Station history

This station was originally formed by the Anglesey County Association.  A new lifeboat was sent to the station in 1854, being built at the joint expense of the RNLI and local associations.

1875

New lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £160.

1884

Silver Medal and a gratuity of £50 formally presented to Coxswain Rowland Hughes by The Prince of Wales at Marlborough House, who had resigned at the age of 82 after nearly 34 years' service and assisted to save 49 lives.

1893

Slipway constructed.

1895

Flagstaff approved for station.

1899

Slipway altered.

1901

Silver Medal awarded to Second Coxswain Richard Owen for services and for great courage on 6/7 November 1890 when he jumped overboard, although a non-swimmer, to disentangle a net that had fouled the rudder of the lifeboat.

1902

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Thomas Owen on his retirement and in recognition of his gallant services over 19 years, and in particular for three services; 2 March 1901 County of Cork rescued two men, 25 August 1901 the schooner Edith rescued four crew, 25-26 January 1902 the barquetine Ethiopia rescued six crew and the Schooner Lily Green rescued three men.

1909

New lifeboat house and slipway constructed at a cost of £2,850.

1910

Whilst new lifeboat Charles and Eliza Laura was being taken to her station from Liverpool, she rescued two men from a yacht in distress. The lifeboat was manned by a navigating party of members of the New Brighton crew.

1916

Two men were washed out of the lifeboat whilst on service but both rescued without a mishap. Lifeboat launched with a crew all over 65 years of age.

1927

Gold Medal awarded to Second Coxswain William Roberts; and crew member Captain Owen Jones, and Bronze Medal to Bowman William Williams, and crew members Robert Francis, Owen Jones, Thomas Jones, Hugh Matthews, Hugh Owen, John Owen, Robert Owen, Owen Owens, Hugh Thomas, Richard Thomas, Thomas Williams, and (posthumously) William Roberts for the service by the lifeboat Charles and Eliza Laura, in the great gale of 28 October 1927. The lifeboat launched during the afternoon and found the ketch Excel of Poole waterlogged and about to sink. The desperate decision of sailing the lifeboat right over the wreck was made. The three men on the ketch were hauled on board her but the lifeboat herself was badly damaged. Her air-cases kept her afloat but she was full of water. In this condition and with one of her sails blown away, she was beating against the gale all night. Two men, a member of the crew and one of the rescued, died on board. Second Coxswain William Roberts was completely blind for several hours after landing, from the wind and salt water. Mrs Roberts was granted a pension and an allowance for a grandchild dependent upon her.

1929

Coxswain John Matthews was awarded a Silver watch for his devotion to duty when the lifeboat broke from her moorings and was wrecked in a very heavy gale on the night of 11 February 1929.

1931

Centenary Vellum awarded.

1937

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John Matthews for the rescue of the crew of five of the steamer Lady Windsor of Cardiff in a whole north easterly gale and very heavy sea.  It was a fine service in which very good seamanship was shown by the coxswain, both in finding the steamer and in getting alongside in the very heavy sea and rescuing the crew without damage to the lifeboat. The service was carried out on 24 October 1937.

1940

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John Matthews and a Bronze Medal to Motor Mechanic Robert Williams for a fine service in very bad weather to the ss Gleneden of Glasgow when her crew of 60 were rescued on 28/29 January 1940 during a north easterly gale and very rough sea. The crew showed great endurance and the coxswain handled his lifeboat with great skill during the service.

1943

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John Matthews and the Bronze Medal to Second Coxswain Richard M Evans and Motor Mechanic Robert Williams for the rescue of four airmen who had ditched from a Whitley aircraft on 21 October 1943. This was a very gallant service in a wind of almost gale force, a dark night and a rough sea. On reaching the scene the lifeboat was faced with shallow water, rocks and intense darkness, Coxswain Matthews went straight in with Second Coxswain Evans prone on the bows as a lookout. Lifting one of the airmen straight out of the sea the Second Coxswain then passed a line to the dinghy which was towed to a slightly safer place where the other three airmen were taken into the lifeboat.  

1948

Colonel Lawrence Williams was appointed an Honorary Life Governor of the Institution, the highest award which it can give to an honorary worker in appreciation of the valuable work he had done in Anglesey, and particularly as Honorary Secretary of the Moelfre lifeboat station since 1905.

1954

Coxswain John Matthews retired after 36 years' service as Coxswain. He held two of the Institution's Silver Medals awarded in 1940 and 1943, and a Bronze Medal awarded in 1937.

1959

Gold Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Evans, Silver Medal awarded to Motor Mechanic E Owens and Bronze Medals to three crew members, Mr D Francis, Mr H Owen and Mr H Jones for a service on 27 October 1959 when the reserve lifeboat Edmund and Mary Robinson on temporary duty at the station, was launched with a crew of five including a helper who had never been out on service before, to the mv Hindlea of Cardiff, which was in distress in a hurricane force wind gusting to 104 miles per hour. The Coxswain found the Hindlea with one anchor down, but not holding, in 48ft of water, and swinging from side to side, her engine which was racing violently, did little to reduce the weight on the anchor chain which was continually whipping clear of the water. The casualty was being blown towards the rocks in shallow water and the master gave orders to abandon her. Coxswain Evans steered the lifeboat towards the vessel from the seaward side but as he did so a tremendous breaking sea rolled the lifeboat over on to her side, putting her mast beneath the water. She was dangerously close to the Hindlea's thrashing propeller, which was so far out of the water that it was above the heads of the lifeboat crew. The Coxswain succeeded in taking the lifeboat alongside the wreck 10 times, on eight of these occasions a man jumped into the lifeboat and all were got safely aboard. This was the first time for 10 years that the Gold Medal, which is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's highest award for gallantry, was conferred.

1961

HM The Queen invested each of the five members of the crew of the Moelfre lifeboat who took part in the service to the mv Hindlea on 27 October 1959, with the Silver Medal for Gallantry at Sea.  The investiture took place at Buckingham Palace on 13 July 1961.

1965

Inshore lifeboat station established in July with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat.

1967

Gold Medal (2) awarded to Coxswain Richard Evans, Silver Medal (2) to Motor Mechanic Evan Owens, Bronze Medal (2) to Second Coxswain D M Francis and crew member H Jones, Bronze Medal (3) to Acting Bowman H Owen and Bronze Medals to Assistant Mechanic W M Davies, crew member D Evans and crew member Capt J D Jeavons for the service on 2/3 December 1966 when the lifeboat Watkin Williams rescued 10 of the crew of the Greek motor vessel Nafsiporos which was in distress 400 yards west of the West Mouse rock in a north westerly hurricane with a very rough sea. This service was carried out with the Holyhead lifeboat who’s crew also received awards.

1970

Coxswain Richard Evans retired.  In 1969 he had received the BEM.

1975

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain William Roberts in recognition of his courage, determination and seamanship when the lifeboat saved the yacht Heracles and her crew of four and escorted the yacht Westralia, which were in difficulties on the western side of Porth Wen Bay in a northerly gale and a very rough sea on 30 August 1975.

1978

A Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were awarded to Second Coxswain John Thomas and crew member Kenneth Roberts in recognition of their service in the ILB on 21 August when they went to the assistance of six people in difficulty in a rubber dinghy off Lligwy Beach. To reach the casualty they encountered rough breaking seas and a heavy swell in a near gale force south westerly wind and the inshore lifeboat was damaged.

1980

150th Anniversary Vellum awarded.

A Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution The Duke of Atholl, awarded to Coxswain William Roberts and Second Coxswain John Thomas in recognition of their determination and seamanship when the yacht July Morn with a crew of two was taken in tow. The service by the lifeboat was carried out in a north easterly gale and a very rough sea on 21 September and necessitated the reconnection of the towline on 11 occasions.

1982

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain William Roberts in recognition of the leadership and seamanship displayed by him when the lifeboat The Vincent Nesfield, on temporary duty at Moelfre, rescued the crew of two from the trimaran Triple Jack which had run aground on rocks off Dulas Island in a strong south westerly gale, rough seas and heavy rain on 29 August 1982.

1987

Boathouse adapted to accommodate the Tyne Class lifeboat.  This included an extension to the slipway, new boathouse doors, a boarding Platform, a new fuel storage tank and a new main lifeboat winch.

1988

A new station lifeboat ON1116 Robert and Violet was placed on service 22 January 1988.

1990

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Michael Vernon, awarded to Helmsman R Pace and crew member A Barclay in recognition of their courage and seamanship for a service on 22 July, when the Inshore lifeboat launched at 0644 stern first from its carriage into breaking waves and went to the assistance of the fishing vessel Sea Venture, which was aground on rocks just north of Benllech.  In an easterly fresh to strong breeze and a moderate sea, with a 4-5 metre swell, a line from the fishing vessel With Integrity, which was standing by, was taken by the lifeboat to the Steel Venture and, despite a large wave which drove the lifeboat into the casualty, a tow was established.  The fishing vessel With Integrity towed the Steel Venture clear off the rocks and towards the Menai Straits with the all-weather lifeboat in company.

1993

Work was carried out on the construction of a side extension to the boathouse in order to provide permanent housing for the D class lifeboat, the provision of improved facilities and additional space.

1996

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Michael Vernon were presented to crew members Rod Pace and David Massey in recognition of their efforts on 1 July 1995, when the Robert and Violet lifeboat rescued two and saved the catamaran Alleycat, which was lying inside the surf line and in danger of being driven onto rocks at Traeth Bychan, in moderate seas and Force 5 Fresh Breeze. Both men were injured during this service.

2001

Richard Evans, coxswain of Moelfre lifeboat from 1954-1970 died on 13 September. Richard Evans was awarded a Bronze Medal when second coxswain in 1943 and two Gold Medals when coxswain in 1959 and 1967. In 1969 he was honoured with a BEM. 

2002

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Second Coxswain Rodney Pace for his courage and seamanship in getting aboard the disabled yacht Annarchy in storm force conditions in the early morning of 17 June 2002.  He furled the sails and got the yacht under control so that it could be towed to Moefre by the lifeboat.  Coxswain Anthony Barclay received a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr Peter Nicholson, for his leadership and seamanship during this service.  Both the yacht and her crew of five were saved.

2008

The new station IB1 D class lifeboat D689 Enfys was placed on service on 24 January. This lifeboat was generously funded by an anonymous donor. Lifeboat D-529 has been withdrawn.

2013

A new station lifeboat ON1305 Kiwi was placed on service on 09 May 2013. The lifeboat was funded by the legacy of Mr Reg & Mrs Lucy Clark together with other bequests and gifts. Lifeboat ON1116 Robert and Violet has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD

The men of Moelfre have been awarded 37 medals. Four Gold, Seven Silver and 26 Bronze, the last awards voted in 1967.