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Southwold's plan to honour brave vicar

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 July 2010

Hayley Mace

The bravery of a holidaymaker who drowned trying to save a girl who was in trouble in the sea off Southwold could be commemorated on a national memorial.

The bravery of a holidaymaker who drowned trying to save a girl who was in trouble in the sea off Southwold could be commemorated on a national memorial.

The Rev Stephen Arkwright was on holiday from London in August 1965 when he swam out to sea to help a nine-year-old local girl who was having difficulties off the shore.

Although the girl, Camilla Waters, and another man who tried to help were taken back to shore by a passing dinghy, Mr Arkwright, 32, drowned.

Now it is hoped that Mr Arkwright's bravery can be marked on the Watts Memorial in Postman's Park in Aldersgate, London, which commemorates brave men and women who have lost their lives while trying to save others.

The project to get his self-sacrifice marked on the memorial is being led by Paula Flynn, who came across the story of his rescue attempt when she worked at the Sion College in London, where Mr Arkwright had worked as assistant librarian.

Miss Flynn said: “In the official history of the college, published in 1992, the Rev Dr Gordon Huelin recorded the heroic death of the Rev Stephen Arkwright and said it would be fitting if this could be commem-orated. At that time, however, this did not seem possible since no commemorative plaques had been installed since the early 1930s.

“After an interval of over 70 years, another plaque was added to the memorial earlier this year and it is hoped this will soon be followed by one commemorating Mr Arkwright.”

The EDP's coverage at the time of Mr Arkwright's death noted that Camilla Waters lived in Market Place, Southwold, but Miss Flynn is keen to find out whether she still lives locally.

Anyone who can help Miss Flynn to find out more about the rescue can email paulaflynn@dsl.pipex.com.

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