Bruce A – 1926
BB Gazette Vol.35 No.7 – The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism has been awarded to Private Andrew Bruce, aged 13, 1st Falkirk Company, for his gallantry in rescuing a woman from drowning in the Forth and Clyde Canal on the 29th November, 1926. The woman had fallen into the Canal at a point where the water was 8 feet deep and the banks consisted of high, perpendicular walls. She appeared in a helpless plight when young Andrew dived in and succeeded in bringing her with the utmost difficulty to the side. It was impossible for him to get out himself or to get the woman out until assistance came.
The Falkirk Herald Saturday April 14th 1928 – BRAVE FALKIRK BOY – SECOND RESCUE EFFECTED FROM FORTH AND CLYDE CANAL – Alexander Spence, sand mixer, fifteen years of age, residing at 7, Dalderse, Falkirk, had a narrow escape from drowning in the Forth and Clyde Canal at Forganhall, Falkirk, on Saturday afternoon. But for the prompt action of another youth who happened to be in the vicinity at the time he might have lost his life.
He was cycling along the towing path at the side of the canal, when he was observed to fall off his bicycle into the water. Andrew Bruce (14½), apprentice joiner, son of Alexander Bruce, moulder, 37 Forgenhall, on observing what had happened, ran to the spot and at once jumped into the water. He got hold of Alexander Spence and, with the assistance of another lad named James Corbett, succeeded in getting him out of the water. He was little the worse for his unexpected dip.
In November 1926, it may be recalled, Andrew, at great personal risk, rescued a woman from drowning in the same part of the canal. On that occasion he dived into seven feet of water and kept the woman afloat until assistance arrived. His brave action was recognised by the Royal Humane Society, whilst his schoolmates at the Northern School made him a presentation.
This gallant lad is a private in the 1st Falkirk Company of The Boys’ Brigade, and his heroism eighteen months ago was fittingly recognised by the Brigade. He was presented with a gold watch suitably inscribed, and also The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism, along with a parchment. The Cross, it may be mentioned, is awarded by the Brigade for a singular act of self-sacrifice for others, heroism in saving or attempting to save life, or for displaying marked courage in the face of danger.
This account has been complied using records held in The Boys’ Brigade Archive Collection, local and national newspaper archives and other sources. 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.