The Selves drownings in the River Thames
There's been some interest recently in the boy who drowned in the River Thames - in fact there were two drownings, both boys from the same family.They were grandsons of Thomas Selves who was born 1797 Staplehurst, son of John Selves and Sarah Baker.Arthur and David were two of George and Emma Selves' eleven children, raised in Woolwich and Plumstead, Kent, on the River Thames.
The first to drown was Arthur Selves on 5 July 1878 when he was 14 yrs old.He drowned in the river off Plumstead and an inquest gave a verdict of "accidental death while bathing".
Eight years later the youngest child, called David, died when he was 12 yrs old.He is the one remembered on the plaque in Postman's Park, adjacent to St Botolph's Church in Aldersgate, London, where there are memorials commemorating acts of self-sacrifice that wouldn't otherwise be remembered.
The plaque reads "David Selves, aged 12, Off Woolwich, Supported his drowning playfellow and sank with him clasped in his arms.Sep 12 1886"
A most unfortunate family.