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George Medal, Manchester Blitz

£5,995.00

George Medal, GVI, Defence Medal, Civil Defence Medal, Granville Crew Hodkinson, Manchester Voluntary Rescue Party, for outstanding bravery on 11th March 1941 in Chorlton, tunnelling under debris with his bare hands.

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Origin: United Kingdom
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Description

George Medal, GVI, Defence Medal, Civil Defence Medal, Granville Crew Hodkinson, Manchester Voluntary Rescue Party, for outstanding bravery on 11th March 1941 in Chorlton, Manchester.

 

George Medal Officially engraved: “Granville Crewe Hodkinson”, medals swing mounted for wear.
Some slight contact marking through proud wear over the years and a tiny edge bump, otherwise very good condition.

 

With original identified photo of him wearing his medals from Remembrance Day 1957 at the head of his section.
Original London Gazette from 16th May 1941 detailing the award.
Congratulations letter from Manchester Town Hall.
Congratulations and note of award from Regional Commissioner of Civil Defence May 1941.
An original letter from the Anglo-American Film Corporation Ltd dated 2nd November 1944, inviting him and other George Medal winners to a movie screening for ‘Medal for the General’ with a special luncheon with the Lord Mayor and Mayoress.
A copy of the case file from the Civil Defence Awards archive with full narrative of events and reports from witnesses.

 


Official citation:

 

“Houses were demolished by bombs, leaving one wall standing but liable to collapse at any moment.
Hodkinson had no tools but started to tunnel with his hands, lying full length as there was not enough space to kneel. After some time he reached a man whom he pulled slowly along the tunnel by his ankles to the opening. Hodkinson thehn went back and managed to reach a woman who was traped. After 2 hours work the casualty was released.
Mr Hodkinson displayed great courage and considerable skill.

 

Narrative of the day:

 

Mr Hodkinson is a builder by trade and is employed by his father, who trades under the name of Alfred Hodkinson Ltd, 62, Greenhill Street, Moss Side, Manchester.

 

He is not a member of a Corporation Rescue Party, although he is a member of a Voluntary Rescue Party formed by the firm within the framework of the building and Civil Engineering Industries National Emergency Scheme.

 

At about 10.40 pm on Tuesday, 11th March, 1941, Mr Hodkinson was standing at the side of his house, 8 Morville Road, Chorlton, when an air raid Alert was in operation.

 

He heard the sound of bombs coming down quite near and ‘flattened’ out. He then ran round to Wilbraham Road and saw that the two semi-detached houses 358 and 360 Wilbraham Road had been demolished by a bomb, but the gable wall of 358 was standing up to the bedroom floor and was in a dangerous condition.

 

He had no idea who was trapped in the houses or even if anybody was, He shouted to see if he could get an answer form anyone who might be imprisoned, and a woman’s voice was heard coming from under the debris of 358. He had no tools but started to tunnel with his hands. He did not think of the probability of the tunnel falling in behind him. He worked on his stomach as there was not quite enough space to be on hands and knees.

 

After some time he reached a man, who seemed dazed and who was pulled slowly along the tunnel by his ankles until Mr Hodkinson reached the opening when a number of persons took charge of the injured man. Mr Hodkinson then went back along the tunnel towards a woman. He managed to reach her and saw that one of her legs was trapped. The Rescue Party Leader then arrived and followed Mr Hodkinson down the tunnel. At his suggestion Mr Hokdinson went out for a ‘breather’.

 

Subsequently he returned and assisted the Rescue Party Leader to finally free Mrs Jones by sawing through some wood. She was then brought to safety through the tunnel.

 

Police Constable Jackson reports on his arriving at the scene:

 

“I returned to the scene and was in time to see the rescue worker, Granville Hodkinson, a builder, 8 Morville Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, emerge from the wreckage with one of the trapped persons, Eric Jones.
Immediately after transferring Jones to the First Aid Party, Hodkinson re-entered the cavity and resumed his efforts to reach the other persons, still buried. By this time he had enlarged the hole, and I entered after him on ym stomach, with great difficulty, to assist him by throwing back the debris as he removed it. He was at this time about 12 feet under the wreckage, and working under appaling conditions, the danger of a further collapse being likely. Hodkinson, at this moment, established contact with a woman, who I could hear moaning, apparently badly injured, and was comforting her by calm cheery talk which succeeded in its object of sustaining her. He never relaxed his efforts, and wormed his way gradually towards her.

 

Just about this time, the Rescue Party arrived, and I left the hole in order to allow them to assist Hodkinson, who I thought was becoming exhausted. After some difficulty he was persuaded to discontinue his efforts and rest, but after a short period he resumed his activity and was again under the debris when the occupant of the house, Mr Jones, was retrieved.

 

I was impressed, from the time of my arrival, by the resource, energy and skill displayed by Hodkinson. his magnificent courage, and further, his soliciture for Mrs Jones whilst tunnelling towards her aroused my whole hearted admiration, this must have bee the emoting of everyone who saw him.”

 

The Rescue Party Froman, A Smith who assisted him adds to the event:

 

“It actually took two hours to get the woman out under great difficulties. Mr Hodkinson did not display the slightlest fear whilst in the tunnel although at any moment the debris might have collapsed on him. Her performed good work and showed considerable skill. I think it was a great display of courage and skill on the part of Mr Hodkinson to go to work and tunnel to get tot the trapped persons before any assitance arrived. He also took great risk, because he entered the tunnel he made without delaying to make it really safe, his first thought seemed ot be to reach those trapped.”