The Civil Service Lifeboat Fund was founded in 1866, one of the founders being Charles Dibdin, a Civil Servant in the General Post Office who, in 1885, left to become Secretary of the RNLI. The Fund was created to provide a lifeboat to the RNLI and an appeal to raise £300 was made to the Civil Service, which raised the sum within the year. The first lifeboat was named Civil Service and was stationed at Wexford, saving 122 lives. Dibdin became Honorary Secretary of the Fund in 1873 and infused energy and enthusiasm, resulting in surplus funds and a second lifeboat, Charles Dibdin at Tynemouth. By 1892 the fund had provided nine lifeboats. As of 2017, 52 lifeboats have been funded.
The first three volumes of these records contain around 30 pages of printed lists of employees in the various civil service departments on slips of paper laid down, heavily amended by Dibdin. Other sections include: ‘Amounts Received’ (£1190.4s11/2d); Expenditure; ‘Lists of Offices, Names & Adds of Collectors’; ‘Memoranda’; ‘New Depts: Patrons, Members of Committees’; ‘Newspapers-Office Addresses’; ‘Vice-Patrons: Addresses’, with minutes of the annual meeting in the back of each volume. Thanks to the Friends of the National Libraries these volumes have now been added to the records of the RNLI Heritage Archive with the catalogue Reference: RNLI/BRA/1/1