Cadet F/Sgt John Lowe
Mount Royal RC Air Cadet Sqn
In 1948 a young Montreal Air Cadet named John Lowe
became famous when he single-handedly and at great personal risk saved
seven people from drowning. John's heroism and quick action came to the
attention of National Defence Headquarters and he was named as first
winner of the Cadet Award for Bravery which had just been announced by
Defence Minister Brooke Claxton. John did not receive his award
immediately, since design work on the medal was in progress at the time.
One day last spring, Cadet F/Sgt John Lowe of No. 21
(Mount Royal) Squadron stood at attention before one of the world's
greatest airmen and received his well-earned hero's medal. At a dinner
sponsored by the Air Force Veterans Association the famous Lord Trenchard,
first Marshal of the Royal Air Force, pinned the bravery medal on F/Sgt
Lowe's tunic. For all present, it was a reminder that seven grateful
people owed their lives to the quick thinking, alert action and quiet
heroism of this modest young Air Cadet.
articles and photos
3 possible unknown awarded pre1949
Cadet Sergeant Donald Topham with his
parents, 1949 (Nat.Arch. PA204476)
Cdt Topham's medal with
inscription on reverse, note original English only inscription on
front (Don Topham)
Cadet Sgt Donald Topham
2158 Peachland (9 Recce Regt) Cadet Corps,
Peachland, British Columbia
Saved young comrade from drowning who fell through ice
16 March 1949
Donald Topham is now
retired, we are fortunate to have a collection of documents pertaining to
Newspaper Articles and
Cadet Pierre Sorel
1195 Ecole Superieure St-Stanislas
Cadet Corps, Montreal Qc
a sauve un enfantde 8 ans de la noyade
17 avril 1949
Cadet Floyd Peterson
507 Kentville RC Air Cadet
The town of Cambridge near Kentville, NS boasts only
one school - a two-story frame structure. One Saturday morning last June,
Air Cadet Floyd Peterson of No. 507 (Kentville) Squadron was strolling
past the school with a crippled friend when he noticed smoke seeping out
around the windows. He quickly decided to investigate and noticed from the
odor of the fumes that they were generated by phosphorus. Sending his chum
for help, Floyd forced a window open and made his way through heavy smoke
to the chemistry lab on the second floor. Here he discovered that a bottle
of phosphorus had exploded and flaming chunks were flying about the room.
The shelves of the lab were already on fire and flames were dangerously
close to an array of volatile chemicals including two large containers of
Snatching up a coat that had been left in the school
Cadet Peterson tossed it over the sputtering phosphorus, picked up the
blazing mass and threw it out of a window. Then, ignoring the danger of a
possible explosion, he turned his attention to the other fire. By the time
help arrived Floyd Peterson, badly burned on the hands and face and nearly
blinded from smoke, had the situation completely under control.
When the good people of Cambridge heard the story
they handed Floyd a $200 "thank you" cheque to assist the burned
youth with medical expenses. But greater honours were to come.
In February Defence Minister Brooke Claxton
announced that Air Cadet Floyd Peterson would receive the Cadet Award for
Bravery - a medal awarded only to cadets who knowingly risk their lives in
the interest of the lives or property of others. As this is written, plans
have been made for Cadet Peterson to fly to Ottawa and attend the annual
meeting of the Air Cadet League in March, at which time he will be
presented with his well-earned hero's medal.
Cadet Hector J. Moore
Chatham RC Air Cadet Sqn
On July 9, 1953, Air Cadet Hector J. Moore of No.
294 Chatham Squadron was playing with friends on the bank of the River
Thames when Jeanne Gauthier, aged ten, fell into the deep water.
Cadet Moore dived in and brought the struggling girl
within reach of his friends who lifted her to safety. The young cadet,
however, was exhausted from his efforts and drowned through lack of
strength to save himself.
His outstanding heroism has been recognized by the
Minister of National Defence with the posthumous award of the Cadet Award
for Bravery, presented only to those cadets who knowingly risk their lives
in order to save the lives or property of others.
Cadet S. Larkins
526 Barrhead RC Air Cadets
The exceptional heroism of a young Alberta Air Cadet
was recognized recently with the posthumous award of the Cadet Award for
Bravery to Air Cadet Stuart Larkins of No. 526 Barrhead Squadron. Cadet
Larkins sacrificed his life when he went to the rescue of a young girl,
Miss Carrol Bassani into the icy, fast flowing water of the Paddle River.
He was successful in aiding Miss Bassani to the
river bank where she was pulled to safety. However, Cadet Larkins had so
expended himself that he could no longer fight the icy current and he was
The Award for Bravery, considered to be the cadet
equivalent of the Victoria Cross, was presented to the parents of Cadet
Larkins by Air Commodore H.H.C. Rutledge, acting on behalf of the Chief of
the Air Staff.
Cadet D. Surrette
RC Sea Cadets
The first Cadet Award for Bravery to
be received by a member of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets has been
presented to 15-year-old Sea Cadet Douglas Surette of RCSCC Chebogue,
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for saving the life of a three-year-old who had
fallen through an old wharf into Yarmouth Harbour in September 1959. Cadet
Surette jumped into the cold harbour waters after the little girl and
brought her to safety. Shown left to right, are Ian Clulee, president of
the Yarmouth Branch of the Navy League of Canada; R. J. Bicknell, national
president of the league, who made the presentation; Donna, admiring her
rescuer's award; Cadet Surette; H. R. Gillard, the league's national
secretary, and Lt. D. H. Mitchell, commanding officer of RCSS Chebogue.
(Bob Brooks Photo, Yarmouth, N.S.) .
Cdt William Ferguson, of Cornwall, Ont.,
being awarded. the Tri-Service Award for Bravery from Rear-Admiral P. D. Budge,
Chief of Naval Personnel
RC Sea Cadets
A young sea cadet,
William Ferguson, of Cornwall, Ont., became the first sea cadet to be
awarded. the Tri-Service Award for Bravery when Rear-Admiral P. D. Budge,
Chief of Naval Personnel, made the presentation recently. Sea Cadet
Ferguson rescued two youngsters, aged eight and 10, from the Cornwall
Canal. He had been fully dressed in uniform.
Author unknown, The
Navy’s Heart, The CROWSNEST, January 1962, Volume 14, Number 3,
Cadet F/Sgt William J. Vincent
Humber RC Air Cadet Sqn
Flight Sergeant William J. Vincent of 511 Humber
Squadron, Corner Brook, Newfoundland risked his own life to save a young
girl - Ruby Tulk - from drowning in the waters of the Tickle River on
September 22nd, 1962.
The presentation was made in 1963 by Group Captain
A.G. Dagg, Commanding Officer RCAF Station Summerside, who praised FSgt
Vincent, a non-swimmer, for his courage in saving the young girl's life.
The Award for Bravery Medal was introduced in 1948
for presentation to cadets who knowingly risk their own lives while saving
the lives or property of others.
Cadet Daniel Joseph
2784 Governor General's Foot Guards Cadet Corps,
Saved 10 year old friend from drowning
17 April 1977
Cadet Colette Turcotte
2565 Lac-Etchemin Cadet Corps,
premiers soins et confort a un blesse
28 juillet 1982
Cadet Rene Normandin
2859 Corps de Cadet Les Fusiliers de Windsor,
sauve un a jeune copain de la noyade
15 octobre 1982
Cadet Michel Monette
2407 Blind River Canadian Legion Cadet Corps,
Blind River, Ontario
Saved 56 year old man from drowning
18 May 1986
Cdt Joe Philion receives a
medal for bravery from National Defence, Brigadier General
Archie Brown in February of 1989 while recovering from burns
in Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
Cadet Joe Philion
Cadet Award for Bravery
Cadet Joe Philion joined 99 Squadron at age 14. Six weeks later while
asleep in the family home in March 1988, he was awakened by the smell of
smoke. Rather than save himself, he ran through the house shouting
warnings to his family. Unable to find his mother he stood his ground
under surrounded by fire. He suffered 3rd degree burns to 90% of his body.
Joe's long recovery of 40 skin grafts was followed by his nomination and
approval by the Chief of Defence Staff to receive the Cadet Award for
Bravery. The citation read "His selfless act of bravery brings
credit to himself, his community and the Canadian Cadet organization."
Cdt Ashley Gulliford (DND)
Cadet CWO Ashley Gulliford
Cadet saves drowning mother
CWO Ashley Gulliford, 2754 Army Cadet Corps in Toronto (North York), has received the nation's highest cadet honour — the Cadet Award for Bravery — for saving her mother from drowning.
The 17-year-old performed the heroic feat in 1998 during a family vacation, when her mother was overcome by fatigue while swimming across a pond. Mrs. Gulliford had all but succumbed to a third descent underwater when Ashley swam from shore to assist her. She kept her mother's head above the surface until her father could join the rescue effort.
CWO Gulliford recalls the terror and fear she felt as she watched her mom slip under the water. "I did what seemed logical at the time, but looking back, I would change a lot. My first instinct was to swim under water and push her up, not thinking of the risks of doing so. This was not an act of courage or bravery, just one's instinctive reaction to such a situation."
CWO Gulliford will retire from her corps where she is regimental sergeant major in the spring to begin university studies. She plans to become a Crown Attorney. She also plans to become a CIC officer. "I've always wanted to become an officer so that I could give back to the organization and help others reach their full potential in the system," she says.
Cadet Nathan Fredrickson
176 Winnipeg RC Air Cadet Sqn
On May 24, 1998, the officers and cadets of No. 176
Squadron were on exercise near Tulabi Falls, Manitoba, for the purpose of
aircrew survival training. At approximately 1210 hours, as the squadron
was packing to leave, two senior cadets went to the observation platform
overlooking Tulabi Falls. While there they noticed a girl standing in the
water at the mouth of the falls.
Tess Furtado, age 12, was washing her feet in the
lake when she slipped and fell into the water. The intense current carried
her over the falls.
FSgts Nathan Fredrickson and Aaron Arnason ran from
the observation deck down a trail beside the water and came to the last
section of the falls. Fredrickson jumped into the water and swam out to
Furtado. He grabbed onto her and kept her head above the turbulent water.
Arnason called to a nearby fishing boat for assistance and arranged for
more help from bystanders. The boat brought Tess and Fredrickson to shore.
While shaken up and injured, Furtado received no
injuries to her head, neck or back and she had no broken bones or internal
"When I jumped onto the rocks I thought she was
going to die," Fredrickson recalled. "Tess was in hysterics and
bleeding. I had to get her to focus, so I gave her my watch and then she
climbed toward me and I was able to get her to safety," said
Fredrickson, who received cuts on his feet and slight hypothermia.
"Most people in the same situation would do the
same thing I did," he said. He noted that the happiest part of
receiving the Air Cadet Medal of Bravery was that Furtado was the one who
presented Fredrickson and Arnason with their awards.
Cadet Sgt John Lambert
Cdt/Sgt John Lambert was awarded his
medal while on course at VACSTC in 1999
Cadet WO Cory Rule
42 Grey & Simcoe Foresters Cadet Corps,
Owen Sound, ON
saving his mother and two dogs during a
Cadet MWO K.C. Maple
C/MWO K.C Maple from 337 Queens York
Rangers RC(Army)CC was awarded the Cadet Award for Bravery. last summer he took a trip across the
Atlantic Ocean with his uncle. they ran into a large storm and the boat tipped leaving him and his uncle alone in the middle of the
Atlantic ocean with out a lifeboat. they were eventually picked up 2 hours off the coast of
Greenland by the coast guard because MWO Maple called his dad for help just before the boat tipped and the phone cut out.
The uncle did not survive the accident.
(more to follow)
BGen Guy Thibault presenting Tricia with the
medal at a ceremony at the Cornwall Armoury
Cornwall cadet recognized for bravery
by Kristina Davis
The flames were waist deep in the bathroom. And the
kids were asleep.
Petty Officer, 2nd Class Tricia Cummings says her
three young cousins were scared and crying—but she knew just what to do.
Her cadet training kicked in and she calmly led the kids out of the house
and to safety.
For her bravery, PO2 Cummings, with the 110 STORMONT
Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps in Cornwall, Ont., received the Cadet Award
of Bravery at a ceremony in mid-March.
Presented only a handful of times since the late
1940’s, the award recognizes cadets who “perform an outstanding deed
of valour involving risk of life in attempting to save the life or
property of others.”
Already awarded a Fire Safety Action Award from the
Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council, she remains humble and
matter-of-fact about her actions. “They were crying,” she explains.
“But I took them out and then sat with them for a little while.”
With nearly four years in the cadet program, PO2
Cummings says she learned leadership skills—skills that were invaluable
that night in April 2006, when the family cat knocked over a lamp, setting
nearby towels on fire. She heard the alarm activate and quickly roused the
two children sleeping upstairs. Gathering the third child, she led them
outside and then called 911 from a nearby home.
With plans to become a sailing instructor, she was
also recently named the corps’ drum major. She knows that younger cadets
look up to her and recognizes the responsibility that comes with the
Lieutenant-Commander Conrad Villeneuve, CO of the
cadet corps, says PO2 Cummings is a little more than humble. In fact, she
never mentioned the incident, much less the Fire Marshal’s award. He
found out about it only after reading a local newspaper article. Once
pressed for details, she told him the whole story. That’s when he
decided to nominate her for the award.
“All through the process, she’s been wondering
what the big fuss is all about,” he says. “But she said she felt she
was able to do this because of her cadet training.”
Of PO2 Cummings, he says she was shy and initially
participated in a few extra activities. But since her promotion and
becoming the drum major—a position LCdr Villeneuve says he really
wanted—she has changed.
“She’s set goals for herself in the cadet
program,” he explains. Goals which the now 16-year-old has already begun
(The Maple Leaf)
Cornwall cadet wins bravery award
The Cadet Award of Bravery — the highest
recognition sea, air and land cadets can receive — is not an honour
bestowed upon many. Only the cadets who risk their lives to save the life
or property of others earn one. It requires an outstanding deed of valour.
Petty Officer Tricia Cummings, 16, of Cornwall’s Royal Canadian Sea
Cadet Corps, Stormont division, performed her outstanding deed April 22,
2005, when the house in which she was babysitting caught fire.
Tricia, who was 15 at the time, said she was downstairs watching a movie
with one of the children, 10-year-old Jacob Radley, when the smoke alarm
went off about 1 a.m. The other two children — Jacob’s twin, Leonard,
and their sister, Patricia-Lynne, 8 — were upstairs asleep.
Tricia, who is a cousin of the children, then went upstairs and found
“flames up to her waist” in the bathroom.
She “grabbed the kids” from upstairs and took them outside; Jacob
followed closely behind.
Tricia picked up a portable phone as she left the house and dialed 911
Firefighters extinguished the fire, which was determined to have been
caused by a lamp knocked over onto a towel.
Tricia said she was scared, but credits her quick response to her
education. “It was just something I learned in school,” said Tricia,
who has been a cadet for three years. “And I learned all of my
leadership skills in the cadets. I feel good because I did something
Canadian Forces Brig.-Gen. Guy Thibault presented Tricia with the medal at
a ceremony last week at the Cornwall Armoury.
This award is not the first recognition Tricia has has received for her
actions that April night. She also received a certificate from the Ontario
Fire Marshal in Toronto, along with recognition from the city council of
Despite all of the awards, commanding officer Lt.-Cmdr. Conrad Villeneuve
said Tricia has been modest: “She is very humble and overwhelmed. She
didn’t even come forward to tell me. I had to get the story out of her
to apply for the award.”
Lt.-Cmdr. Villeneuve said the award is a rare honour. Only six sea cadets
are known to have received it since 1895, he said. The only other known
recipient from the Ottawa area was Cornwall sea cadet William Ferguson,
who was honoured in 1969 after he saved two children from drowning in the
Cornwall Shipping Canal.
“We all feel good,” Lt.-Cmdr. Villeneuve said. “It is now a part of
The mother of the children, Chrissy Radley, said she is grateful to her
niece. “I’m just glad they got out and they were all smart about
it,” she said.
Cadet WO1 Simon Grant
Abbotsford cadet's brave actions recognized
By Kevin Mills - Abbotsford News
There was no time to think, just time to act.
So that’s what Simon Grant did.
It has been more than two years since Warrant
Officer First Class Grant took action, and last week the member of the Air
Cadet Squadron 861 Silverfox in Abbotsford was presented with the Cadet
Medal of Bravery from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
He received the honour for his “outstanding valour
as an air cadet, involving the risk of his own life to save others and
maintain their well-being.”
The incident took place Oct. 10, 2009 in Fort
Langley. Then only 16, Grant and his fellow cadets were helping with the
local cranberry festival, unloading and loading trolley buses, which were
parked on an incline and filled with people. The
bus Grant was helping to load suddenly began to roll on its own, with no
“The brakes failed. I heard a snapping, odd sound
and suddenly the bus was moving,” he said. Knowing
there were passengers on board, Grant moved quickly.
“I just hopped on the bus and looked down at the
At that time, he didn’t have a driver’s licence
and didn’t know which pedal was which. He chose correctly and managed to
bring the bus to a stop long enough for the driver to catch up and take
over. When he looked up, all 35 people on the bus were just staring at
“It was silent. It was very silent. Nobody knew
what was going on. Then I just walked off the bus.”
By the time he stopped the bus’ progress, it had
already gone over the curb and was about 10 feet away from an embankment,
which would have sent it on a one and a half storey fall.
“It was no more than 10 seconds, the whole
thing,” he said.
No one was hurt in the incident. Grant said he
doesn’t like to think about what could have happened. Last
week’s medal ceremony was a huge thrill for him.
“My hands were numb. I don’t know how to explain
it. Exciting doesn’t do it justice. There was a lot of emotion.”
This was not his first award. Grant has also
received the Long Service Medal, Lord Strathcona Medal, Chief Instructors
Award and the Legion Medal of Excellence. Because
he turns 19 later this month, the award ceremony was his last official
event as a cadet. But he doesn’t think his involvement in the military
has come to an end.
“I have an application into RMC, the military
college. I want to be a logistics officer.”
He said his family has a long history of soldiers,
police officers, correctional officers, paratroopers and more.
“My family has always been sort of military.
‘There’s never been a Grant out of uniform’ is pretty much the
Cadet Master Cpl. Brandon Manion being
awarded the Cadet Medal of Bravery
Cadet Master Cpl. Brandon Manion
By COLLEEN ROMANIUK, FOR THE SUDBURY STAR
There was no mention of the award
on the program, so when it was announced that a cadet was receiving an
Award of Bravery, the crowd was surprised.
When Master Cpl. Brandon
Manion's name was called, all heads in the room turned his way and his
On Wednesday, the 2915 Irish
Regiment of Canada Capreol Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps held its 39th
annual Inspection. The regiment honoured Brandon with the prestigious
It is the highest honour
attainable by a member of the Canadian Cadet Program and is very rare. It
is awarded to a cadet who performs an outstanding deed of valour involving
risk of his or her life in attempting to save the life or property of
But for Brandon, it came
with a price.
On June 26, 2011, Dakota
Gervais was swimming with Brandon in the Vermillion River when the current
swept him downstream. Brandon thought fast. Instead of jumping into the
river immediately and trying to catch up, he ran down an adjacent road and
caught up with him further down.
He jumped into the water and
tried several times to save his friend from drowning. Unfortunately, there
was nothing he could do.
So, when Brandon stepped up
to receive his medal, his pride was tainted with the depth of his loss. A
shy boy of 14, he had little comment for The Star during an interview.
"It was weird," he
said about being up there in front of the audience. "It felt
There was much talk about
heroes at the ceremony and the bravery it took for Brandon to jump into
the water after his friend.
Capt. Joan Dumontelle, the corps'
commanding officer, is the person who nominated Brandon for the award.
She says she kept it a secret from
him for a whole year.
"The reason I went
after it is because I wanted him to know that he didn't do anything
wrong," she commented.
Dakota's grandmother, Tina
Smoke, felt great about the events of the night.
"Brandon is my
mentor," she said. "We are very proud of what he did that day.
It meant so much to our family.
Both Dakota's and Brandon's
families were present at the ceremony. Since the accident, they have
Now, there is white cross at
the spot on the river where the teen lost his life. It reads Dakota
"Boots" Gervais, written in blue lettering. According to Tina,
the city wants to take it down.
"My grandson was a strong
swimmer and a fighter," she said. "It just goes to show how
dangerous the water can be."
She wants to leave the cross
there, not only in memory of Dakota, but also as a warning to others. Her
family visits the site every so often to talk to the cadet that they lost
Lieutenant Colonel James R. Shields - deputy
commanding officer, Regional Cadet Support Unit Central,
congratulates Corporal Jesse Belaire for receiving the Cadet Award
cadet receives award of bravery
Fourteen-year-old Cadet Master Corporal Jesse Belaire, a member of
2250 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps of Bracebridge has been
awarded the highest honour attainable by a Canadian cadet.
He was presented with
the Cadet Award of Bravery during a ceremonial parade held Dec. 4
at Bracebridge Public School.
“I think it’s
great,” he said about getting recognized. “I was really happy,
Two winters ago,
while Belaire was returning to shore after an ice-fishing derby in
Sault Ste. Marie, the ice gave way.
He and a number of
family members and friends, including a two-year-old boy, became
trapped when the ice broke, and a few were submerged into the
water, including Jesse.
“You just feel
really numb, you never feel cold,” he said. “I didn’t really
think about it until afterwards, but it was kind of scary.”
Belaire was able to
pull himself out, and rescue the young boy, whom Jesse’s dad had
held above the water.
“It makes me feel
good, that I saved him,” he said, and added that he didn’t
really think, he just acted. “I was just doing what I thought I
His dad Del Belaire
said he was impressed with his son’s actions.
“I was watching
Jesse and I was just amazed by him. I’ve seen him in this mode
before and he was just totally calm, focused and no panic,” he
Del was unable to get
out, so Jesse ran across the lake to a nearby cottage to call 911.
“We were a good
ways from shore, and the ice was very punky,” said Del. “It
was just amazing that he made it, but he just went and focused on
what he was doing.”
Jesse was able to
call 911 and everyone was rescued and OK.
And his actions were
enough to get Jesse recognized back home.
“I’m happy for
him; it’s a great recognition. It is rare,” said Captain Rob
Harley with the Muskoka cadets. “This year I think he’s the
second one in Canada.”
received the medal from Lieutenant Colonel James Shields, deputy
commanding officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit Central, the
lieutenant addressed Belaire in front of the crowd.
action in saving the life of an infant on March 11, 2012 came at
great peril to yourself and speaks volumes of your selflessness,
courage and bravery,” he said. “Your actions during this event
are a true reflection of both your strength of character and
leadership ability, and I commend you for your efforts.”
The Cadet Award of
Bravery is awarded to a cadet who performs an outstanding deed of
valour involving risk of life in attempting to save the life or
property of others.
During the ceremony,
Harley was also presented with the Lord Strathcona Award on behalf
of the Muskoka cadets, distinguishing this group as the top army
cadet corps in northern Ontario.
cadet receives award of bravery
Oct 4, 2014
C/Cpl Shannon Young
204 Black Maria Squadron RCACS
A young Kamloops girl
has once again been recognized for her bravery after her family was
targeted in an armed home invasion more than two years ago. On
Saturday, Shannon Young was awarded a Cadet Medal of Bravery from
the Canadian Cadet Organization, a year after she was honoured by
the RCMP. "It's still difficult to accept it, I don't like
recognition, it's something that's always been difficult for me to
Shannon was 13 years old in May 2012 when she helped three young
children escape from a hostage situation at their home in Dufferin.
A man with explosives and a shotgun entered the home that day, and
in evacuating the kids, the Cadets say Shannon showed outstanding
presence of mind and a maturity well beyond the expectation of a
person of her age.
Hannah Flinn, wearing the Cadet Medal of
Bravery presented at the Brockville Armouries Tuesday, poses with
sister and Officer Cadet Sarah Flinn following a ceremony at the
Brockville Armouries Tuesday. (Nick Gardiner/The Recorder and
Rare honour for Brockville
Dec 3, 2015
The memories still leave her feeling
But a 16-year-old high school girl
from Jasper showed nothing but calm in the aftermath of a Highway 15
collision north of Smiths Falls on April 12, 2014. The crash left
seven siblings and close relatives with cuts and bruises and an
older sister in dire condition and needing surgery.
Hannah Flinn said she was nodding off
during a drive to a soccer game in the family’s 15-seat van when
there was a collision with a tractor-trailer.
“I thought I was dreaming we were
rolling over and there was glass everywhere and children were
crying. I woke up and that’s when everything became real,” she
said, after receiving a rare honour for her actions at the
Brockville Armouries Tuesday.
“I don’t know why I stayed calm
but growing up as an older sibling you learn to take care of
somebody who can’t take care of themselves,” added Flinn.
A member of Brockville’s Cadet
Corps at the time, Flinn won a nomination from the national level
for a medal awarded only 23 times to naval, airforce and army cadets
previously since being instituted in 1948.
On Tuesday, she received the Cadet
Medal of Bravery – and just the 14th to an army cadet – in a
ceremony attended by her family members, including parents Tom and
Sherry and the driver of the van in the accident, Officer Cadet
Sarah Flinn and the Brockville corps.
Sarah Flinn, 24, was driving the van
on the day of the accident and suffered the worst injuries including
a damaged spleen.
She was strapped in the driver’s
seat unconscious when she awoke to Hannah shouting her name.
The damage to the vehicle was
extensive and paramedics were unable to get the older siblings free
after Hannah had lifted the smaller tykes through a broken window to
Hannah sat with her sister
“cracking jokes” and giving her oxygen from a mask before they
“She was just the most gentle
person,” said Sarah Flinn, who was airlifted in life-threatening
condition to Ottawa Hospital where she had surgery and remained for
two weeks before going home.
Tom and Sherry Flinn were on vacation
in Virginia when the accident occurred and received word within
minutes in a phone call from Hannah.
“She was in the van caring for
Sarah and said in a very calm voice, ‘You should probably come
home.’” said Tom Flinn.
“You wouldn’t have thought
anything was going on at all.”
Flinn said several of his children
have been or continue to be members of the Brockville Cadet Corps
and he’s proud of their service.
Special dignitaries to the
presentation included Brockville Rifles Commanding Officer Lt. Col
Shawn Herron and Brigadier General Kelly Woiden, Commander of the
National Cadet and Junior Canadian Support Group, who presented the
medal and a certificate to Flinn.
“It is truly a privilege to be here
tonight to present one of the rarest awards given by the cadet
organization,” said Woiden.
He said Flinn’s decision to remain
in the vehicle to tend to the injuries of her siblings while
ignoring her own broken finger and assorted cuts and bruises showed
“Nobody would have questioned you
if you had left the van to tend to your own injuries. Your acts that
day represented the best of what the cadets have to offer. It shows
you have a bright future,” said Woiden.
Captain Peter Ruttan, commanding
officer of the Brockville army cadet corps, said the
Cadet Medal of Bravery “is a huge honour” and the Brockville
Cadet Corps should be proud one of their own has been recognized.
(Nick Gardiner, Recorder & Times)