This week 60 years ago: Cally schoolgirl Wendy Pearce becomes national hero after saving classmates from being crushed

Islington Gazette: June 13, 1958

Islington Gazette: June 13, 1958 - Credit: Archant

A Cally school pupil became a national hero after she helped prevent a tragedy in her PE lesson.

The quick thinking of 12-year-old Wendy Pearce, of Naish Court in Pembroke Street, helped prevent eight classmates being crushed at Gifford Street Secondary School.

They were sitting on a bench in the PE lesson when a five-foot wall was about to topple. Her classmates were unable to move through terror.

Wendy, however, was able to run to the assistance of her gym teacher, Ms Caister, and throw her weight against the wall.

As Wendy felt the weight of the wall forcing her feet from under her, teachers swooped to drag the girls clear. Seconds later, the wall collapsed.


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She told the Gazette: “I ran around the held the wall with all my might. A lot of the girls were screaming and there were about seven on the floor.”

Wendy said she wondered what all the fuss was about – with strangers recognising and rushing to congratulate her.

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