The loss of Hervey Benham
From Eric Pearce, chairman of the East Coast Sail Trust, March 1988;
Hervey Benham passed away on July 25th, 1987. Hervey had a lifelong interest in the sea and ships and the men that sail in them. His greatest interest was the vessels plying the waters of his own beloved east coast, particularly the Thames barges. Hervey sailed regularly on them, as a boy and young man he grew to love this local fleet, and to respect the way of life of the bargeman. He saw clearly the end of the sailing barge as a working vessel and with John Kemp formed a trust to preserve a trading barge for use as a sail training ship for youngsters. This early trust was succeeded by the East Coast Sail Trust as we know it today. Hervey used his considerable personal influence to promote the Trust and it is right to say that but for his statue in the Trust it would not have been established and kept running for over twenty-two years. During this long period Hervey was a Trustee and Council member. He and his family have given considerable financial support to the Trust on a number of occasions, contributing significantly to its survival today.
Hervey was one of the very real men… a man of great character and kindness, a wonderful story teller, a great friend, he was a man of deep thought and great intellect – a giant amongst men. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.