Pettyfer F – 1918

BB Gazette Vol.27 No.2 – The Brigade Executive have awarded the Cross for Heroism to Private Fred. Pettyfer (14), 1st Bournemouth Company, for rescuing a Boy from drowning in the sea at Bournemouth Pier.

The circumstances under which Private Pettyfer effected the rescue are as follows: “About 8pm on 2nd June, at the west landing stage of Bournemouth Pier, Pettyfer and Harry Fathers, also aged 14, were on the chain attached to two of the supports of the stage, when the chain gave way, and Fathers fell into the sea, 16 feet or 20 feet deep. As Fathers had disappeared twice and no adult seemed to have the presence of mind to act, Pettyfer divested himself of his coat and plunged in. He reached the lad, and finally succeeded in gaining one of the posts, where the two remained until help came from a boat. The accident occurred within a few yards from the extremity of the pier, and the position of Fathers was hopeless till Pettyfer dived in. Pettyfer can swim well for his age, but possibly his greatest danger was being pulled under by Fathers, who is a big and hefty lad, taller than his rescuer. No boat was in sight when Pettyfer dived. When rescued, Fathers was in a dazed and semi-conscious condition, and black in the face. He was taken to the beach, and there allowed to rest for a time. After a while he was able to proceed home.”

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.