Harry Watts was born in Sunderland in 1826. He lived through the reign of William iv, Victoria, and Edward VII, and died in Sunderland in 1913, at the age of 86.
During his long and truly remarkable life he saved at least 36 people from drowning, married three times, lost three children, recovered bodies from the Tay Bridge and the Victoria hall disasters, lost a finger in a diving accident, became a born-again Christian, a Temperance activist, a local celebrity, and had a biography commissioned in his honour. And then, in the turbulence of the Twentieth century, he was forgotten.
April 23, 2013 marked the centenary of this extraordinary man's death.
Although unknown by many, even in his home town of Sunderland, Harry's story is deserving of recognition, and his life worthy of remembrance.
This book tells the story of harry, his world, and the importance of remembering this forgotten hero.
The book also contains the contributions of eight students of Grangetown Primary School in Sunderland, less than a mile from harry's final resting place. Taking episodes from Harry's tale, approached in their own inimitable style, they truly bring harry's story to life, and we are delighted to include them in the book.
The book includes a foreword by Terry Deary.