Matthew Barber

St Ives lifeboat crew, lost in 1939

23rd January, 1939
Buried at:  
Barnoon Cemetery, St Ives

The fate of the St Ives' lifeboat -launched at 3am on the morning of 25th January 1939 to assist a vessel in distress 2 miles NNE of St Just - is graphically described in a newspaper article from the Cornishman, on 26th January 1939.

On the outward journey to assist the boat in distress, a large wave capsized the lifeboat near to Clodgy Point, and four of the crew were washed overboard. The boat was then washed towards Godrevy, and a second immense wave capsized the boat and three more crew - including Matthew Barber - were washed overboard. The remaining crew member, W Freeman, hung on to the steering equipment, and very quickly the boat was thrown by a large wave on to a ledge near Godrevy lighthouse, enabling him to scramble on to dry land.

Matthew Barber's body was washed up at Godrevy beach later that day, and he left a wife and two young children.


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