John Robert Walsh AM

b. 22/08/1905 Manchester. d. 08/02/1953 Coppull, Lancashire.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 08/02/1953 Coppull, Lancashire.

John was the son of John Robert and Eliza Ann Walsh, and grew up in Miles Platting, Manchester. He became a transport driver, before marriage and six children. He then became a caretaker, working in Coppull, near Chorley, Lancashire. The young boy who also died was Frank Tite, who lived at 27 Chapel Street, Coppull.



On the afternoon of 8th February, 1953, a 10 year old boy went on to an ice-covered pond to recover a stick; the ice was about one inch thick, snow was falling and a bitterly cold wind was blowing. When the boy was about 12 yards from the bank the ice gave way and he fell into the water, which was some 30 feet deep. John Robert Walsh, a resident of the district, was walking on the far side of the pond and at once ran to the scene. After removing’his outer clothing and his shoes and socks he walked over the ice to where the boy had fallen through, and from a kneeling position he attempted to rescue the boy, but the ice broke under him. As he entered the water he grabbed the boy and held him up. The ice, although too thin to support him, was thick enough to prevent his making a passage to swim back to the bank, and while he was waiting for aid from the bank he lost his hold on the boy and they were both drowned. In the appalling weather conditions, and with his knowledge of the depth of the pond, Walsh must have known he was risking his life when he went to the boy’s rescue. It was the act of a very brave man.