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Search for Stourbridge boy rescued from the sea

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: September 04, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Sybil Audsley, who dived into the sea to rescue a drowning boy

  • Royal Humane Society certificate awarded to Sybil for her actions at Barmouth, June 15, 1958

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BUGLE reader Charles Audsley of Norton, Stourbridge, has shared this picture of his mother and the certificate she received from the Royal Humane Society in the hope that fellow readers can help him trace the boy his mother saved from drowning 56 years ago.

Charles' family lived in Ripon, North Yorkshire, at the time but Charles has lived in Stourbridge for the last 30 years.

In June 1958 the family was on holiday at Barmouth. Charles was only a child but he remembers his mother diving into the sea to rescue a boy who was drowning. He doesn't know the name of the boy but he is fairly certain that he too came from Stourbridge.

Does anyone know about the incident? Were you the young lad that was plucked from the sea on June 15, 1958? Was he a relative of yours?

In recognition of her bravery, Charles' mother, Sybil Audsley was awarded a certificate by the Royal Humane Society, signed by its chairman Rear Admiral Sir Piers Kekewich.

The Royal Human Society was founded in London in 1774 by two physicians, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Originally called the Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned, the two doctors set up the group to promote the then new technique of artificial respiration.

Two years later the society changed its name to the Humane Society and was granted royal status in 1787.

The society set up branches across the country, chiefly at ports and coastal towns, with depots supplied with life-saving equipment. The society widened its remit to include not only the drowned but those suffering "from asphyxia in mines, wells, blasting furnaces, or in sewers where foul gas may endanger life." Money rewards, medals and testimonials were offered to those that saved lives.

Today the society recognises the bravery of men, women and children who have saved, or tried to save, someone else's life, with the award of medals and certificates.

Can you help us find the Stourbridge boy rescued from the sea at Barmouth by Sybil Audsley on June 15, 1958? Please send any information to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL or dshaw@blackcountrybugle.co.uk

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