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A brave Cornish curate

30 August 2019

August 29th, 1919.

ON SATURDAY a distressing bathing accident occurred off Hayle Towans Beach, St Ives Bay, by which the Rev. Thomas Johnson Hill, assistant priest of Redruth, lost his life in attempting to rescue from drowning another young man, Mr Lewis Roskrow, a Nonconformist preacher, of St Erth Praze. It appears that Mr Hill went down to the beach to bathe, but realizing the dangerous conditions at low tide, as it then was, decided to put off bathing for the coming tide. There were others in the water, including Mr Roskrow, who was a stranger to Mr Hill. After being in the water some time, Mr Roskrow was seen to be in difficulties, and Mr Hill, fully dressed except for his hat and coat, plunged in and swam towards the drowning man, but apparently soon got into difficulties himself. . .

The character and courage of Mr Hill were referred to in every place of worship in Redruth on Sunday — the congregation in the Wesleyan chapel all stood for some moments in silence as a tribute of respect for the man and his work. . . The body was brought into the parish church on Tuesday night and an all-night watch kept, after Vespers of the Dead had been said. In the early hours of Wednesday there was a Requiem Mass, and the burial service followed later in the day.

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