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Soldier being invalided home rescues another who jumped in the sea

Year 1919

Read by Ben Grandy – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Hartle, J. Crossley, Lieut., Machine Gun Corps.

At 10 a.m. on the 29th September, 1919, the Ambulance Transport Ellora on a voyage from Bombay to Marseilles, was in the Gulf of Aden steaming at a speed of 14 knots. One of the passengers, Capt. H.V. Burt, 37th Lancers, who was a mental patient, in some way escaped from his guard and threw himself overboard.

Fully aware of the grave risk he ran, Lieut. Hartle, who was being invalided home after service in Palestine and Egypt and was far from well at the time, at once jumped after him fully clothed and attempted to hold him up, but being grappled with, released his hold and allowed him to sink. The same procedure was adopted by the rescuer until Capt. Burt ceased to resist, and Lieut. Hartle then supported him until they were picked up by a boat from a ship after being about ten minutes in the water.

Extreme risk incurred not only from drowning, but from the numerous sharks which infest the locality.

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