For some inexplicable reason, this story "died" with the death of this poor boy, and whilst there has always been a story about a death, it has become a story without substance or a title. At no stage in Ganges folk law has this boys name, or the actual incident been recorded or mentioned, leaving many thousands of boys speculating and adding their own interpretation of the story. As an act akin to 'clutching at straws', Ganges Association personnel quite wrongly chose an arbitrary date somewhere between 1907 [when the Mast was erected] and 1976 [when the Establishment closed down], and stated [put into print] that this would be the date for the story with no title or substance. If they had tried a little harder, they might have chosen 1941 instead of 1944 which would have been exactly half way between erection and closure. Moreover, to add insult to injury [to the memory of this boy] they had to have a victim. Members of the ships company didn't climb the mast compulsorily, so their victim had to be a trainee. In the WW2 years, any boys at Ganges were heavily outnumbered by men training as Hostilities Only sailors, and since they had already decided that 1944 was the year, they completed their picture by adding in the silhouette of a man, an unnamed HO. Had it not been for my research, it is probable that the status quo would have existed to the final days of the Association which will occur in approximately 35 to 40 years time or sooner!
Exactly the same is true for the death of
in October 1948, only on this occasion, the Ganges Association personnel chose a date which was just seven years after the opening of the new swimming pool in 1937.
in March 1944 in exactly the same situation as did Gordon Lindsey above, namely whilst in the care of PTI's whilst undergoing backward swimming instructions.
in July 1937 Harry was struck on the head with a cricket ball and shortly afterwards died.
From my research, I have decided that the Ganges site, irrespective of how it is re-developed, should have incorporated into the new site, a MEMORIAL to these four youths.
On the assumption that the swimming pool building will be demolished and taking heed of the promise made recently [February 2009] by the developers to keep the mast as an integral part of the new "retirement village", underneath which there may be a paved or pebbled area into which no pedestrians are allowed, I propose the following as a suggestion.
That three small garden areas be created with seating, where residents of the new village can sit and reflect having an excellent unrestricted view of the restored mast in all its glory, one to be called the Gordon Lindsey Garden one the Alfred Hickman Garden one the Raymond Davies Garden and one the Harry Davenport Garden.
See also this page GANGES BOYS - death through misadventure