You will see Pilcher Monument rising up like a needle above Havre Gosselin on the west coast of Sark.
The story behind the monument:
One evening in October 1868 Agnew Giffard, engineer-in-charge of the new breakwater at Creux harbour, set off back to Guernsey in an 18ft gig. He left Havre Gosselin with his brother Walter, Russell Renouf (keeper of the breakwater lighthouse), Dr Gatehouse (medical officer, about to take up practise in Alderney), and J.G. Pilcher, a London oil merchant.
According to Rev. Cachemaille they were told it was dangerous to go and that it would soon be dark. The tide carried them a long way south, then the wind blowing from the north freshened into a tempest. Night fell and it suddenly became intensely dark.
The wreck of the gig was found seven miles from Dielette on the Normandy coast. Agnew Giffard’s body came ashore in Havre Gosselin; Walter Giffard’s body was found in a small cave at the Pointe du Nez, Eperquerie; Russell Renouf’s body was found in the Gouliot caves. Two months later Pilcher’s body came ashore at Niton, Isle of Wight, identification being made by the clothing and a breastpin in his father’s likeness. The Doctor’s body was never found.
The granite monument was erected by Pilcher’s widow. It was made from Guernsey granite by Henrys Monumental Masons, Bordage, Guernsey, with leaded letters.
Since the firm came into existence in 1886 it is presumed that the Monument was an early commission for them.
The small plaque at the side is of South African granite, with the letters cut in by pantograph (not hand chiselled). The pantograph came into use at Henrys around 1975. The inscription is a warning to others of the mighty power of the sea.