Glemsford's Own GC
These are the bare bones.
Frederick John CRADOCK, GC - 4th May 1943, Glemsford, Suffolk
No/Rank/Unit/Occupation: BoilermanDoB - DoD: 1886, Acton, London - 4th May 1943, Glemsford, Suffolk
Biography: Frederick J Cradock served in First World War, enlisting in late 1915 in the Royal Field Artillery as No. 245358, with the rank of Driver. He served in France and Belgium from early 1916 with 156th Brigade (Territorial)/R.F.A. He was discharged in the summer of 1919 when his Army number was 885763.
TLG/Citation: 10th September 1943
The KING has been graciously pleased to award the GEORGE CROSS to: -Frederick John Cradock (deceased), Boiler Man, Glemsford, Suffolk.
An explosion occurred, with the result that a boiler house was filled with scalding steam and water, and a man was trapped in a well between the furnace and the boiler. Cradock, who was on top of the furnace, could have jumped to safety on the side away from the steam, but he refused to do so and, calling for a ladder, turned into the escaping steam and attempted to get down into the well to haul out his workmate. Before he could do so he was overcome and severely scalded. He staggered away from, the steam and at this point could still have jumped to safety but, despite his terrible injuries, he returned to make a second gallant effort to get down into the well.He died in making the attempt. Cradock showed outstanding heroism and gave his life in an endeavour to save his workmate.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to add anything to the story, except for an entry from the Foxearth website, itself taken from the Haverhill Echo, May 5, 1943:
The story of how a Glemsford man who lived at Thurston End gave his life to try and save his workmate was told at an inquest last week.
The victims were Frederick Craddock aged 57 of Thurston End, Glemsford and Albert Sterry of Brook Street, Glemsford.
Sterry had been in charge of a East Anglian boiler room for two years and Craddock was his assistant, they had been engaged in " blowing out the boiler" an operation they carried out twice a week when the boiler exploded killing both men, a piece of metal had lodged in the valve which made it unable to open properly.
The chairman said Craddock lost his life because he tried to save his mate.
Marion has now informed me that one of a series of books on the awarding of the GC, including that to Mr Cradock, has now been published.
All books are available through the website http://www.gc-database.co.uk/ or by request through your bookshop.
Meanwhile, if anyone knows anything more, please let me know. It seems like a story well worth the re-telling.