Service and Courage

The Boys’ Life Brigade, Code of Rules and Regulations, 1913 – The purpose and tone of the Boys’ Life Brigade is Life Saving, and its members are taught to be always prepared to render help to others. In innumerable cases the first aid work learnt so thoroughly in the Company has resulted in lives being saved or suffering alleviated. Many of the boys hold the medal or certificate of the Royal Life Saving Society for saving lives at the risk of their own. It is a fact, recorded with gratitude, that no BLB boy has lost his life in an attempt to save life from drowning. The boys are taught how to tackle a drowning person, and a boy who is proficient in rescue and release drill is fairly safe from the other’s frantic struggles. To boys who have distinguished themselves in life saving or first aid, Headquarters grant a special diploma. 

The Diploma for Distinguished Service was first awarded in 1903, with the final certificate awarded in 1926 just prior to union with The Boys’ Brigade.

In 1922 the Boys’ Life Brigade instituted the Cross for Courage to be awarded to members of the Brigade who risked their own lives to save that of another. The Cross for Courage was always awarded together with the Diploma for Distinguished Service.

The first Cross to be awarded, was to Warrant Officer C Hart of the 1st Westcliff Company, ”for conspicuous bravery at a fire, at which he suffered personal injury.” Unlike The Boys’ Brigade which only allow this award to go to young people, The Boys’ Life Brigade awarded the Diploma for Distinguished Service, and the Cross for Courage to Leaders and Officers also.

Records indicate that only 11 Crosses were awarded prior to Union with The Boys’ Brigade.


Risley H - 1924

Sharpe W - 1923

White J - 1923

This list has been compiled from information found in the Life Brigade Chronicles and local Newspapers. We acknowledge that the list may not be complete and encourage anyone with information to contact us so that these stories can be recorded


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