Poole Quay has long had a prominent space in the history of Poole as a whole, a history marked with trading, D- Day landing involvement, marriages and more. However, smaller events are also dotted along the long line of Poole Quays history, such as this one:
On December 27th 1917, almost one hundred years ago, it was reported in a local newspaper “Rescued and Rescuer.” The short article tells of the heroics of Albert Edmunds when he saved 3 year old Ronald Medland after the child was accidently pushed into the harbour. Ronald Medland was on the quay with his mother and two other children when one of the children accidently pushed Medland off the quay into the water, Edmands, who was walking along the quay at the time, heard a woman call that there was a child floating down the harbour and “decided to heed her call.” Edmands grabbed a rope attached to a nearby vessel, then grasped the child and held him suspended between his legs until a Mr Morrison , who was overseer at the Base, came and took the boy to safety.
Robert Medland was born in Poole in 1914, to Mr and Mrs Medland. The family lived on Cinnamon Lane-which still exists today, and is very close to the quay around old town Poole. The hero of the story, Albert Edmunds, was born in Benhall, in Suffolk, to William Edmunds and Eliza Edmunds where he had 3 siblings: Victor, Edward and Hilton. Albert was stationed at the Poole Naval Base with the General Service Infantry that he was involved in during the war, having signed up to the army with a short service attestation. This short service attestation was introduced and used from 1914-1917. The short service attestation was also called the “Derby Scheme” and was during this time there was a change in the way that men were organised during conscription, in an effort to raise the number of men signing up to fight during the war.
This story is just one of many that have defined the history of Poole and the quay, whether it be war related, society of the time or just general interest stories, and its stories like this that will be the concept for the new Poole Museum WW1 website. A website that will make the stories of people, from WW1, like Ronald Medland and Albert Edmunds accessible to everyone and show how these individual stories all characterised Poole during the war and the way we know it today.