Judith Sherratt, 12, volunteer of Kendal Nursing Cadet Division,
awarded the Life Saving Medal in Bronze on 24 September 1957.
On 4 March 1957, Judith Sherratt with her friends, Jean Taylor
aged 12 and Tony O’Connor aged 13, were walking by the river when
she heard a group of small boys shouting, ‘Diana’s drowning in the
river’. They raced to the spot and saw a child being
swirled around in the midstream waters.
Judith sent Tony off for help to a farmhouse some distance away,
and herself quickly waded into the river. She managed to
grab and hold the arm of the child as she was swung around
but Judith had great difficulty in keeping her feet and retaining
her grip on the child.
Eventually she managed to struggle with her to shallower water,
where, with Jean’s assistance she got the child on to the bank, who
by this time, was stiff and cold and did not appear to be
breathing. Judith handed Jean her discarded blazer and told her to
wrap up the child and to rub her limbs whilst she
immediately commenced artificial respiration.
After some time they both carried the child over the fields to
reach the roadway just as help arrived. Mrs Johnson, mother of the
two year old Diana, said she and her husband would be
eternally grateful to Judith for her brave action.
The child would certainly have been drowned but for Judith’s work,
both in rescue and artificial respiration.
Source: Museum of the Order of St John