The Hunter Legacy

In 1886, over 20 years before the Carnegie Hero Fund UK was established, Carnegie heard about the death of a Dunfermline boy who drowned in an heroic attempt to rescue a young swimmer in difficulties in the Town Loch, Dunfermline. Such was the response to the tragedy that a fund was launched to errect a memorial by public subscription. One of the subscribers was Andrew Carnegie who added the sum of £100 to the appeal. Carnegie's comments are now inscribed in stone on the local hero's memorial: "The false heroes of barbarous man are those who can only boast of the destruction of their fellows. The true heroes of civilisation are those alone who save or greatly serve them."

The Carnegie Hero Fund UK, based in Dunfermline, has recognised over 6,000 individual Heroes and has been providing financial and emotional support to heroes and their families since 1908.

It is concerned with heroic acts that take place in Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the surrounding territorial waters.

The Trust’s relationship with any one beneficiary or family will last as long as it is needed, and has been known to extend for up to sixty years. At any time the Trust may be involved with more than one hundred families affected by the death or disabling of one of their members in the attempt to save another human life.



The Harwick Coal Mine Disaster

In 1904 an explosion at the Harwick Collieries, near Pittsburgh, killed 179 miners. Two more men died attempting to rescue survivors, each leaving behind a widow and young children. Carnegie was deeply moved by the tragedy.

Carnegie’s contribution of $50,000 to the Public Relief Fund doubled the amount raised by public subscription. Carnegie said,

"I can’t get the women and children of that mine disaster out of my mind"