b. 1815 Devonport, Devon. d. 03/08/1888 Rathven, Banffshire, Scotland.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 21/12/1868 Muchalls, Scotland.
James was born in Devon in c. 1815, and was always connected to the sea. He joined the RNLI and in 1841 he married Mary Anna Trick and they had seven children. Due to his work with the RNLI he and his family regularly moved from Dorset to Cornwall before moving to Scotland in c.1854 just before the birth of their youngest child. He died in Scotland in 1888.
The schooner ” Kinloss” was wrecked’ at Scatraw Creek, a mile and a half from Muchals, on the 21st of December, 1868. Mr. JAMES CROWDEN, the Chief Officer at Muchals Station, proceeded with his boat’s crew to Scatraw, and found the ship breaking up fast. The fishermen of the place had succeeded in getting a rope from the vessel, by which it was hoped that the lives of those on board would be saved. Mr. CROWDEN ventured out on to a rocky point and endeavoured to fasten a life-belt to the rope in order to send it out to the ship, but without succcess. While striving to perform this operation Mr. CROWDEN was several times washed off into the sea. Once a heavy sea swept him off and carried him about 100 yards towards the wreck, and it was thought that he was lost; but after a few minutes struggling he was carried round a point by a violent run of the sea, land thrown upon the rocks with such violence, however, that he became insensible .and received a severe contusion of the left knee. When he recovered his senses’ Mr. CROWDEN succeeded in getting a coble launched and was the first to jump into it. He and his men (4 in number) hauled off to the ship by the rope and succeeded in taking four men from the mast and bringing them ashore. On being informed that there was still another man on board, Mr. CROWDEN and his crew hauled off again to the wreck ; but the man was dead or dying, and in such a position that it was impossible to extricate him. A very heavy sea was running at the time of the rescue, and the coble might have been dashed upon the rocks at any moment. Mr. CROWDEN was fourteen days upon the sick list in consequence of the injuries received by him in being washed off and dashed against the rocks. This is the fourth time that Mr. CROWDEN has been instrumental in saving life from shipwreck, and including the present instance, he has aided in the rescue of thirteen lives.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of James Crowden AM.