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Lifeboatman B Gotts at Seaham Harbour

Lifeboatman B Gotts at Seaham Harbour: is this George William 2264 in tree #022?

Ian Gotts of Kings Lynn spotted two images of a lifeboatman B Gotts on the East Durham history website. But who is he?

The “Skynner” was a ten-oared self-righting vessel (1887-1911) stationed at Seaham. She made seven launches and saved eighty-seven lives.

And here’s Mr B Gotts, second row second from the right.

In this one he is number 5.

Having searched both the 1891 and 1901 census, the most likely candidate is George William 2264, born 1877, son of Philip 184 Gotts and Elizabeth Bailey in tree #022. He is the only possible ‘B Gotts’ on the coast, and in Dawdon, which is part of Seaham. He would be 18 in 1895, so possibly a mature-looking 18 year old? In the 1891 census he is a joiner at 16 Havelock St, Stranton, West Hartlepool, but in 1901 he is a Boatman for H M Customs, living at 7 Adolphus St, Dawdon.

Has anyone any other suggestions?

I can’t find anything on-line with the names of lifeboatmen for that time. If anyone knows a way to check this out then please let me know.

There is also a newspaper article by C. A. Smith with his name: It was in the Sunderland Echo, on May 6th 1965, presumably from an earlier article

”1911 Coronation - A Time To Remember - Seaham’s Day Of Festivity”

It is Thursday, June 22, 1911. Seaham is all agog with excitement. Two days ago, tickets for dinner were distributed to the poor at the Londonderry Institute between 10am and 1pm.

Today, Seaham Harbour will celebrate the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. The programs have been printed in colour and distributed by the committee responsible for carrying out the celebration under the chairmanship of James W. Grant, Esq. and Henry B. Wright, Esq., clerk.

By 9am the expectant crowds gathered in the streets to await the arrival of the procession which had formed up on the Terrace Green, so often the scene of great events in Seaham’s history.


Here, the friendly societies and public bodies mustered under the procession marshals - Inspector Banks, B.Q.M. Sgt. J.T.R. Heppell, B.Q.M. Sgt. G.W. Gotts, Sgt. J. Thirlwell, and Sgt. J. Snowball. “

The article goes on to describe the order of the march and where it went. See this link for further details:


Thanks to Ian Gotts in Kings Lynn for this

The tricky bit is working out who he is. There are very few B Gottses in that area, apart from Boaz, who would be 68 in 1895, when he died, so it clearly isn’t him. So the search was on for either a William known as Billy, or a Robert known as Bob.

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