Dedication of memorials to the loss of two Liverpool Pilot Boats: Stuart Wood


Lp pilot boats

SS Alfred H Read, No1 Pilot Boat, built in 1913, hit a mine while cruising at the Bar Pilot Station on 28 December 1917. It sank very quickly with the loss of 39 lives, including 19 pilots and eight apprentice pilots. Only two of the crew were saved.


SS Charles Livingston (correct spelling) No1 Pilot Boat, built in 1921, stranded on Ainsdale beach in extremely severe weather conditions on 26 November 1939. 23 lives were lost, including eight pilots and eight apprentices. Ten lives were saved, including four pilots and two apprentices.

In 2013 local resident Carl Lecky MBE evolved a plan to commemorate these disasters in a similar fashion to the memorials he had already successfully established along the promenade from New Brighton southwards. He asked for the assistance of the Pilot Service to ensure complete accuracy of the information on the plaques. I was co-opted by the Service to help.

Wirral Borough Council gave permission for two large pieces of sandstone to carry the plaques. These slabs are situated one each side of the beginning of the approach road to Fort Perch Rock, close to the roundabout in the vicinity of the Floral Pavilion theatre.

LP boats


The dedication of the memorials took place at midday on 19 May 2014. Honorary Pilot the Reverend Canon Bob Evans MBE led proceedings. The Lord Mayor of Wirral, David Mitchell, and the Lady Mayoress attended. I gave a short address. Hannah Mackenzie, who plays in the RLP Youth Orchestra and who is the daughter of serving pilot Duncan Mackenzie, performed appropriate music, including The Last Post.


Descendants of some of those lost and saved in the 1939 disaster also attended. These included Gerry Patterson and his sister Gill Harrison, son and daughter of recently deceased survivor Ron Patterson; John Macleod, who lost his grandfather a licensed pilot and Master of the Charles Livingston; retired pilot David Cockram and serving pilot Tom Tebay, who each lost their grandfathers. David and Tom solemnly removed Pilot Service flags from the memorials during the ceremony.

Stuart Wood,  Liverpool Pilot 1968 – 2009

An full article on the loss of the Charles Livingston is available here   JCB

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