National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Mariners’ Obelisk

Summary

     Within a circular flowerbed, upon a two stepped coarse concrete foundation, a pedimented plinth with feathered dentilation rising to a tapered obelisk. An inscription on the plinth.
     During a strong north north westerly gale on November 7th 1890, the Fleetwood lifeboats were launched into Morecambe Bay to assist the schooner Jean Campbell which was in distress. James Fogg, master of the fishing smack the Osprey with his crew James Abram, Robert Greenall, George Wilkinson (or Wilson) and a boy cook, John Robert Tomlinson were struggling home through the heavy sea. Sighting the Wigton schooner Jean Campbell in distress, Fogg sailed as close as he could then launched the Osprey’s small boat, with Abram, Greenall and Wilkinson aboard. They had just succeeded in rescuing the three crew members of the schooner, when rough seas caused the small boat to be swamped. James Abram, George Greenall and the crew of the schooner were all drowned and only George Wilkinson was rescued, being hauled aboard The Osprey by James Fogg and the boy cook, John Robert Tomlinson. Charitable donations were raised to assist the families of the drowned men and further donations accumulated to erect a suitable monument in the aftermath of this disaster. Initially this was the adjacent florid fountain with a cupid and sphinxes (q.v.) but the public feeling that this was insufficient, led to the erection of the obelisk later on. Abram and Greenall were both awarded posthumous medals by the R.N.L.I. but this was deemed to be unfair to Fogg and Tomlinson, so a gold medal was struck by the specially instituted Fleetwood Humane Society and presented to the boy. [n.1] Silver medals were also awarded on December 11th 1890 to James Fogg and George Wilkinson, for their courageous action that day. What is particularly striking is that the Osprey had already lost her jib and mainsail in the storm, when James Fogg decided to assist the schooner. John Tomlinson’s gold medal was auctioned in Mayfair by Dix, Noonan, Webb on 12.12.12. (lot 468), James Fogg’s being sold on 29 March 2000 (lot 205).
    

Inscriptions

ERECTED/ BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION/ TO THE MEMORY OF/ JAMES ABRAM/ AND/ GEORGE GREENALL/ WHO LOST THEIR LIVES/ IN THE STORM OF NOVEMBER 1890/ WHILST HEROICALLY ENDEAVOURING/ TO SAVE OTHERS

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Unknown, None Stonemason

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Obelisk Grey granite 5 metres high; base two metres square

PMSA recording information

General condition
Surface condition
  • Obelisk
  • Inscription needs repainting
Structural condition
Vandalism
Road The Esplanade
Precise location In North Euston Gardens, opposite the North Euston Hotel
A-Z ref
OS ref
Date of design 1891
Year of unveiling 1891
Unveiling details
Commissioned by Fleetwood Humane Society
Duty of care Wyresdale Borough Council
Listing status Unlisted
At risk? No

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