashing all about. Can you see ... on the horizon ... a boat, a ship in distress, its crew in peril, what do you do?

Look back at the man.

For over fifty-three years he did battle in conditions such as these with the North Sea. His prize? that what we all hold dear Ďlifeí. Sometimes the sea won other times he and his crew won. His name? Henry Blogg and he is one of Cromerís famous sons. Born in 1876, he resided at 17 North Row Cromer, Norfolk. When he was only 18 he joined the lifeboat crew in the year 1894.

Henry was odd for a lifeboat man as he neither drank, or smoked which was unusual in those days. 
But, even more extraordinary was the fact that he never learnt to swim.

Yet despite this obvious disadvantage, he and his crew were responsible for rescuing over 873 lives. The most decorated British life boatman, being awarded the RNLís gold medal for gallantry three times, the silver four times, the George Cross and the British Empire Medal.For thirty-seven years of the fifty-three years, he held the position of Coxswain (helmsman) before eventually retiring in 1947 at the ripe old age of seventy-one.

He passed away on 13th June 1954 but is still very much remembered in Cromer today.
In the magnificent church of St. Peters and St. Paulís in the town centre there is a very nice stained glass window depicting the rescue of the Sepoy, which took place in 1936.As well as lots of information about Mr. Blogg along with the history of Cromer in the Cromer Museum, located in fishermen cottages just next to the church.

But I like to think that his shade is probably happiest with this bronze image, whose gaze if firmly fixed on his old adversary The North Sea.

Picture above taken on 27th August 1937 , shows Sir Samuel Hoare and Coxswain Blogg at the launch of Cromer's two new motor lifeboats.

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography