Mayor honours former wrestler who saved two people from drowning
Chick 'Cocky' Knight
A long campaign to have the heroic actions of a Hammersmith man recognised has final achieved its objective.
Hammersmith & Fulham Mayor PJ Murphy has unveiled a plaque commemorating the actions of a former wrestler, boxer and ex-army veteran who saved two people from drowning in Hammersmith.
On 15 June, 1930, Arthur Richard George Knight – better known as Chick ‘Cocky’ Knight – jumped off Hammersmith Bridge into the Thames to rescue two people who had gotten into trouble in the water.
A plaque has now been installed on a bench on the Thames Path in front of Riverside Studios, next to where Chick entered the water, and it was unveiled by the Mayor last Friday.
Arthur Richard George Knight – better known as Chick ‘Cocky’ Knight with the plaque
The installation of the plaque follows a campaign from Chick’s great nephew Andy Scott, who has written a biography of Chick entitled London’s Loveable Villain.
“I could find no record of the incident in local newspapers or archives, but the whole incident and what happened was documented by the Royal Humane Society, for Chick’s certificate he was awarded at the time,” explains Andy.
“I felt it rightly deserved recognition in the borough, and am so glad that after two years, and a petition with nearly 500 signatures on it, that Cllr Murphy and his team agreed with me.”
“It was wonderful to see the plaque finally installed and for Chick’s heroism to be recognised.”
Chick Knight was a well-known local figure in his day. He was born in 1903 in Southerton Road, Hammersmith, and also lived for a time with his wife Lilian in Netherwood Road in Shepherd’s Bush.
H&F Mayor PJ Murphy and Chick's nephew, Andy Scott at the unveiling of the plaque
He was one of the first British wrestlers to appear on TV in 1938 and competed all over the world between 1932 and 1958, under names like ‘The Cockney Killer’ and ‘London’s Loveable Villain’.
He led a colourful life that also included stints as a soldier, a boxer, a doorman, a movie stuntman and even working security at Kensington Palace. He also saved a fellow soldier from drowning in Gibraltar in 1926.
The Hammersmith born wrestler with a group of admirers
Chick died in 1967, aged 64.
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September 10, 2021
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