A fine Collection of Life Saving Awards

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Date of Auction: 12th December 2012

Sold for £490

Estimate: £300 - £350

A fine B.E.M. pair awarded to Corporal Harry James Bodkin, Army Physical Training Corps, late Royal Regiment of Artillery

British Empire Medal, (Military) G.VI.R., 1st issue (2065653 A/Bdr. Harry J. Bodkin, R.A.); Efficiency Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue, Territorial (2065653 Cpl. H. J. Bodkin, APTC) nearly extremely fine (2) £300-350

Footnote

B.E.M. London Gazette 15 March 1946. ‘... in recognition of gallant conduct in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner ...’ ‘Acting Bombardier, Royal Regiment of Artillery (Rainham, Kent)’

Citation reads: ‘On the 23rd May 1945, five Dutch children were playing in the wreckage of American aircraft stored in a factory yard opposite an Ordnance dump at Enschede, Holland. The children had apparently kindled a fire in one of the wrecked fuselages, with the result that it caught fire and they were trapped in one of the compartments. When the alarm was given, Bombardier Bodkin and Gunner Trott, who were stationed nearby, immediately proceeded to the scene and, despite the fact that the wreckage was blazing fiercely, they proceeded to fight their way into the fuselage and to rescue the children inside. Two of the children were very seriously burnt, and one died later. All who witness the incident were full of praise for the way in which Bombardier Bodkin and Gunner Trott had worked as they both disregarded personal safety and showed coolness and determination in their effort.’

Gunner Leslie Marwood Trott, R.A. was also awarded the B.E.M. With copied gazette extract and other research.