Heroes of the RNLI The Storm Warriors written by Marytn R. Beardsley published by Pen & Sword Books £16.99 – Softcover – Pages 261

Whenever vessels have foundered off the coasts of Britain, there have always been those willing to give their all to save those in peril. But in 1823, Sir William Hillary decided that this admirable but impromptu approach was not enough. He believed that many more lives could be saved by the establishment of a national, organised rescue service. His idea was realised the following year. From the days of oar powered open boats to modern high speed hi-tech vessels, rescuers have battled storms and unimaginable conditions, risking – and sometimes forfeiting – their own lives in efforts to save others.

I would say that this book is exactly what it says on the cover in that it is basically a book full of different stories of heroism, bravery, valour, guts and glory. This book certainly does show the sheer bravery demonstrated by men who just put their lives on the line in all weathers but mostly atrocious weather conditions. Living in an old fishing community, life on the sea and that of those who put others first is always gripping, having been to my local RNLI station on a number of occasions, it does strike you that these rescuers are just everyday people like you and me. Also, having recently lost a couple of fisherman not long ago, it shows that the sea is always a danger to anyone using it for pleasure or work. 

Some of the stories covered in this book are fantastic feats of bravery, we have the highly decorated man Harry Blogg from Norfolk, Grace Darling and the Irish Father O’Shea. These are just a few examples of the stories in the book in which there are about 40 stories all collected together from the very start of the service to later times. The stories all come from various sources such as newspapers, genealogical records and the archives, so there should be praise and gratitude for the effort the author Beardsley has had to go to. As the book reads well and the stories have been put together very well. Maybe it’s because I am sitting here reading this book in front of a fire and it’s raining outside, but it’s good to hunker down and get lost in a great bunch of heroic stories. A highly recommended book, especially to those that like to read about life on the sea.