Ellis W – 1945
BB Gazette Vol.54 No.1 – The Cross for Heroism has been awarded to Private Wilfred Ellis, aged 14, of the 2nd Bournemouth Company, for saving a Boy from drowning in the River Stour on June 23rd, 1945. The rescued Boy, who is 12 years old and unable to swim, was standing on the bank when he was pushed into the river by two girls, and the current at once swept him into deep water. There were no adults on the scene, but Ellis at once plunged in. When Ellis reached him the drowning Boy clutched him and entwined him with his legs, and struggling frantically lacerated his rescuer’s chest. Ellis forcibly freed himself, and having got clear, more cautiously approached the Boy again, and this time managed to turn him over and, exhausted as they both were, swam with him to the bank where other Boys helped them both out of the water. The rescuer, who is only a moderate swimmer, and handicapped by a crippled leg, was not deterred from risking his life, and showed marked courage and resolution in effecting the rescue.
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.