Not a household name
now, but one of the great exemplar
s of courage
held up to us in earlier generations. She lived with her father the lighthouse
-keeper in the Farne Islands
off the coast of Northumberland
. On the night of 7 September 1838, when she was 23, a terrible storm
wrecked the Forfarshire
. She and her father William Darling row
ed out and rescue
d many survivor
s. For this they, and she especially, were received as hero
es. A medal
was struck in her honour.
She was born in nearby Bamburgh in 1815, and died young, in 1842. An old book I had, full of tales of heroic courage, impressed upon me the dangers of sleeping with the windows shut, because that, it said, is what did it in for Grace Darling.