Image for No Greater Love

Play now 25 mins

No Greater Love

Duration:
25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 July 2012

Leigh Pitt was an ordinary man. One summer evening in June 2007, he jumped into a London canal to save a nine-year-old boy. The boy survived; Leigh drowned.

Two years later he became the first person in 78 years to be commemorated on the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice - one of London's least-known monuments. Hidden in Postman's Park - a patch of green behind St Paul's Cathedral - the Memorial was established in 1900 by the artist George Frederic Watts.

It recognises the bravery of individuals who die rescuing others, each of its plaques offering an insight into the dangers of Victorian life. Those remembered include Sarah Smith, the pantomime artiste whose dress caught fire as she saved her friend and Frederick Croft, who rescued 'a lunatic woman' from suicide but 'was himself run over by the train'.

Time has distanced us from these tragedies. But as we hear more about Leigh's death every sacrifice commemorated in the park becomes more poignant.

A documentary-memorial to an ordinary man's bravery, exploring the gap between the words on a plaque and the immensity of a life loved, lived and lost.

No Greater Love is presented by Cathy FitzGerald, and produced by Cathy FitzGerald and Matt Thompson.

(Image: Leigh Pitt)

  • Leigh Pitt's commemoration on the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice

    Leigh Pitt's commemoration on the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice

Broadcasts

Free downloads

  1. Image for Documentaries

    Documentaries

    An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to…

  2. Image for World Service Music Documentaries

    World Service Music Documentaries

    All the World Service's music podcasts gathered into one place. New documentaries will be added…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss