View Full Version : Wick momento of Titanic rescue

31-Mar-12, 08:43
Medal was a badge of courage for teenage Titanic rescuer

A MEDAL, presented to one of the Titanic’s unsung heroes, takes pride-of-place on a Wick sideboard.
It has a special place in the heart of John Henderson because it acknowledges the outstanding courage of his grandfather, John Cargill, who helped save the lives of more than 700 passengers after the luxury liner collided with an iceberg, in the North Atlantic.
Mr Cargill was a 19-year-old crewman on the Carpathia which steamed to the aid of the stricken. Titanic. He worked through the night plucking men, women and children from the sea, using coal sacks to scoop up babies to safety. Many of the rescued visited Mr Cargill at his home in Gourdon years later, to thank him for saving their lives.
The bronze medal, he received, was passed down to his grandson, John Henderson, a retired BT engineer, living in Henrietta Street, Wick. He loaned it to a display at Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum, marking the 100 anniversary of the famous ships’s sinking.
Mr Henderson, who saw over the display, recently, said: “It must have been horrendous for my grandfather as a young man seeing children’s bodies lying dead in the water but he just got stuck in. He was a great guy and I’m glad other people are getting a chance to find out a bit more about him.”
Mr Cargill served in World War 1 with the Black Watch and returned to the sea in World War 11 with the royal Navy Reserve. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal after he single-handedly put out a fire aboard a mine sweeper. After the war he went back to the sea as a fisherman and was still working in his seventies. He died in 1981.