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The Mayfly and the Rohilla

The following article appeared in the Northern Daily Mail on Friday, November 6th, 1914:

"The gallant services rendered by the Hartlepool steam trawler Mayfly (Captain R.H. Whittleton), on the occasion of the wreck of the Government Hospital Ship Rohilla, last weekend, have been gratefully acknowledged by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
This morning Councillor J.T. Graham, JP, head of the firm of Messrs. J. Graham & Sons, the owners of the Mayfly, received the following letter from Mr. George F. Shee, the secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution;
'Dear Sir, - I have heard from the honorary secretary of the Hartlepools branch of the prompt and energetic action which you took in order to assist the efforts of our lifeboats in saving life on the occasion of the wreck of the Rohilla on the 30th and 31st ult.
Although the terrible conditions of the sea made it imposslible for the Mayfly to assist the shipwrecked men on the ocassion of her first trip to Whitby, and not withstanding the fact that on the occasion of her second visit, on Sunday, she found that all those remaining on board the Rohilla had been saved by the Tynemouth lifeboat, the action of your firm, taken upon your own initiative, was a signal proof of your anxiety to be of service to the Institution in its great task of lifesaving; and your thoughtfulness in sending the trawler the second time with several barrels of oil on board for the purpose of throwing oil on the water was an instance of forethought and care in detail which is greatly appreciated by the Committee of Management.
The fact that on both ocassions Coxswain Hastings went to the trawler to assist the skipper was calculated to add still further to the value of the action taken.
I beg to express to you, on behalf of the Committee of Management of the Institution, their most cordial thanks for the generosity and public spirit with which you, your sons, and other members of the firm acted in circumstances so critical for all concerned, and on an occasion which has exemplified afresh the heroic qualities of the gallant men who man the lifeboats on our storm beaten coasts.
The Committee of Management feel sure that you and your firm will always gladly remember an occasion on which you were brought into such close and beneficial relationship with the great national service administered by the Lifeboat Institution.
In placing beofre the Committee of management the service rendered to the Institution by the Mayfly, I would, if you think well, have the question of some recognition to the skipper and crew considered.'

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