Memorial to former lifeboat coxswain is repaired in Lowestoft

The headstone of Robert Hook before it was repaired.

The headstone of Robert Hook before it was repaired.

HERO RECALLED: A memorial to a former Lowestoft lifeboat coxswain has been repaired thanks to a kind donation.

The headstone was repaired thanks to a £1800 donation.

The headstone was repaired thanks to a £1800 donation.

Robert Hook was coxswain between 1853 and 1883 and has been credited with saving more than 600 lives during his career.

He died at the age of 83 in June, 1911.

And now, thanks to a generous £1800 donation from the Gwen Baker Trust, his headstone has been repaired – after it was vandalised a number of years ago.

The trust was set up in memory of Gwen Baker, who was an avid supporter of Lowestoft Hospital for more than 50 years.

Crispin Hook previously wrote a book about his relative Robert Hook. Picture: Nick Butcher

Crispin Hook previously wrote a book about his relative Robert Hook. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The trust regularly helps people across Lowestoft, previously supporting the town carnival and many other worthwhile projects.

The donation has meant that the cross has been reattached, the marble has been polished and the lettering given a touch up.

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Crispin Hook, the former coxswain's first cousin, six times removed, recently wrote the book 'A Forgotten Local Hero', to recall his life.

He said that Robert Hook would have been 'proud that his memory is being kept alive.'

'When I found out that they were going to cover the cost for me, I was chuffed as he really was a Lowestoft hero,' Mr Hook said.

'It now means that more money from the book sales can go towards a memorial bench I hope to place at Ness Point.

'His headstone was vandalised a good five years ago, the cross was smashed off and it was all overgrown– basically buried under 105 years of earth.

'But now, it sticks out like a sore thumb, it is brilliant and he would be proud that his memory is being kept alive.'

John Stannard, trustee, added: 'We decided it was a worthwhile cause to support as he was one of our local heroes who fought hard for the town.

'We need more people like that, he went to sea with virtually nothing – just an oar and a sail.

'There are not many heroes like that these days, we really respect what he did for us.'