"Royal Navy & Maritime Book Reviews" Provided by Rob Jerrard

Chameleon HH Publishing


One Step Further

Edition: 1st Supp

Format: Paperback

Author: Marion Hebblethwaite

ISBN: 9780955519147

Publishers: Chameleon HH Publishing

Price: £8

Publication Date: 2008

Publisher's Title Information


Introduction

This small booklet contains new information that has been sent to me since the publication of Volume 9. Supplements will be published at irregular intervals. The complete Index is available from the Author or Publisher, comes with this book and may also be downloaded.  A How to Use this Series will also be available.

Entries for the following GCs have been substantially rewritten or added to due to the contributions of their families and I am deeply indebted to them all.

Amin Hemeida EI Agabani - Formerly listed under H

Bernard George Ellis

William Foster

Michael Joseph Munnelly

James William Nightall

Edwardo Omara

Kenneth Gerald Spooner

Stephen George Styles

Samuel Jarrett Temperley

Albert Tyler

Gerald Winter

There are some more medal reverses to add to the library in Volume 1 as well as many new photographs. Errors and corrections are included where I know them.

Stolen medals

On 2nd December 2007 the GCs of Ken Hudson and David Russell and the Albert Medal of Randolph Ridling were stolen from the Army Museum at Waiouru in New Zealand. I tried in vain to obtain photos of the reverses of these medals which would not only have enhanced these books but would also have been a permanent record of what they looked like. Sadly this may now never happen. There are still other medals that have not yet been recovered such as those of Henry Harwood Flintoff and Michael Paul Benner and a number whose location is unknown. Please contact me in confidence if you can help.

A further reminder of how to search for Citations in The London Gazette.

Using Golandaz as an example. Although his citation is headed 4th June it appears in the Supplement to the 1st June and must therefore be searched for under 1st June not 4th June. You will need page 3571 in No 34056.

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank those family members who have contacted me about the George Cross recipient to whom they are related. Without original documents and personal knowledge these books would lack authenticity. It is not enough to depend on official material - even the Citations include errors. I thank too those men and women who keep me informed of new memorials, radio or TV programmes and who also send me photographs of graves from far-flung locations. A number of the uncredited photographs in the series came from Terry Hissey - thank you.

New memorials are erected from time to time and medals awarded to GCs come up for sale periodically. I took a stand at the OMRS Convention during 2007 and was delighted to meet so many collectors. Some kindly sent me photographs of their George Crosses - thank you. Contributors and other sources are listed under the entries.

As always I would like to thank Tom Johnson for his meticulous reading of all my books. It has been noted that in the previously considered authoritative book on the GC - the Register of the George Cross - there are numerous errors particularly birth and death dates. Tom and I have consulted original certificates to verify these.

Army numbers

Since including some information given to me by a serving British Army Officer I have been sent a number of corrections. here is the latest from Paul Livsey for which thanks. It will no doubt result in further correspondence.

"I have just been reading Volume 5, in particular Page 6 ref British Army Numbers. Can I just make a number of points? I was in the Infantry from 1963 to 1988, during this time numbers of men in a Battalion changed due to changing roles.

In 1963 a Battalion was about 900 strong, it got less as the years went on and at one time went down to 650 men. A Platoon consists of 3 sections of 8 men and an HQ section of 4. The British Army has never had Squads,  that is an American term.

A Company consists of 3 Platoons plus a small HQ Platoon. A Battalion consists of 3 Rifle Companies plus a Support Company (Mortars, Anti Tank, Reece, Assault Pioneers and Signals) plus an HQ Company (Mechanical Transport, Catering, Clerks, Corps of Drums, Regimental Police and attached staff like REME & Pay etc).

In my time Battalions equated, in many cases, to Regiments. For instance, my Regiment was the Ist Battalion King's Own Royal Border Regt, known generally as a single Battalion Regiment. We also had "big" Regiments like the Royal Green jackets, Light Infantry, Royal Anglian Regiment and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers that had anything from 3 to 5 Battalions.

The problem is that it constantly changes and so is difficult to keep up with. You have said that an Infantry Battalion is 120 men; in fact that is the approx strength of a Company. Currently the Infantry is broken down into the following types of Battalions. Light Role Battalion 630 men (Helicopters and soft skinned vehicles like lorries). Mechanised Infantry Battalion 667 men (Armoured Fighting Vehicle Warrior), Armoured Infantry Battalion 741 men (Lightly armoured but wheeled vehicles i.e. Saxon)."

Source: Paul Livsey



One Step Further

Those Whose Gallantry was Rewarded with the George Cross.

Edition: Book L to M

Author: Marion Hebblethwaite

ISBN: 978 0954691776

Publishers: Chameleon HH Publications

Price:£14

Publication Date: 2006


Part of the Introduction to this Volume

Once again I am happy to be writing about another 40 or so men whose bravery was acknowledged to be of the highest order. There are both direct and indirect George Cross recipients in this book but again no women. There are stories that are long forgotten and some that are almost impossible to research, usually due to the wartime restrictions on information. But children and grandchildren who delve into their lofts and drawers as well as old photograph albums and their deepest memories have told me stories which I have endeavoured to relate honestly and accurately. Not all the men who were honoured with the GC were perfect fathers, husbands or colleagues. Indeed few probably were - they were ordinary men and women who did something once or perhaps more than once that makes us feel humble and also proud.

Some notes

Gazette dates. I have often included two dates - the first, if you are looking for a citation on the web, is the date you need to look for even though it may be a Supplement to another edition.

Citations. These are included as published. Spelling mistakes and the rather archaic language are not changed in any way.

Place of death. Although some people died in hospital, perhaps after only a short time there, family members may prefer to have it noted that their GC member died from his/her own home. Thus it may be that there will be some discrepancy in the place of death, giving a home address instead of the actual place of death. Cause of death. Again, in deference to the families, I have not mentioned the cause of death unless it is a direct result of the GC action, such as drowning, as in the case of T Kelly GC, or in exceptional circumstances such as JGM Turner GC who died in the Hither Green rail crash in 1967.

Location of medals.  This is only mentioned when they are on public display.

Prices fetched for GCs. I do not mention any prices on purpose. From time to time a medal or a group of medals comes up for sale and those who wish to know the price fetched will be able to find this out on the web. However, readers are welcome to phone me for recent information.

GC statistics. As mentioned in a previous book you will not find any rankings of GCs in this series; who was the first police GC, oldest recipient, longest held, etc. This information is on the website and there are many anomalies which would need clarification and much more research to verify absolutely, for instance why was the first awarded not the first gazetted, or who was the first recommended?

Reference to GCs.  GC names in other books are in bold. Also in bold are contributors to actual entries, sometimes friends, sometimes family, where they have sent in significant information.

Sources. Specific sources for each GC are listed at the end of each entry. A complete set of references will appear in the final volume.

Exchanges. An explanation of these appears in Volume 1.

Index. In this Volume there is only an Index to this book. A complete Index will appear in the final Volume.

Reviews

I'm sure I've said this before, but I think that the work you have done is a fantastic archive and tribute. Of course we have to look forward in life, but as we all know, lessons are learnt by looking at what has gone before us.  And it's right that we remember those people who have acted in an extraordinary way.  K Feetham

Have just read Vol. 5 of One Step Further.

History will dictate that your generosity in devoting your life to the necessary endeavour to research and publish the human story behind the Citations of the George Cross recipients, when individuals put their fellow human beings first - an inspiration to others often to be forgotten so soon - will rank as the most important addition to the nation's literature of self-sacrifice (sometimes called courage) and I am sure appreciated by a much wider audience world-wide.

Gallantry is unrelated to rank, creed or circumstances. It is the product of an individual's will to succeed in adversity, it is all in the state of their mind and by its nature a very private affair at that split second of decision to act or not.

As the son of a George Cross holder may I congratulate you on this most enlightened of real-life publications, uncluttered by political correctness and restoring the human element to what for some families resulted in a celebration and for others a grievous tragedy.  R Herring

This note is really a big thank you that we found each other and that with some assistance along the way we found James Hendry GC - typical of so many men and women of whom the record speaks little and of literally countless others unknown to history who died heroically alone and so unnoticed in the performance of their duty.  George Hendry

Book received and being read with great interest, deference and humility. Bruce Cairns.



One Step Further - Those whose gallantry was awarded with the George Cross

Edition: Book C to E, 3rd in Series

Author: Marion Hebblethwaite

ISBN: 0954691741

Publishers: Chameleon HH Publish

Price £14

Publication Date: 2006


Publisher’s title Information


Tales of acts of bravery and heroism have been told and retold throughout our history. Many have achieved mythological status. Books and films have documented these stories. They tell of soldiers, sailors, lifeboat men, train drivers, firemen, bomb disposal men and civilians who went One Step Further than the rest of us. I hope that you enjoy reading these stories and that they encourage more research - in wonder and admiration. Let us remember them all.

From the Introduction

This is the third in the series of One Step Further.  These books record not only the heroic incidents for which the George Cross was awarded but also the lives of the recipients.  Read how one man spent his working life underground in a coal mine while another became an eminent professor, still another was an author while many quietly lived out their lives without pomp or ceremony.  All society is here, all with one thing in common - unselfishness - epitomised by the hospital porter who threw himself across the body of a nurse when a wall collapsed.  He died that another might live.  Some GCs left behind them lasting memorials like Richard Deedes' gift of church bells while others live on in family attics and lofts.

Information is sometimes hard to come by and great patience is needed.  The stories of all the GCs are worth reading and an inspiration in these days of celebrity 'heroes' when the words courage, bravery and gallantry are unfashionable or mean that you have stood in snake-infested water with spiders in your hair in order to compete for a cash prize.

Most of the recipients have now passed on - if these books revive memories or bring the deeds back into the public eye then this work will have been worth doing.  While some medals are in safes and drawers, many are now in museums and, where this is so, mention is made.  I believe museums and serious collectors do us all a service by caring for their collections particularly if they are catalogued and photographed.  To make this series the most comprehensive resource of the George Cross ever I welcome contact with anyone who owns one, whether by ancestry, purchase or otherwise.  Complete confidence is always observed.

Book A contains sections on Exchanges and Abbreviations.  Book B includes the George Cross Warrant itself.  The final book in the series will contain a full Bibliography, various Appendices and an index to all the books as well as photographs of the Reverse of all the George Crosses I can possible find. So far as I know this has never been attempted before.  I anticipate that it will take until the end of 2006 to complete the set but, as a result of new information continually being received for Books A and B and, no doubt for all future books, there may need to be a further book to include Amendments and Additions.

This time I have included some information about the gallantry awards systems in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Indian sub-continent.  For some, the superseding of the GC by these countries' own awards has been a controversial decision, for others, an obvious one.

Previous Reviews

Some reviews received for Volumes I and 2:

"Good luck with your book, it will no doubt raise the deeds of the men and women who have set us benchmarks of humanity and example"

"I think you are doing a marvellous job"

"Congratulations! it has been a pleasure to be involved".

"You have taken on a mammoth task. We respect that immensely".


REVIEW

This is the third in a series and covers C - E of those who were awarded the George Cross, which was instituted by King George VI  in 1940.  The award is confined to civilians and military personnel who perform ‘acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger’ away from the battlefield.  You will see that many of the awards are dated prior to 1940.  These would have been initially awarded Empire Gallantry, Albert or Edward medals, and later exchanged for the newly introduced George Cross. 

In the book the author gives a list of the main gallantry awards in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries apart from the VC.

Albert Medal (AM) (for merchant seamen, the Royal Navy and later firemen, miners, railwaymen, the army, and others)

Edward Medal (EM) (for miners, quarrymen and later dockworkers, railwaymen, etc.)

Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) (for merchant seamen)

Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM) (from 1922 - 1940 for gallantry)

British Empire Medal (BEM) (from 1922 - 1993 for meritorious service)

George Cross (GC) (from 1940 for gallantry replacing the Empire Gallantry Medal, and later the Edward Medal and Albert Medal)

George Medal (GM) (from 1940 for gallantry)

Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) (from 1974 for gallantry).

Since this is book about the George Cross I was a little surprised to find a reference to John (Jack) Travers Cornwell VC, presumably because on Page 46 a headline describes Donald Owen Clarke GC as the ‘Boy Cornwell’ of the Merchant Navy and details of Jack Cornwell have been included. 

Jack Cornwell was only sixteen when as a Boy First Class he won his VC.  Donald Clarke was nineteen in 1942 when he won his GC, but it is still a fair analogy.  Initially, Jack Cornwell was buried at Grimsby but six weeks later he was re-interred at Manor Park Cemetery, East Ham.  He was given full naval honours with a gun carriage and white ensign with the carriage drawn by uniformed boys. 

Jack Cornwell is well known to HMS St Vincent boys because was was believed to be a copy of the famous painting by Frank Salisbury hung in the Seamanship block at HMS St Vincent, Gosport, Hampshire.  Boy Seamen were trained there from 1927 until 1965.  It closed in 1968.

"It is not wealth or ancestry, but honourable conduct and a noble disposition that maketh men great."

Since I am reviewing for a Royal Naval website there are ten naval personnel included as follows:

Robert Mills Chalmers (EGM) 1926 HMS Tarantula

Anthony John (Scoter) Cobham (EGM) 1929 HMS Devonshire

Dennis Arthur Copperwheat (GC) 1942 HMS Penelope

Thomas Neil Davis (AM) 1918

Harry Melville Arbuthnot Day (AM) 1918 HMS Britannia

Charles Godfrey Duffin (EGM) 1936 HM Dockyard Portsmouth

John Bryan Peter Dupp-Miller (GC) 1940 Bomb Disposal, London

Jack Maynard Cholmondelay Easton (GC) 1940 Bomb Disposal, London

Reginald Vincent Ellingworth (GM) 1940 Bomb Disposal, London

David Hywel Evans (AM) 1918 HMS Glatton.

Re the medal to Cobham see www.rjerrard.co.uk/royalnavy/devon/devon.htm

My uncle served in HMS Devonshire and my web page contains her history written by Neil McCart.  The photograph of HMS Devonshire on Page 63 says courtesy of Neil McCart, however it was actually supplied by me. 

There are of course other entries for a variety of acts of gallantry above and below ground and at sea.  One I have included is that of the award of the EGM (GC exchanged) to Duffin was not strictly to a naval man.  He was a senior shipwright diver at HM Dockyard Portsmouth. The award came as a result of an underwater rescue when a fellow diver was trapped under HMS Aurora. 

 Gathering together all these facts was a very commendable task.  The book also contains a good section on gallantry awards in the Commonwealth and the index includes all entries in volumes 1 and 2.

Rob Jerrard