Memory of heroic Lowestoft skipper Tom Crisp remembered a century on from his death

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A fisherman who gave his life to save his crew in the heat of war has been remembered 100 years on from his death.

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Tom Crisp died aboard his smack Nelson on August 15, 1917, sacrificing himself after being wounded by gunfire to allow his crew to make a swift escape.

The Lowestoft skipper, whose son was aboard the smack with him on that day, was then posthumously awarded with the Victoria Cross - an honour bestowed upon only the bravest of men.

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A century to the day on from his untimely death at the age of 41, a dignified service was held at Lowestoft Cemetery in his honour.

Conducted by the Rev Matthew Payne, of Christ Church, the service saw more than a dozen people gather around the grave of his wife Harriett, where an engraving to him is also displayed.

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. The Rev Matthew Payne and Trevor Crisp Pictu

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. The Rev Matthew Payne and Trevor Crisp Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant


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Among those in attendance was his great nephew Trevor Crisp, grandson of his brother John.

Mr Crisp, 72, of Pakefield, said: 'I am very proud to have the surname of Crisp, as there is so much pride in that name in these parts.

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant

Memorial service to Tom Crisp at Lowestoft Cremetorium. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

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'To have a Victoria Cross winner in the family is something to be extremely proud of and I am honoured to be associated with him.'

During the service, which lasted around 15 minutes, the Rev Payne read the skipper's Victoria Cross citation, along with prayers and Bible verse in his honour.

The service also provided the opportunity to show respect to others who have given their lives in the conflict of war.

It also gave many of the congregation their first opportunity to see the newly-renovated headstone, which had been put in place by the Lowestoft Civic Society and the Gwen Baker Trust.

John Stannard, of the Lowestoft Civic Society, said: 'We looked at stone and saw how dilapidated it had become so felt something had to be done. It got to the stage where if nobody did anything, nobody would.

'I'm very satisfied with how it has turned out and I feel it really gives Tom Crisp the monument his memory deserves.'

On Sunday, a commemorative paving stone will also be laid in Lowestoft in his memory.

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