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Storm in 1838 left several fishermen dead from Bideford

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 31, 2013

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FOR those who felt the effects of the storm that hit North Devon on Sunday night they were not quite as dramatic as the one that hit the region on the same day in 1838.

The storm on October 27, 175 years ago, lasted until the following day in Bideford Bay and killed several fishermen who were caught out at sea.

In preparation for an event in Clovelly to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the storm, the Clovelly Community Archive Association is attempting to identify those involved, both victims and survivors, and trace living descendants of any of the men involved in the storm.

Janet Few, from the archive association, said: "As a direct result of the disaster, in 1839 the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society, better known as the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, was set up by Charles Gee Jones and John Rye to raise money to assist fishermen's widows, orphans and parents.

"Unfortunately, for those whose bodies were not recovered, there are no death or burial records; so tracing these men and their descendants is difficult.

"A later newspaper account says that four boats and eight to 10 survivors were later found, two at Bridgwater and two off Lundy Island. It is not known who these survivors were."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Janet Few at Coles Manning, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, EX39 5LP or email janetfew@hot mail.com

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