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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
Bram Stoker's Heroic Deed
The house where Bram Stoker failed to revive a river jumper.
Location: 27 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London
Description: Irish Dracula-author Bram Stoker lived at several places in Chelsea but it was when he was living here that is most notorious.
On 14 September 1882 at about six o'clock in the evening near Chelsea Embankment he witnessed a man falling (or jumping?) into the river from the steamboat he was travelling to theatre on.
Stoker pulled off some of his clothes, jumped in and sustained the man until a boat came to them. Despite frantic efforts to save the drowning man, he 'persistently kept his face under water'.
He took the very poorly man to his house, laying him out on the kitchen table trying to revive him but he expired.
At the inquest no-one was able to identify the dead man who, because of a tattoo, was presumed to be a soldier.
His wife Florence, previously engaged to Oscar Wilde, was not amused and the event led to marital discord. In 1882 he was awarded a Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for the heroic gesture.