Volunteer and full-time coxswains

Volunteer and full-time coxswains

Name From To
Richard Sutton Stokes 1865 March 1882
John Hughes March 1882 September 1899
Richard Wills August 1899 July 1922
John Hayes August 1922 September 1926
Samuel Wills October 1926 March 1931
Richard Henry Hayes March 1931 June 1946
Francis William Hayes July 1946 June 1948
Albert Arthur Brown July 1948 December 1968
Reginald Brown December 1968 February 1975
Frank Patrick Ide (full-time Coxswain/Mechanic) July 1974 September 1989
Steven Trevor Vince (volunteer Coxswain) September 1989
Steven Trevor Vince (full-time Coxswain/Mechanic) April 1990 April 1998
Jonathan Clark October 1998 November 2016

The position of coxswain ended at Poole Lifeboat Station when the all-weather Tyne class lifeboat was withdrawn from service in November 2016 and the lifeboat station became an inshore lifeboat station.

First Coxswain Richard Sutton Stokes, 1865–82

Richard Sutton Stokes c1850  2 (2)

  • Richard Stokes lived in a cottage at Sandbanks near Harvey’s tea room
  • His job was to look after the North Haven light, a duty which he carried out faithfully for 37 years
  • First coxswain in 1865; retired in March 1882 when the boathouse moved to the Quay. His duties at Sandbanks probably precluded his remaining an officer of the lifeboat now it had moved.
  • On 11 March 1886, in bitter weather, he went to see to the light and did not return. His son found him lying dead as he had fallen on his way to his duty.
  • His body was placed in a coastguard galley and taken to the churchyard of St Mary’s on Brownsea Island where he was buried.

Coxswain John Jackson Hughes, 1882–99

  • Died in 1908
  • The epitaph on his tombstone bears the words ‘Lifeboatmen never turn back’.

Coxswain Richard Wills of City Masonic Club, 1899–1922

Poole Lifeboat  (1)

  • Served on the lifeboat crew for 37 years.
  • He was so well liked by the crew that when he wanted to retire they would not let him.
  • Perhaps the most outstanding personality of all the Poole coxswains.
  • Man of fearless character and a splendid seaman.
  • Four of his sons were also crew members.
  • He was buried at St Mary’s Church, Longfleet, Poole.

Coxswain Albert Arthur Brown

  • Not related to Signalman Arthur Brown.
  • Appointed Second Coxswain, 30 April 1946.
  • Appointed Coxswain, 1 July 1948.
  • Retired, 18 December 1948.

Coxswain Reginald Brown, 1974

Poole Lifeboat  (14)

  • Took over the appointment of coxswain after the death of his brother Arthur in January 1973.
  • Age 53 in 1974.
  • He and his brother followed in the footsteps of their father, Albert Brown.
  • Born and lived in Green Road.




Coxswain Frank Ide

Photo: Stephen Edwards

Photo: Stephen Edwards

  • 1 July 1974 – appointment as Coxswain of Poole Lifeboat Station (following appointment as Second Coxswain/mechanic at Dover Lifeboat Station).
  • Wage of £26.85 per week!
  • Nickname of Winkle.
  • Retired at 58 on 10 September 1989.
  • Entry in his diary on his retirement day: ‘My thanks to all hands for their work, support and enthusiasm during my 15 years with the Poole life-boat. I hope the station will go on in the future in a happy and smooth manner, and I wish everyone all the best, and safe and successful operations.’
  • Spent 27 years as lifeboatman.
  • 15 years at Poole.
  • Became interested in lifeboats as a young lad at Hastings.
  • Lifeboat service at Dover and Tynemouth.
  • Leading stoker in the Navy.
  • Served in the Army in Korea.
  • Spell of sea trawling.
  • Long service badge for Coxswain/Mechanic Frank Ide June, 1983.
  • Buckingham Palace Garden party, 12 July 1984.

Coxswain/Mechanic Steve Vince

Li_4065 Steve Vince v2

  • Appointment on ILB crew, December 1981.
  • Appointed as coxswain, 10 September 1989.
  • Appointed full-time Coxswain/Mechanic, 23 April 1990.
  • Retired, April 1998.