Medals from the Collection of R.W. Gould, MBE

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Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £600 - £800

A fine George Medal pair awarded to War Reserve Constable Albert Garrard, Metropolitan Police, for saving life during an air raid on East Ham in January 1943

George Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue (Albert William Garrard); Defence Medal, the first lightly polished, otherwise good very fine (2) £600-800


G.M. London Gazette 21 May 1943: ‘Albert William Garrard, War reserve Constable, “K” Division, Metropolitan Police. Bombs badly damaged a house and it immediately caught fire. Garrard who was off duty, saw, by the light of the flames inside the house, that a hand was moving amid the wreckage. The floor above had fallen down and was burning. Garrard worked his way through the wreckage and by moving floor joists and debris succeeded in reaching the waving hand. As he pulled to free the head and shoulders of a man, the hanging floor above began to move. He propped it up with some joists and then continued the task of freeing the man and managed to get him through the debris. He returned immediately to the hole through which he had dragged the man and found a woman and extricated her. It was thought that two more women were still in the burning house and once more Garard went back, but it was discovered that the missing women were safe in a shelter and he was recalled. By this time the Fire Brigade had arrived. Garrard helped them to lay their hoses and then went home. The War Reserve Constable showed great courage, ingenuity and persistence in tackling a dangerous and difficult job by himself.’

The above incident took place at No. 2 Hartley Avenue, East Ham, London, E.6., early on the morning of 18 January 1943. Sold with further details including original recommendation and witness statements.