Learn about the Labour MP with Cromer links

The lifeboat in the museum is the one which went out to the English Trader in 1941. Picture: Tony Bu

The lifeboat in the museum is the one which went out to the English Trader in 1941. Picture: Tony Buckingham - Credit: Tony Buckingham

A Labour MP whose uncle was rescued off the coast of Cromer during the Second World War made a poignant visit to the town's museum to see the lifeboat he was saved in.

Radio officer Lionel Goodenday. Picture: Courtesy Louise Ellman

Radio officer Lionel Goodenday. Picture: Courtesy Louise Ellman - Credit: Archant

On October 26, 1941 the Merchant Navy ship SS English Trader was attacked by the Luftwaffe and shipwrecked near Happisburgh.

About to sink with great loss of life, the RNLI Cromer lifeboat, HF Bailey, captained by Henry Blogg, was immediately launched and rescued the crew. Among them was Radio Officer Lionel Goodenday, who joined the navy as war broke out.

His niece Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and her husband, visited the RNLI Henry Blogg museum in Cromer for the first time in October.

They were shown artefacts from the English Trader, and Mrs Ellman was allowed to get into the lifeboat in which her late uncle had been rescued.


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Museum staff member Eryl Williams also showed her relevant locations in the town connected to the rescue incident.

She said she was very moved to be in Cromer where her uncle's life had been saved, and thoroughly enjoyed her visit.

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The rescue features in a new book about Jews serving in the navy during the war whose author Martin Sugarman presented a copy of a photo of Mr Goodenday to the museum archive.

Mr Sugarman, who urged the MP to visit the museum, said: 'The story of Lionel's rescue is told in the book.

'Louise recalls, as a little girl, Lionel saying how kind the Blogg family were when they were brought ashore. Blogg was a very famous man and he said it was the most difficult rescue in his 53 years as a lifeboatman and the only time they lost a man in the RNLI's history at Cromer.

'After her visit, Louise and her family are forever linked to Cromer's history and its citizens.'

The only other survivor of the rescue to visit the lifeboat was Charles Rogers, who travelled from Australia in 2011, aged 89.

'Jews in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War; Last Voices', is published by Valentine Mitchell.

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