Almost 60 years on, Terry is searching for canal lifesaver

Terry Buck today, and pictured with his rescuer in 1955
Terry Buck today, and pictured with his rescuer in 1955

A man whose life was saved by a quick thinking neighbour is hoping to track down the helpful hero almost 60 years after the incident.

Terry Buck, who now lives in America, has tried for two decades to get in touch with lifesaver Brian Rance.

Back in February 1955, when Terry was just 10 years old, he fell into the Grand Union Canal at Hemel Hempstead while playing with homemade floating boats along the River Gade with a young pal.

When Terry’s craft drifted into the canal and under the bridge near Durrants Hill Road he followed it and fell in the water.

Frightened friend Johnny Goad rushed to get help and came across Brian, who happened to be making his way home on his bicycle.

Terry, now 69, said: “He jumped a fence and into the canal, pulling me up the bank and performing CPR. I regained consciousness in the hospital.

“Brian rode off in his wet clothes.”

The rescue story was covered by the Gazette at the time and a picture was taken of Brian with Terry when he visited him in hospital.

“I started my hunt when I typed my name into Google and the news article came up,” said Terry.

It is thought that Brian, who lived in Apsley at the time, would be around 77 years old now.

Terry, who lived in Sheephouse Road, Hemel Hempstead, when the accident happened, emigrated to the United States with his family two years later.

His father had been in Canada training for the RAF during the war and he thought that America would offer a better life for the family.

Terry, who later went on to save his own best friend from drowning in a lake many years later, went on to become an engineer for the Boeing aircraft company in Seattle. He has been retired for three years.

If you can put Terry in touch with Brian, call 07803 505845 and your details will be passed on.