|Birth: ||Jul. 21, 1899|
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
|Death: ||Jan. 31, 1953, At Sea|
Hero of the Princess Victoria Disaster,David Broadfoot GC was a Scottish seaman. He was awarded the George Cross (posthumously)for his self sacrifice during the sinking of the Princess Victoria.He served in the Merchant Navy during World War II.His medal is on display in Stranraer town museum, it having been donated by his grandchildren.
The George Cross (GC) is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the British Commonwealth. It is the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross (VC) and the highest gallantry award for civilians. He was Radio Officer on MV (Motor Vessel) Princess Victoria, which sank in 1953 in the Irish Sea in the worst maritime disaster in United Kingdom waters since World War II. The London Gazette published the following official announcement: "The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to make the undermentioned award :-
David BROADFOOT (deceased), Radio Officer, m.v. "Princess Victoria"(Stranraer).
"Princess Victoria" left Stranraer on the morning of 31st January, 1953, carrying 127 passengers for Larne. After leaving Loch Ryan she encountered north-westerly gales and squalls of sleet and snow. A heavy sea struck the ship and burst open the stern doors and sea water flooded the space on the car deck causing a list to starboard of about 10 degrees. Attempts were made to secure the stern doors but without success. The Master tried to get his ship back to Loch Ryan but the conditions were of such severity that the manoeuvre failed. Some of the ship's cargo shifted from the port to the starboard side and this increased the list as the crippled vessel endeavoured to make her way across the Irish Sea. From the moment when "Princess Victoria" first got into difficulties, Radio Officer Broadfoot constantly sent out wireless messages giving the ship's position and asking for assistance. The severe list which the vessel had taken, and which was gradually increasing, rendered his task even more difficult. Despite the difficulties and danger he steadfastly continued his work at the transmitting set, repeatedly sending signals to the coast radio station to enable them to ascertain the ship's exact position. When "Princess Victoria" finally stopped in sight of the Irish Coast her list had increased to 45 degrees. The vessel was practically on her beam ends and the order to abandon ship was given. Thinking only of saving the lives of passengers and crew, Radio Officer Broadfoot remained in the W/T (Wireless Telegraphy) cabin, receiving and sending messages although he must have known that if he did this he had no chance of surviving. The ship finally foundered and Radio Officer Broadfoot went down with her. He had deliberately sacrificed his own life in an attempt to save others." The ship's master, 55-year-old Captain James Ferguson lived in a house overlooking the harbour at the corner of Stair Drive and Royal Crescent. Chief Officer Shirley Duckels lived in nearby Bowling Green Road while David Broadfoot resided round the corner from his Captain in Royal Crescent.
Inch New Parish Churchyard
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Created by: geoffrey gillon
Record added: Apr 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68340675