Buckley L – 1979

BB Gazette Vol.88 No.1 – Lawrence Buckley (aged 11) a Leading Boy in the Junior Section of the 12th Wigan Company has joined the ranks of brave young men to earn the Brigade’s Cross, for heroism in attempting to save the life of his six-year old brother, Austin, and showing marked courage in the face of danger.

In cold wintry conditions on 23rd February 1979, Lawrence’s brother fell into a 15 ft. deep flooded clay pit. The surface water was itself 15 ft. below ground with the only access being down a steep clay slope which the bad weather had made almost unclimbable. Lawrence sent two other boys to get help and then without hesitation stripped and jumped into the extremely cold water. He tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to get Austin out of the water; each time the slope defeated him. Whilst struggling desperately to keep his young brother above water Lawrence momentarily lost his grip when reaching for a rubber inner tube which had been thrown to him. Austin slipped below the surface and was drowned. Even when helped from the clay pit In a state of shock, and coughing up dirty water, Lawrence had to be restrained from making a further attempt to save his brother.

The Cross for Heroism was presented by Mr Reg Lockett, LLB, Brigade Vice-President, at the Mayor’s Parlour, Wigan, by invitation of the Mayor of Wigan. In addition to the medal, which Lawrence¬† may wear with his uniform, he will receive the official citation certificate signed by the Brigade President and by the Brigade Secretary.

Boys Brigade cross for heroism

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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.