From Greenfield Recorder
Edward Goodnow was just 16 and a scout from Troop 14 in Springfield,MA when he drowned in Enfield, Conn., while attempting to save two drowning boys. He saved the first, and died trying to save the second.
“A Boy Scout hero who gave his life for another” is inscribed on the Goodnow family monument in the Locust Hill Cemetery in Montague, MA. Goodnow died on Aug. 29, 1917. He and three other boys who died around the same time became the first four Scouts to receive the Boy Scouts’ Gold Honor Award for heroism.
The Western Massachusetts Council of Boy Scouts of America hosted the Centennial Court of Honor. The event included speakers from the Boy Scouts organization and from Goodnow’s family.
Goodnow’s death and the deaths of three other Scouts in rescue attempts shocked the founders, who had started Boy Scouts of America only seven years earlier. “It shocked them that, while they had motivated thousands of these boys to help other people at all times, suddenly these boys were dying in the effort.”
Researcher and Scoutmaster Greg Motta said that according to news reports at the time, Goodnow didn’t hesitate to jump in the water and help the other people. He said that Edward was especially proud of being a Boy Scout.
Though the death was tragic, it showed Goodnow’s sense of helping others and his bravery. And his choice to save those lives led to improvements in training for the Boy Scouts that would prevent other deaths.
Working with the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America started requiring Boy Scouts to pass a swimming test and educate them in life-saving techniques, said Motta.
Following Goodnow and another boy’s death by drowning while saving others, the BSA created or changed other measures as well, including the invention of the Buddy System.
More details and photos at source