Barff C – 1931

BB Gazette Vol.40 No.2 – In the September Gazette it was announced that Private Charles Barff of the 4th Leeds Company, had won the Diploma for Gallant Conduct on the 31st of May. A few weeks later this Boy performed a second act of gallantry and has now been awarded the B.B. Cross for Heroism. This is the first occasion on which two awards have been made within a few weeks to one Boy.

In this second case Barff, who has since been promoted to Lance Corporal, was walking along the bank of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal when a girl of 18 threw herself into the water. Barff immediately took off his jacket and went to her rescue. She was much bigger than he and in the course of her struggles he was dragged under. According to eye witnesses the girl was hysterical, and it was with great difficulty that Barff succeeded ultimately in swimming with her to the side where both were helped out of the water. The girl was completely exhausted by this time, but Barff applied artificial respiration with good results and the girl was then taken to hospital.

BB Gazette Vol.40 No.1 – The Boys’ Brigade Diploma for Gallant Conduct has been awarded to Private Charles Barff, aged 14, of the 4th Leeds Company, for rescuing a small boy from drowning in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on the 31st May. Private Barff Was walking beside the canal when he heard a shout, and on turning round he could just see a child’s head showing above the water. Removing only his jacket he instantly dived into the canal, and swimming across he then dived under the small boy and succeeded in bringing him to the side, where his comrade helped him to lift the youngster out.


Boys Brigade Cross for Heroism

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This account has been complied using records held in The Boys’ Brigade Archive Collection. If there are any omissions or errors we sincerely apologise, and request that you come forward with this information, so that this can be corrected.