Home > 250th Anniversary Stories > Two boys of 9 and 12 save their 7 year old friend

Two boys of 9 and 12 save their 7 year old friend

Year 1808, Richard Teasdale

Read by Jeni Bremner – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn
Play Video
August 20, 1808

CASE 15167, THE 3218th RECOVERY; Being the 110th Restoration in the year 1808. Case of Recovery from Drowning.

Merchant Taylors Hall, Aug. 20, 1808.

During the recent Midsummer holidays, my eldest son, who is just nine years old, together with one of his school-fellows, Master Wathen, was on a visit to his grand-mother’s, Mrs. Guthrie, Cannon- court, near Leatherhead. Mrs. G. had, ta the same time, another of her grand-children, Master John Burrows, at her house.

These three little fellows, viz. my son, Wathen (who is about twelve years old), and little Burrows (who is about seven), went to see the mowers in an adjoining meadow, but soon wandered from them up the River side, to the distance of about half a mile up the Mole, into which River (unperceived by Wathen and my son) little Burrows fell; hearing a noise, as that of a large fish jumping, the two boys turned towards the River, where they saw their comrade Burrows with only the top of his hat and his hands visible above the surface.

With admirable presence of mind (as if it were by previous concert, and without saying a word to each other), both Wathen and Teasdale ran to his assistance. Wathen first seized the bough of an impending bush, and Teasdale followed his example; but they could not reach Burrows until their own bodies were more than half over the bank of the River.

Wathen first caught hold of one of Burrow’s hands, and my son afterwards got hold of the other, but they had got such an imperfect hold, that they were obliged to use great management and skill, by one relieving the other, until they at last got such a purchase as enabled them to drag the little sufferer from what (but for the presence of mind and adroitness of these little fellows) must have proved his watery grave.

Little Burrows lay on the grass senseless, and with- out any apparent sign of life, for upwards of five minutes, after which he gradually came to his senses, and was supported to his grandmama’s by his two preservers.

I need not point out to the intelligent and industrious managers of your Institution, that the merit of these little fellows is considerably enhanced by their promptness in taking immediate and efficient measures to save their little comrade, without running for aid to the house or the mowers in the adjacent meadow.

I have the honour to be, Sir, your most humble servant, Richard Teasdale.

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn

More about the Royal Humane Society