Henry Parry Lower Town hero
On 14th Mary 1914, the Western Mail reported a story of the bravery of Henry Parry of Lower Fishguard who the previous Saturday, had saved the life of a little girl who had fallen into the harbour near the quay at Lower Town.
Henry was 40 years old and had dived fully clothed into the water to successfully rescue his niece, Ada Mary Richards aged 5. This was not the first time that Henry had been a hero – in fact Ada was the twelfth person whose life he had saved.
Two and three years earlier he had rescued in similar circumstances. two young boys, one of whom had been his own son.
Some years prior to this, in 1896, he was also credited with saving the lives of 9 Norwegian sailors who had been adrift at sea in two small boats for 10 days. They had been on the Norwegian barque, Luise, At the time Henry Parry was a second officer on the steam ship Evelyn of West Hartlepool, on a voyage from Huelva to Philadelphia. They came upon the helpless seamen but with seas so rough it was impossible to get near to the boats. Henry tied a rope around his waist, leapt overboard and swam to the boats and was able to make fast a line to enable the sailors’ rescue. He also went back and rescued a little dog who had got left behind.
For this act of considerable bravery, Henry Parry was awarded a silver medal 2nd class by the Board of Trade and was presented with his award at a ceremony in Cardiff in the presence of Marine Board Members and the Consul for Sweden and Norway.
When this article was originally written the question was asked as to whether the medal has survived. Mr Richard Davies, grandson of Henry Parry, has got in touch to say that he has the medal and the vellum certificate awarded to his grandfather and we are delighted to be able to share the images.
Sadly there was one life that Henry Parry was not able to save and that was the life of his four year old daughter, Gladys Mildred, who fell off the quay at Lower Town and sadly drowned in 1915. On discovering his little daughter missing, Henry made frantic efforts to find her and seeing her body in the water, dived in but was too late to save her.