Remembering Mary Stanford

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Crew members of Rye Harbour Lifeboat will join with local people on Sunday to remember the crew of the Mary Stanford.

All 17 crew members of the Mary Stanford Lifeboat lost their lives when the boat capsized in heavy seas off Rye on November 15 1928 while answering a distress call.

All were local men and included fathers and sons and brothers. It remains the worst disaster in the history of the RNLI.

The Mary Stanford had launched just after 4am in 80mph winds to go to the aid of a small Latvian steamer Alice of Riga which was in collision with a larger German Vessel.

A service of remembrance takes place at Rye Harbour Church on Sunday at 3pm.

It will be followed by wreath laying at the Mary Stanford Memorial in the church-yard and a rose will be place on the memorial stone of each crew-member.

On Saturday, descendants of the Mary Stanford crew have been invited to a ceremony taking place in Hastings to mark the restoration of the Priscilla McBean lifeboat, which was built in the same yard as the Mary Stanford.

The Priscilla MacBean was bought by Hastings old town resident Deeday White after being found rotting in a field near Eastbourne, and has been lovingly restored on Hastings beach by volunteers over the past year.

Saturday will see it moved from the beach to a permanent resting place in the Old Town, near the Market Cross.

At 9am the story of the Priscilla MacBean and Mary Stanford will be told, followed by a blessing of the boat and a short service of remembrance in respect of the Mary Stanford.