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Author Topic: Dockyard Swimming Pool Sheerness 1949  (Read 2647 times)

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Dockyard Swimming Pool Sheerness 1949
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 22:07:15 »
Fatal diving collision
Old Borden boy dies from injuries
Another lad in hospital
From an article in the STG dated 16/9/1949

Diving off the high platform in the Dockyard swimming bath, Sheerness, on Sunday morning, Robert Fray, 17 years of age, collided in mid-air with another lad, John Gage, 14, of 8, St Agnes Gardens, Sheerness, who had dived from the second board beneath him. Fray went down and hit the bottom of the bath, breaking his neck and receiving other injuries from which he died in the early hours of Monday morning. His friend, Delmar Bullin, dived into the water and brought him out. A doctor was sent for and Fray was immediately removed to the County Hospital Minster.

Although seriously injured and suffering great pain, he was conscious and very cheerful, until he was operated on later in the day. Apparently the operation was successful, but afterwards he became delirious. His mother was sent for and she was with him when he died at three a.m. on Monday. John Gage was taken to hospital suffering from concussion and on Tuesday he was not well enough to be interviewed.

Although I was too young to know a lot about this tragic incident when it was spoken about by members of my family it was spoken about with a great deal of sadness. Our two families at that time were very close. Young Bob had that year taken a job as a Civil Service clerk in the Scientific Fuel Research Dept Greenwich and had come home especially to see his sister who was going off to college to train as a school teacher. She later taught at Rose Street School opposite the family home. The Dockyard swimming baths was a very popular venue with excellent facilities, even a trapeze over the water by all accounts. Although it was primarily for Naval use, local clubs such as cubs and scouts even local youth clubs were made welcome. I don't know if any old photos exist but if there are they would be interesting to see.  


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