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Margaret Purves GC Obituary

Distinguished Forces Pension Society member Margaret Purves GC (George Cross) died on 13 Sep 21, aged 86.

On 28 May 1949 when aged only 14 Margaret (then Vaughan) was responsible for saving two boy scouts who were amongst a group of 11 to 15 year olds caught by the tide whilst trying to return with their bicycles from Sully Island of the South Wales coast.

The weather became treacherous and although a large crowd watched the drama unfold, she was the one who did the business, stripped down to her own swim suit ) which she was fortuitously wearing under her clothes) and swam the 35 metres in extremely perilous conditions to rescue two of the boys, at enormous danger to herself.

In the same incident John Davies aged 13 one of the Scouts, did lose his life trying to save another of his friends. After the rescue, Margaret returned home quickly, omitting to tell her parents what had happened because she was out without permission and was afraid of receiving a scolding.

She was awarded the Albert Medal for her bravery, (as was John Davies, posthumously) and received it from the King. In 1971 the Albert Medal for lifesaving was replaced by the George Cross.

In 1957 Margaret was commissioned into the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps serving in Mauritius, Kenya and Germany. She married John Purves, a REME Captain, who came to her as a patient after injuries suffered during a rugby match.

Margaret had been a loyal member of the Forces Pension Society for 45 years.

Margaret Purves GC 1934-2021

Read more about Margaret’s life here

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