Lowestoft resident’s latest book showcases bravery of a former ship skipper

Local historian John Holmes with his new book about sailor Victor Crisp PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Local historian John Holmes with his new book about sailor Victor Crisp PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

For nearly 30 years the documenting of Lowestoft's history has been a labour of love for John Holmes.

Local historian John Holmes with his new book about sailor Victor Crisp PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Local historian John Holmes with his new book about sailor Victor Crisp PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

In that time the Lowestoft resident has written 38 books telling the tales of the past from the communities of Lowestoft, Oulton Broad and Southwold- selling 20,000 copies of his work in the process.

Not wishing to put his pen down just yet the prolific writer has written and published his most recent book, From Cabin Boy to Skipper, this year.

Complied by Mr Holmes, 79, the book is a brief extract from the biography, Trawler Boy to Trawler Man, written about veteran Lowestoft skipper Victor Crisp.

Mr Holmes said: 'Several years ago I discovered a piece in the Lowestoft Journal about Skipper Victor and included this in my 2006 publication- Lowestoft Fishing Industry.


You may also want to watch:


'It was in 2013 that this piece brought me into contact with one of Skipper Crisp's sons and I was to learn, via his biography complied by the Lowestoft Heritage Centre, that the Crisp family had begun a campaign in 1994 to have Skipper Crisp considered for a posthumous award.

'This was because he had saved the Captain and many of the crew of HMS Warwick when he was sunk by a German torpedo in February 1944.'

Most Read

He explains through studying firsthand evidence assembled by the Crisp family he would take up the campaign on their behalf.

Mr Holmes corresponded with government agencies, in hope the Crisp family would be recipients of recognition for Skipper Crisp's heroism, however the evidence was rejected by the Cabinet Office as there was no official records of the sinking of HMS Warwick.

'As a result of this I decided to compile From Cabin Boy to Skipper by way of honouring the heroism of Skipper Crisp and raise funds for the RNLI- whom Skipper Crisp had great respect for.

'The Crisp family have already made a donation to the local lifeboat crew and it is hoped that if the book sells well a further donation will be made.'

Copies of From Cabin to Skipper can be purchased from Waterstones bookshop, London Road North, Lowestoft and at Nisa convenience store in Pakefield Street.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus