THIS WEEK IN 1983: On-the-ball marine saves baby girl’s life

Marine Derek Tomsett, left, pictured with the captain of HMS Victory Lt Cmdr Charles Addis
Marine Derek Tomsett, left, pictured with the captain of HMS Victory Lt Cmdr Charles Addis
Waterlooville when it was simply  just Waterloo. Here we're looking south through the village. Wadhams and Michelin are still with us of course. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: Waterloo before the Ville was added

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Quick-thinking marine Derek Tomsett was the toast of friends on board HMS Victory after he saved the life of a baby girl.

Derek, 24, gave Lorraine Johnson mouth-to-mouth after the baby’s eyes ‘reeled’ and her face turned blue.

The incident occurred while he was escorting a party of about 20 visitors around Nelson’s flagship and a noise broke out at the back of the group.

‘I realised something was wrong and by the time I saw the baby she was obviously not breathing properly and the mother asked whether there was a doctor on board. We sent for an ambulance immediately,’ said Derek.

‘But the baby was, by now, blue in the face and her eyes were reeling.

‘I gave her artificial respiration – which I had learned in the Air Training Corps and accompanied the mother to St Mary’s Hospital.’

Derek, of Hemel Hempstead, was part of the Royal Marines detachment on board Victory.

Tribute was paid to him by Victory’s captain Lt Cmdr Charles Addis: ‘The hospital said Marine Tomsett’s great presence of mind saved the baby’s life. Full marks to him.’