COXSWAIN of three Skegness lifeboats, Mr Wilfred (Bill) Perrin died peacefully in the Pilgrim Hospital on Thursday. He was 89 years of age and formerly lived at The Retreat, Croft Bank, Skegness before moving to Westcotes Nursing Home on South Parade, four years ago.
He was the last surviving crew member of the pulling and sailing lifeboat “Samuel Lewis”, which he joined in 1921, and which had a crew of 15.
In 1932 he was one of the eight men who transferred to the new motor lifeboat “Anne Allen”, to serve under his father George Perrin, who had succeeded Matthew Grunnill as coxswain. Two years later, on the retirement of second coxswain Montague Grunnill, Bill was appointed as second coxswain.
On the retirement of his father in 1947, Bill was appointed coxswain, first of the “Anne Allen”, then its successor, “The Cuttle” and finally had charge of the “Charles Fred Grantham” during its first year on station at Skegness. He retired in October, 1965, after serving the institution for 44 years.
As a boy, he lived in the old house at Gibraltar Point that was formerly the Ship Inn.
At 15 he sailed as second hand on his father’s fishing smack and three years later was with Grimsby trawlers working up to the Faroes.
After this spell, he spent the summers working as a smacksman from Wainfleet Haven. Later on he was employed at Skegness Cast Stone Limited and for many years was their mobile crane drive.
Modest though he was personally, he could be blunt and outspoken, but he would make his point and stick to it. He was a man of strong principles and highly respected, belonging to an era which has almost disappeared.
His wife died in 1988 and during the last few years he had lived happily at Westcotes, where he enjoyed frequent visits of a great number of friends.
He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Mr and Mrs Basil Drew of Wisbech and a niece, Mrs Fiona Allen.
The funeral service will be held at Boston Crematorium at 1 pm on Friday.
Picture: Bill Perrin who was made coxswain of the ‘Anne Allen’ in 1947. Mr Perrin gave over 40 years service to the lifeboat institution.