Gallant Youth – Recognition of Canal Rescue (picture)

January 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 23 January 1931

Gallant Youth.

Humane Society’s Recognition of Canal Rescue

Before a large attendance of the public on Wednesday evening, Mr. W. Frow, vice-chairman of the Mexboro’ U.D. Council (in the absence of the chairman, Mr. F. Harrison) handed the Royal Humane Society’s certificate for the saving of life, to Walter Gough, aged 16, of 29, West Street, Mexboro’, an engine driver employed at the, Denaby Main Colliery, who, on August 21st, 1930, rescued from the canal at Mexboro’ Toll Bar, William Croxford aged 8, of Edlington.

Gough was walking along the towing path on that day—Sunday afternoon—and saw two boys of 8 or 9 years of age lying face down on the bank at the other side of the bridge, apparently catching minnows.

Immediately afterwards he heard screaming and saw one of the boys in the canal. Without hesitation Gough ran across the bridge and, taking off his jacket, dived in, swam across, and got the boy out of the water. He then took the boy to Denaby, where he was staying with his grandmother.

The matter was taken up by the Clerk (Mr. F. E. Hall) with the Royal Humane Society, and the result was the award of that certificate. The canal is rather wide at this point, and the depth is estimated at 10 to 12 feet.

Presenting the certificate, Mr. Frow said: “it gives me the greatest possible pleasure to have the privilege of handing to a young fellow like you something you will be able to look upon all your life with credit and honour. To me there is nothing greater in this world than the risking of one’s life to save another’s. I am speaking, I am sure, for everyone in this room when I congratulate you most heartily on your courage and wish you long life and success.” (Loud applause).

Gough very simply replied: If life is in danger I will take the risk again. (Applause).

Mr. G. W. Bramhan said he had known the whole family for many years, and knew Gough would do what he said. But there was one point about the incident: he would Like to see something more than a piece of paper handed over to a lad who not only I risked his life but spoiled his Sunday suit of clothes. He hoped they would see their way to get the town to recompense him for the clothes at least.

Mr. J. E. Cliff said they should certainly do that, and his suggestion that they should open a subscription list themselves at the close of that meeting was readily adopted by the rest of the members.

One or two other members added  their congratulations to Gough, and the Chairman shook hands with the rescued boy, Croxford, who was also present.