Spalding mariner dies in 1916

HMS Russell.
HMS Russell.
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A Spalding mariner, his brother and son were all drowned at sea in 1916.

Captain Benjamin Joseph Binks was in charge of the Lembit when it was wrecked off Happisburgh, near Yarmouth.

His brother and son were seamen on board.

The bodies of six crew members were washed ashore, including those of Captain Binks, his son Charles (also referred to as Ben), and the captain’s brother James.

The inquest concluded that the vessel had been wrecked by stormy weather.

Captain Binks was born in Commercial Road, Spalding, and his father was also a captain

It was the third shipwreck for the captain, a member of Spalding Shipwreck Society.

Within the previous 12 months Captain Binks had been master when the schooner Harriet Thompson was wrecked off Davenport, and was also master when the motor-boat Theodore was wrecked in the North Sea. When the motor-boat went down, he and his crew were picked up by a Dutch vessel and taken to Scheveningen, near the Hague.

There was better news about Spalding and Bourne men who were aboard HMS Russell that sank after being struck by two naval mines laid by a German submarine.

News had been received that Arthur Cotton, of Spalding – whose father had worked at Mr A Seymour’s hairdressing salon and whose grandfather was a grocer in Double Street – had been saved.

There had also been fears for Alfred Rawlinson, son of Bourne timber merchant Mr John Rawlinson, who was also serving on the Flagship Russell.

However, his name appeared on the Admiralty’s list of those saved.