Donald Clarke, GC

Donald Owen Clarke is the only Merchant Navy seaman to have been awarded the George Cross; the highest gallantry medal that can be awarded to a civilian. Donald Owen Clarke was born on 5 March 1923 in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. He lived with his parents in Osborne Road, Chester-le-Street. Despite Clarke’s home being miles from… Continue reading Donald Clarke, GC

Wladyslaw Sikorski

On 4 July 1943, at 11.07pm, Consolidated B-24C Liberator Mk II aircraft, registration AL523 (511 Squadron), took off from Gibraltar airport on a journey to the UK. The weather was fine, light wind, no cloud, visibility 10 miles. The aircraft climbed to about 150 feet in a perfectly normal manner. The aircraft then gradually lost… Continue reading Wladyslaw Sikorski

Australian Executed WWI

Over 300 UK soldiers, 25 Canadian and 5 New Zealand soldiers were sentenced to death and executed by courts-martial during the First World War. While Australian citizens serving in the Australian Army were sentenced to death, they all had their death sentences commuted. However, there were two Australians serving in the New Zealand Army and… Continue reading Australian Executed WWI

UK Executed WWI

Over 300 ( approximately 10% of soldiers sentenced to death) British soldiers were executed for capital offences during the First World War. I have looked at the cases of executed soldiers from the Corps of Royal Engineers and the Middlesex Regiment. The courts-martial proceedings for these soldiers are available at The National Archives, Kew, London.… Continue reading UK Executed WWI

Christie and Evans

John Reginald Halliday Christie was a 54 year old serial murderer and sexual psychopath. His evidence at the trial of Timothy Evans helped find Evans guilty and his subsequent execution. In 1965, Timothy Evans received a posthumous pardon. POSTHUMOUS PARDONS. John Reginald Halliday Christie was born on 8 April 1899, in Halifax, Yorkshire. The 1901… Continue reading Christie and Evans

Categorised as Crime, UK

Bourne End War Mem.

Bourne End is a village in Hertfordshire, situated between Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead. There was a rail disaster at Bourne End on 30 September 1945 when an overnight sleeper train from Scotland to London Euston was derailed causing 43 deaths and 64 injuries. Bourne End’s name comes from the Bourne Gutter which flows into the… Continue reading Bourne End War Mem.

Humane Society Medals

Until the British Government introduced gallantry awards for saving life, it was left to private individuals and organisations to reward those people who had risked their life to save other people. One such organisation that was established is the Royal Humane Society: THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY The Royal Humane Society was formed in 1774… Continue reading Humane Society Medals

Categorised as Awards, UK

Police & Fire Gallantry

This article is concerned with the gallantry medals that were introduced specifically for the Police and Fire services. Members of these two services are also eligible for the award of civilian gallantry awards such as the George Cross, George Medal and Queen’s Gallantry Medal. THE QUEEN’S FIRE SERVICE MEDAL The Queen’s Fire Service Medal was… Continue reading Police & Fire Gallantry

Categorised as Awards, UK

Queen’s & Sea Gallantry

This article is about the two gallantry medals that follow the George Medal in order of precedence: The Queen’s Gallantry Medal (QGM) and the Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) respectively. QUEEN’S GALLANTRY MEDAL The Queen’s Gallantry Medal was introduced on 20 June 1974 to award acts of bravery by civilians, although it can be awarded to… Continue reading Queen’s & Sea Gallantry

Categorised as Awards, UK

UK Gallantry Medals

Until the establishment of the government’s own gallantry awards for saving life, it was left entirely to private individuals and companies to provide their own recognition to those people who risked their own life to save other people. The first Government issued award to commemorate people who risked their life to save others was the… Continue reading UK Gallantry Medals

Categorised as Awards, UK