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Policeman’s son saves two from drowning

Year 1900

Read by Marcus Budgen – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Joseph G Haynes

Early in the morning of 29 July 1900 Arthur Shore, a hairdresser, and William James Wakefield, a gardener, both residents of Richmond Surrey, were bathing in the River Thames near Ham House, and they both got into a deep hole which was covered with weeds. Realising they were in great danger they tried to get out, but the weeds were dense. Shaw was a poor swimmer and Wakefield went to his assistance but both men tired and were in imminent danger of drowning.

Joseph G. Haynes, a policeman’s son, was walking along the riverside path when he saw the men in difficulties, and without hesitation, or thought for his own welfare, dived into the water and through the weeds, but was unable to find either man and they drowned.

Mr H. Harland witnessed Haynes’s heroic effort to save life and he duly forwarded the details to the Royal Humane Society. On 19 October 1900, the Committee duly considered the nomination and awarded Haynes the Society’ s Bronze Medal.

This was sent by post on 3 November 1900 to Mr Harland at his residence on Ham Common, with a request that he present the medal and its accompanying certificate to the worthy Joseph Haynes.

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