In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Joseph Henry Kenneth Lay, C.D., G.M.


Chief Petty Officer 1st Class, RCN


Born: 12 May 1923, Southampton, England


Died: date of passing unknown


Citation for award of the George Medal:  LAY, Joseph Henry Kenneth, Chief Petty Officer, CD, 24909-H, George Medal (GM), RCN


Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 25 April 1964.  "At 0700 on 13 January, 1962, CPO Joseph Henry Kenneth Lay and a companion, CPO W. Thompson were at Western Head, Lockeport, Nova Scotia, preparing to go duck hunting. At the time there was intermittent snow with onshore winds from the N.N.E. at 20 knots and air temperature 27 degree F., sea temperature was 40 degrees F. with waves up to four feet except off shore where local tidal effect caused rip tides and waves 10 to 15 feet in height. While standing on the shore, deciding whether to go duck shooting or not in view of the weather conditions, they were informed that an overturned boat had been sighted and a cry for help heard. Bystanders reported there was a small boat some distance away which CPO Lay and his companion located and skidded over the snow some three quarters of a mile before launching into the sea. Due to the size of the boat, it was not possible for both CPOs to attempt the rescue. However, CPO Lay, dressed in heavy winter clothing and without regard for his own personal safety, rowed the boat to the overturned craft. Realizing his boat would capsize if he attempted to bring the delirious man into it, CPO Lay persuaded him to hang onto the stern. Due to his exhausted condition, the man was unable to do so. CPO Lay then positioned his feet over the man's arms and held him in place. In this manner, CPO Lay rowed his small eight foot boat some 300 yards to the shore through the hazardous, shoaling waters and rip tide with seas ranging in height to fifteen feet. In view of the sea state and prevailing weather conditions, this rescue demanded great courage, endurance and alertness. CPO Lay undoubtedly risked his own life in saving Mr. Fiske from death by drowning."


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