Light in the Darkness examines the origins of the lightship service, the obstacles and prejudices that faced originators of the idea and the subsequent development of the vessels and working practices over the years.
Throughout the centuries, this dangerous occupation has claimed the lives of a number of lightship crews and those who tried to save them. The lives and working conditions of the brave men, who for over 260 years put their lives at risk guiding ships safely to their destinations, has been almost forgotten.
Who were these brave men? Why did they do this vital work? Where did they live and what was the effect upon local communities when these tragedies occurred? Dr Liam Clarke answers these questions with a discussion of local lightship disasters including interviews with some of those who once served.
The author, born into a family with a long history of lightship service, has a deep understanding of the dangerous working conditions and the pressures that this lifestyle had on the men and their families. He uses this to portray a lonely and hazardous life which few now remember, and which has rarely been written about.
Dr Liam Clarke is a retired educationalist and has written a number of academic books and papers. He has been a member and Trustee of the Castleton Historical Society for many years and has a great interest in local and family history. 'Light in the Darkness' is the product of research into his family history and his own experiences of being brought up in a sea-faring family in a small local port in South East Ireland. Members of his family have served in the Light Ship Service since the late 19th century.