Buyers J -1923
BB Gazette Vol.32 No.3 – The Brigade Executive has awarded the B.B. Cross for Heroism to Private John Buyers, age 13, 50th Aberdeen Company, for his great gallantry in rescuing a little girl who was in imminent danger of drowning in the swiftly running waters of the River Dee. She had been wading when she was swept off her feet by the force of the current, and after being carried some distance out she was seen to sink. Buyers heard cries of distress, and although the child had been carried down stream a considerable distance, he plunged into the water and sturdily struck out. He ultimately succeeded in catching hold of her and bringing her in safety to the bank.
BB Gazette BB Gazette Vol.32 No.5 – BATTALION JOTTINGS – ABERDEEN. The Annual Concert and Cinematograph Entertainment of the Battalion was held on Friday, 23rd November last, and the Annual Church Parade on the afternoon of Sunday, 25th November. On both occasions the Music Hall was packed to the door. The attendances were record ones, there being over 2,000 members of the Battalion present on the Friday evening, and 2,200 on the Sunday afternoon.
In the course of Friday’s proceedings the Brigade Cross for Heroism, and the Royal Humane Society’s Parchment, were presented to Private Buyers of the 50th Aberdeen Company for his heroic action in saving a little girl from drowning, in August last. The presentation was made by Principal Sir George Adam Smith of Aberdeen University, who has been a life-long friend of the Brigade. Principal Smith was accompanied by Lady Adam Smith, who pinned the Cross to the breast of Private Buyers.
Aberdeen Journal 7th August 1923 – BB MEMBER’S PLUCKY ACT – In the report of the rescue of a four-year-old girl from the River Dee on Friday afternoon, an error was made in stating that the rescuer, John Buyers, 59, Chapel Street, Aberdeen, is a Boy Scout. The organisation to which he belongs is the Boys’ Brigade, he having been a member of the 50th Company (Gilcomston Parish Church) for four years. After pluckily rescuing the little girl from the water young John unostentatiously took his departure from the scene of the occurrence, and it was with difficulty that any information concerning him could be obtained.
Aberdeen Journal 11th September 1923 – BB CROSS FOR DEE RESCUER – The Council of the Boys’ Brigade at its meeting at Newcastle has awarded the BB Cross for heroism to John Buyers, a member of the 50th Company (Gilcomston Parish Church) of the Aberdeen Battalion. The circumstances under which he merited this coveted award are as follows – On the afternoon of August 3, Mary Brown, the little daughter of Robert Brown, 16½ Bank Street, was walking along the side of the river Dee at Aberdeen with two companions, and when opposite the Duthie Park a gust of wind blew her hat into the water. In an attempt to recover it she waded into the river and was caught in the current and sank. John, observing the girl’s danger, immediately divested himself of his jacket, pluckily entered the water and, with difficulty, brought the girl ashore. After effecting the rescue John unostentatiously slipped away, and it was not until the following day that the identity of the modest hero was established.
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.