Loan J – 1953
BB Gazette Vol.62 No.4 – The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism has been awarded to two Boys of the 1st Glenluce Company, Private Harvey McCreadie and Private John Garry Loan, both aged 12. Together they succeeded in rescuing another Boy from drowning in the River Luce on the 1st of July last year, but Loan’s bravery cost him his life and the Cross has been given to his mother. The Brigade President wrote to express the admiration of the Brigade for her young son’s gallantry and our sympathy with the family in their tragic loss.
On a July afternoon a Boy of 12 was swimming by himself in a pool in the River Luce when suddenly he got into difficulties. Seeing this McCreadie ran and got a branch of a tree and held it out hut couldn’t reach him. Loan, who was on the other side of the river dived and, swimming over, reached Blackwood. But now Loan, who was only a moderate swimmer, got into difficulties himself. On seeing this, McCreadie, who is a poor swimmer, dived in and reached the other two, who clung to him. Finding the three of them sinking, he called to Loan to let go, that he might get Blackwood to safety. Loan let go and McCreadie managed to get Blackwood to the side. On reaching the bank McCreadie noticed that Loan had disappeared and, although in an exhausted condition, and lacerated on chest and back with the other two clinging to him, he dived again and getting hold of Loan’s hand pulled him to the surface and started to swim hack with him. Unfortunately Loan proved too heavy for him, slipped from his grasp in the swift tide and sank.
The pool is a deep one with a clay bottom and the police had to use ropes to assist those who later recovered the body of the drowned Boy. The Carnegie Fund Gallantry Certificate has been awarded to McCreadie and Loan’s mother has received his Certificate. Both Boys’ names have been inscribed on the Carnegie Roll of Heroes.
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.