George Medal, GVI, WW2 Service Medals, General Service Medal, bar Palestine 1945-48, 3443379 Sergeant Francis “Frank” Faulkner Royal Artillery.
A rare army issued George Medal to a long serving soldier assisting in the aftermath of an Air Raid on King’s Lynn, Norfolk. A single German Dornier 217 Bomber was responsible for a night of carnage in King’s Lynn when it unleashed a stick of four 1/2 ton bombs on the town centre on Friday, 12th June 1942 shortly before 10pm.
One bomb hit the Eagle Hotel, which was packed with customers was hit hard, and turned a night of celebration of a colleague’s 21st birthday into a scene of death and debris. Sgt Faulkner along with the nearby Soldiers, Police, Home Guard and Civil Defence teams would spent many hours working around the clock to recover the dead and injured.
It led to 42 casualties, 26 were civilians, with 14 RAF fatalities, 5 sergeants killed at the Eagle hotel were buried in a mass grave at Gayton Road Cemetery, with 2 Army Servicemen also killed.
Sgt Faulkner denied orders by the Police that the Hotel was unsafe and should not be entered, he bravely went in and rescued 7 people. He then returned an 8th time and found a woman who was pinned down by the legs by a heavy iron girder in the cellar. However whilst trying to free her. the building collapsed and he spent 7 hours trapped in there with the injured woman before a rescue party could reach him. During this period he kept his companion as cheery as possible, singing to her. Her legs were badly smashed by the girder, in order to free her he had amputate both her legs, but she lived and he had saved 8 lives that night.
Medals court mounted by Spink.
Award of the George Medal announced in the London Gazette 3rd December 1942.
Full Recommendation reads:
“Sergeant Faulkner displayed outstanding meritorious service and conspicuous devotion to duty during rescue work at King’s Lynn during and after an air raid in June 1942. He worked his way among dangerous debris and, through his initiative and disregard of personal safety, the people were rescued after one and a half hours. Subsequently, indifferent to the danger to which he exposed himself, and working in confined space in air heavily polluted by escaping gas, he displayed great courage and tenacity in his efforts to effect further rescues from a cellar.”
Announced in Liverpool Evening Express 1st March 1943, with photograph of him:
“AIR RAID HERO
Within three minutes of enemy bombs wrecking an East Anglian hotel, Sergeant Frank Faulker, R.A., of Peel House Lane, Widnes, defied police orders and crawled under tons of debris to rescue a trapped woman. He eased heavy girders for six hours and sang to keep up the woman’s spirits. Now he has been awarded the George Medal for his courage, endurance and conspicuous devotion to duty throughout the air raid.
Sergeant Faulkner has served in India, Egypt and Ceylon. He was in France with the B.E.F. and came back via Dunkirk. Before the war he worked at the Central Laboratory I.C.I., Widnes, and played rugger with the I.C.I. Recs.”