A man searching for the hero who rescued him from drowning as a boy has left his quest too late, the Gazette has learnt.
Terry Buck, who now lives in America, put out a plea through the Gazette in his bid to find Brian Rance, who pulled him from the Grand Union Canal at Apsley back in 1955.
But Brian’s wife Margaret, who lives in Tring, has got in touch to say Brian passed away in February 2005 aged 67 after suffering with emphysema.
Brian, who was 18 at the time of the rescue, received a certificate of bravery for his lifesaving efforts.
Terry, now 69, had fallen into the water while he and a pal were playing with a homemade boat. It was Brian, who was passing on his bicycle, who pulled him out and performed CPR. Margaret, 76, said: “It was a few months later that we got together but Brian never really spoke about it. Some people would say, ‘Guess what I’ve done’, but he never bragged about it.”
Margaret and Brian, who were married for 48 years, set up home in Mill Street, Apsley, before later moving to Tring. They had three children – two sons and a daughter – and there are 10 grandchildren.
Terry, who lived in Sheephouse Road, Hemel Hempstead, before moving to America for a new life with his parents two years after the drowning accident, said: “I am so disappointed to hear of Brian’s passing. I owe Brian so much, what price do you put on a life?
“My hope was to visit him in England or have him visit me here in the States, with my help, if necessary. I wish I had thought about getting in touch with the Gazette 20 years ago. I would love to hear from Brian’s family and what followed in Brian’s life. I thank the Gazette for bringing closure to my search for Brian.”