Grace Rattenbury - Awarded George Medal

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by ChrisR, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    HO 250/9/314 - Case Number: 314.
    Name: Grace Rattenbury.
    Age: 40.
    Occupation: Centre Leader WVS, Bermondsey.
    Brief Summary of Ground for Recommendation:
    Determination and courage evacuating women and children from Docklands fire at Rotherhithe, [London] on 07 September 1940.
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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    UK, WWII Civil Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940-1949
    Name: Grace Rattenbury
    Birth Year: abt 1901
    Age: 40
    Residence Year: 1941
    Residence Place: London
    Meeting Date: 13 Jan 1941
    Meeting Place: England

    I suspect that this may be her but it shows born in 1904
    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Grace Hilda Rattenbury
    Registration Year: 1904
    Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep
    Registration district: Camberwell
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: London
    Volume: 1d
    Page: 967

    Grace Hilda Rattenbury
    BIRTH 19 JUL 1904 • Walthamstow, Essex, England
    DEATH APR 2005 • Hastings and Rother, East Sussex, England

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  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Grace Dewhirst Rattenbury
    24th April 1900 Leiceister - 4Q 1989 Cambridge

    Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 09.03.59.png
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Thanks Guy

    I wasnt sure at all, but went for the London born being the higher possibility

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Grace Dewhirst Rattenbury
    Registration Year: 1900
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Leicester
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Leicestershire
    Volume: 7a
    Page: 214

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Grace Dewhurst Rattenbury
    Death Age: 89
    Birth Date: 24 Apr 1900
    Registration Date: Dec 1989
    Registration district: Cambridge
    Inferred County: Cambridgeshire
    Volume: 9
    Page: 967


    This is what annoys me about Ancestry - their record (shown in Guys post above) is transcribed by the 'people' at Ancestry as:
    Name: Grace D Rettenbury
    Gender: Female
    Marital Status: Single
    Birth Date: 24 Apr 1900
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 58 Overstrand Mns.
    Residence Place: Battersea, London, England
    Occupation: Social Worker Invalid Ch?? Civil Association
    Schedule Number: 197
    Sub Schedule Number: 1
    Enumeration District: ABBK
    Registration district: 23-1.
    Household Members:
    Grace D Rettenbury
    Mabel Bradshaw
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  5. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    The transcript of the 1939 register records her as Grace M ??
    Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 09.28.16.png
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Guy - attachment shows as Error (for me at least)

  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    On September 7, the first day of the Blitz, a bomb struck a railway arch on Linsey Street. Because shelters had not been built in enough numbers by this stage, the arch was crammed with many people. When the bomb hit the crowded and weak shelter, 23 people died and dozens more were injured.

    That same night, 29 other people were killed at Keeton School, which was being used as a rest centre. The site in Keeton Road suffered a direct hit, with horrifying consequences.

    The Blitz in Bermondsey - Southwark News
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  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    From your article - so British

    "During one incident, a bomb devastated Hawkstone Road, leaving a huge sixty-foot crater. When the dust settled, a lone Anderson shelter was spotted still standing on the very edge of the crater. Out of it emerged an elderly lady who, after calmly taking in the destruction of her surroundings, shouted to her friend below: “There you are Emily – I told you it was a bomb!”

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Royal Voluntary Service heritage blog: Enquiries, Catalogues and Heroes
    I thought I would finish off with a little bit about one of five WVS members who received the George medal for Bravery during WWII, something I came across while doing an enquiry the other day. Some of you may already know Grace Rattenbury’s story, but others may not.
    Grace was a member of Bermondsey WVS and with little regard for her own safety assisted in the evacuation of women and children from the Surrey commercial docks in Rotherhithe at the beginning of the London Blitz in September 1940. The docks were alight and the fire threatened to cut people off from the mainland. There was only one singles span bridge left, and the road was extremely dangerous because of the growing fire, bomb damage and delayed action bombs. In spite of all this Grace using a WVS van maintained a shuttle service between the docks and the first line Rest and feeding centres, until every woman and child had been evacuated. She not only managed to rescue fleeing families, but also firemen who had been injured fighting the flames. The van on her return was full of steel helmets, blood-soaked bandages and a fireman’s axe, and other marks of a very heavy nights work.

    :poppy: Grace Rattenbury :poppy:


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