Despite valiant efforts, the young boy drowned
THREE days after Christmas in 1926, at the height of an Australian Summer, it would be no surprise to find five young friends playing in a local creek.
That's exactly what William McIntyre, his brother Martin, sister Nellie and friends Alice Lee and George Townley were doing on a day that would stick in the memory of the children for the rest of their lives.
The children had started out looking for staghorns before they had decided to go for a refreshing swim in Tuntable Creek, at The Channon.
Eight-year-old George had waded into the creek up to his waist and was standing on a ledge.
Suddenly, he slipped, fell into a deep hole and went under the water.
Alice was the first to go to his aid, but she too got into difficulty.
Nellie and Martin were also struggling in the turbulent waters and William raced in to help them.
The struggles of each of the children was dragging them all into deeper waters and certain tragedy.
It was only through sheer determination and strength that William managed to drag his brother and sister to safety and out of the dangerous waters.
He then went back into the water to rescue Alice, who by this stage was clinging to a tuft of grass.
Little George, however, was nowhere to be found.
William raced to get George's father who immediately jumped into the hole where George had disappeared and recovered his body.
Despite attempts at artificial respiration, George did not survive and the coroner's findings were that of accidental drowning.
The little boy was laid to rest in a tiny grave in the Lismore Memorial Gardens
William went on to serve in the army in World War II, enlisting in Paddington.
He eventually died in 1970 and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney.
. 'Heroic Rescues', Queensland Times, Saturday, January 1, 1927, Page 9
. 'New South Wales, Australia, Register of Coroners Inquests, 1821-1937 for George Patrick Townley', ancestry.com.au, accessed July 3, 2018.