History detective pupils at Christ Church Junior School dig into Ramsgate RNLI’s past

The history detectives researched four Ramsgate RNLI crew members

Members of Ramsgate’s Christ Church Junior School’s History Detective Club chose four past Ramsgate RNLI coxswains to research for project Ramsgate’s Remarkable Residents, supported by the isle’s ‘Discovery Planet’ team and Historic England.

Having been visited earlier in 2019 by a RNLI education presenter and having raised money for and visiting Ramsgate RNLI lifeboat station, the History Detective Club members thought they would like to find out more about some of the people involved in the station’s 200 year history.

The four people they decided to research were Isaac Jarman (Coxswain 1861-1870 and awarded 2 Silver Medals), Charles Fish (Coxswain 1870-1891 and awarded 2 Gold and 1 Silver Medal), Howard Knight (Coxswain 1936-1946 and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service with the RNLI at Dunkirk in 1940) and Ron Cannon MBE (Coxswain 1976-2001 and awarded 2 Silver Medals).

With the support of Ramsgate Lifeboat archivists John and Vanessa Ray they researched the relevant RNLI rescues and filmed interviews with some of the present and recent crew members. They also researched the coxswains using computer records, census returns and old newspaper records held in the local library.

Their research resulted in a recent presentation at a whole school assembly at which representatives of Ramsgate RNLI, Historic England and Discovery Planet were in attendance. As well as receiving copies of the coxswains ‘plaques’ Ramsgate RNLI were also presented with an Historic England ‘Heritage Schools Heritage Partner Award’ certificate.

Article by John Ray, Ramsgate RNLI archivist, photo by NIkki Hildesley