Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 11/01/1910 Warrington, Lancashire.  d. 19/06/1959 Wrenbury, Cheshire.

 

DATE OF EM ACTION: 18/04/1938 Warrington Bank Quay Station, Warrington, Lancashire.

 

Harold was born on 11th January 1910, one of seven children (5 girls, 2 boys), born to William and Emily Gleave. He was educated at Evelyn Street School in Warrington. At the age of 17, Harold and his family moved to Stockton Heath, outside of Warrington, and Harold chose to follow in his father's footsteps and join the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR). On 4th August 1934, he married Elizabeth Boylin at Holy Trinity Church, Warrington, and they moved into a cottage in the village of Appleton, near Warrington. They would have two children, Margaret born in 1936, and Elizabeth (known as Betty) in 1938.

 

When the incident occurred at Warrington Bank Quay Station which led to the award of the Edward Medal in Silver, Harold was working as a porter. He was also awarded the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust Certificate and £20. He received his medal from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 7th July 1938. The LMSR also recognised his efforts by promoting him to porter-in-charge at Latchford, a station near to Manchester. During World War II, Harold was classed as being in a reserved occupation but did volunteer as a ARP warden alongside his railway work. Sadly in 1942, Harold was diagnosed with TB and was admitted to the Loggerheads Sanitorium on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border. After six months there, he was transferred to the TB Colony at Wrenbury, near Nantwich, Cheshire. He was joined there by his wife and daughters, and worked at the colony until his death on 19th June 1959, aged just 49. He was buried in the local churchyard.

 

EM CITATION:

 

At about eleven o'clock at night on the 18th April, 1938, at Bank Quay Railway Station, Warrington, a passenger named Gaughan fell from No. 1 platform and lay across the nearest rail in the path of an incoming train, then about 150 yards away and still travelling at a fair speed.

 

Gleave was then on No. 3 platform. Hearing shouts of persons on No. 1 he rushed to that platform, crossing some railway lines and No. 2 platform, a distance of about 35 yards. When he arrived, the train was only about 20 yards from where Gaughan was lying and it appeared obvious that it could not be stopped in that distance. It was then travelling about 5 miles an hour, that is, at the rate of 22 yards in 9 seconds.

 

Another porter, James Topping, endeavoured to jump down on to the rails to rescue Gaughan, but was held back by passengers. Gleave, coming up behind him, jumped down, swung Gaughan's body on to the way between the rails so that the train might pass above him, and then endeavoured to scramble out of the path of the train, but was struck by it. Fortunately he was thrown clear; but he did not escape without some injuries. Gaughan was also injured.

 

After the train had come to a standstill Gleave, notwithstanding his injuries, assisted in the work of extricating Gaughan. Gleave displayed conspicuous initiative, presence of mind and courage in rescuing Gaughan from almost certain death at imminent risk to his own life.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: ST MARGARET'S CHURCHYARD, WRENBURY, CHESHIRE.

LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO IMAGE AVAILABLE

Harold Gleave EM

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The image of Harold Gleave EM and information for his biography come from a Medal News article by Allan Stanistreet.