A SIXTH former from The Queen’s School in Chester has been honoured for saving a friend’s life.
Victoria ‘Tori’ Davies, of Broxton, a cadet colour sergeant of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), was presented with a Certificate of Honour by the Order of St John, during an investiture in the order’s historic 12th century Priory Church in London’s Clerkenwell.
Her award is the first ever to have been awarded to a cadet.
In July 2010, Tori was on a four-day trekking holiday with schoolfriends Anya Bos, Susannah Burtinshaw, Ellie Rogers and Mary Scott, then all 16. They were well equipped for their walk between Borrowdale and Ennerdale but when the weather took a turn for the worse, Susannah sprained her ankle in a swollen river and was in danger of being swept away to her death.
At the time, Tori said: “I told Susie: ‘If you don’t listen to my instructions, you won’t survive.”
Her main concern was to get Susie’s bag off her back because of the weight.
“I was quite scared to move in case I lost hold of Susie but I managed to get behind a rock, which protected me from the current, and then drag her on to the rock,” she said.
Tori ensured everyone was safely back on the riverbank before contacting Cumbria Mountain Rescue Team and setting up an emergency shelter.
She attributed her handling of the incident to the first aid, survival and orienteering skills she learned as a CCF cadet.
She was nominated for her award by the Combined Cadet Force Association, a special centre of St John Ambulance, a foundation of the Order of St John. First aid training is delivered to all the cadet forces through their St John Ambulance Centre under arrangements first put in place over 50 years ago.
Tori was accompanied to the investiture ceremony by her mother, twin sister (also a CCF cadet), her grandmother and Susannah.
Lieutenant Colonel Alan Sharkey, chairman of the Army Cadet Force & Combined Cadet Force Association’s St John Ambulance Special Centre was also at the investiture to see her receive her award.
He praised Tori’s actions as being an excellent example of how the training of services cadets fitted them to cope with extreme emergencies.
Tori was nominated for a Chronicle Your Champions award in 2010 in recognition of her heroism.