First and Foremost A Sailor : Charles Herbert Lightoller

Another great article from BG Burdette


Charles Herbert Lightoller lived an anything but droll life. Where the sailor could be found, adventure lurked not far behind. Born in 1874 in Lancashire, England, Lightoller was practically an orphan. His mother had died when he was a baby and his father later remarried and left for New Zealand. Lightoller and his siblings were then cared for by an aunt and uncle.

In 1888 Lightoller had decided that his future rested with the sea. He joined the Primrose Hill as an apprentice. It was a tough voyage for the teenager. He was horribly seasick for the first few days and the ship was filled with a never ending supply of rats and cockroaches.

At the age of 16 Lightoller found himself shipwrecked on St. Paul’s Island after his latest ship, the Holt Hill ran aground. All but one of the crew survived the event. St. Paul’s was a barren…

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