Deaths From Drowning
On Sunday evening three lads were drowned
while bathing near Guiseley.
Two of the lads were brothers, sons of Mr Thomas
Smith of Guiseley, cloth manufacturer, aged respectively sixteen and fourteen.
The other was their cousin, thirteen years of age and son of Mr Joseph Smith,
cloth manufacturer and farmer.
The youths, none of whom could swim were
bathing in the Top Mill Dam reservoir situate at the Gill, on the line of
division between the townships of Otley and Menston and belonging to Mr James
Walsh of Guiseley, cloth manufacturer.
The reservoir is shallow at the sides
but very deep about the middle being originally formed on the bed of a small
river banked up by Mr Walsh for the purpose
The youngest of the two brothers,
not being aware of the danger, suddenly got into deep water and his elder
brother, in his endeavours to save him, was also dragged in.
Their cousin, who
was using a rail for the purpose of learning to swim held it out to them and both
the brothers seized it but unhappily they pulled him in also.
Their struggles were witnessed by
some men who at once attempted their rescue by going into the water and taking
hold of each other's hands, but none of them being able to swim and the one
nearest the boys himself in the most imminent peril of drowning, they
relinquished their efforts and gave an alarm.
John Leathley, a slubber at Mr
Walsh's mill, then rushed to the spot and assisted by his son Frederick, both
of whom could swim, succeeded in rescuing the youths after a lapse of about
twenty minutes from their first immersion, but although every means of
resuscitation were used, they failed and the bodies were subsequently
removed to the Fox and Hounds Inn, Menston.
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling