The Welly Trail Ned BRIDLE


Welcome to the Exmouth RNLI Yellow Welly Trail.

If you have a leaflet, enjoy the trail.

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 where you will find all the information you need to enable you to join in!

Sponsored by:

The Strand, 

Exmouth EX81BR




Edwin William Bridle (Ned) 

Coxswain 1907 – 1918

Coxswain of Lifeboat:

Joseph Somes 2

Born in Littleham 1849

Married Ann Bryant 1868

Died 1926

Buried in St Andrew and St Margaret, Littleham.

Lived at 10 Tower Street, the street parallel to the back of Franklins, with his wife, 8 children and mother-in-law.




Royal Naval Reserve.

Ned owned a 20 foot long Luger/cutter named ‘Try’, built in 1889, based in Exmouth until 1919, then in Lympstone.

At the age of 26, Ned was listed as an Able Seaman on the ‘Elizabeth’ of Exeter.  Owned by Richard Hore of Exmouth.

He became Coxswain aged 58.

In October 1907 the coast guard spotted a 302 ton Russian Schooner in trouble, stranded on Pole Sand, off Orcombe Point.  Due to the urgency, the Coast Guards, crew, wives and children pulled the boat on ropes, and launched it in 6 minutes.

There is a report of the Annual Lifeboat Inspection of 1912.  At the sound of the signal rocket, the RNLI Inspector of the Southern District set off with the crew, in front of a crowd of interested spectators.  The crew rowed to Warren Point, dropped anchor, where  the gear was inspected, and sails hoisted. On its return, the  boat got embedded in sand, making it difficult to pull it back up the beach.

Twice, the rope snapped, each time the long line of men fell flat on their backs on the sand.  The ‘Joseph Somes 2’ was then taken around town to test the carriage.

During WW1 many younger men, who usually made up the lifeboat crew were away on War Service, so at this time, the crew consisted of older men. The Exmouth crew was made up of former crew members, Coastguards and Fishermen.

In November 1916, French steamer ‘St Paul’ ran aground in the worst weather for 20 years.  The lifeboat crew took a tow line from the stricken steamer to a tug, allowing her to be towed to Torquay.  In recognition of this difficult rescue, the crew received monetary awards and a ‘ Letter of Thanks’ from the RNLI.

Write the letter I from BRIDLE in space 4 of your answer box.


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We have made every effort to ensure all the information about the Coxswains is accurate. However, we are always happy to be corrected or updated and, if you can add to our knowledge base, please email us at

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