GOLDEN YEARS EXTRA: Readers come to the rescue with picture captions

LIFE on the open waves is sometimes a dangerous prospect, and no one knows that more than the volunteers of the RNLI.

Before Christmas, the Herald printed a selection of photos from the archives, all looking at the past crews of the Shoreham lifeboat.

These pictures were found without captions or explanations, and so readers have been filling in the gaps.

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Janet Miles recognised a member of her family among the black and white shots.

“I was delighted to see a mention and photo of my great uncle, Hiram Maynard.

“He is the man on the extreme left of the photo of the three lifeboat men,” she said.

“Hiram died in 1910 and two years later his son, Isaac Maynard, survived the Titanic, so Hiram, obviously, taught him well.”

James Goble also spotted a relative in Cpt Maynard.

“He was a sea captain and the Shoreham lifeboat coxswain.

“He also was my great great-grandfather,” he said.

“His son, Isaac Hiram Maynard, was born in Shoreham and was a steward on the Titanic.”

A book on the ill-fated liner mentions Isaac, said James, stating the younger Maynard had been in a lifeboat near the ship when the captain swam up to him and handed him a small child, only to swim away and never be seen again.

James went on: “Isaac Hiram is buried in a Southampton cemetery and Cpt Hiram Maynard is buried in the corner of St Julian’s, in Shoreham.

“He lived in many places in Shoreham and he died in Victoria Road.”

Roger Grant recognised the men in the photo of the lifeboat on the slipway as being Jack Silverson, holding the rope, who was a mechanic on the boat for many years, Toc Ayling, who served on the crew during the Second World War, and Bob Wakeman.

The only clue on one picture uncovered by Herald reporters were the words: “Badly burned, July 7, 1959”, but Roger was able to shed more light on the incident.

“I believe the picture to be of the lifeboat bringing in two badly-scalded German sailors from the SS Scharnhorst. A steam pipe had split, and the two lads were very badly scalded. One, I believe, died,” he said.

He went on to identify the crew in the photo as Ray Pellant, Alf Sharman, Sid Page, John Page and Vic Page.

Roger added that he had not seen another photo, of the crew carrying out a rescue at sea, before.

“It could be some survivors of a sunken coaster during the Second World War. The Shoreham lifeboat picked up and saved many sailors in the same situation during that period.”

He added: “These comments are from memory and stories I have heard, but anyone please correct me!”

Shoreham residents have proved how highly they value the RNLI crews, by helping to provide a new state-of-the-art station, which was partly funded by a £1million public appeal.

Completed last year, it replaced the previous building, which was constructed in 1937.