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Granddaughter of lifeboat hero donates to Swanage RNLI’s new station
Marion Mason, pictured, a long-time supporter of the RNLI, is the last surviving grandchild of the late Swanage lifeboat coxswain William Brown.
William drowned in 1895 while trying to rescue the crew of a sailing boat off Old Harry Rocks.
Current lifeboat crew welcomed Marion, who asked family and friends to mark her recent 90th birthday by donating to Swanage RNLI’s £200,000 new lifeboat station appeal.
Crewmen and women also paused to reflect on William’s sacrifice at his graveside.
Coxswain Martin Steeden said: “It was an honour to meet Marion – not only are we very grateful to her and her family for their incredibly kind donation, but it is wonderful to meet someone who is so much a part of Swanage RNLI’s history and family.”
Marion, who now lives in Weymouth, had not been born when her grandfather died, but she remembers the aftermath of the tragedy.
Her grandmother, William’s wife, went onto raise seven children single-handed, running the family fishmongers to support them all.
In 1895 the volunteers lifeboatmen battled rough seas aboard the rowed lifeboat William Earle II. Two of the crew were washed overboard but only one was recovered.
Mr Steeden said: “I’m sure William Brown would be delighted to know his family are still supporting and raising funds for our charity, more than 100 years after his death.”
Swanage RNLI’s new boathouse appeal needs to raise £200,000 over the next two years to cover the costs of the new building.
Set to open in 2015 – in time for the arrival of the charity’s £1.5 million Shannon Class lifeboat – the station will be developed at the current boathouse site in Peveril Point Road.
To donate visit RNLI.org/SwanageAppeal
Alternatively, to donate £5, text RNLI SWANAGE to 70300.
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