Delivery of white roses - the colour of the cross on St Piran's flag - or flowers grown in Cornwall, would be an appropriate tribute to this Cornishman who valiantly strove to save the lives of others off the coast of St Ives, but sadly lost his own life in the attempt. There is a graveside pot here, which we will fill with water to keep the flowers in good condition for as long as possible. Alternatively, we can deliver a Cornwall-theme painted stone with a St Piran's cross, if you prefer.
St Ives Lifeboat crew member lost in 1939
23rd January 1939 - Barnoon Cemetery, St Ives
The fate of the St Ives' lifeboat -launced 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 capszed 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.