Awards and Honours
(Work continues to update this archive)

 

George Cross.

The George Cross (GC) is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. The GC is the civilian counterpart of the Victoria Cross (VC) and the highest gallantry award for civilians as well as for military personnel in actions which are not in the face of the enemy or for which purely military honours would not normally be granted.

The GC was instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI. At this time, during the height of The Blitz, there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.

Announcing the new award, the King said: "In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution. 

The Warrant for the GC (along with that of the GM), dated 24 January 1941, was published in the London Gazette on 31 January 1941.

The GC was intended to replace the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM); all holders of the EGM were instructed to exchange their medals for a GC, a substitution of awards unprecedented in the history of British decorations. This substitution policy ignored holders of the Albert Medal (AM) and the Edward Medal (EM), awards which both took precedence over the EGM.The anomaly was only rectified in 1971, when the surviving recipients of the AM and the EM were invited to exchange their award for the George Cross. Of the 64 holders of the Albert Medal and 68 holders of the Edward Medal eligible to exchange, 49 and 59 respectively took up the option.

The George Cross, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger." 

The cross is primarily a civilian award; however the George Cross may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct which is not in the face of the enemy. As the Warrant states:

The Cross is intended primarily for civilians and award in Our military services is to be confined to actions for which purely military Honours are not normally granted.

 


 

115829 Second Lieutenant

Wallace Launcelot Andrews

Royal Engineers

22/23 Bomb Disposal Section

George Cross

13th March 1908 to 30th July 1944. Placed in the London Gazette 17th September 1940. On the 26th of August 1940, at Crohamhurst Golf Course, near Croydon, Surrey. 2nd/Lt Andrews in charge of the 22 and 23 Bomb Disposal Sections, when a bomb fell and failed to detonate near the aerodrome.  The fuse, in this bomb, was needed at the Department of Scientific Research. Therefore 2/Lt Andrews attempted to extract the fuse, several times all with no success. 2/Lt Andrews then withdrew his men to safety. When they reached a point of safety, he attached a cord to the fuse discharger ring and pulled. The bomb exploded, throwing 2/Lt Andrews a considerable distance and injuring two of his men with splinter wounds. For this action 2/Lt W.A. Andrews was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal, (EGM) which later was exchanged for the George Cross.On the 30th July 1944, the now Major Andrews died of war wounds sustained whilst Chief Instructor Bomb Disposal Ripon.

 


 

 126305 Second Lieutenant,

 (Acting Lieutenant)

Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer

Royal Engineers.

104 Bomb Disposal Section

GC, OBE, ERD

Placed in London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.The action that Acting Lt (A/Lt) Archer was awarded the George Cross, occurred on the 2nd September 1940. 2nd/ Lt  Archer, had been employed on Bomb Disposal work since June 1940 and in that time had dealt with over 200 bombs. He's courage and nerve, never faltered through out this period. On the 2nd September 1940, A/Lt Archer with his section was dispatched to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, At Llandarcy, near Swansea. where a complete stick of bombs had fallen, without detonating. Several oil tanks had been set alight, which increased the risk and made the operation more hazardous. Two of the bombs exploded whilst A/Lt Archer was dealing with the most dangerous bomb, it was clearly apparent that this bomb could also detonate at any moment. The task continued for many hours, before the bombs fuse was removed and it was made safe.For this act Acting Lieutenant B.S.T. Archer was awarded the George Cross.His Citation reads:"The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross in recognition of the most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner. Having reached the rank of Colonel, Archer retired in and is has been Chairman of the VC and GC Association since August 1940.

 

 


 

 Lieutenant.Acting/Major

Herbert John Leslie Barefoot

Royal Engineers

George Cross

15th May 1887 to 23rd December 1958

Placed in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941.In September and October 1940, the blitz's early days, Acting Major (A/Major), Barefoot was a pioneer of bomb disposal work. He worked on some of the first unexploded bombs to fall on mainland Britain. He also worked on the first magnetic mine,  suspended  by parachute. The results of which put invaluable information in the hands of the authorities. His bravery and devotion to duty, were an inspiration to all the men under him.For these actions Acting Major H.J.L. Barefoot  was awarded the George Cross.His citation reads:"The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for the most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.Also the award given to 2nd/Lt Campbell and Sgt M. Gibson.(See there individuals entries). H.J.L. Barefoot was also awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal with Oak Leaf, Defence Medal, War Medal and 1953 Coronation Medal. Interestingly Barefoot also served in WW 1 in both the RNVR and the Sanitary Company of the RAMC. 

 

119978 Second Lieutenant

 

Acting Captain

Michael Flood Blaney

 

Royal Engineers.George Cross

(Posthumously)

19th November 1910 to 13th December 1940.

Award placed in the London Gazette 15th April 1941.
In the early hours of the 18th September 1940, an unexploded bomb landed in the middle of Manor Way. This was a short distance from the junction with East Ham and Barking by- pass. This caused  traffic, to the Royal Arsenal and other strategic industrial undertakings, to grind to a stand still. Acting Captain, (A/Capt), Blaney was called and removed the bomb, enabling thousands of war-workers to  continue on their way to work.

The 20th October saw an unexploded bomb fall in Park Avenue, East Ham. The bomb was fitted with two dangerous time fuses, very few bombs were fused in this manner, and therefore it was a very real threat to Public Utility Services, and of a great threat to the Bomb Disposal Section when they were defusing it. A/Capt Blaney personally defused the bomb, as normal it was his practice to work alone.

Again on the 13th December 1940, Blaney was called to a premise abutting Romford Road, Manor Park, where a bomb had fallen, some days previously, to remove the fuse. This bomb was causing serious disruption to traffic. As usual he crawled into the crater alone, in order to tackle the bomb, which exploded and Blaney lost his life.His citation reads "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner. 

Lance Sergeant

William John Button

No 48 Bomb Disposal Section

Royal Engineers

George Cross

1904 to 10th March 1969.

Placed in the London Gazette 17th September 1940.On the  morning of the 18th August 1940, Lance Sergeant Button, with No 48 BD Section was ordered to continue the excavating of an unexploded bomb. Due to the time already elapsed on the excavation, Button knew that there was a strong possibility that the bomb could explode at any time. Regardless of this he continued with his section to excavate the bomb, showing great coolness.Eventually the bomb exploded, killing five members of the section, Lance Sergeant Button was thrown some distance by the explosion. Although shaken, Button gathered the rest of the section, checked that none were injured and informed the First Aid detachment, he then reported to his Section Officer.For his actions Lance Sergeant W.J. Button was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal, later this was exchanged for the George Cross.

 

 


 

135004, Second Lieutenant

Alexander Fraser Campbell

9 Bomb Disposal Company

Royal Engineers 

George Cross

1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal,

Defence Medal and War Medal 1939/45

2nd May 1898 to 18th October 1940.

Placed in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941.
Second Lieutenant Campbell was called to deal with an unexploded bomb on the morning of 17th October 1940. This had fallen in the Triumph Engineering Works, in Coventry. The bomb had caused the two factories production to cease and a large number of local residents had been evacuated. On inspecting the Bomb Campbell found it was fitted with a delayed action fuse, this was impossible to remove. Therefore Campbell decided to remove the bomb to a safe place.  The removal was completed by using a lorry, as Campbell lay alongside the bomb on the lorry bed, so he could hear if the bomb had started ticking, in this case he could have warned the driver, so they could stop and run for cover. Once they reached a safe distance he disposed of the bomb.
Regrettably 2nd/Lt Campbell, Sgt M.Gibson, Spr W. Gibson, Spr R.Gilchrest, Spr J. Plumb and Spr R. Wm. Skelton.

were also killed the next day 18th October 1940.

Campbell's citation reads; The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.

Acting Lieutenant

Robert Davies

Bomb Disposalm Royal Engineers

George Cross

3rd October 1900 to 27th September 1957

 Placed in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1940.An unexploded bomb fell in close proximity to St Paul's Cathedral, 12th September 1940, Lieutenant Davies was the Officer in Charge of the party called upon to recover the bomb.Lt Davies was conscious of the imminent danger this bomb presented to St Paul's and regardless of the risk to himself or his men, he spared nobody in the search for this bomb.  The bomb was located by Sapper G.W. Wylie, who located it deep under the pavement in front of St Paul's. By unremitting efforts the bomb was removed, all the time Davies and his party were aware of the strong possibility that the bomb would explode.To prevent his men from further risk Davies drove the vehicle himself to transport the bomb and carried out its disposal.For this action Lieutenant R. Davies and Sapper G.W. Wylie were awarded the George Cross.Lt Davies citation reads; The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross as Officer in charge of the party dealing with the St Pauls bomb.

 

 


 

Temporary Major

Cyril Arthur Joseph Martin

Bomb Disposal.

Royal Engineers

George Cross, Military Cross

23rd July 1897 to 27th November 1973

Placed in the London Gazette on the 11th March 1943.From the beginning of the Blitz and during the heavy raids of 1940/41, Major Martin carried out Bomb Disposal work and dealt with a large number of unexploded bombs during this period. He continued with this work through to 1943. During the night of the 17th/18th January 1943, a large bomb fell into the warehouse belonging to the Victoria Haulage Company in Battersea. The warehouse at the time contained heavy machinery new from the United States. Due to the importance of the machinery this bomb was a high priority for disposal.Once examined it was found to be fused with a new type, this was an extremely formidable fuse as it contained an anti handling and booby trap, also it was proof against any known disarming techniques with equipment then in service.A decision to remove the base plate, then extract the explosive filling was made. Major Martin was called to carry out this task. The base plate was removed, Major Martin then found that the explosive content was of the solid cast TNT type, which would require steaming at high pressure.The normal process for steaming, by remote control was deemed to risky. For this task the steam nozzle was directly applied by hand and used a low level amount of steam, enough to just soften the TNT fill, so it was pliable enough for it to be scrapped away.Major Martin assisted by another Officer undertook this nerve racking task, which took from the 20th afternoon till 08.30 the next day. At this time they had succeeded in removing the entire TNT content. This work was completed by working through a small hole, filled with water and steam  and laying alongside the bomb. This operation was both dangerous and of a long duration, as on two separate occasions, when Martin dealt with similar devices, he showed almost unbelievable and cold blooded courage. Lt R.W. Deans assisted in this operation, he was awarded a George Cross, London Gazetted on the 11/03/43.Major C.A.J. Martin's George Cross was awarded for multiple acts, during air raids of the 17/18th January 1943, the act described above and on the 2nd February a bomb found in the old Kent Road and another on the 4th February 1943. Major Martin's citation reads; The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.Martin received a Military Cross during World War 1, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the RGA Special Reserve.  The London Gazette reads for this award; For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, he with two men extinguished a burning ammunition dump, under heavy and continuous fire, while overheated ammunition  exploded nearby, he showed great coolness and resource.
 

 

 


 

 

Doctor Arthur Douglas Merriman

Part Time Experimental Officer

Directorate of Scientific Supply Research

Ministry of Supply

Bomb Disposal

Royal Engineers from 1942.

George Cross, Order of the British Empire

25th November 1892 to 4th November 1972.

Placed in the London Gazette on the 3rd December 1940. A brief explanation is necessary  to explain Dr A.D. Merrimans inclusion under Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal, George Cross awards. Dr Merriman received an emergency general list commission in December 1940. He was sent to the C in C Middle East as Assistant Director Bomb Disposal. In 1942 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers. Late 1942 he was a Major, (Temporary Lt Colonel) Dr Merriman was awarded the George Cross for; As an Experimental Officer, for the Directorate of Scientific Research, who tackled some of the first bombs to fall on Britain early in the summer of 1941. Supposedly Merriman was only part time in his position, with predominantly Office duties, he in fact on many occasions dealt with dangerous bombs at the request of the War Office and Air Ministry, in these roles he was a volunteer. As Director General of Scientific Research, he on the 11th September 1940 dealt with a bomb, which had fallen in Regent Street, London.The bomb was heard to be ticking as they started work, they all were aware that this meant the bomb was on its countdown to explode. The decision was made to remove as much of the explosive filling as possible before that happened. This would reduce the damage and make the bomb relatively harmless. They worked till the last moment, the timing was perfect, at the last moment they got away and the only damage was some broken windows. Doctor A.D. Merriman's citation reads; The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for conspicuous gallantry in connection with Bomb Disposal.

 

 


 

Lieutenant

John MacMillan Stevenson Patton

1st BattalionCorp's of Canadian Royal Engineers

George Cross, CBE

29th August 1915 to 13th May 1996

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.Lt Patton was called to the Vickers Aircraft factory at Weybridge on the 21st September 1940, where a large unexploded bomb had been found, he was not a member of any established Bomb Disposal Unit. As he could see no obvious way to defuse the bomb, he made a decision to move it to a safe place. As if it detonated it would have badly disrupted aircraft production. With another Officer the bomb was handled onto a piece of corrugated iron, which was used as a skid. This was then attached to a lorry and towed away, it tumbled into another bomb crater and exploded some hors later.Lieutenant J.M.S. Patton's citation reads; The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out very hazardous work.Lt Patton was the first overseas Officer to receive the George Cross.He was awarded the CBE. For public Services to Bermuda in 1947.

 

 


 

 Lieutenant

Edward Womersley Reynolds

101 and 102 Bomb Disposal Sections

Royal Engineers

George Cross

27th June 1917 to 16th December 1955

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th September 1940.Lieutenant E.W. Reynolds, a member of one of the new Bomb Disposal Sections, was called on the 17th August 1940 to deal with a 250 kilo unexploded bomb, in the garden of a council house at Congrebury. The bomb was dug down to at a depth of 17 feet. The bomb had a new type of fuse fitted. There were no details or instructions as to how this type was to be dealt with. Traffic was stopped and local residents evacuated. The fuse was removed and found to be of a delayed clockwork type.  His actions were risky and the merit of his actions was great for the lack of exact knowledge of this type of fuse.Lt Reynold was again called out on the 3rd September 1940, in Temple Street Bristol where a large bomb had fallen and not detonated on the night of September the 1st 1940.It was believed initially to have exploded as damage to the front of business premises was apparent. However, at 16.30 on the 3rd September, a 250kilo bomb was discovered. Lt Reynold was called to the site, he found the fuse to be clocking and ticking. Following laid down procedures he contacted Regional HQ, there view that the sooner, the bomb was dealt with the better, Reynolds stated that he was willing to deal with it, immediately. His view was that if not dealt with there would be great damage to property due to the size of bomb and this would have an effect on the publics morale. Permission was given to carry on, Reynolds extracted the fuse immediately rendering the bomb inoperative. The risks in this operation were considerable. Lieutenant E.W. Reynolds was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal which was later exchanged for the George Cross, for the above operations.

 

 


 

100411Second Lieutenant

Ellis Edward Arthur Chetwynd Talbot

103 Bomb Disposal Section

Royal Engineers

George Cross

Member of the British Empire.1939-45 Star, Africa Star, 

War Medal 1939-45

22nd March 1920 to 9th October 1941.

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th September 1940.2nd Lt Talbot on the 24th and 25th of August 1940 was present for the whole period, when a bomb was dug down to, the recovery of this took twelve and a half hours.On reaching the bomb, it was brought to the surface and Talbot investigated and found it was of a delayed action type. He ordered his men to safety.The bomb was found to be of a new type and Talbot decided to move it to a place were it would cause no damage if it exploded. He kept his men at a safe distance and placing the bomb upon his shoulder carried it 200 yards to a safe spot. At all times there was a risk of the bomb exploding. Lt Talbot set a fine example of courage and devotion to duty.2nd Lieutenant Talbot's citation reads; The King has been graciously pleased to award the Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This was later exchanged for the George Cross.Lt Talbot was killed on the 9th September 1941 near Sicily, whist a passenger on a RAF Blenheim, on a bombing raid. 

 

 


 

1942531 Sapper 

 George Cameron Wylie

Bomb Disposal

Royal Engineers

George Cross

25th December 1908 to 1st February 1987

On the 12th September 1940 a 2,000kg bomb landed close to St Pauls Cathedral. Sapper Wylie located the bomb in embedded in the soil in Deans yard.Due to its weight and the soft soil, the job of removing the bomb from the ground was an arduous task, which took three days. The task was made that bit more hazardous by a broken gas main, on fire, being nearby.Wylie and his team removed the bomb from the ground and placed it on a lorry that Wylie drove himself, with Lt Davis to Hackney Marshes, where it was detonated by an controlled  explosion. The crater was 100ft, what damage would this have caused to St Pauls.Wylies citation reads; The KING has been graciously pleased to award the George Cross, to Sapper Wylie, The actual discovery and removal of the bomb fell to him. Sapper Wylie's untiring energy, courage, and disregard for danger were an outstanding example to his comrades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Medal.

 

The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth

The GM was instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI  At this time, during the height of The Blitz  there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.

Announcing the new award, the King said: "In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution."

The Warrant for the GM (along with that of the GC), dated 24 January 1941, was published in the London Gazette on 3 January 1941.

The medal is granted in recognition of "acts of great bravery." The GM was originally not issued posthumously, however the warrant was amended in 1977 to allow posthumous awards, several of which have been subsequently made.

The medal is primarily a civilian award; however The George Medal may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct which is not in the face of the enemy.  As the Warrant states:

The Medal is intended primarily for civilians and award in Our military services is to be confined to actions for which purely military Honours are not normally granted.

Bars are awarded to the GM in recognition of the performance of further acts of bravery meriting the award. In undress uniform or on occasions when the medal ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon to indicate each bar. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters GM.

The details of all awards to British and Commonwealth recipients are published in the London Gazette.

 

Lt G. Allen. GM

 

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 5th May 1944.Awarded for work at Salerno.

Lt J.G. Allen spent a week in Salerno; he defuzed and removed seven British bombs with long delay fuses and anti handling devices. These bombs were causing problems for military operations as they were next to the Salerno- Naples road and railway. They could not be destroyed in situ or be allowed to explode due to the damage to routes of supply it would cause. The normal mode of operation for this type of bomb would have been to destroy in situ.The week previous to these actions Lt Allen and a section of 17 Bomb Disposal Company, cleared two Barracks of booby traps after 25 American soldiers were killed.

 

2009340 Sgt Arthur James Ashmore. GM.

 3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.

Awarded for work at Grimsby. Sgt Ashmore was one of seven people awarded the George Medal for work between the 13/14th June 1943, whilst clearing SD2's (Butterfly Bombs).He dealt with one SD2 which was located under a railway wagon, the cargo of which was valuable. This SD2 was sandbagged in such a way that when detonated the blast caused no damage to wagon and goods. Using the same method he disposed of another SD2 close to a signal box, without putting it out of action.Ten day's later; a SD2 was located over a false ceiling, hanging by its drogues. To get to this device he had to rig tackle from the chimneystack to pull it clear. It in fact jammed and Sgt Ashmore had to climb back on the roof to free it. On climbing down and pulling it, the SD2 exploded.

 

2126849 Sgt William Henry Bailey. GM.

 7 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 10th March 1944.

Awarded for work in Plymouth.Sgt Bailey assisted Lt Grey, (also awarded the GM), on removing a 500kg bomb dropped on the night of 11/12 August 1943. This bomb landed tail first on the corner of Efford Road, Plymouth. This road was the main route from Plymouth to Exeter,  this bomb effectively sealed of Plymouth from the East, as all other routes were closed due to bomb craters or other unexploded bombs.The bomb was partially uncovered and on investigation the fuze was found to be a ticking number 17. As it was partially uncovered the decision was made and passed down that an attempt to remove it was to be made. The task was made even more daunting by the fact that another bomb from this stick had exploded at 06:00 that same morning. Also the bomb had partly demolished a building and the remains were overhanging it, in fact this was roughly a one hundred weight piece of concrete,  only held by a couple of pieces of metal reinforcement. Due to the fragile nature of the concrete shoring was not possible so work commenced with the possibility of it becoming detached and falling on those below working on the bomb.Finally there was another danger added to the equation, three feet away was a fractured gas main.The task took four hours, with Sgt Bailey working in shifts with Lt Gray, as the effects of the gas was felt upon them. Between them they cleared debris to get to the fuse, the bomb being unsecure threatened to move at any time. The 50 fuze was immunized, the bomb loaded onto a truck, with the 17 fuse still ticking and taken to a bomb dump where it exploded some hours later.

 

123013 Capt Alexander George Bainbridge. GM.

Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.

Awarded for work in London.Monk Street, Woolwich, Southern Outfall Sewer, September 1940and High Street, Plumstead, October 1940.More details to be added when available.2nd Lt James Barnes.No 4 Bomb Disposal Company.Posted in the London Gazette on the 22 January 1941.Awarded for work at the Vauxhall Motor Factory, Luton.2nd Lt Barnes was called to the Vauxhall Motor Factory at Luton, on the 6th November 1940. The factory had been hit by ten bombs during the preceding night. Damage was superficial; however two bombs had failed to detonate. One of these bombs was located next to a furnace in the continuous heat treatment plant. This plant was vital to production. If this bomb had exploded production would have ceased for at least ten days. Due to the importance of the department Barnes immediately dealt with and removed the bomb.The raid had only happened two and a half hours before Barnes arrived. The A.R.P control centre had been damaged by two bombs, the second of which lay close by. Any further damage to this centre would result in 9,000 workers being laid off. Barnes with no hesitation excavated the bomb and removed the fuze, therefore preventing it exploding and causing further damage.Lt Barnes was awarded the GM for his heroism, it was his cool and courageous action that saved the company from losing production, important to the war effort. The factory was back in production by the next morning.Lt P.A. Bays.Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th October 1945.Awarded for work in the United Kingdom.Further details to follow when available.

 

2968034 Cpl William Owen Bean. GM.

77 Bomb Disposal Section.

 10 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.

Awarded for work at Middelton, Lancashire.Based in Manchester, on the 31st August 1941 he and his section were called to a railway embankment at Middelton, Lancashire. Where several bombs had landed, eight had failed to detonate and were close to a highly populated area.Digging began, however the ground was found to be hard going.Bean, by his leadership, quick thinking and coolness were an example to his men and he kept his section going and all eight bombs were recovered, allowing several hundred people to return to their homes.This award of the George Medal to a Junior Non Commissioned Officer was one of very few.

 

56967 Capt Alfred John Biggs. GM.

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22 January 1941.

Awarded for work at Curzon Street, Bordesley, Birmingham.On the 1st November, at 01:30 in the morning a 250kg bomb fell through the railway viaduct at Curzon Street. Capt Biggs of 9 BD Company was informed 15 minutes later. He went to investigate this report with his Sgt; they found the bomb had partially buried itself under the viaduct. If this bomb exploded the damage it caused would have caused serious disruption to rail traffic for a considerable time.Capt Biggs set to uncovering the fuse straight away, which was ticking. On attempting to remove the fuse it was found to be jammed. Therefore Briggs removed the base plate with a hammer and cold chisel and removed the explosive with a hosepipe and crowbar. The explosive fill was removed by 02:30, seven minutes before the fuse detonated.For his coolness and bravery Capt Briggs was awarded the George Medal.

 

210258 Lt Thomas Blackshaw. GM.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th August 1943.

Awarded for work at sites in Mountnessing, Essex.On the night of 3/4th March 1943, 346 S.D.2's, (Butterfly Bombs) were dropped on Essex. These were fitted with two fuses a No 70 B, anti handling, designed to detonate at the slightest vibration or touch, the other a No 67, designed to explode any time up to half an hour. Due to bad manufacturing the fuzes frequently stopped, shortly before it exploded. Therefore the Bomb Disposal personnel were left with an anti handling device to deal with. To make matters worse if one exploded it could cause a sympathetic detonation of others within a 25 yards radius.Disposal was completed by using one of two methods, either by attaching a cord to the device and pulling it from a safe distance or by placing a guncotton charge on it, both methods needed steady hands and nerve with a gentle touch. On the day of this raid Lt Blackshaw disposed of 31 S.D2's all of which were armed with anti handling devices. For a further 48 hours, Blackshaw dealt with other S.D.2's accounting for another 64 in this period. For sustained courage, in dealing with a total of 95 S.D.2's in such a short period of time, where each device was of a significant risk he was awarded the George Medal.Lt T.W.T. Blackwell. MBE.No 127 and 128 Bomb Disposal Sections.Posted in the London Gazette on the 6th November 1942.Lt Blackwell prior to taking over, Bomb Disposal in Malta in October 1941 on the death of Lt Talbot, had been awarded a MBE.Several delayed action bombs were dropped on the night of 30th July 1941. One fell in a populated area, burying civilians.Blackwell investigated and found it was fused by two No 17 fuzes, these were delayed action and were ticking. Due to civilians being buried it was decided to remove the bomb allowing rescue work to continue. The problem was no lifting gear and a bomb weighing 550lbs. The course of action tow, it away. Debris was removed with the assistance of PC Baylis; the bomb hitched up with a twelve foot rope and moved initially this failed, as debris got in the way. PC Baylis therefore drove and Blackwell cleared a route. The bomb was successfully removed to a safe place, during this time another of the bombs exploded. Sadly no buried civilians survived.Blackwell received the George Medal for this and other operations on Malta, for his untiring efforts and heroism throughout the worst of the Malta bombing.

 

LT W.S. Borthwick. GM.

11 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th December 1945.

Awarded for work at Dunbar.Whilst working on a mine field to the south of Dunbar, on the 27th April 1945, Lt Dunbar was called upon to attend a minefield to the north of the town, were an accident had occurred. On arriving at the incident Borthwick found that two mines had detonated and 3 Prisoners of War were died and nine others wounded and all were still in the minefield. Borthwick and Sgt H. Craik cleared a route enabling the wounded and dead men to be recovered. There were problems of communication due to the language barrier during these operations and the tendency of the wounded to move around as stretcher parties came near. Lt Borthwick was awarded the George Medal for "Operating, at great personnel risk, in a situation fraught with difficulties and by his own initiative and gallant act, ensured that the wounded men were recovered with greatest possible speed and sent to hospital"Prior to this incident Brothwick had spent a year clearing up to 1,600 mines.Sgt Craik was awarded the BEM for his part in the operation.Later that year Brothwick was tasked to a similar incident at Peffer Sands Minefield.

 

154267 Temporary Capt Edward Louis Bourne. GM.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 23rd December 1943.

Awarded for work in Norfolk; Wells-next-on-the-sea 18th August 1943.Sheringham 24th August 1943.Swinton Abbot 25th August 1943.Elsing 2nd September 1943.Captain Bourne was involved in clearing of S.D.2's (Butterfly Bombs). His Sgt Fred Fisher was awarded the BEM.

 

1990980 Sgt John Brabin. GM.

 3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 15th September 1943.

Awarded for work on the Norfolk Coast January/May 1943, Caston  12th August 1943 and Norwich area September/October 1943.Sgt Brabin was involved in mine clearance work on the Norfolk Coast January to May 1943.Also Brabin cleared 27 S.D.2's (Butterfly Bombs) dropped on Caston on the night of 11/12 August 1943. These were located on awkward positions, hedges, corn stukes and undergrowth.He also assisted in clearing more S.D.2's dropped in September to October 1943. Over 600 were dropped in this area. Most were fitted with a 70(B) fuze (anti handling)

 

Capt A.J. Briggs. GM.

11 Bomb Disposal Company.

Placed in the London Gazette on the 9th July 1946.

Awarded for minefield work at Dunbar.On the 14th September 1945 an accident happened in a minefield near Dunbar. The officer and three men were killed, Briggs recovered their bodies. The moral of the remaining men was badly shaken and the minefield was re-fenced. Work on the field was made more hazardous by rock formations affecting the locating equipment.On the 27 September, Briggs brought the survivors back to the minefield and alone in view of his men located and disarmed several mines. This restored the men’s confidence and work re-started on clearance operations. No further incidents occurred.Lt Briggs was awarded the George Medal for his unfaltering courage and devotion to duty in setting a fine example to his men.

 

13005511 Cpl Charles Frederick Bristow. GM.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th February 1942.

Awarded for work at Gas works Romford and A13 road Rainham, Essex.Cpl Bristow assisted Lt J.P Walton on the 5th November 1940 in dealing with two 250kg bombs armed with both no 17 and 50 fuzes. These were in gasholders at the Romford Gas Works. The air conditions were so bad that work had to be stopped every twenty minutes. This work was completed in the shortest possible time, ensuring minimum damage and services to be  re-started with the least disruption. Also this work was carried out whilst the air raid continued.Also on the 26th to 28th February 1941, Bristow assisted Walton in dealing with three remaining  250kg bombs  of a stick of  four straddling the A13 at Rainham, Essex. One of this stick exploded after 18 hours. Work commenced on these bombs after a safety period of four days, they were fuzed with both No 17 and 50 fuzes. Two when uncovered were found to be ticking, but immunized successfully.

 

Lt W.M. Brown. GM.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 15th March 1946.Awarded for work in the U.K.

 

 2067513 Sgt Charles Morris Cann. GM.

8 Bomb Disposal Section.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941.

Awarded for work at Ipswich, Suffolk on the 28th October 1940.Sgt Cann was the first Non Commissioned Officer to defuze live bombs also he was one of the pioneers in BD work.He under took work on parachute mines regardless of whether they had been defuzed by the Royal Navy. Whilst he was dealing with a mine in a back garden, the fuze commenced ticking. This had 17 seconds to run before exploding, therefore Cann ran for it, rumor has it that a tubby Cann managed to clear 6 garden walls before it went of, these walls were 6 feet tall, no mean feat. On the 28th October 1940, Cann was tasked with investigating a new fuze type on a small anti personnel bomb. Numerous of these had been dropped in the Ipswich area. He managed to secure a complete bomb, the mechanism was a hairbreadths from triggering the device. This was dismantled and rendered safe. Previous to this a number of policemen had been injured fatally by these devices. Due to the recovery of this device, precautionary measures were implemented, saving lives. In 1945 Cann now commissioned Captain, was involved in providing BD Operatives with safe methods of clearing beach mines laid in shingle. This was done and units working on the beaches were issued High Pressure Water Jetting Equipment.Sadly Cann died in 1945, not as a result of BD work but whilst having his tonsils removed, tragically his son died in 1946 whilst having the same operation.

 

1880745 Spr John William Carter. GM.

2 Bomb Disposal Group.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 11th March 1941.

Awarded for work in Gravesend, Kent in continual support of Lt C.H. Green.In Gravesend, Sapper Green supported his officer on several incidents these included two 250kg bombs in a school playing field, a Flam 250 incendiary at Bowater Paper Mills, close to the River Thames and another bomb in a back garden in Dashwood Road. This last bomb was discovered with its fuze visible but so badly damaged as to be unidentifiable. Later it was found to be a no 17 Long Delay fuze, which was removed by hammer and cold chisel, standard practice at the time, the fuze fired ten minutes after removal.

 

2006164 Spr Stanley Chesher. GM.

96 Bomb Disposal Section.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.

His Citation reads:The conduct of Sapper Chesher, under conditions of extraordinary difficulty and danger, has been especially meritorious.  He has never allowed considerations for his personal safety to interfere with his work and no situation, however perilous, has been able to affect his nerve. He has shown himself to be as ready to face hard work as he is to meet risk and it has been found more difficult to persuade him to come out of a bomb hole than to get him to enter one. On 18 August 1940 he worked for 9 hours, stripped and up to his waist in water, in order to reach a large High Explosive delayed-action bomb which had fallen in a pond.

 

188309 Sgt Robert John Chester. GM.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 28th October 1941.

Awarded for three incidents:Harold Wood, Essex, August 1940.Railway Station, Hornchurch, Essex, September 1940.Warley near Brentwood, Essex, October 1940.Further details to be added when found.

 

Lt Michael .A. Clinton. GM & Bar.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

George Medal. Awarded for work in Romford, Essex.Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th February 1942.1. Based in Colchester, Clinton was tasked with immunizing and removing a 250kg bomb in Romford. This was fuzed with a no 17, the fuze pocket was damaged and the fuze could not be removed. The bomb had to be moved as disposal in situ was not acceptable. Whilst being lifted the fuze became active and ticking was heard, thankfully it stopped. But for how long was uncertain. After the bomb was lowered onto a truck, Clinton himself drove it away, to a area where it would cause no damage, this was completed before it exploded.2. On the 14th March 1941, Clinton located and uncovered a 250kg bomb. This had two fuzes, a normal 50 but a new version 17A, delayed action. This was possibly the first of these new fuzes to be discovered. Clinton took the decision to remove it for research. Due to the position of the bomb the fuze was underneath the bomb. Disregarding all safety precautions Clinton, removed by fuzes by hand in torchlight. Major General Taylor, commented on Clinton’s actions, stating that he had accepted the risk of certain death, with sustained courage and complete disregard to personal safety. At this time a Stethoscope could be used to hear if the fuze was ticking, but there was no equipment to stop the clock. Also there could have been a booby trap under the 17A fuze to stop it falling into enemy hands for research.For both these incident Lt M.A. Clinton was awarded the George Medal.Bar to GM. Awarded for work in Essex.Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th August 1943.Due to a raid at Sisted on the 6th March 1943 Clinton was dispatched and found 21 S.D.2's (Butterfly Bombs). Some were buried 8 to 10 inches into the ground others were found on the surface. All were fitted with the type 70 (B) fuzes, anti handling. The surface bombs were detonated by having a piece of string attached and being pulled. Those buried had the earth around them cleared till explosive could be put in contact with them, then detonated.On the 7th March 1943, Clinton then disposed of 8 more West Thurrock and at Thames Haven oil refinery 10 more. These were fitted with the No 67 fuze, which was a clock work delay set for up to 30 minutes. Three of these at Thames Haven had to be moved as they had come to rest under oil pipes. For these incidents Clinton received his second George Medal. Only two officers were given this honor.

 

Platoon Officer Reg .E. Cooke. GM. MBE.

Home Guard.Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Unit.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 11 March 1941.

Awarded for work in a factory at Birmingham.Cooke’s citation reads:Platoon Officer R.E. Cooke, of the Home Guard, went to deal with a 250kg bomb which fell on the factory in which he worked on 28th October 1940. When it was reached it was found to be ticking. The bomb had now been there for forty eight hours and from experience, it was known that the bomb could explode at any time. An attempt was made to remove the fuze, but it failed and he withdrew to consider the problem. In view of the importance of the factory it was decided to attack the fuze for the second time. This time he took a crow bar with him. In the end, it needed three people to extract the ticking fuze. This time they were partially successful, but only in pulling the fuze part way out of the bomb. It was then decided to flood the shaft and hope the water would stop the fuze. Apparently it did and the bomb was later safely removed.2nd LT R.H. Lee was also awarded the George Medal for this incident.Note: It is not well known that many large factories had their own BD units. These were there in case the regular BD units were unavailable. These units were called Auxiliary BD Units and were part of the Home Guard. they however,  wore RE cap badges and the treasured bomb badge on their sleeves. There training was from the local Regular BD Officers. There are numerous mentions of these units digging up and immunizing bombs in their factories.

 

Sgt J. Cooke. GM. BEM.

Bomb Disposal Unit (UK).

Gilbert and Ellice Islands.October 1965 to May 1966.

 

Major Qualtrough and Sgt J. Cooke BEM, were tasked with a most hazardous overseas task. Initially on there way to Betio Island, they were to carry out a reconnaissance on Penang, of abandoned Japanese mine and bomb dumps. Part of Penang had been cleared in the 1950's, however nine storage tunnels and hidden pits were discovered and contained a vast collection of mines and shells, many oozing explosives. Work went on in Penang till November 1965, when both men set of for Betio.The majority of explosives on Betio were found to be in fifty collapsed bunkers. Qualtrough and Cooke's official task was to, clear the bunkers by hand and sea dump the contents, re-inter any body parts found and finally give the island a clearance sweep using mine detectors, a doubting task. A preliminary reconnaissance was undertaken on the 30th November 1965, forty two bunkers were located, some gun sites, others command posts and bomb stores. The collapsed bunkers contained shells for 203, 152, 157 and 76.2 mm caliber, also present were mines bombs and other ammunition. Work commenced on the 3rd December, locals were employed for the task alongside fifteen prisoners provided by the Chief Police Officer. By 19th January 1966 al bar one bunker was clear. The ammunition removed was in poor condition, some so badly deteriorated that it gave of toxic fumes. The local work force however was uninterested in safety often removing the explosive at night for private use. The final bunker was the most difficult, as it had suffered several direct hits through the war. Excavation began on 29th December 1965 but on 3rd February work ceased as the risks were too great, 20.3 tons had by now been removed. Sea dumping continued till 3 March 1966. In total over 100 tons of explosives were cleared from Betio, however much more remained. Both Major Qualtrough and Sgt Cooke were later awarded the George Medal. 

 

Capt D.W. Cunnington. GM.

1st Canadian Pioneer Battalion.

Royal Canadian Engineers.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.

Awarded for an incident at Weybridge.At Weybridge Hawker Aircraft Factory,  on the 21st September 1940, at 10:30 in the morning three bombs were dropped, two exploded with causing slight damage, the third penetrated the roof passed through a wall and came to a halt on a concrete driveway, outside the assembling shed. If this bomb had exploded it would have caused damage both to building and aircraft that was irreparable.The 1st Canadian Pioneer Battalion stationed nearby, were asked for assistance, Lt Patten later followed by Cunnington looked at the bomb and towed it away to a safer area, where little damage could be caused if it exploded. It exploded later in the morning.Lt Patten was awarded the George Cross and Capt Cunningham the George Medal for showing complete disregard for his personal safety. 

 

127300 Lt Charles Ernest Davies. GM.

23 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th October 1941.

Awarded for incidents at:1. Hawker Aircraft Factory, Weybridge, Surrey, 21st September 19402. Onslow Village, Guilford, Surrey, 27th October 1940.3. Ormonde Road, Guilford, Surrey, 28th October 1940.4. Airspeed Factory, Muddiford Lane, Christchurch, Hampshire, 10th May 1941.1. Lt Davies, joined Bomb Disposal in August 1940 and was stationed at Winchester. In the first twelve months of BD work he dealt with four hundred bombs. Thirty Five of these had been categorized as Cat A, i.e. immediate disposal essential, bomb must not explode in situ, under any circumstance.One of these Cat A's was at the Hawker Aircraft factory, Weybridge. Two 50 kg's had been dropped at 10:30 in the morning. The first one that Davies dealt with was found when he arrived at 14:00 had not penetrated the concrete floor of the factory, this he moved to a crater in a nearby field. The second had penetrated the floor and had to be dug out. This operation took al night, at 08:00 hours the next day the bomb was reached. Both bombs were fitted with a No 17 long delay fuze. Whilst digging for the second bomb the first detonated. Due to the bravery of Davies and his men, working when they knew there was a strong possibility that they could be blown up at any time, 25 aircraft vital to the war were saved.2.  On the 27th October 1940 Davies was tasked with investigating a UXB at Onslow, near Guilford. The UXB was under a sewer and cables also pipes, carrying al the main services, in the rear garden of a private house. It was found to be a 250kg bomb, fitted with a no 17 fuze.  The fuze pocket was damaged making the removal of the fuze impossible. So it was placed on a truck and driven to a safe area to be disposed of.3. The next day 28th October 1940 saw Davies dealing with a 250kg bomb, armed with both a No 17 and 50 fuze. It had landed in the hallway of a house, mid terrace, and penetrated 16 feet then offset 12 feet i.e. it was under one of the houses. This was dealt withFor these incidents and a further one at an  4. Airspeed Factory in Hampshire, May 1941, Davies was awarded the George Medal.

 

 

166507 Capt John Ernest Arthur Deacon. GM.

27 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 25th January 1946.

Incident at Automatic telephone exchange, Belfast.On the 25th October 1945, Capt Deacon was tasked to a bomb found at the automatic telephone exchange. This exchange serviced the Stormont building which housed the Northern Ireland Parliament and two other government buildings. The bomb was fuzed by both a No 50 and 17 fuzes. The 50 was immunized the 17 was stopped by using a magnetic clock stopper, so the bomb could be moved away from the building, as there was a risk of the 17 fuze detonating if it was removed. In transit the clock stopper was dislodged and was damaged. Therefore the rest of the journey was carried out with no means of stopping the 17 fuze.  The outcome was, the bomb arrived without detonating at a safe area and was disposed of, with no damage to property or personnel. Due to the speed that the operation was carried out, a large number of people who had been evacuated from their homes, returned before nightfall. Both Lt Deacon and Sgt Alfred Parker who assisted were awarded the George Medal.

 

 

87982 Lt Thomas James Deane. GM.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th February 1942.

Awarded for work at Romford Essex, August 1940.Great Braddow Essex, January 1941.Railway Gas Works 15th May 41 and Petrol Depot Aug 41 both at Saxmundham Essex.Lt T.J. Deane based at Colchester and with six or seven months BD service, resulting in around one hundred bombs being dealt with by him. was called to Great Baddow, in Jan 41. This call resulted with the locating of two 1000kg bombs being located. These were steamed out using high pressure steam. During this process there was a small explosion and the fuze extension cap blew off. Deane continued with the steaming operation. The extension cap on 1000kg bombs exploding was to be a continuing problem.In May 1941, was called to a incident at Saxmundham. On arrival four bombs were found, these were of the 250kg variety, which had fallen that evening. These were located in the Railway Yard, Gas Works and Petrol Depot. All four were classified as type A, i.e. under no circumstance was explosion in situ permissible. Work on all four started immediately. Instead of the normally expected 17 and 50 fuzes, these were found to be fuzed with the 25 Impact type. All were dealt with successfully.

 

 

 

2068288 CQMS Peter Denison. GM

14 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 21st October 1941.

Awarded for two actions: Laing's Shipyard Sunderland County Durham, 12/13 August 1940Sheffield Yorkshire 13/16 December 1940. No further details available at this time.

 

 

Lt Kenneth Dickinson. GM

10 Bomb Disposal Section.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd June 1941.

Awarded for an incident within the Shoeburyness Garrison Essex, 18 August 1940.Lt Dickinson was based with his section at Bury Saint Edmund, his citation sums up the bravery of all those serving in Bomb Disposal in the early days.His citation reads:"Lieut Kenneth Dickinson has been engaged upon Bomb Disposal duties since June 1940. On the 18th August an unexploded bomb fell within the confines of Shoeburyness Garrison. He immediately went to the spot and with the assistance of A Sgt and a Spr, despite the fact that there was a severe air raid on at the time they uncovered the bomb, placed it in a lorry and drove the dangerous cargo to a safer spot where he finally defuzed it and rendered it safe."The whole operation was carried out under constant air raid conditions.

 

 

Capt William Arthur Dixon. GM, MC, AMInstCE

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941

Awarded for work at Sicilian Avenue Holburn London. 10th December 1940.On the night of 9th September 1940,  a bomb landed in Sicilian Avenue, Holburn. Capt Dixon inspected  it early morning of the 10th. The bomb had only just penetrated the pavement, was partly broken and laying near the surface. This bomb was causing serious problems with the traffic. Dixon decided to take immediate action regardless of the considerable risk, as the bomb was fitted with a No 17 fuze, which was ticking.Due to the distorted bomb casing there was no chance of stopping the clock, therefore the explosive fill was removed whilst the fuze ticked on. The operation was a success. This was one of over a hundred bombs that Dixon dealt with, including four category A's.Dixon had been awarded the Military Cross prior to joining Bomb Disposal.

 

 

119063 Lt William Anderson Feather GM, BSC.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th October 1941.

Awarded for incidents at:Royal Naval Mine Depot Wrabness Essex, 21/23 August 1940.Explosives and Chemical Products Works Harwich Essex, 9/15 September 1940.West Raynham Airfield Norfolk, 28 October 1940.Massingham Airfield Norfolk, 29 October 1940.Bury Saint Edmunds Suffolk 17 July 1941.On the 2nd October 1940 a bomb landed in the Royal Ordnance Factory, this was given a A1 category. Work started immediately, the soil was of blue clay composition, difficult to dig and timber, this problem continued through out the war. This bomb took fifty one days to reach and immunise after digging three shafts, it was at thirty four feet depth and off to one side at a distance of 16 feet.Lt Butch Feather was a BD Officer from the begining, with 4 BD Company, based at Bury St Edmunds. Although at the time he was at Hornchurch working under very heavy raid conditions.21st August 1940, Butch Feather went to eleven UXB's reported to be 50kg's just outside the Royal Navy Mine Depot. Loaded sea mines were stored here. Even though these mines were within close proximity to the working area, Feathers supervised his digging teams for two days, on five bombs presenting the greatest risk to the mines. One was found to be fuzed with a long delay, this fuze was removed before it detonated.On the night of the 9/10 September, Feather went to ten category A bombs. These were in the works of the Explosives and Chemical Products Company, Harwich. On investigation three 500kg bombs and seven 50kg bombs were located.  Within fifty yards of most of these bombs was a gunpowder storage area, containg one ton of gunpowder.  With his men he worked for days whilst under constant air attack, andit was only  due to his tenacity and leadership, that the task was completed. All bombs immunised and work in the factory started in the minuim time possible.On October the 28th Feather was called to the RAF base at West Raynham, near Kings Lynn, where thirty five unexploded 50kg bombs were located. They had only just penetrated the ground. Feathers team worked quickly to uncover them and he removed the no 17 fuzes that they were armed with. He at the time had no knowledge of no 17 fuzes being fitted into the 50kg bomb. Due to their speed the airfield was back in operation  on the same day.The next day saw him at Massingham, dealing with two 250kg and one 50kg bomb. These were made safe by the fuzes being removed within three hours of landing , this was a great risk as the 250 kg bombs often were fitted with a booby trapped 17 fuze.

 

 

377837 Maj George Raymond Fletcher, GM, MBE.

4 Bomb Disposal Squadron.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 21st April 1970.

Awarded for a incident on at building site at Burghely Road, Camden, London, on the 1/2 October 1968.No further details at this time.130518 2/Lt James Ford.2 Bomb Disposal Group.Posted in the London Gazette on the 11th March 1941.Awarded for a incident at Bexley Mental Institution, Kent on the 18th October 1940.A large bomb had fallen into the Boiler House at the Bexley mental Institution. Lt Ford was tasked for the job. The bomb was located in the flue, the temperature was in excess of 100 degrees Fand the area was polluted with gas, making conditions difficult to work in. Ford however, displaying great courage and fortitude managed to render the bomb safe and arranged for its removal.

 

 

133006 Capt Samuel Garside. GM.

Divisional Officer.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.

Awarded for  incidents at: The river at McNeils Wharf, Barking Essex , 24 September 1940.High Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, 1941.Garside is credited with one of the fastest and safest disposals recorede. He with his Sgt went to investigate a reported UXB,  on arrival they found a clear pathway that the bomb had made through the ground, (called a trace).The bomb was a 500kg this was determined by the size of the entry hole, approximetly 24 inches. Garside probed the hole until he reached the tail fins. As they were in reach he tied a rope to them, betwen him and his Sgt they were able to pull the tail fins from the ground. When these were removed it left a clear shaft, using a long pole Garside pushed an explosive charge down onto the bomb, which they then detonated exploding the bomb below. Site cleared without having to get a shovel out.For this and other incidents he recieved the George Medal.

 

 

Lt George. M. Gaylor GM.

23 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 20th April 1945.

Awarded for an incident at Hassault, France in the Albert Canal, on the 6th November 1944.Work on rebuilding a destroyed bridge onthe Albert Canal was halted on the 6th November, as a UXB was discovered 30feet under the water. Lt Gaylor, went into the canal in a diving suit. He located the bomb, half buried in mud a under torn rail lines, steel girders and general wreckage. To get to the UXB he had to squeeze between the girders putting his suit at risk of ripping and his air line fouling. His life line was also at risk of catching thus trapping him.He worked under nil visibility conditions, however with the aid of a torch he managed to identify the fuze. No existing immunisation equipment could work under water, so he removed the fuze live. Due to visibility he was unable to be 100% sure that there was no second fuze.  A rope was attached and the bomb lifted to the surface, where it was found to only have a single fuze. Construction work was now able to continue.

 

 

131777 Lt Lewis Gerhold GM AND Bar.

11 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941, GM and17 August 1943 and Bar.Awarded for incidents at;Royal Ordnance Factory, Bishopton Renfrewshire 4 Oct to 24 Nov 1940.High Level Rothsay Docks Isle of Bute 14 March to 3 April 1941.Tannockside Colliery Lanarkshire 9 to 12 May 1941.Essex 1943.Lt Gerhold was a lucky officer, when he recced a bpmb at a house in Bilbowie Road, Clydebank. It landed at 01.30 on the 14 March 1940, recced on the 15 March at 10.00 and detonated three hours later, before work commenced on it. On the 7th May  similiar luch held for Gerhold a bomb fell in the grounds of 49 Polworth Gardens it exploded at 10.10 before Gerhold arrived to do his recce.May 7th saw Gerhold and his men at Tannochside Colliery, where work had ceased due to a UXB. This task took five days of digging to reach the bomb, it was fitted with a 17 and 50 fuze. The 17 was Stopped and the 50 immunised. Then steam sterilized all completed by 12.00 on the 12th.Another task was dealing with a bomb dropped on the night 13/14 March1941 at NO 2 high Level Docks Rothsay. This bomb had penetrated to a depth of twenty two feet, when uncovered it was found to be fitted both with a 17 and 17A fuze. Tidal conditions affected water levels in the shaft throughout the operation. Due to working conditions this bomb was not rendered safe till the 3rd April.For these and many others Gerhold recieved the George Medal and Bar.

 

 

146273 Lt John Henry Havelock Gray. GM.

7 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 10 March 1944.

Awarded for an incident at Efford Road, Plymouth, Devon on the 12 August 1943.During a raid on the night of 11 Aug 43, a 500kg bomb fell on the corner of Efford Road, this was the main route between  Exeter and Plymouth and had to be closed. The rest of the roads from the East into Plymouth were also closed due to bombs either being cratered or unexploded.The Efford Road bomb was found to have entered the ground tail first, it ha penentrated  a concrete path, of a building which had been hit and was partially demolished. The bomb was partly uncovered and one investigation it was found that it was fuzed with a 17 which was ticking. To make matters more dangerous, the partially demolished house was overhanging the bomb, right above it was a concrete slab wieghing about a hundredweight, only held by a few strands of metal reinforcement. This was so unstable that it could not be shore it up. Gas was also escaping from a nearby fractured main. As this bomb was on the surface it was and all othere routes blocked it was decided that it was to be dealt with. Lt Gray was given the task, another bomb from this stick had exploded earlier in the morning 06.00. Gray with  Sgt William Bailey, spent four hours between them clearing the debris around the bomb. When cleared they were able to uncover both fuses the 50 was immunised . The was still ticking when the bomb was loaded onto a truck and taken to a bomb cemetary, where it exploded shortly afterwards. Both Lt Gray and Sgt Bailey were awarded the GM for this action.Lt Gray dealt with a further nine bombs fitted with 17 and 50 fuses after this raid.

 

 

134891 Lt Clifford Henry Green. GM.

23 Bomb Disposal Group.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 11 March 1941.

Awarded for an incident at Dashwood Road, Gravesend, Kent on the 17 December 1940.Shortly after recieving BD training Lt Green was sent to investigate some reported UXB's at Gravesend. On arriving he found the first two in a school playing field. Following standing instructions, not to remove the fuzes, just identify and note their details, these were surrounde with sandbags to direct the blast away from buildings and detonated. The craters were then filled in by the council. It was later discovered that the fuzing on these was of a long delay mechanism. The third UXB was in the Bowwater Paper Mills, near the River Thames edge. Due to its location it could only be worked on between tides. It was an incendiary, Flam 250. The up side of this job was meals in the works canteen and billets in the Staff Quarters. Good relations were formed between the men and the female staff. The Fourth was located in a back garden, it had been dropped at low level, landed in the road, hit an obstruction, gone into a space between two gardens and come to rest twenty yards away in the garden, with its nose protruding and fuze visable. The fuze was damaged and could not be identified. The locking ring was removed by hammer and cold chisel and when the ring was removed the fuze head came with it, most unfortunate. Green used a Doctors Stethoscope and could hear the fuze ticking. He removed the working party to a safe distance and with a hammer, cold chisel and screwdriver levered out the rest of the fuze. This was a 17 Long Delay. Next the gaine was removed, the fuze fired ten minutes afterwards. Green and Sapper Carter, (for his continous support), was awarded the GM.

 

 

143303 Capt Henry Arthur Grover. GM.

32 Bomb Disposal Section.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30 September 1941.Awarded for an incident at Braemar Road, Brentford, Middlesex on the 3 October 1940.By September 1940, there was over three thousand uxb's awaiting immunisation and removal. Due to the location of some civilians had to be evacuated from their homes. This put a strain on the housing departments. Many BD officers were conscious of this and when faced with a No 17 fuse, disregarded the operational order to dispose of them in situ. Instead they loaded them onto trucks and transported them to a safe area. Lt Grover was one such officer and on the 3 October 1940 removed on from Brentford to a safe area at Syon Park and was awarded the GM. 

 

1894353 Sgt Thomas Hall. GM.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17 August 1943.Awarded for an incidents at Mountnessing, Essex between the 4/9 March 1943.On the night of the 3/4 March 1943,  364 Butterfly bombs, S.D.2's were dropped on Essex. Sgt Hall disposed of 32 of these at Mountnessing on the 5th then thirty two  more on the 6th and nineteen on the 7th, for this he was awarded the George Medal.

 

Lt Evlyn Jolliffe  Halstead-Hanby. GM.

8 Bomb Disposal Section.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941.Awarded  for an incident at Theatre Street, Norwich, Norfolk on the 23 September 1940.After a raid on the night of 18/19 September, two large unexploded  bombs were left in the city. These were in Theatre Street and Mousehold. On investigating the latter it exploded at 11.30 in the morning, all that was left was a thirty foot crater. Halstead - Hanby was uninjured. He then went to Theatre Street fully aware that this could also explode. He and his men commenced work on the 23rd at Theatre Street. The bomb was located at a depth of twenty feet. It was fitted with a new design clockwork fuze. He was able to remove the fuze enabling the centre of Norwich to return to normality, or as normal as wartime could be. Halstead - Halby was awarded the George Medal. 

 

23056357 WO11 Stephen David Hambrook. GM.

49 Bomb Disposal Squadron.

Posted in the London Gazette on the 21st April 1970.Awarded for an incident at Petworth, Sussex between the 9/10 August 1969.In 1941 a stick of bombs fell on marshy ground at Rotherbridge Farm, Petworth. three exploded the forth did not. Attempts to recover it failed due to excessive water and other UXB's being of higher priority. In 1969 due to land being reclaimed, 2 Troop, 49 BD Squadron was tasked to relocate it, under the command of Capt C.E. Nicholls. It was relocated and a shaft started on the 4th August 1969, the bomb was located at a depth of six metres, five days later. The bomb was a 250kg, fuzed with a No 17. A electric stethoscope was fitted and the fuze was found not to be ticking. The area was evacuated and Nicholls with the assistance of WO 11 Hambrook immunised the fuze and removed the base plate. the explosive powder had deteriorated. This resulted in nine litres of nitroglycerine having been formed. Due to the unstability of the explosives it could only be removed by hand. This operation took twenty nine hours, eleven of these under extreme danger.

 

276453 Maj Arthur Bamford Hartley GM, MBE.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 25th March 1960.Awarded for an incident in a sewer at Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London on the 1/2 July 1959.Workmen doing excavation work, alongside a sewer discovered a large bomb and reported it to the police. Maj Hartley and Capt Dace RE, BD stationed at Horsham were sent to the incident. It was identified as a 250kg fitted with two No 17 fuzes. The area was cleared and immunising work commenced. The conditions were unsavoury as well as hazardous. Whilst the work continued the excavation collapsed and raw sewage flowed into the hole, Hartley and Dace continued to work with sewage up to their knees. By 05.00 on the 2nd the fuzes had been removed and the filling steamed out.

 

Lt P.M. Hennings. GM.

12 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 2nd February 1945.Awarded for an incident on the East Coast.Whilst engaged in minefield clearance operations early in 1944, Hennings was ordered to clear minefield on the South Coast, prior to D Day. All mines needed to be accounted for as no risk was to be left for the invasion forces due to use these beaches. There was no accurate minefield maps and some mines had moved due to tidal action. Hennings and his men cleared 2,500 mines with no loss life. For this and other incidents Hennings was awarded the George Medal.

 

73550 Capt William Mark Hewitt. GM.

56 Bomb Disposal Section.

11 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 25 March 1941.Awarded for a incident in the River Tyne, East Linton, Est Lothian on the 30 October to the 1st November 1940.A bomb landed in the River Tyne close to a bridge at East Linton. Capt Hewitt dived several times into the flooded river to locate the bomb. He could not see due to the mud the fuze type, but attempted to immunise it, these attempts were unsuccessfull. Finally he attached a rope to it and aided by Cpl Ramsey and Sapper Smith they were able to tie it round the bomb. The whole section assisted in pulling the bomb from the river. The fuze was identified and immunised, then the bomb sterilised. Thanks to Hewitt and his men a important bridge was saved from destruction.

 

2021663 L/Sgt John Henry Hinton. GM.

9 Bomb Disposal Company.68 Bomb Disposal Section.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22 January 1941.Awarded for work at the Triumph Engineering Works, Coventry between the 15th and 17th October 1940.Whilst assisting Lt Campbell. L/Sgt Hinton was engaged in removing a 250kg bomb from the engineering works in Coventry. Due to this bomb work had ceased in the factory and some homes were evacuated. They worked for 48 hours without rest to remove this bomb. It was fitted with a delayed fuze, which could not be remove. The bomb was loaded onto a lorry and driven of to a safe distance.

 

 

 
152404 Lt Brompton Hucker Philip Price. GM.

 7 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th October 1941.Awarded for actions at: National Smelting Works, Avonmouth, Gloucestershire, 15th January 41, Plymouth and Devonport, Devon, 22 to 30th April 41.Lt Price had joined No 7 BD Company in October 1940. In January 41 he was tasked to the Smelting works for a 250 or 500kg bomb. This was in a silo. The bomb was underneath 100 feet of phosphate. When reached it was found to be the larger 1000kg bomb armed with a 28 fuze. Part of the silos structure had to be dismantled to remove the device. This was completed and the Smelting works in operation in twelve hours,The 21st to 23rd, 28/9th of April saw heavy bombing in the Plymouth/Devenport area. Price reconnoitered thirteen Category A bombs, 147 Cat B bombs and 69 Cast c and D devices. On the 22/23rh he went to a Cat A bomb, driving himself, when he arrived he found a 250kg bomb on the surface, with a type 15 fuze. He defused it then and there, saving time and avoiding evacuating the Guildhall, which would have sseriously affected the organisation of the Civil Defence. 

 

Maj H.P. Qualtrough. GM. BEM.

Bomb Disposal Unit (UK).

Gilbert and Ellice Islands.October 1965 and March 1966.

 

Major Qualtrough and Sgt J. Cooke BEM, were tasked with a most hazardous overseas task. Intially on there way to Betio Island, they were to carry out a reconnaisance on Penang, of abandoned Japanese mine and bomb dumps. Part of Penang had been cleared in the 1950's, however nine storage tunnels and hiden pits were discovered and contained a vast collection of mines and shells, many oozing explosives. Work went on in Penang till November 1965, when both men set of for Betio.The majority of explosives on Betio was found to be in fifty collapsed bunkers. Qualtrough and Cooke's official task was to, clear the bunkers by hand and sea dump the contents, re-inter any body parts found and finally give the island a clearance sweep using mine detectors, a doubting task. A preliminary reconnaissance was undertaken on the 30th November 1965, fourty two bunkers were located, some gun sites, others command posts and bomb stores. The collapsed bunkers contained shells for 203, 152, 157 and 76.2 mm calibre, also present were mines bombs and other ammunition. Work commenced on the 3rd December, locals were employed for the task alongside fifteen prisoners provided by the Chief Police Officer. By 19th January 1966 al bar one bunker was clear. The ammunition removed was in poor condition, some so badly deteriorated that it gave of toxic fumes. The local work force however were uninterested in safety often removing the explosive at night for private use. The final bunker was the most difficult, as it had suffered several direct hits through the war. Ecavation began on 29th December 1965 but on 3rd February work ceased as the risks were to great, 20.3 tons had by now been removed. Sea dumping continued till 3 March 1966. In total over 100 tons of explosives were cleared from Betio, however much more remained. Both Major Qualtrough and Sgt Cooke were later awarded the George Medal.

 

1895955 Sgt Gordon Harold Quarendon. GM.

 14 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Placed in the London Gazette on the 24th March 1942.Awarded for incidents at: Quibley's Yard, Hull on the 27th March 1941, Holderness Road, Hull on the 9th May 1941 and Priestinog's Factory, Hull, Yorkshire on the 18th July 1941.Quibley's Yard saw Lt Babes Ruth dealing with a Category A bombThis was a 250kg with two No 17 fuses, both ticking. With Sgt Quarendon this was removed to a bomb cemetery were it later exploded.In May Quarendon was in charge of a section digging for a 250 kg bomb in a house. This was located four feet down, with a 17 and 50 fuze, the 17 was ticking. With no officer present Quarendon immunised the 50, fitted a clock stopper on the 17  and removed it by lorry to the bomb cemetary. Due to his quick action damage to a bakery was avoided. A day later he was in action again, tunneling in debris to get to five trapped people, whilst a heavy air raid continued above. He was awarded the George Medal, for his fine example of bravery. 

 

Lt Eric Russell Raby.GM.

 75/6 Bomb Disposal Sections.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.Awarded for an action in Manchester.Lt Raby who was commanding the 75/6 BD Sections, was injured whilst dealing with a 250kg bomb fuzed with a No 17, this was ticking. Raby was able to remove the fuze, however before he could remove the gaine it exploded, causing severe injuries.135034 Lt Fredrick Radford.4 Bomb Disposal Company.Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd July 1941.Awarded for action in East Anglia between May 1940 and March 1941.No further details at this time.

 

135035 Lt Daniel Hunter Ramage. GM.

81/82 Bomb Disposal Sections.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 11 March 1941.Awarded for a action at Messrs Pilkington Bros Works, St Helens, Lancashire on the 4th September 1940.Called to the Pilkington Works Lt Ramage discovered a bomb had penentrated a concrete floor to a depth of twelve feet. On reaching the bomb it was found to be so badly damaged that the fuze could not be removed. The location of this bomb meant that vital war production was being held up. So a novel approach was adopted, he unscrewed the filler cap and removed the TNT fill till he could reach the fuze pocket and withdraw it. For conspicous courage, coolness and ability to adapt to various situations, Ramage was awarded the George Medal.

 

 

135046 Lt Douglas Stanley Fredrick Rayner. GM.

 9 Bomb Disposal Company

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941.Awarded for actions at: Aircraft Factory, Castle Bromwich, Staffordshire on the 3rd September 1940 and at a Factory, Yardley, Birmingham on the 6th September 1940. The aircraft factory had been closed down, due to six unexploded bombs being found on its premises. Lt Rayner set his men to work and within half a day all six had been uncovered and defused.Two days later at another factory he removed a 250kg bomb. This had a ticking 17 fuze, it was badly damaged around the fuze pocket, by its journey through concrete. Rayner had to use a Marlinespike to remove the fuze. This took him thirty five minutes, the fuze could have detonated at any time.

 

2127158 L/Sgt James Baird Renfrew. GM.

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.Awarded for actions at Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Linconshire between 14th and 22nd June 1943.On the 16th June L/Sgt Renfrew went to the small yard at the rear of the Salvation Army Hall, to investigate an S.D.2 (Butterfly Bomb). He found a pile of sandbags, the ARP wardens had misunderstood instructions and covered it with sandbags. He removed the top layer and cut through the lower ones, so as not to disturb the device, till he could view it. A charge was placed upon it and detonated, the only damage, a small window broken.On the 19th he defuzed a bomb, which he thought had failed to arm itself as he was working he heard it arm,. He was fortunate that he was able to remove the fuze and throw it away. Luckly the gaine made of bakelite was broken and stayed in the bomb, minimising the explosion. However he did suffer a few pieces of copper embedded in his hand.The 21st saw him dealing with a bomb insecurely balanced on a bed at 27 Campden Road, however he managed to move the furniture and destroyed the SD2 by a controlled explosion.

 

Lt Brian Leolin Richards. GM.

25 Bomb Disposal Company

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 8th July 1941.Awarded for actions at: Yorkshire Grey Dance Hall, Westhorne Road, Eltham Green, London between 28th April and 3rd May 1941.Lt Ricky Richards, had a dodgy bomb to deal with. During the digging operations, he had to withdraw the men from the shaft, the problem water and gravelly ground. The soft ground was covering the bomb, Richards continued the digging himself. The fuze a 17, started ticking, then stopped, this happened intermittently. Due to the bombs location a road junction had been closed for nine days, therefore it was decided to destroy the bomb in situ, if it stopped ticking for any length of time. This happened and Richards made up the charge, the bomb was by now under three feet of muddy, gravelly water, therefore the operation was dangerous and his actions gallant. The charge was placed and the bomb exploded, no serious damage was caused due to the tamping effect of the water. Richards had worked non stop for eighteen hours, never risking his mens lifes, but taking the isks himself.General Taylor commented, "I consider that this is an outstanding example of cold-blooded courage and determination for which the award of the George Cross would apear appropriate."However the George Medal was awarded instead.

 

166532 Lt Kenneth Hugh Robinson. GM.

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th July 1944.Awarded for actions at: Norwich area on April 1943, Raveningham between the 24th to 26th September 1943, Swatlow Airfield 6th October 1943 and areas of the Norfolk coast during October and December 1943.After a rain in late September, on Norwich, Lt Robinson disposed of seventy nine S.D.2's in a heavily wooded area around Raveningham. Locating them was difficult due to thick undergrowth, also it made identification hard, this was needed so a decision to attach a cord or place a charge could be made. Soon after another BD Officer was killed and another injured, by it is believed a new fuze the Y. Robinson was then put in charge of all BD Operations in the area. During this period he uncovered and immunised seven 500kg bombs, all fitted with sensitive fuzes. For these actions and minefield clearance operations he was awarded the George Medal.

 

152400 Lt Horace Cecil Ruth. GM.

14 Bomb Disposal Company.

Posted in the London Gazette on the 13th January 1942.Awarded for actions at: Yorkshire, Bridlington Railway Station on the 16th February 41, Quiblings Yard, Hull on the 27th March 41, Central Fire Station, Priestmans Factory, all in Hull and the Railway at Flambourgh on the 18th July 1941.Lt (Babes) Ruth, dealt with a Category A bomb at Bridlington Railway Station, arriving at 10.00 hrs, digging starting at 11.00hrs. On uncovering the bomb it was found to be a 250kg, the fuze was of the 17 type and a 50. The fuzes were immunised and bomb made safe. The station reopened by 18.00 hrs on the same day.Ruth on the 27th March, dealt with another Category A bomb at Quiblings Yard, again a 250 kg with two ticking 17 fuzes.  The bomb was uncovered and removed to the bomb cemetery, it exploded shortly afterwards. At the Central Fire Station, Hull, Ruth during a heavy air raid was called to investigate a bomb. He discovered this was one of a stick of four, one had exploded previously. The fire appliances inside were needed, so Ruth stood by the entry hole and directed the vehicles to safety. Ruth then left to investigate anothe bomb at Priestmans, and the bomb at the fire station exploded shortly after he left. The bomb at Priestmans was a 500kg, Ruth and Sgt Quarendon dug down to it, it was four feet down and the fuzes could not be identified, as the tops had been torn off. So the bomb was immediately placed on a truch and driven off, the factory was back in operation by 09.30hrs the same day.  

 

L/Sgt Andrew Sanders. GM.

9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.Awarded for actions at: Nechells Gas Works, on the 20th November 1940 and Delbran Road, Sparkbrook on the 2nd February 1940 both in Birmingham.On the night of 19th November a 250kg bomb fell close to the condensers at the gas works. The BD Company were informed at 06.30 the next day. L/Sgt Sander in charge of a section was sent to deal with it. He had been injured twice before and dealt with five Category A bombs. The bomb was reached and immunised by 12.30 that day.71764 Capt Thomas Henry Sharman.9 Bomb Disposal Company.Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.Awarded for actions at: Gec Works, Electric Street, 19th October 40, BSA (Tools), Small Heath, 13 to 14th December 40, Wolseley Motors Factory, Coventry Road, 10th April 40 all in Birmingham.Capt Sharman at 03.00 hrs took his section to the GEC Works at Witton. A heavy air raid was in progress. The bomb had fallen at half twelve that night, after some fast digging the bomb was uncovered a no 17 fuze removed all by 09.30 hrs in the morning.At 01.30hrs on the 12th December Sharman, recieved a call, a UXB had been found at the BSA Works, on arrival they searched for the bomb this took some time and work didnt start till 03.00hrs this continued till the 14th at 14.00hrs when they reached the bomb.  The fuze a no 17 was identified and removed, all the time they were working on the bomb a air raid was in progress and other bombs fell near by.The 10th April saw Sharman at the Wolseley Works. A 250 kg bomb with a no 17 and 50 fuzes was discovered. As a Category A  bomb speed was of a essence, this type of fuzes bomb could explode up to eighty hours after it had been dropped. It was also holding up vital war work it was removed within fourteen hours.

 

16227 Lt Robert Sharp. GM.

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.Awarded for action at: various sites in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Linconshire between the 14th and 22nd June 1943.Lt Sharp was the first officer to arrive on a task, one of the first jobs was a bomb which was holding up the traffic on two railway lines as well as part of a Power Station. These were SD2's (Butterfly Bombs), with anti handling devices. By 16.30 hrs Sharp had disposed of ten of these devices and services were back in operation. The next day he was wounded in the hand and leg, after dealing with eight devices. This was caused by a sympathetic detonation of a undiscovered device. Although injured he continued to work untill the next day when the Commanding Officer ordered him to report to the hospital.  Kept in hospital till the 19th, he resumed work on the same day, from then till the 20th he defused thirty two bombs and detonated fifteen more. On the 21st he disposed of one hundred and thirty more at Calethorpe Farm, Louth.

 

120604 Capt Clifford Percy Shelbourne GM, AMInstCE.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22nd July 1941.Awarded for work in East Anglia and Cheshire between June 1940 and March 1941.No further details at this time.4456425 Sgt Frank Cecil Simpson.3 Bomb Disposal Company.Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.Awarded for work at various sites in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Linconshire between 14th to 22nd June 1943.Sgt Simpson personally dealt with 43 SD2's (Butterfly bombs) in one week in June 43, during this period most of the Company Officers and Sgts were in the Grimsby area. A typical ways he had in dealing with them was: in Hainton Methodist Church, one was on was inside the panelling of the organ. He removed somepanelling and placed a hook around the device, he was then able to remotely remove the bomb. It did explde during the operation but only minor damage was caused, the organ escaped undamaged. On the same day at 86 Fairmont Street, he found a device in the front room, he removed the furniture and fittings then removed the device. One other device was found on a rockery, rather precariously balanced, so he built a wall of straw bales round it and detonated it. Although the house was only five feet away no damage was caused.

 

4067723 CSM Francis Sivil. GM.

14 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 2nd February 1945.Awarded for work at Laing's Shipyard, Sunderland, Co Durham Sheffield, Yorkshire on the 12/13th August 1940 and 13 to 16th December 1940.No further details.Lt. E.W. Sivil.Posted in the London Gazette on the 2nd February 1945.Awarded for work in Sussex. Lt Sivil was called away from mine clearance work,  We had invaded France and the V1 attacks were at their height, only a few of these exploded. Sivil was dispatched to immunise  on in 20 Bomb Disposal Company's area, (Kent and Sussex). This was his first, the only information he had was what he had read, in BD instructions. These instructions were sent round as updates to the Germans latest tricks. So with the instructions and his own expertise he dealt with it succesfully. For this and his minefield work he was awarded the George Medal.

 

CSM F. Smith. GM.

14 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 21st October 1941. Awarded for work in Sunderland.Between the 13 and 16 December CSM Smith and his men rushed around checking out reported UXB's. Each night another raid, and more work. He also during this period with his men uncovered and made safe six 250kg bombs, all fitted with No 17 long delay fuzes, one of these was partially buried next to a petrol storage tank. For this and work earlier in Sunderland he was awarded the George Medal.

 

 

Capt James. B. Smith. GM.

 

Awarded for work at Mersa Matruh between the 27th May and 12th September 1941. Capt James undertook the most hazardous in investigating, defuzing, removing and destruction of several hundred enemy UXB's. These were of all shapes, sizes and weights, the largest being 1000kg. One was found twenty feet down, another at twenty eight. He dealt with two 250kg bombs on the 29th December, if these had gone of several buildings would have been demolished. He also later made safe two Italian mines. In all case Smith was the first on site.He was awarded the George medal for displaying gallantry and continued devotion to duty and bravery.

 

119053 Capt Charles Coulton Stewart. GM.

9 Bomb Disposal Group.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.Awarded for work at: Youngs Accumulater, Kingston, Surrey on the 15th August 1940 and Cricketer's Public House, London Road, Mitcham, Surrey on the 22/23rd September 1940.

 

1883145 L/Cpl Ernest Wilfred Suttle. GM.

 9 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 30th September 1941.Awarded for work at: English Electric Test Laboratory, Stafford, 9th October 40, Aeroplane Assembly Shop, Humber Hilman Factory, Coventry, 19th November 40 and Olton Boulevarde, Acocks Green, Birmingham on the 16th December 40.After just a month in BD L/Cpl Suttle was working on a 250kg bomb at a Test Lab, it had fallen at 11.00 hrs, he and his party arrived at 15.330 hrs. When uncovered it was found to be fuzed by a 17 and 50 type fuzes and armed. The section officer immunised the 50 but could not remove the 17, so he and Suttle, gently moved the bomb to a safe area.Suutle was in charge of a working party, went with his Section Officer to the Humber Hilman Factory. Two 250kg bomb were reported, They were about seventy yards apart, during the morning one exploded killing two of the working party. Despite this Suttle continued to work on the other bomb, by 15.00hrs that day it had been identified, the fuze imunised and the bomb was safe for removal. In Birmingham, Suttle was working on a suspected UXB. A camouflet was discoverd and one man fell into the crater, he was overcome by the fumes. Sutton with no thought for his own safety, put a rope round himself and jumped into the crater., which was full of Carbon Monoxide. He tied another rope around the casualty and they were both pulled out. Both men suffered form carbon monoxide poisoning but recovered.

 

232126 Lt Warner Charles Swinson. GM.

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 15th September 1944.Awarded for actions at: Chelmsford, Essex, April/May 42, Colchester, Essex and Helmingham, Sussex, December 43, Harlow, Essex, December 43.Lt Swinson was taked with clearing SD2's (Butterfly Bombs) in Chelmsford. He and his section quickly cleared the area, Swinsons personal total was fourty devices. He later cleared another fourty three on heathland.In December in Harlow, Swinson was in charge of dealing with four 500 kg bombs fitted with the new Y fuzes. Two were detonated in situ the other two had to be rendered safe. He personally dealt with the first and supervised the second operation. For theses actions and mine clearance work he recieved the George Medal. 

 

102894 Lt Louis Norwell Taylor. GM.

 4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 22 July 1941.Awarded for action at: Tilbury area, Essex between June 40 and March 41.Lt Taylor was awarded a Kings Commendation for work with SD2's (Butterfly bombs) in Ipswich in October 1940 and the George Medal for work in Tilbury docks, no further details available at this time.1864311 Sgt Thomas Taylor.22 Bomb Disposal Company.Posted in the London Gazette on the 10th March 1942.Awarded for work at: Lowestoft, Suffolk betwwen the 15/16th April 1941.No further details at this time.

 

 

161582 Lt Alexander Charles Thomas. GM.

3 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 19th November 1943.Awarded for work at various sites at: Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Linconshire between the 15 to 22 June 1943.Lt Tommy Thomas dealt with seventy three SD2's (Butterfly bombs) armed, between the 15th to 22 nd June, and forty six in two containers. The second day saw him at the Co-Op in  Freeman Street, one device was on the floor of a room, with another hanging through the ceiling. He erected a scaffold and placed a demolition charge on it, he surrounded the one below with sandbags, both were detonated together and a third on a roof a short distance away went of in sympathy.He also found one at Forrester and Boyd Accountants, in a false roof. He could not remove it by pulling it along the roof as the chute got caught up. The fins caught and the cord broke, returned put on a stronger cord and pulled, it exploded.Thenext day another roof job, this one on the Ministry of Food. The device was minus drogue, so he could not attach a cord, he made a sling of adhesive tape and taking a risk attached it around the device. It was then lifted out of the roof, it exploded but caused little damage as it was clear of the roof.

 

 

Sgt Sidney Ernest Thorne. GM.

97 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th December 1940.No details of place of action.No further details at this time.Lt R.G. Walker.Posted in the London Gazette on the 2nd February 1945.Awarded for action in France.No Further details at this time.Spr T.L. Walker.Posted in the London Gazette on the 9th November 1945.Awarded for action at Dieppe and Flushing.Spr Walker was one of the many RE's trained by the Royal Navy as divers. 63 Port Construction and Repair Company, were clearing Dieppe Harbour. Walker was on the first recce unit to enter the harbour. He located and removed underwater mines, plus demolition charges.He also worked at Bergan-Op-Zoom, where his persistance enabled a large dregdger to be raised, for operational needs, this operation was carried out under extremly adverse conditions.At Beveland his hands became affected so badly that he had to go to hospital, this was caused by diving so often in ice packed waters.He was awarded the George Cross for, his persistently high standard of devotion of duty and courage in the face of silent and insidious enemy, performed under solitary and remote conditions with the ever present realisation that an accident or mistake would result in a terrible death.

 

 

120416 Lt John Peter Walton. GM.

22 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 25th October 1941.Awarded for actions at: Gas Works, Romford, Essex on the 5th November 1940 and Tunnel Cement Works, Purfleet, Essex on the 12th March 1941.Lt Walton working in the Colchester area had dealt with one hundred bombs, many before the raid was over. On 5th November, he dealt with four bombs in twenty four hours all Category A.  Two of these were in the gas works, a third was inside a gas holder. It was a 250kg armed with a 17 and 50 fuze. He rendered it safe, the air conditions allowed him to work for only twenty minutes at a time. If the work wasnt dangerous enough, a air raid was under way at the time. Due to his actions minimum damage was caused and services resumed quickly

 

2205689 Sgt George Anderson Wardrope. GM.

 5 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 24th March 1942.Awarded for actions at: German Hospital, Ritson Road, Hackney, London between the 4th to 6th October 1940 and at the GPO Sorting Office, Mount Pleasant, London, between the 16th to 25th November 1940.Sgt Wardrope in October 40 found himself working on a 250kg bomb dropped on the 27th September. It was located twenty yards from a railway line and ten from Hackney Hospital. The bomb was uncovered on the 5th and was found to be armed with a no 17 fuze, which was ticking. The hole was filled with sandbags to reduce the expected explosion, but on the 6th it was decided to move it to a safer location. The sandbags were removed and the bomb lifted and place on a truck, the fuze was still ticking. It was taken to a bomb cemetery, were it was found to be armed with two 17 fuzes both ticking.  It was left to detonate on its own.On the 16th November, he was at Mount Pleasant Post Office, at 02.05 in the morning. The bomb was a Category A. Normally it would be expected that a device such as this would explode within eighty hours. Ten days later they were still digging. It was eventually located eighty feet down and found to be a 1800kg, bomb (called Satan), this was the biggest in the Greman's armoury.

 

Lt J. Warren. GM.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 25th August 1944.Awarded for actions in Kent.Cuckmere Haven on the 12th February 1944, Lt Warren was working on one of the coastal minefields. This was below a small cliff, this had eroded due to tidal action duuring the war. Many mines were to deep for detectors to locate them as they were on the shore under the fallen cliff. Warren personally made safe 550 mines in twelve hours.On the 7th April 44, Warren was given the task of clearing eight coastal minefields, around the Greatstone on Sea area. The minefield layout, or how many laid was not recorded, however the type of mines was known. Originally they were laid just below the surface, however due to tidal action and drifting sand they were from three and a half feet to thirteen feet below the surface. Existing detectors only worked to a depth of two feet. In spite of the difficulties Warren and his men completed the task.

 

 

Capt Alwyn B Waters. GM, MBE.

23 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 10th November 1944.Awarded for actions in the UK.Capt Waters, was asked to assist Flt Lt Gillet with the disposal of a C Type mine. On arriving on site the mine was found to be only ten feet from the road. Waters as a experienced BD Officer was awre that the mine was fitted with a new type of fuze. He was not sure that his immunising equipment would work on this mine. He could have taken the easy course of calling in the Naval experts, however this would have meant a two hour delay, if during this delay the mine had exploded the damage and casualties would have been unthinkable. Therefore they got on with it, Gillett laid out a cord to remove the fuze and Waters ordered him to safety. Waters then applied a standard drill to remove the fuze, by the markings he knew this was booby trapped. Retiring one hundred yards he managed to remove the fuze, after waiting the set down safety period, he returned to recover the fuze. As he picked it up he found it was ticking, it then exploded badly injuring his foot.

 

L/Sgt F. White. GM.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 2nd February 1945.Awarded for action in Brighton.No further details at this time.

 

154306 Capt Donald Alfred Wilkinson. GM.

6 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th February 1941.Awarded for actions at: Eton College, 3rd September 40, Slough, 5th December 40, Wargrave, 10th December 40 and Arborfield, 19th December 40.Capt Wilkinson was tasked with two Category B, bombs which had fallen in Stoke Road, Slough, on the night of 3rd December. These were dealt with within half an hour of the report being recieved. Work on three others in this location was commenced three days later. One was exploded in situ at a twelve foot depth. Another was located again at twelve feet, it was armed with a 17 fuze. The decision was made to leave it till the next day. The squad departed and ten minutes later whilst Wilkinson stood fifty yards away briefing the night security, it exploded. The last was found at twelve feet and again was armed with a 17 fuze. This was damaged and could not be removed and it was ticking. The Police were told and the streets cleared, the bomb was placed on a truck and driven to Windsor Great Park, where with the help of Sgt Fletcher it was placed in an old bomb crater, it exploded shortly after. On the 3rd December bombs fell upon Eton, One went of, another went through the roof, coming to rest under the Colannade foundations of the Upper School. It was thought to have exploded due to damage caused. Wilkinson however checked it out. The headmaster Dr Elliot was informed, he wanted it removed straight away, he was informed it would taske three days as the building needed shoring up. He offered the assistance of some senior boys who had volunteered, this offer was declined. The building was evacuated and the Windsor/Eton/Slough roads diverted through Datchett. The bomb exploded on the night of the 4th.On the 9th December, Wilkinson recced a 250kg, his section started work the next day. When uncovered the bomb was found to be armed with a 17 fuze. A decision was made to detonate it in situ. He made up a charge and went down into the shaft. When the charge was placed he retired fifty yards to a safe location, the bomb exploded of its own making. For these actions he was awarded the George Medal.

 

1903293 Spr James Williams. GM.

 50/51 Bomb Disposal Sections.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 11th March 1941.Awarded for an action at: Electricity Depot, Lyndhurst, Hampshire on the 14th August 1940.Spr Williams went to the Electricity Depot with Lt Charles. R. Wood, who commanded 50/51 Independent BD Sections. Where there was a 500kg bomb. The danger to civilians and property was high also the possible loss of electric power. They set to work, the fuze was a 17, long delay, which Lt Wood extracted, for research purposes. Both Spr Williams and Lt Wood recieved the George Medal. Williams was wounded at another incident on the 8th September.

 

2326064 Sgt Thomas James Williams. GM.

4 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 28th October 1941.Awarded for actions at: Norwich on the 28th October 1940 and Marconi Factory, Chelmsford, Essex on the 10th May 1941.Sgt Williams led  a working party to two Category A bombs, at a factory in Norwich. One was armed by a No 17 fuze and was ticking, Williams immunised the fuze before it exploded also the same result for the second. In May 1941, at the Marconi Factory, Williams and his section found the bomb buried by debris from other bombs, when uncovered it was found to be a 500kg with a ticking No 17 fuze.For these actions Williams was awarded the George Medal.

 

204212 Lt Ralph Willis. GM.

Royal Engineers.

Victoria Haulage Company Warehouse, Battersea, London 19/25 Jan 1941.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 17th February 1941.

On the night of 17/18th Jan 1943 a large bomb fell into the warehouse of Victoria Haulage Company at Battersea. Where it came to rest under a large lathe. The warehouse was full of new heavy machine tools from America. At all costs this machinery was not to be damaged. At the same time another large bomb was found with a new unidentified fuze. This fuze was found to be of a anti handling device. A Capt Carlyle removed the fuze and found it to be immune to developed procedures. Major Martin assisted by Lt Deane commenced work on their 500kg bomb, the fuze pockets were damaged so the fuzes could not be removed. So the filling plate was removed and steaming was started to remove the explosive filling. The risk of explosion using the standard steaming approach was deemed to dangerous, so the hose was hand feed into the explosive filling. It took the two officers all night of the 20th and till 08:30 the next morning to remove the filling. The conditions they worked in were akin to a Turkish bath, cramped and fifteen feet under ground, breathing in air containing particles of explosives which could damage their lungs. Major Martin received the George Cross and Lt Dean the George Medal.

 

 

 

Lt C.R. Woods. GM.

50/51 Bomb Disposal Sections.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 11th March 1941.Awarded for an action at: Electricity Depot, Lyndhurst, Hampshire on the 14th August 1940.Lt Charles. R. Wood, who commanded 50/51 Independent BD Sections, with Spr Williams went to the Electricity Depot. Where there was a 500kg bomb. The danger to civilians and property was high also the possible loss of electric power. They set to work, the fuze was a 17, long delay, which Lt Wood extracted, for research purposes. Both Lt Wood and Spr Williams recieved the George Medal.

 

167832 Lt Robert Alfred John Woods. GM.

6 Bomb Disposal Company.

 

Posted in the London Gazette on the 24th August 1945.Awarded for actions at: Lee-on-Solent Airfield, Hampshire, Feb 43, Ringstead Bay, Weymouth, Dorset, Sept 43, Hurn Airfield, Hampshire, Jan 44, Kimmeridge and Bovington Camp, Dorset, May 44, Tilly Whim Caves, Swanage, Dorset, 3rd June 44, Chesil Beach, Abbotsbury, Dorset, Aug/Sept 44 and Penzance, Cornwall, Oct 44.

 

 

Military Cross.

 

Instituted in 1914, the Military Cross (MC) was issued for gallantry in presence of the enemy to warrant and junior officers of the Army who were ineligible (on account of their rank) for the Distinguished Service Order. During the First World War, it was also available to equivalent ranks in the Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines and it later became available to equivalent ranks in the RAF for acts of gallantry on land.

 

The equivalent award for the other ranks for gallantry on land in presence of the enemy was the Military Medal (MM) which had been instituted in 1916 and, similarly to the MC, later became available to RAF other ranks serving on the ground.

 

Following the 1993 review, the MM was discontinued and the MC became available to all ranks of all services for exemplary gallantry on land in presence of the enemy. It is at a level below the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and is at the equivalent level to the Distinguished Service Cross (for exemplary gallantry at sea) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (for exemplary gallantry in the air).

 

Captain P.J Bassett.

 

Lieutenant T.C.R Rider.

No further details at this time.