On 9 December 1886, the Mexico, on its way from Liverpool to Ecuador, became stranded in a terrible storm. Three River Ribble lifeboats were launched: Lytham, St Annes, and Southport. The Lytham boat reached the Mexico, took off her crew and returned home. The Southport boat arrived at the Mexico but was hit by a huge wave and capsized. Only two crew members survived. There had been no sign of the St Annes boat and, next morning, the Lytham and Blackpool lifeboats launched to search for the boat and found it capsized off Birkdale with all her crew dead.

Twenty seven men died in total, leaving fifty orphans. Queen Victoria and the Kaiser of Germany sent their condolences. An appeal followed, to provide for memorials, funds for the families left behind, and money for better boats. The disaster was so terrible that charitable giving was revolutionised, and the organisation of street collections in Manchester was to lead to the creation of the first flag days.

The ‘Mexico’ disaster remains the worst in RNLI history, and the memory of that dreadful event and the extreme bravery of those involved must be kept alive. The graveside memorials of those who died in the St. Annes boat are in great need of restoration, and Lytham St Annes Civic Society, a registered charity, is leading an appeal for funds for the conservation and maintenance of the graveside memorials.

The conservation and stabilisation of the monuments will be carried out by the Liverpool Museums Sculpture Conservation Department.

We need at least £15,000 to restore the memorials.

We must keep the memory alive.

We must keep these pieces of our heritage from crumbling away.

For more information please contact or see our website at

Any donation will only be used for the preservation and continued maintenance of these memorials.

Raising money for

Lytham St Annes Civic Society

Lytham St Annes Civic Society

Charity Registration No. 243629

The Civic Society’s objects include to preserve features of historical interest. This site is purely to donate for the Mexico disaster Graveyard Memorials Fund, the monuments to the RNLI crew who died in the biggest loss of rescuers' life in RNLI history.

Donations 2


Donation by Ian on 27/03/08


+ £7.05 Gift Aid

I am Margaret Quigleys sister

Donation by Patricia Anne Dawson on 21/02/08


+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£50.00
  • Offline donations£8,860.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£8,910.00
  • Gift Aid£14.10

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