Each entry gives the name of the George Cross holder, and the date and location, of the incident for which the decoration was awarded. There is a description of circumstances of the award, place of birth, and date of incident. Both original and exchange awards for earlier awards of the Empire Gallantry Medal, Albert Medal, Edward Medal recipients are covered along with the two collective awards to the island of Malta and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
The George Cross is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded “for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger”,not in the presence of the enemy, to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians.
It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians including police, emergency services and merchant seamen.
Many of the awards have been personally presented by the British monarch to both recipients and in the case of posthumous awards to next of kin. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
As a complete chronological record of George Crosses awarded in Britain and around the world, this book is an essential work of reference for anyone who is interested in the history of the medal and in the acts of bravery and self-sacrifice it commemorates.
Park Keeper ALBERT WATERFIELD exchange award (Empire Gallantry Medal)
Richmond, Surrey, England
10 May 1921
He was 40 years old and working at Richmond Park when he saw 2 men carrying riffles. As he was walking towards them they started to run away and he gave chase. He followed them for about a mile until, as they crossed Beverly Brook near the Robin Hood Gate, they turned and called to him to stop or they would fire. Waterfield continued towards them; when he was only 40 or 50 yards away, one of the men fired two shots at him but missed. The men, both members of the IRA, scaled a wall and ran into a lane; when captured some distance away, they were found to be carrying seventy-six rounds of ammunition with them. They were trying to make an entry into White Lodge, the home of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Waterfield showed great courage and it was due to his persistance in giving chase to two armed men that an attack on the royal family was prevented.
Waterfield also served in the First World War. He was the first recipient of the EGM (Civil Division). He died on 22 August 1968.
Temporary Colonel LANCERAY (known as LANCE or LAN) NEWNHAM (original award)
SHAM SHUI PO PRISON CAMP, Hong Kong
10 July-18 December 1943
He was 54 years old and serving in the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own). When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong in December 1941, he became a prisoner of war. While in captivity he managed, with a number of others, including Captain Douglas Ford, to make contact with British agents. They were arranging a scheme for a mass break out when on 10 July they were betrayed by Bushir Ahmed and arrested. Both men were interrogated, starved, tortured and finally sentenced to death in an endeavour to make them talk, but they refused to implicate their fellow prisoners and both were shot on 18 December 1943. Both men were awarded the GC. Newnham had played on centre court at Wimbledon in 1914 and he had served in the First World War.