Heroic Glasgow boy who saved drowning child in 1964 sought by Boys Brigade

The story of James Patrick, the 11-year-old who rescued a five-year-old from the River Levem

James Patrick was a member of the 208th Glasgow Company of the Boys Brigade, a Christian youth organisation that aims to develop character and leadership skills in young people. He was at his home near the River Levem in Pollok, a district in the south-west of Glasgow, when he heard a commotion coming from the river in March 1964.

Without hesitation, he ran to the scene and saw a five-year-old boy being swept away by the fast-flowing current. Another boy had tried to help, but had to give up due to the strength of the water. James bravely dived into the river and managed to pull the child out to safety on a nearby bank.

The recognition and reward for his act of courage

James’ heroic deed did not go unnoticed. He was awarded The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism in 1965, the highest honour that can be bestowed by the organisation. The cross is given to members who have shown exceptional bravery or self-sacrifice in saving or attempting to save life.

The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust, which preserves and promotes the history and heritage of the organisation, has a record of James’ award and a photo of him wearing his cross. The trust also has a video of James demonstrating the Meissner effect, a phenomenon that occurs when a superconductor repels a magnetic field and levitates above a magnet.

The appeal to find James and reconnect with him

The 208th Glasgow Company of The Boys’ Brigade, which is still active today, has launched an appeal to find James and reconnect with him. The company posted on Facebook: “If anyone knows James, please get in contact with us.”

glasgow boy saves drowning child boys brigade cross

The company hopes to hear from James or anyone who knows his whereabouts, and to invite him to share his story and memories with them. The company also wants to celebrate his achievement and thank him for his service to the Boys’ Brigade.

The challenge of tracing people from the past

The appeal to find James is not an easy task, as there are many challenges and obstacles in tracing people from the past. Some of these include:

  • The lack of online records or databases that can provide information on people’s current or previous addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or social media accounts.
  • The possibility that people have changed their names due to marriage, divorce, adoption, or other reasons.
  • The difficulty of verifying the identity and authenticity of people who claim to be or know James.
  • The respect for people’s privacy and consent, as some may not wish to be contacted or publicised.

The hope for a happy reunion and closure

Despite these challenges, the company remains hopeful that they will be able to find James and reunite with him. They believe that it would be a wonderful opportunity to honour his heroism and catch up with his life after leaving the Boys’ Brigade.

They also think that it would be a great way to inspire and motivate the current and future members of the organisation, who can learn from James’ example of courage, compassion, and service.

The company is asking anyone who has any information or leads on James’ whereabouts to contact them via their Facebook page or email address. They are also appealing to the public to share their post and spread the word.

Will they succeed in finding James? Will James respond to their appeal? Will there be a happy reunion and closure? Only time will tell.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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