Friday, 9 July 2010


There was no moon on the Tuesday night of 5th October 1926 and the four Squire brothers of Lympstone were seineing at Dawlish Warren. They were two crews in two boats. Francis (Frank) Squire and his brother William were in one boat and William’s son Reginald was with them. At eleven o’ clock these three decided to shoot the net at ‘the Gutter’ which is to say at the very Point of the Warren.

Frank was the shoreman and William and his son were in the boat, one of them rowing and the other paying out the net. The net was halfway out when they heard Frank shouting from the shore that there was too much tide and he could not hold. William and Reginald started to boat the net and to return to land. They could not see Frank but they heard him shout, “Quick, quick!” and then silence. “

Are you all right Frank?” William shouted back into the darkness, but there came no reply.

They left off boating the net and rowed for the shore as quickly as they could and within minutes they had landed on the sand but Frank Squire had disappeared. When they pulled in the shore line they found one of Frank's seaboots tangled there.

The next morning practically every fisherman in Lympstone turned out to look for the body but it was a Topsham boat that first saw Frank where the tide had left him. He was on the sandbank called Bull Hill lying with one boot on and one boot off. He was rowed home to his widow. He was just forty four years old.

Fifty years later, my skipper, Dick Squire, would say to the shoreman, by way of cautioning him to keep his feet out of the line: “Remember Uncle Frank!”

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