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Sergeant saves two men from being buried in a well

Year 1931

Read by Nader Francis – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Police-Sergeant Farthing and G.W. King,

At 2 p.m. on the 13th February, 1931, at Hook, Wiltshire, Alfred Butler and Leslie A. Hunt were working near the bottom of a well, which was being excavated, and were standing on a ledge of rock 25 feet from the surface, when the timbering and several tons of clay behind collapsed, burying the two men; the board fell across the well and prevented the men being suffocated.

Ash was the first to go down; he slid down a rope and began to shovel clay into buckets, which were pulled up by others; after some minutes he collapsed and had to be hauled to the surface.

A ladder was then lowered and G. King went down and carried on the work with William Cole.

Then P.C. England came on the scene and relieved King, and was in turn relieved by P.S. Farthing, and eventually both the buried men were set free and sent up to the surface. There was danger all the time of the sides of the well caving in, as the hoops had fallen in.

P.S. Farthing in particular rendered good help, and Mr. King the contractor, whose men were sinking the well, states that he is doubtful if the men would have been got out alive if the police officers had not arrived, as nobody had sufficient nerve to go down the well to assist him.

Silver Medals awarded to Police-Sergeant Farthing and G.W. King, Bronze Medal to Police Constable E.E. England, and Testimonials on Vellum to Albert E. Ash and William Cole.

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