Peter Francisco Da Silva Beckerton AM

b. 1934 Downham, Lancashire.  d. 31/01/1953 Snetttisham, Norfolk.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 31/01/1953 Snettisham, Norfolk.

Peter F D Beckerton AM

Peter was born in Downham, Lancashire, the son of Frederick William and Vera Constance Da Silva Beckerton (nee Palmer). Following Peter’s death in the floods of January 1953, his parents received his Albert Medal in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. His mother, Vera, was also recognised for her part in the rescue with a BEM. Peter was also awarded the Bronze Medallion of the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust. He was buried in the local churchyard in Snettishham, but his grave was unmarked until 1988. His mother refused a headstone until her own death in 1985, when her wishes were to be buried with him. His medals are still held by his family.



Shortly after 6 p.m. on the night of the 31st January last, Peter Beckerton aged 19, who lived with his parents at Snettisham Beach, informed them that the sea was coming over the sea wall. The weather and tide conditions were well known, and Peter Beckerton and his father started off to go to a bungalow at the other end of the beach to fetch a neighbour who lived there and who was ill. On the way there, Peter, realising the danger caused by the inrush of the sea, which was then waist deep, and still rushing in, shouted to his father to go back and that he would take the neighbour to a safer place. He then battled his way some 200 yards to the bungalow where he was last seen near the door. The bungalow was swept away by the tide. This gallant attempt by Peter Beckerton is worthy of the highest praise as he must have realised the danger to which he was exposing himself and, after sending his father back, deliberately faced the overwhelming odds in an attempt to save a neighbour.