|Winchester Press 28 December 1922|
Decorate Trainman for Act of Bravery
Chesterville, Dec. 14th.
A pleasant event occurred on the evening of Dec. 14th, in the Music Hall, Chesterville, in the presence of 400 friends, when Brakeman R.W. Lumden, of Smiths Falls, was presented with a gold medal by the small daughter of Reeve and Mrs. Wesley Hamilton, in the recognition of his bravery in saving Mrs. Hamilton's life. The following address was also read by Mrs. (Dr.) W. A. Brown:
The whole world delights to honor one who overtops the ordinary human being by an act of conspicuous bravery, and it is to do honor to such an one that we are assembled here tonight.
Let me relate the history of the incident which embodies so many tragic elements.
The scene is laid on a bright sunny morning in early June of this year, on a busy village street, crossed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, near its northern boundary.
Upon the shiny track stands a train, drawn by a powerful locomotive, which is puffing and straining as though eager to be on its westward way.
Along the street, hastening homewood to her household duties, comes a woman. She glances swiftly up and down the railway track, and seeing only trains at rest, quickly decides to make the crossing. Making a dash to get across before the express starts to move west, she is arrested by hoarse cries of danger and with paralysing horror she realises that a locomotive, which was hidden from the view by cars, is bearing down upon her. Becoming confused, she falls prone upon the track, unable to help herself.
A brakesman, who had been busy with his duties about the shunting train takes in the situation at a glance, and with God-given swiftness the man thinks and acts.
Hurting himself forward he grasps the woman and bears her to safety, just as the grinding wheels of the locomotive pass over the place where she had fallen.
The woman here described is Mrs. Hamilton, a highly esteemed member of our community, and wife of our Mayor. The brakesman, who so gallantly rescued Mrs. Hamilton from a horrible fate, is Mr. R. Lumsden, our guest of honour here tonight.
Cheeks blanched with horror and eyes suffused with sympathy and admiration as the story passed from lip to lip; the whole town was thrilled, sir, with your splendid heroism.
What then must have been the feelings of those most nearly concerned - the aged parents, the fond husband and the loving children?
We believe that just as the highest expression of the love of our Savior for a lost world was His willingness to suffer death that we might live, so the highest pinnacle of human achievement; and though we know that your retiring disposition would cause you to shrink from any publicity as is the way of heroes, still we feel that in the public interest, if for no other reason, you, sir, must allow us to speak of admiration for you, and to applaud your noble act; for it is just such deeds as yours that serve to keep alive our belief in human goodness and self-sacrifice.
In recognition, in slight degree, of your magnificent heroism, Mrs. Hamilton begs you to accept this medal, which will serve at once as a reminder of your splendid bravery and of the undying gratitude of her, whose life you saved.
Signed on behalf of the ladies of Chesterville.
Mrs. W. B. Lawson.
Mrs. F. McCloskey.
Mrs. (Dr.) W. A. Brown.
At the same meeting, the medal of the Royal Humane Society was presented to Mr. Lumsden by W. J. Wren, assistant general superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway.