Judith SherrattJudith Sherratt, 1950s

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

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