When I saw that the prompt for Life This Week was Heroic, my first thought went to a distant cousin of mine, who I would say was very heroic. I have written about him on my family history blog, and I rarely share posts between blogs. However, I have decided to tell you about “Bossy” Jones, as I’ve never myself done anything heroic, that I could write about.
Godfrey Edward “Bossy” Jones
Godfrey Edward Jones, known as Bossy, was born in 1918 at Essendon, Victoria, but lived most of his life at Seaford. Bossy became well known, in the Seaford area, due to the number of people he saved from drowning in the Patterson Lakes. In one week, he saved the lives of five people. You can read about that in the newspaper article below. Over his lifetime, he saved 83 people from drowning in the Patterson River and became well known as the ‘Guardian of the River’. “Within a week, four children and a woman, have been rescued from drowning, at Carrum Beach by Godfrey Jones, 16 years. Each incident occurred near the mouth of the Patterson River, and in each case the boy had to swim into deep water.
Mrs. J. Blackwood was helping several children to cross the channel, near the mouth of the river. She had assisted three children, including a child of her own, to reach the sand on the other side, when she overbalanced, and was carried into deeper water, with a small girl, aged about 7 years. Jones ran to the pool, which he reached just in time to save Mrs. Blackwood and the child, who had sunk more than once.
Last Thursday, Jones was bathing near the mouth of the river, when two small boys were carried seawards by the tide washing through the channel. They were quickly in difficulties in 8ft or 9ft of water. Jones dived in and brought them one by one to the sand.
On Friday evening, Jones was cycling home, when he heard cries from the large pool beneath the Patterson River bridge. A girl who had been carried into the pool by an incoming tide, was in grave difficulties, and was about to sink. Jones dived fully clothed from the bridge and brought her ashore.
Jones, who has been unemployed since he left school, has been in the habit of bathing near the mouth of the river, and he has developed a strong swimming style.
In 1936, Bossy received an honorary award for those lives saved, from the Royal Humane Society. The following poem was written by a lady named Mrs. Lillian Fisher, whose daughter Christine was one of those who was saved. It was printed in the newspaper at the time. I have a photo of the report, but unfortunately there is no source for it and I haven’t been able to find it.
“A gentle man who spent his time in friendly company God’s guardian of the river, that’s what he seemed to be, He loved the open spaces, the sunshine and the sea, And the laughter of the children as they frolicked merrily. When danger threatened he was there, to save all 83, The guardian of the river, that’s what he seemed to be. Somehow it just won’t be the same, dear Bossy, now you’re gone, But in our hearts you’ll always live, your memory lingers on”.
83 People Saved From Drowning
Bossy went on to save the lives of 83 people and became known as ‘The Guardian of The River” The community took up a collection when he died, and raised enough money to pay for a memorial in his honour, and to pay for his funeral expenses.
This very quiet unassuming man, definitely left his mark on the world.
GUARDIAN OF THE RIVER
IN FOND MEMORY OF
E.G. “BOSSIE” JONES
CREDITED WITH SAVING 83 PEOPLE IN THESE WATERS
DONATED BY GRATEFUL CITIZENS 1980
1936 ‘HEROIC BOY’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 10 January, p. 11. , viewed 04 Mar 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17219477 Monument Australia – https://monumentaustralia.org.au/display/30694-e.-g.-bossie-jones Springvale Botanical Cemetery – https://smct.org.au/ For more information: https://sites.google.com/site/originalcarrumcowboys/r/bossy-jones-1
This post is linked up to Denyse’s Life This Week
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