Lawrence Hennessey AM

b. 1858 Ireland.  d. ?

DATE OF AM ACTION: 11/11/1891 Seabrook, Kent.

Lawrence Hennessey AM

Little is known about the life of Irishman Lawrence Hennessey other than his exploits as a Boatman at the Hythe Coast Guard Station in Kent. He was married to Helen and had three children. He was also awarded the Silver Medal by the RNLI for the first rescue and a bar for the second. He also received the Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate Medal.



On the morning, of the llth of November, 1891, at 4.45 A.M., when the French schooner ” Eider” was wrecked on the Sea-wall at Seabrook, LAWRENCE HENNESSEY was on watch, a heavy gale was blowing and tremendous seas were sweeping the Sea wall. He obtained a heaving line and cane, and unaided, at the risk of his life, saved the lives of four sailors belonging to the French schooner, which broke up as she struck, and was totally.wrecked. The French’ Ambassador has represented the courageous conduct of HENNESSEY in saving the lives of the four French’ sailors on..this occasion, at the peril of his own. At 8- A.M.. on the same day, LAWRENCE HENNESSEY, as Coxswain of the Lifeboat, attempted to go afloat from Sandgate, but  the boat was thrown on to the beach. Again at noon, a whole gale blowing at the time, with a very heavy sea breaking on the beach, LAWRENCE HENNESSEY went out in .the lifeboat from Hythe; just as the breakers were cleared the lifeboat capsized, HENNESSEY'(with the rest of the crew) being washed ashore in an exhausted condition, one man being drowned. HENNESSEY, though bruised and exhausted, directly he recovered his feet, ran into the surf and assisted in rescuing’ his comrades, who were still struggling in the breakers.. On the evening of the same day, at 9 P.M., LAWRENCE HENNESSEY went out from Seabrook as Coxswain of the Ljfeboat, and succeeded ‘in reaching the wreck of; the ” Benvenue” and rescuing “the twenty-seven survivors, subseqxiently taking the lifeboat safely to Folkestone.





Allan Stanistreet – Image of Lawrence Hennessey AM.