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Caring for our friends

Target Group

Key Stage 1


Two friends playing together in a village in Scotland saw another of their friends fall into a pit filled with mud and water. They immediately ran over to help her, pulling her to safety.

Peter Mauchline and

David Crawford, Kintyre

It was a cold day in the middle of February 2002. Thirteen-year old Peter Mauchline and his friend, 9-year old David Crawford, were playing near their homes in a small village in Kintyre.

David Crawford
Peter Mauchline

 A drain was being dug at the side of the road. There was a big pit - about five metres across and two metres deep. It was filled with a mixture of water and mud. The fencing around it had blown down.

The two boys noticed another of their friends, 7-year old Zoe Brown, playing there.

'We looked up,' Peter recalls, 'and saw her fall in. Her head was bobbing up and down, and all of a sudden she disappeared.'

'It was really scary,' says David. 'Zoe went under and came up again and then went down again.'

'We ran over to the pit,' continues Peter, 'and I immediately jumped into the water and got hold of her and pulled her up.'

David, who was standing near the edge of the pit, was then able to haul Zoe up to safety.

Peter Mauchline and Zoe Brown at the scene of her rescueZoe remembers how frightened she was. 'It was very cold and I thought I was going to die,' she says. 'I was very lucky that Peter and David came to help me.'

But when Zoe got home, her Mum, Sarah Livingstone, was at first angry with her.

'She was covered in mud,' Sarah recalls, 'and I thought she had been playing in puddles again - which I had told her not to do.' 'It was only when I saw the size of the hole and how deep it was that I got a very big fright,' she says. 'We're very grateful and totally surprised that two young boys put themselves at risk to help her.'

Both boys won awards from the Royal Humane Society. Peter was awarded a Testimonial on Parchment, and David a Certificate of Commendation.

Their parents are naturally very proud of them. 'It was a great thing that they did,' says David's Mum, Diane Crawford. 'They just did it and didn't realise how dangerous it was.'

Zoe's Mum, Sarah, believes the incident has brought the families - who are neighbours - even closer together.

'We were a close community anyway,' she says, 'but the boys are more like family now.'

Class discussion:

  • Why did the two boys need to act quickly?
  • Have you ever been able to help any of your friends?
  • What effect has that had on your friendship?
  • What are the differences between living in a village and living in a town?


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