Remembering heroism of an ordinary kind is powerful testimonial to everyday life. I found this podcast a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and the complex risks of the everyday and tells the story of the ” Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice:
Leigh Pitt was an ordinary man. One summer evening in June 2007, he jumped into a London canal to save a nine-year-old boy. The boy survived; Leigh drowned.
Two years later he became the first person in 78 years to be commemorated on the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice – one of Londons least-known monuments. Hidden in Postmans Park – a patch of green behind St Pauls Cathedral – the Memorial was established in 1900 by the artist George Frederic Watts.
It recognises the bravery of individuals who die rescuing others, each of its plaques offering an insight into the dangers of Victorian life. Those remembered include Sarah Smith, the pantomime artiste whose dress caught fire as she saved her friend and Frederick Croft, who rescued a lunatic woman from suicide but was himself run over by the train.
Time has distanced us from these tragedies. But as we hear more about Leighs death every sacrifice commemorated in the park becomes more poignant.A documentary-memorial to an ordinary mans bravery, exploring the gap between the words on a plaque and the immensity of a life loved, lived and lost.