Souvenir 1916

February 4th 1916

During a south-west gale and heavily breaking seas, a Norwegian ship, the Souvenir, went ashore on Brook Ledge. The lifeboat launched at about 8am but was unable to get alongside owing to the violence of the seas.

The crew of the vessel, seeing the difficulty of the lifeboat, decided to jump overboard and nine men were picked up from the water. Unfortunately the Steward died in the lifeboat from exhaustion and exposure.

The Souvenir went completely to pieces before the lifeboat could turn round after landing the crew. The captain of the vessel, who had refused to leave his ship, was lost.

After the rescue, Ben Jacobs received the RNLI silver medal and second coxswain, John Cook, a certificate of thanks. It was during this rescue that lifeboatman, Joe Morris, had the unnerving experience of being grabbed around the throat and nearly strangled by one of the survivors who had temporarily lost his reason as a result of his terrible experience. The man was overpowered and lashed to the bottom of the lifeboat for the safety of everyone.

The women of the village are said to have held out cups of soup laced with brandy to the mouths of the survivors and lifeboatmen alike.

Some believe that this rescue was one of the finest, if not the greatest, rescue along the southern coastline of the Island. Above is the crest of a Norwegian ship found by the Denaro family in outhouses of Brook House in 1957 and which is believed to be from the Souvenir.