Waters F – 1942
BB Gazette Vol.51 No.2 – The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism has been awarded to Private Thomas Shaw Bailey and Private Frederick William Waters, both aged 13, of the 1st Herne Bay Company, for their bravery and disregard of danger in attempting to rescue a soldier from drowning at Herne Bay on July 8th.
Two soldiers were bathing in the sea when one of them got into difficulties at some distance from the shore. The other attempted to help him, but had to break away and then started to swim in shouting for help. Thomas and Frederick happened to be on the front and heard the shouts. They both stripped and set off to the rescue. The man was over a hundred yards out in deep water, but the Boys reached him. As he was in a state of collapse they had the greatest difficulty in supporting him, but they made for the shore with their heavy burden. They were eventually joined by the other soldier and another man, and Frederick then swam in and returned with a motor tyre tube. With its aid the soldier was ultimately brought to the shore, but, although artificial respiration was applied for nearly half an hour, he died.
The act was an especially meritorious one for such young Boys who were by no means good swimmers, and they had to contend with a strong current. Neither had ever swum so far before, and one of them had recently suffered from arthritis in his ankles. They both risked their lives and they were sorely disappointed that their brave effort was unavailing.