Friday, 10 January 2014

Rocket Brigade and Lifeboat Service Memorial Dedicated

The members of the Newcastle Lifeboat Service and the Rocket Brigades were about 350 over the course of their 136-year existence and are often forgotten in the Hunter’s maritime history. Many men from Stockton were members of these groups over the years, and our long time member, Eric Pitt is a descendant of James Robert who served on the crews.

On the 13th Dec 2013, a new memorial was unveiled on the Newcastle coast to remember the dangerous work done by these brave volunteers.

Eric Pitt with the new memorial to the Newcastle Lifeboat
Service and the Rocket Brigades
The Rocket Brigades formed in 1866. They were split into north and south divisions, based either side of the harbour and crews didn’t have the luxury of a boat. Instead, they trudged heavy equipment, including a rocket launcher designed to fire ropes on to stranded ships, along the 30-kilometre stretch of Stockton beach. The Rocket Brigades were last involved in a rescue in 1974 when the iconic Sygna was lost – the wreck is still visible from Stockton beach.

The articles below have some great photos of the new memorial statue and Eric features in the first one!

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