Day of disaster
A Grimsby trawler in service as minesweeper Lord Airedale sank in a storm at Bridlington on 18th March 1915. She was eventually refloated and brought into harbour. The photograph (right) is dated 6th April. The lower photograph shows the vessel beyond the breaking waves.
The sinking of the Lord Airedale was just part of a tragedy in the Bay that day. A severe storm had sprung up late in the evening, and the lifeboat was called out.
A breeches buoy line was shot by the Rocket Brigade over the minesweeper, but to no avail. The lifeboat George and Jane Walker was hauled as close as possible to the stricken vessel by locals and 250 men of the Norfolk Regiment who were serving in the area.
Only four horses were with the lifeboat and it was decided to launch the craft when the launching crew was complete. The horses were lifted from their feet by the power of the waves and the men were thrown into the raging sea. Unfortunately the lifeboat crashed down on the carriage, damaging it so much it could not be hauled out by the crowd.
The men and their horses were struggling and one man, Robert Carr, was unable to free himself from the harness and was drowned.
When the tide had gone out, it could be seen that the minesweeper's funnel and steering gear were missing.
Ten Grimsby sailors lost their lives in the storm, as well as Robert Carr.
Three horses were lost too, but one, Peddler, survived and lived another 23 years.
The Grimsby men were taken home, while Robert Carr was buried in Bridlington cemetery.
Lord Airedale was repaired but was sunk by a mine in 1916, losing seven out of 14 crew.