Five members of Falmouth Lifeboat crew have attended a memorial service for the 19 seamen who lost their lives in a 1914 shipwreck.

The service, at Veryan Church, also honoured the five survivors of the Hera shipwreck who were rescued by the crew of Falmouth lifeboat.

Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston, Falmouth Lifeboat crew member, said: "It was quite a poignant service and fitting that it coincided with this year’s RNLI 200th anniversary."

The ill-fated German barque Hera had been on passage from Pisagua in Chile and was making landfall off the Lizard.

However, due to poor weather and a inaccurate chronometer, the Hera’s captain had been using dead reckoning for navigation.

Captain Lorenz attempted to change course to locate St Anthony lighthouse, but inadvertently missed Falmouth by several miles.

Shortly past midnight on February 1, the ship collided with rocks.

Despite this, the crew managed to fire distress rockets before the ship rolled over, throwing crew members into the freezing ocean and capsizing lifeboats.

The Falmouth lifeboat, Bob Newbon, under the command of Coxswain Samuel Hingston, was launched at 1.55am.

Coxswain Samuel Hingston said: "On the way we encountered heavy seas.

"When about a mile offshore we slipped the Perran and went in between Gull Rock and Nare Head to speak with the Coastguards who were on the shoreline.

"All at once I heard a whistle blowing. We heaved in our anchor and got underway.

"Then we saw a speck on our lee bow and later we made out five men hanging on a spar."

The Hera’s first mate had passed his whistle to a seaman before succumbing to the cold, which led to the rescue of five men clinging to a topmast

The Hera’s unfortunate contingent of 19, including the captain, were buried in a grave almost 120 feet long and three feet wide in Veryan Churchyard.

An account of the shipwreck was provided at the service by Kevin Patience, author of Hera - A Cornish Shipwreck Tragedy.

Present-day Lifeboat crew members were joined at the service by Samuel Hingston’s great grandson, Adrian, a former rescuer himself.