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Caring for our friends

Target Group

Key Stage 1


INine-year old Daniel Pugh was playing with friends in the garden at home when the youngest child, a toddler, fell into the goldfish pond. According to the fire service, this is a very common accident during the summer months and it can often end in tragedy. But Daniel kept very calm and quickly pulled the small boy out of the water.

Daniel Pugh (right) with Lucien Fereday. Courtesy Wolverhampton Express & StarDaniel Pugh, Staffordshire

It was the half-term holiday in May 2002. Nine-year old Daniel Pugh, from Staffordshire, was playing in the garden at home with his younger sister and two friends from down the road.

Daniel's garden is very long and at one end, near the house, is a pond. It's 4-feet deep and it has lots of goldfish in it. There are also quite a few frogs.

On that day, Daniel was on one side of the pond and 2-year old Lucien Fereday on the other. Daniel looked up and to his horror saw Lucien fall head-first into the pond.

'Lucien was trying to touch a frog,' he recalls, 'and he just tipped over.'

The garden pond where Daniel pulled Lucien to safety.While Lucien's sister shouted to the grown-ups, Daniel took immediate action. 'I knew I had to get him out,' he says calmly, 'he was only 2 years old.' 'He was upside down in the water,' he goes on matter-of-factly, 'and it was some time before his head came up again.' 'I could reach him from my side of the pond and I just got hold of him and pulled him out of the pond. He was whimpering a bit but when he saw his Mum he started crying.'

Lucien's Mum, Brigitte Fereday, had turned her back for only a few seconds when the accident happened.

'The first thing I saw,' she says, 'was Daniel carrying Lucien. I was amazed. He was so quick-thinking.' 'Lucien suffered no side effects other than shock,' she goes on, 'but he was extremely lucky that Daniel was as brave, decisive and as clear-headed as he showed himself to be.'

Daniel's Mum, Julie Vaughan, is naturally very proud of Daniel's calmness and quick-thinking:

'He acted completely on his own,' she says. 'If he'd panicked, it would have been a very different outcome.'

Daniel Pugh with Lucien Fereday.Julie also says that because of the pond, she'd 'always instilled in the children about the dangers of water. They've both had swimming lessons from a very early age, so Daniel wasn't frightened of the water.'

'People have said to me since the accident, 'haven't you had that pond filled in yet?' And I say, 'no, and I'm not going to, because children have to learn to deal with dangers and I make sure they know what the dangers are.''

Daniel was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Royal Humane Society for saving Lucien's life and staying calm in a crisis. He was nominated by Lucien's Mum and his MP.

Class discussion:

  • What was important about Daniel's actions?
  • Have you ever been able to help any of your friends?
  • What other dangers are there in a garden?
  • How should we deal with these dangers?


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