A COASTGUARD hero drowned attempting to rescue sailors off Chesil Beach almost 70 years ago is having his name added to a memorial.

Names recently added to the RNLI memorial at the charity’s headquarters in Poole will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony on Friday, September 28 honouring those who died responding to a call to save lives at sea.

They include Coastguard Inspector, Commander JR Pennington Legh who was among those called to assist an American tank landing craft manned by Royal Navy personnel in difficulty off Chesil in October, 1944.

The name of Dorset fisherman John Gerrard who died trying to rescue crew of fishing boats at Burton Bradstock during a gale in 1861 will also be added.

Hundreds of names are already listed on the memorial but further research plus contributions has prompted the RNLI to add more.

RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said: “The memorial at the home of the RNLI is designed to be a beacon of hope. It tells the story of thousands of people, those lost, those saved and those who go to the rescue.”

The RNLI Memorial was designed by sculptor Sam Holland.