Denaby Boy Drowned – Brother of the “Little Hero” – Family´s Second Blow

June 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 2nd

Denaby Boy Drowned

Brother of the “Little Hero”

Family´s Second Blow

Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Thomas, of 55, Cliff View, Denaby Main have again suffered the loss of a son by drowning. It will be remembered that on November 12 th 1922, one of their boys, Arthur Dew Thomas, a bright little fellow of eight, plunged into the canal at Mexborough in a desperate effort to save a younger brother. The younger boy was saved by a passer-by, but Arthur was drowned.

His fate was shared last Sunday evening by an elder brother, Frank Stewart Thomas, aged 12, who was drowned in the Don near Levitt Hagg, on the way from Conisbrough to Sprotborough.

Mr and Mrs. Thomas had gone to Edlington to visit some friends and had left Frank and one of his brothers at home with instructions to keep the house tidy and to go to chapel in the evening. The elder brother, Charles, stayed at home but Frank went out about half-past four and joining a party of his companions, went for a stroll on the river bank towards Sprotborough.

Between five o´clock and six they were playing about the spoil banks near the lime kilns at Levitt Hagg, and Frank slipping from the bank, fell into the river, nine feet below. The bank at this point is steep and dangerous, the boys were frightened and did not know quite what to do, and before effective aid could be summoned, the unfortunate boy had disappeared. His body was recovered two hours later.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, returning from Edlington by bus during the evening, noticed at Conisbrough a friend and neighbour, Mr. George Hill (the well-known footballer), waving to them, but they did not realise that anything was amiss until they alighted from the bus at Denaby and were walking toward their home, when Mrs. Thomas remarked, “I am sure there is something wrong, people are looking at us so strangely”.

Before they could reach home they were overtaken by Mr. Hill, who broke the news to them. In the meantime the Boy´s uncle, Mr. Arthur Roberts, a member of the County Council, had hurried to Sprotborough and assisted to recover the body.

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