All The George Crosses of World War Two

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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    In the early days of the Second World War King George VI was so impressed with the heroic deeds of civilians in non-combatant roles like rescuing people after air raids and servicemen and women out of the front line.

    As a result of this in September 1940 the King instituted the George Cross for ‘For Gallantry’ to be awarded to civilians, servicemen and women away from the heat of battle.

    The George Cross replaced the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry or EGM and its recipients were offered the opportunity to return it to the Central Chancellery of the Orders of Knighthood to have it replaced by a George Cross. In 1971, recipients of the Albert Medal could also exchange this for a George Cross. I have included all the EGM’s awarded during WW2 too as essentially they are GC’s.

    As the award evolved during the war its criteria changed slightly for the better and included the George Cross being awarded to a whole island and several awards going to members of the S.O.E. Primarily a civilian award there was no such award available to servicemen and women for performing heroic acts whilst not in the face of the enemy so they were made eligible too.

    Often referred to as the civilian Victoria Cross this is testimony itself of the level of bravery that has to be displayed to be awarded such a medal. However I think a better way to describe this medal, so it takes nothing away from the Victoria Cross and on the same hand the George Cross gives nothing, is to refer to it as the non-combatants equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

    In some ways the George Cross could be held in higher regard in certain circumstances. Holders of the VC were sometimes presented with no choice regarding their actions. One could say a ‘do or die’ situation and indeed many Victoria Cross holders when talking about their award, humbly nearly always say, ‘I was just doing my job’ or words to that effect. What should be remembered with the George Cross is that some of the holders could have looked the other way and walked away for the situation and not gone nor did they need to go the extra yard.

    The George Cross is still awarded today and as of 2008 it has been awarded 159 times since 1940 including two collective awards one of which was during WW2 to the island of Malta. The details of which are covered in a later post. Including the EGM’s and the Malta George Cross it was awarded over 130 times during WW2 and like with the Victoria Cross thread I will list them in a chronological order so as a point of interest they can be seen in the order they were earned as the war progressed. I have listed in total 136 George Crosses with some of the George Crosses in 1945 being earned after the war had been declared over. Sadly some of them never got to see the fruits of their labour so I felt they were worthy of inclusion. So I have included all the George Crosses up to the end of 1945.

    Holders of the Victoria Cross and the George Cross are awarded by the issuing government an annuity (Pension) and the current rate paid to a holder of the George Cross is £1,495 per year.

    Before you go on and read the citations I think it is only fair to repeat the final words I wrote on the Victoria Cross thread with a slight amendment:

    ‘Finally whilst reading these citations I think it’s worth remembering that for everyone one of the 136 George Cross holders who risked everything for their mates, for strangers and for freedom during World War Two there was thousands of men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth who did the same all around the world in those six years but received no recognition’.

    Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about these chaps and chapettes as much as I have putting this altogether.

    All pictures of GC holders final resting places mainly come from the hard and much appreciated efforts of members from this fine forum and a minority from various websites like 'Commonwealth War Graves Comission', 'Findagrave' and 'Wikipedia'. Pictures of the recipients come from The Register of the George Cross by This England.
     
    A-58, Owen and dbf like this.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    James Gordon Melville Turner

    Title/Rank: Radio Operator

    Unit/Occupation: SS Manaar, Merchant Navy

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 6th September 1939, 120 miles off Cape St. Vincent

    The citation in the London Gazette of 13th October 1939, gives the following particulars:

    When the SS Manaar was attacked by an enemy submarine there was no summons to stop. About ten shots were fired before the ship was abandoned after twenty or thirty minutes. Three shells were fired, one of which took away the fore-part of the wheelhouse and probably the wireless aerial. Rapid shrapnel followed. Some of the men in the boats were injured by gunfire. The Radio-Officer was inadvertently left behind in the ship with two members of the native crew, one severely wounded and the other injured. His shipmates called to him to come down and join them in the Master's boat, but he refused to leave the ship until the two other members of the crew could be rescued. He tried to lower a lifeboat, but the falls jammed and then suddenly ran out, so that the boat crashed into the water and filled. He carried the severely wounded Lascar to another boat, and was about to lower it when the boat was blown to pieces, with the wounded man inside. He then swam out to the waterlogged boat and pulled her alongside. The injured Lascar then went down the rope into the boat, which was cut adrift, and joined the Master's boat. All this was done under fire.


    Additional Information:

    The submarine was U-38.

    The skipper was Kapitänleutnant H. Liebe and was awarded a Iron Cross 2nd Class and a U-Boat war badge 1939 after this action.

    Turner was killed in the Hither Green rail crash in South East London, 1967.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Reginald Cubitt Graveley

    Title/Rank: Flying Officer

    Unit/Occupation: 88 Squadron, Royal Air Force

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 20th September 1939, Near the German Frontier. Possibly Bitsch

    The citation in the London Gazette of 11th November 1939, gives the following particulars:

    This officer displayed great gallantry and a total disregard of his own safety when the aircraft of which he was the pilot was shot down by an enemy fighter in September, 1939, and crashed in flames. Though badly burned, he pulled his wounded air observer from the wreckage to a place of safety and then returned to rescue the air gunner. He found the airman dead, however, and was unable to lift him from the cockpit.


    Additional Information:

    Graveley joined the RAF in 1936 under a short commission scheme.

    Graveley was badly burned and evacuated to RAF Halton Hospital.

    Sgt Everett had a leg amputated and died of his injuries the same day.

    AC1 John killed in crash.

    Later promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader.

    Also awarded a BEM.

    Graveley's medals are on display in the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon.
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Richard Frank Jolly

    Title/Rank: Commander

    Unit/Occupation: H.M.S. Mohawk, Royal Navy

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 16th October 1939. Queensferry, Firth of Forth, Scotland

    The citation in the London Gazette of 23rd December 1939, gives the following particulars:

    Commander Jolly's gallantry consisted of bringing his ship into harbour when he himself was mortally wounded. H.M.S. Mohawk had been attacked by an enemy aircraft and had suffered a large number of casualties. Commander Jolly, who was on the bridge, was severely wounded in the stomach but refused to leave the bridge or allow himself to be attended to; he continued to direct the Mohawk for a 35-mile passage home which lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes. He was too weak for his orders to be heard, but these were repeated by his wounded Navigating Officer. He was repeatedly invited to go down to receive medical attention but he refused saying "Leave me—go and look after the others ". Having brought his ship into port, Commander Jolly rang off the main engines and immediately collapsed. He died some five hours after being landed.


    The Captain of his Flotilla reports as follows:

    "The behaviour of the ship's company in the face of the casualties and damage was of the highest standard. This is what I should have expected of Commander Jolly's ship. Commander Jolly was an imperturbable Commander, of careful judgment, who devoted his energies to perfecting his ship and ship's company for battle. His fearlessness and honesty in counsel were remarkable, and he proved his bravery and devotion to his wounded men when for a long period he manoeuvred his ship despite a mortal wound."

    Additional Information:

    Jolly was born in Wandsworth, South London.

    He joined the Royal Navy in September 1914.

    During WW1 he served for two years as a midshipman on a battle cruiser and later on a destroyer after being promoted to Lieutenant.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    St. Peters Church, Boughton Monchelsea, Kent

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    HMS Mohawk
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Leo Francis O’Hagen

    Title/Rank: Mr.

    Unit/Occupation: Explosive Worker with Royal Gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey, Essex

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 18th January 1940, Waltham Abbey

    The citation in the London Gazette of 6th February 1940, gives the following particulars:

    When the explosion took place in the Factory on the i8th January, these men were engaged on the nitration of glycerine, the most critical stage in the process of manufacture, when the liability to detonation is greatest.

    The building in which the process was carried out is some 150 yards only from the scene of the explosion, and was damaged. The hot water and air services, whereby the process is carried out, were also cut off by the explosion. Over 1,000lbs of nitro glycerine were under process and in a condition of instability.

    O'Hagen and Sewell, realising the effect to life and property of a further explosion, stood by their posts for some two hours, until the services were restored and then continued with their work until the whole charge had been brought to a state of stability. Had they fled for safety, it is highly probable that the charge of nitro glycerine under their care would have been destroyed. This would not only have caused more wide-spread damage and loss of life, but further delay in the resumption of production in the Factory. Both men showed great gallantry and devotion to duty, and complete disregard for their personal safety.



    Additional Information:

    Also known as O’Hagan
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Stanley William Sewell

    Title/Rank: Mr.

    Unit/Occupation: Explosive Worker with Royal Gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey, Essex

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 18th January 1940, Waltham Abbey

    The citation in the London Gazette of 6th February 1940, gives the following particulars:

    When the explosion took place in the Factory on the i8th January, these men were engaged on the nitration of glycerine, the most critical stage in the process of manufacture, when the liability to detonation is greatest.

    The building in which the process was carried out is some 150 yards only from the scene of the explosion, and was damaged. The hot water and air services, whereby the process is carried out, were also cut off by the explosion. Over 1,000lbs of nitro glycerine were under process and in a condition of instability.

    O'Hagen and Sewell, realising the effect to life and property of a further explosion, stood by their posts for some two hours, until the services were restored and then continued with their work until the whole charge had been brought to a state of stability. Had they fled for safety, it is highly probable that the charge of nitro glycerine under their care would have been destroyed. This would not only have caused more wide-spread damage and loss of life, but further delay in the resumption of production in the Factory. Both men showed great gallantry and devotion to duty, and complete disregard for their personal safety.




    Additional Information:
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    William George Sylvester

    Title/Rank: Mr.

    Unit/Occupation: Explosive Worker with Royal Gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey, Essex

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 18th January 1940, Waltham Abbey

    The citation in the London Gazette of 6th February 1940, gives the following particulars:

    On the occasion of the explosion which took place in the Factory on i8th January, he was engaged on the work of purification of nitro glycerine inside N.2 Washing House. This building, which is only 100 yards from the scene of the explosion, suffered considerable damage; half the roof was torn off, two-thirds of the walls collapsed, and the hot water and air services were interrupted. This gave rise to a condition of acute danger due to the possibility of the nitro glycerine freezing with the attendant risk of detonation.

    Despite this damage and being aware of the serious situation which had developed, Sylvester continued at his post for at least two hours, until services were restored and the whole charge had been processed and brought to a state of stability. Had he left his post with the charge of over one ton of nitro glycerine standing in its unstable condition, another explosion might have resulted, greatly extending the disaster, and causing further loss of property and life. Sylvester exhibited devotion to duty and gallantry of a high order, with total disregard for his own safety.


    Additional Information:
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    John McIntosh McClymont

    Title/Rank: Corporal

    Unit/Occupation: Auxiliary Air Force

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action:18th January 1940, 18 Balloon Centre, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow

    The citation in the London Gazette of 19th July 1940, gives the following particulars:

    On the 18th January, 1940, an aircraft, with two occupants, crashed during a snowstorm and immediately caught fire.

    Several individuals ran to the scene and Corporal McClymont, who was one of the party, helped in extricating one of the airmen from the cabin. As the flames were increasing in intensity and ammunition and Very lights were continually exploding, all ranks were ordered to stand away from the aircraft. Corporal McClymont heard the order but considered it did not prevent a single-handed attempt being made to rescue the second occupant and remained behind for this purpose. An officer returned shortly to help him and, together, they succeeded in extricating the airman just before the petrol tank exploded. During the second operation, whilst Corporal McClymont was holding back part of the cabin, he received injuries to his hands. He displayed great courage in the face of extreme danger and had the second airman been alive would undoubtedly have saved him from being burnt to death. Both occupants had, however, been killed instantaneously when the aircraft crashed.


    Additional Information:
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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    Pir Khan

    Title/Rank: Subedar-Major

    Unit/Occupation: Jemadar Badragga (Escort) to the Commander, Royal Corps of Engineers, Indian Army

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: Indian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 3rd February 1940, Waziristan, North West Frontier, India

    The citation in the London Gazette of 28th June 1940, gives the following particulars:

    On February 3rd, 1940, a party consisting of Officers of the Royal Engineers and of the Military Engineering Service, while motoring up the Tochi Road, some three miles from Bannu, was ambushed by thirty hostiles. After the first volley, Colonel Hasted, Major Cator and Pir Khan managed to obtain cover behind a low irrigation culvert wall on the side of the road. Pir Khan took up a firing position round the edge of the wall and immediately opened fire on the hostiles who were round the mill buildings, less than forty yards away, thereby forcing most of them to take cover in the buildings. He continued to fire and frustrate any attempt to outflank the Officers along the road in spite of a hail of bullets being poured in his direction.

    When the hostiles finally started to withdraw, Pir Khan had only three rounds of his original 50 left. During the hostile withdrawal he helped to give assistance under fire to the wounded and dying. His loyal, gallant and cool conduct undoubtedly saved the lives of both Colonel Hasted and Major Cator. It also prevented the hostiles from looting the cars and mutilating the bodies of the dead and wounded which were lying in the road.


    Additional Information:
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    John Noel Dowland

    Title/Rank: Flight Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: 69 Squadron, RAF Station Manby

    Awarded: 7th January 1941

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 11th February 1940, Immingham Dock, North Lincolnshire

    The citation in the London Gazette of 7th January 1941, gives the following particulars:

    In February, 1940, Squadron Leader Dowland succeeded in removing an enemy bomb from a steamship. The bomb was extremely difficult to inspect and handle as it was wedged with its nose penetrating through the main deck. In June, 1940, this officer performed a similar duty with the same efficiency and promptitude on board a trawler. He has displayed conspicuous courage and devotion to duty in circumstances of exceptional danger and difficulty.


    Additional Information:

    Dowland earned his GC with Harrison (Below).

    Later promoted to Wing Commander.

    This was the first action for which a George Cross was awarded.

    The ship in Immingham docks was the grain ship SS Kildare.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Malta Capuccini Naval Cemetery
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Leonard Henry Harrison

    Title/Rank: Civilian Armaments Instructor (Grade 1)

    Unit/Occupation: Air Ministry, RAF Station, Manby

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 11th February 1940, Immingham Dock, North Lincolnshire.

    The citation in The Times, Saturday, Jan 04, 1941, gives the following particulars:

    Mr. Harrison (an Air Ministry announcement states) is a civilian armament instructor at an R.A.F. Armament Training School. Early last year a ship arrived in port with an unexploded German bomb wedged half-way through the main deck. The bomb was fitted with a fuse of a then unknown type. Mr. Harrison assisted to render it harmless. About a month later he again gave similar assistance in rendering safe unexploded German bombs. Mr. Harrison's assistance was of particular value, as through his own initiative and private study he had become an authority on the fuse and exploder systems in German bombs.



    Additional Information:

    Later promoted to Wing Commander

    Harrison was educated at Devonport Secondary School.

    He enlisted into the RAF as a Boy Entrant in January 1922.

    Harrison left the the RAF a Sergeant in 1934 after 12 years service but joined the Reserve and re-joined the RAF in 1941.

    Harrison continued as a Civilian Armaments Instructor (Grade I), and became one of the first and most respected of gallant men who risked their lives every day on bomb disposal duties.

    This was the first action that was awarded a George Cross.

    Harrison later disarmed a bomb on a Trawler in the Humber (See J.N. Dowland on this thread).

    Later in the war Harrison was part of a secret scheme to booby trap captured German fuses and smuggle them back into Germany.

    The plan was when the German aircraft dropped its bombs the booby trapped fuse would explode destroying the aircraft.

    The Germans discovered the scheme but were forced to destroy large numbers of fuses as a precaution.

    Harrison worked within the Air Ministry until 1970.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Anthony Henry Hamilton Tollemache

    Title/Rank: Flying Officer

    Unit/Occupation: 600 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force

    Awarded: Unknown date. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 11th March 1940, Manston, Kent

    The citation in the London Gazette of 6th August 1940, gives the following particulars:

    On the night of nth March, 1940, this officer was pilot of an aircraft which carried a passenger and an air gunner and was engaged in a searchlight co-operation exercise. When approaching the flare-path to land, at 2320 hours, after completing the exercise, the aircraft struck a tree and crashed into a field, where it immediately burst into flames. Flying Officer Tollemache was thrown clear of the wreckage, and his air gunner was able to escape. Realising, however, that his passenger was still in the aircraft Flying Officer Tollemache, with complete disregard of the intense conflagration or the explosion of small arms ammunition, endeavoured to break through the forward hatch and affect a rescue. He persisted in this gallant attempt until driven off with his clothes blazing. His efforts, though in vain, resulted in injuries which nearly cost him his life. Had he not attempted the rescue it is considered he would have escaped almost unscathed.



    Additional Information:

    Later promoted to Squadron Leader.

    In 1977 Tollemarche died in a car accident in Paris.

    Tollemarche medals were stolen in 1988 from his late wife who was in hospital at the time.

    In February 2005 his GC was found some 10,000 miles away on a beach in Australia and was returned to the family in 2006.

    Memorial in Helmingham churchyard, Suffolk.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    .

    Michael Patrick Campion

    Title/Rank: Leading Aircraftman

    Unit/Occupation: 220 Squadron and 90 Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force

    Awarded: September 1940. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 12th March 1940, RAF Upwood, Huntingdonshire

    The citation in the London Gazette of 5th July 1940, gives the following particulars:

    These two airmen displayed great courage in effecting the rescue of an unconscious pilot from a burning aircraft which resulted from a collision in which two Blenheim aircraft were involved while taking off. Aircraftmen Campion and Frost were among the first to arrive on the scene. Not knowing that the pilot was the sole occupant, Aircraftman Frost promptly entered the rear cockpit, which was full of smoke and fumes, in search of the wireless operator. Satisfying himself that no one was there, he climbed out and, nearly exhausted, ran to the front cockpit where Leading Aircraftman Campion was trying to rescue the pilot. Working heroically both men, with great risk to themselves, due to the imminent danger of the petrol tanks exploding, extricated the pilot from the burning wreckage. Shortly afterwards the tanks exploded and the whole aircraft was rapidly burned out. Unfortunately the pilot died later.


    Additional Information:

    Campion enlisted into the RAF in 1936.

    Campion died on 4th December 1943 on the Azores.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


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    Runnymede Memorial
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ernest Ralph Clyde (Chris) Frost

    Title/Rank: Aircraftman First Class

    Unit/Occupation: 90 Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force

    Awarded: September 1940. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: Canadian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 12th March 1940, RAF Upwood, Huntingdonshire

    The citation in the London Gazette of 5th July 1940, gives the following particulars:

    These two airmen displayed great courage in effecting the rescue of an unconscious pilot from a burning aircraft which resulted from a collision in which two Blenheim aircraft were involved while taking off. Aircraftmen Campion and Frost were among the first to arrive on the scene. Not knowing that the pilot was the sole occupant, Aircraftman Frost promptly entered the rear cockpit, which was full of smoke and fumes, in search of the wireless operator. Satisfying himself that no one was there, he climbed out and, nearly exhausted, ran to the front cockpit where Leading Aircraftman Campion was trying to rescue the pilot. Working heroically both men, with great risk to themselves, due to the imminent danger of the petrol tanks exploding, extricated the pilot from the burning wreckage. Shortly afterwards the tanks exploded and the whole aircraft was rapidly burned out. Unfortunately the pilot died later.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a CD.

    The aircraft involved was from No 90 Squadron.

    Frost became Chief Pilot of The Great Lakes Airlines.


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    Lake View Cemetery, Ontario, Canada
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Alexander Mitchell "Sandy" Hodge

    Title/Rank: Sub-Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

    Awarded: Date unknown. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 14th March 1940, between Ceylon and the Nicobar Islands, Indian Ocean

    The citation in the London Gazette of 2nd August 1940, gives the following particulars:

    H.M. Ship in which Sub-Lieutenant Hodge was serving was badly damaged by an explosion in a bomb-room. The bomb-room was in darkness, full of heat and fumes, and smoke rising to the main deck suggested fire below.

    Sub-Lieutenant Hodge had no knowledge of the behaviour of bombs in great heat or violent movement. When the explosion occurred he at once left the main deck and went into the bomb-room. He examined this and was able to rescue and send up several badly injured men. He found one of the wounded men crushed under two very heavy bombs, which could not be moved single-handed. Obtaining help, he dragged the wounded man clear, and sent him up.

    Sub-Lieutenant Hodge did not go on deck until he had satisfied himself that no one was left alive below.

    Throughout he showed outstanding courage, enterprise and resource, without any thought for himself. He saved all the lives he could though, for all he knew, further fatal explosions might have occurred at any moment.



    Additional Information:

    Later promoted to Captain.

    Also awarded a VRD.

    Hodge was serving aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in the Bay of Bengal.

    The bomb exploded in bomb room killing 13 and mortally wounding another.
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Gerald Winter

    Title/Rank: Mr.

    Unit/Occupation: Agricultural Worker, East Sussex Agricultural Committee

    Awarded: Date unknown. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action:21st March 1940, Portslade, Sussex

    The citation in the London Gazette of 28th June 1940, gives the following particulars:

    One morning in March last, an aircraft of the Royal Air Force crossed the English coast East of Shoreham, disappeared into cloud over the hills North of Brighton and, still in cloud, crashed on a hill-top known as Jeffries Point, Portslade. The crash was witnessed by three men who were working in a field a few yards from where the aircraft first touched the ground. Winter was one of these men. It caught fire on impact and travelled for a distance of 300 yards coming to rest in a gorse bush on the side of the hill. The grass and gorse caught fire from the point where it first struck the ground to the point where it finally came to rest. Winter immediately ran to the scene, and was informed by Corporal Lapwood, one of the crew who had managed to extricate himself from the wreckage, that there were still men inside. Winter immediately extricated A.C.I Oultram. He then climbed into the gun turret in an endeavour to locate the remainder of the crew. He saw two figures at the front of the machine beyond his reach. Climbing from the turret he tried with great gallantry to approach the nose of the aircraft but was unable to do so owing to the explosion of the ammunition and the intense heat of the flames. Moreover, the gorse plantation in the middle of which the aircraft had come to rest was also on fire.


    Additional Information:
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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    John McCabe

    Title/Rank: Assistant Foreman

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Ordnance Factory

    Awarded: Date unknown. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 2nd April 1940, Irvine Royal Ordnance Factory, Ardeer, Scotland.

    The citation in the London Gazette of 31st May 1940, gives the following particulars:

    The late John McCabe tragically lost his life through his exemplary devotion to duty on the 2nd April, when an explosion took place in the Factory. From the time that it was noticed that there were unusual conditions in the plant, he did all that was possible to get conditions normal. When this was unavailing and a fire was seen in one of the vessels, he attempted to use the mechanism which empties the contents of the vessel to a drowning pit. By this time the fire had spread to other vessels, and, after warning their men to escape, Messrs. Asquith and McLelland tried to use the appliance which is worked from outside the house for emptying all the vessels in the house, McCabe himself proceeding to work the same appliance within the building. While he was in the act of doing this, the explosion happened and he was instantly killed.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a Silver Watch from the Carnegie Hero Fund.

    Thomas Asquith was awarded Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

    Hugh McLelland was awarded Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    John Niven Angus Low

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: H.M. Submarine Unity, Royal Navy

    Awarded: Date unknown. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 29th April 1940, North Sea

    The citation in the London Gazette of 16th August 1940, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Low’s George Cross:

    At 1730 hrs on 29th April 1940 HM Submarine Unity was heading to the North Sea via Blyth on her way to patrol off the coast of Norway. Visibility was reduced to around 300 yards when she left the harbour and moved into the main channel. The Norwegian ship SS Atle Jarl was also in the same main channel steaming from Scotland to the Tyne. Visibility was getting worse and it had dropped to around 100 yards when Unity spotted Atle Jarl some 50 yards away heading straight for her. The order was given to close the bulk heads and engines astern just before Atle Jarl collided with the Submarine.

    The submarine was taking on large amounts of water so the commander gave the order to abandon ship. Lieutenant Low and Able Seaman Miller volunteered to stay behind in the flooding control room so that their shipmates could escape. The Unity sank five minutes after the collision.



    Additional Information:

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


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    [​IMG]
    Portsmouth Naval Memorial
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Henry James Miller

    Title/Rank: Able Seaman

    Unit/Occupation: H.M. Submarine Unity, Royal Navy

    Awarded: Date unknown. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 29th April 1940, North Sea

    The citation in the London Gazette of 16th August 1940, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Miller’s George Cross:

    At 1730 hrs on 29th April 1940 HM Submarine Unity was heading to the North Sea via Blyth on her way to patrol off the coast of Norway. Visibility was reduced to around 300 yards when she left the harbour and moved into the main channel. The Norwegian ship SS Atle Jarl was also in the same main channel steaming from Scotland to the Tyne. Visibility was getting worse and it had dropped to around 100yards when Unity spotted Atle Jarl some 50 yards away heading straight for her. The order was given to close the bulk heads and engines astern just before Atle Jarl collided with the Submarine.

    The submarine was taking on large amounts of water so the commander gave the order to abandon ship. Lieutenant Low and Able Seaman Miller volunteered to stay behind in the flooding control room so that their shipmates could escape. The Unity sank five minutes after the collision.



    Additional Information:

    Miller enlisted in the Royal Navy c.1918

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


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    Portsmouth Naval Memorial
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Joan Daphne Mary Pearson

    Title/Rank: Corporal

    Unit/Occupation: Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F.)

    Awarded: 31st January 1941. Initially an EGM and changed to a GC.

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 31st May 1940, RAF Station at Detling, Kent

    The citation in the London Gazette of 19th July 1940, gives the following particulars:

    On the 31st May, 1940, at 0100 hours an aircraft crashed near the Women's Auxiliary Air Force quarters, the pilot being seriously injured, another officer killed outright and two airmen slightly injured. Upon hearing the crash Corporal Pearson rushed out to it and, although the aircraft was burning and she knew that there were bombs aboard, she stood on the wreckage, roused the pilot, who was stunned, and assisted him in getting clear, releasing his parachute harness in doing so. When he was on the ground about 30 yards away, a 120lb bomb went off. Corporal Pearson at once threw herself on top of the pilot to protect him from blast and splinters. Her prompt and courageous action undoubtedly helped to save the pilot's life.


    Additional Information:

    Enlisted in the WAAF in 1939 as a medical orderly

    Shortly after this incident Pearson was later promoted to Assistant Station Officer.

    She saw the rest of with RAF Bomber Command.

    The aircraft was an Avro Anson Mark I aircraft from 500 Squadron, serial R3389 code MK-W.

    The Pilot Pearson saved was Pilot Officer David E Bond.

    Two other crew members Corporal Petts and LAC Fish the other 2 escaped unhurt.

    The wireless operator, F/Officer Richard C Chambers was killed.

    A Sunday Newspaper in the UK did a story on her regarding her award which led to her meeting the pilot she saved after the pilots son read the article.

    Pearson later lived in Australia and died there in 2000.

    Her medals are on display in the Imperial War Museum, London.
     

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