When 13-year-old Prince Philip visited Cromer following crab boat disaster

Picture showing Prince Philip presenting an award to the winner of the equestrian competition.

Picture from the Eastern Daily Press in 1934 showing Prince Philip presenting an award to the winner of the equestrian competition. - Credit: Stuart McLaren

Prince Philip's naval connections are well documented, but at just 13 he made one of his first trips to the county following the 1934 Cromer crab boat disaster.

Following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death on Friday, April 9, communities across Norfolk and Waveney have been paying their respects. 

The disaster happened in July that year when a strong north-westerly wind capsized a crab boat and its two-man crew of Charles Cox and Gilbert Mayer, well-known Cromer fishermen who were members of Henry Blogg’s lifeboat crew.

Blogg's crew were sent out in an attempt to rescue the two but Mayer was lost at sea and Cox, who was brought to shore barely alive, died later that day in hospital.

Following the disaster a fund was set up for the families of the men, with this newspaper's Cromer office acting as the local collection point, a concert was held on Cromer pier in early August and an equestrian event was organised to raise money.

Prince Philip's cousin King George II of Greece was friends with former Ramsey, Huntingdonshire and Birmingham Handsworth MP, commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, who persuaded him to send the prince to hand out prizes following the equestrian event.

Locker-Lampson, lived at New Haven Court in Cromer, where he had hosted Albert Einstein the previous year in order to help him escape persecution by the Nazis.

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The commander was determined to attract as many people as he could to the event and also pulled strings to get the former foreign secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Sir Austin Chamberlain to officiate.

A full report and photo montage of the event appeared in the EDP on 31 August showing Chamberlain and his wife greeting Blogg and Locker-Lampson alongside Prince Philip with one of the equestrian competitors, Barbara Goodall, who would become Locker-Lampson’s second wife two years later.

A new book about Locker-Lampson and his time with Albert Einstein written by Stuart McClaren is due for publication by Poppyland Publishing this autumn.