A documentary-memorial to an ordinary man’s bravery, exploring the gap between the words on a plaque and the immensity of a life loved, lived and lost.
A superb piece of radio: thoughtful, moving, richly textured and profound in the bigger questions it pondered.
Leigh Pitt was an ordinary man. One evening in June 2007 he jumped into a London canal to save a nine-year-old boy. The boy survived; Leigh drowned. Two years later Leigh became the first person in 78 years to be commemorated on the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice – one of London’s least-known monuments. Hidden in Postman’s Park, the Memorial recognises the bravery of individuals who die rescuing others, each of its plaques offering an insight into the dangers of Victorian life. Time has distanced us from these tragedies. But as we learn about Leigh’s death every sacrifice remembered in the park becomes more poignant.
Produced by Cathy FitzGerald and Matt Thompson. A Rockethouse Production for the BBC World Service.