b. 21/07/1899 Stanraer, Scotland. d. 31/01/1953 North Channel off Larne, Northern Ireland.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 31/01/1953 off coast of Larne, Northern Ireland.
He was 53 years old and serving in the Merchant Navy aboard SS Princess Victoria when his ferry encountered severe gales and squalls of sleet and snow. A heavy sea struck the ship and burst open the rear doors; sea water flooded in causing a list to starboard of 10 degrees. Attempts were made to secure the stern doors but without success. The captain tried to turn his ship back but the conditions were so harsh that the manoeuvre failed. Some of the ship's cargo shifted and this increased the list to starboard. From the moment the Princess Victoria got into difficulties. Broadfoot constantly sent out wireless messages giving the ship's position, although the listing of the ship made this task even more difficult. When the ship finally stopped in sight of the Irish coast her list had increased to 45 degrees. Thinking only of the crew and passengers, he stayed at his post, receiving and sending messages, although he must have known that by doing so he had no chance of surviving. He went down with the ship, having deliberately sacrificed his own life in an attempt to save others. Of the 177 crew and passengers, 133 were lost, including all the women and children, whose lifeboat sank. Only 65 bodies were recovered.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: STANRAER MUSEUM, STANRAER, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: INCH PARISH CHURCHYARD, INCH, SCOTLAND.
David Broadfoot's George Cross at Stanraer Museum, Stanraer, Scotland.