The rare London Ambulance Service Camberwell 1969 Sewer Rescue British Empire Medal for Gallantry with Gallantry emblem and Second World War North West Europe campaign group awarded to Mr E.A. Quigley, an Ambulance Driver / Attendant with the Lond...

£1,695.00
Availability: IN STOCK
SKU: A1524
Condition: Good very fine
Description:

The rare London Ambulance Service Camberwell 1969 Sewer Rescue British Empire Medal for Gallantry with Gallantry emblem and Second World War North West Europe campaign group awarded to Mr E.A. Quigley, an Ambulance Driver / Attendant with the London Ambulance Service, who assisted in the rescue of men who were working to clear a blocked drain in the Camberwell area. Awarded in a joint citation with the award to Mr. T.E.P. Smith, a Descaling Engineer for the London S.E.5 area, at the time, ‘Mr. Smith and two other men were engaged in clearing out the interceptor in a drain and it was decided to clear the blockage by using a chemical and about four gallons of the acid were poured into the drain. The three men then went to the manhole over the Council sewer and one man went down to clear the blockage in the interceptor from behind. He started to push rods back up the sewer, came up to the surface for more rods and then collapsed down into the manhole apparently as a result of fumes. Smith’s colleague immediately jumped into the manhole and managed to lift the man up so that Smith was able to get hold of his hands and lift him out of the manhole and lay him on the road. The man in the manhole then collapsed. Smith after calling for help, took off his jacket and jumped into the manhole. A rope was then passed down to Smith and he was told to tie it around the other man. Smith was by now seriously affected by the fumes and although he tied the rope it kept slipping. Smith was too affected to retie the rope but refused to leave his colleague and he eventually became unconscious himself. ‘By this time Mr. Quigley had arrived as a result of an emergency call to his depot. On being told that two men were in the sewer he looked down the manhole where he saw one man apparently unconscious and the other fighting for breath. Realising that there was no time to wait for assistance he took an oxygen mask and went into the manhole, where he could smell what appeared to be acid fumes. As Smith was the least affected of the two men the mask on him and then pulled the head of the other man clear of the sewer. He tied the rope which had been passed down to him around Smith, who was then pulled out of the manhole. The rope was again passed down and Quigley tied it around the other man who was pulled out. He was found to be dead on arrival at hospital. By this time Quigley was almost unconscious and he too had to be pulled out.’

British Empire Medal, Eliz II, Civil Division with Gallantry emblem attached to ribbon named to EDWARD ALFRED QUIGLEY) 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.

Together with a letter of appreciation to Quigley for a contribution of £10 to the Order of the British Empire 75th Anniversary Appeal for upkeep of the Chapel of the Order at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, dated 25th October 1993, together with an envelope addressed to Quigley when living at 121 Church Road, Ferndown, Dorset.

Edward Alfred Quigley was born on 13th October 1921 in Camberwell, London, and after service during the Second World War in North West Europe, then worked as an Ambulance Driver / Attendant with the London Ambulance Service. It was whilst so employed that he assisted in the rescue of men who were working to clear a blocked drain, and was subsequently awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry, signified by the addition of the rare Gallantry emblem, the award being published in the London Gazette for 8th August 1969. The citation, which also includes the award to a Thomas Edward Peter Smith, a Descaling Engineer for the London S.E.5 area, namely Camberwell, reads as follows: ‘Mr. Smith and two other men were engaged in clearing out the interceptor in a drain. It was decided to clear the blockage by using a chemical and about four gallons of the acid were poured into the drain. The three men then went to the manhole over the Council sewer and one man went down to clear the blockage in the interceptor from behind. He started to push rods back up the sewer, came up to the surface for more rods and then collapsed down into the manhole apparently as a result of fumes. Smith’s colleague immediately jumped into the manhole and managed to lift the man up so that Smith was able to get hold of his hands and lift him out of the manhole and lay him on the road. The man in the manhole then collapsed. Smith after calling for help, took off his jacket and jumped into the manhole. A rope was then passed down to Smith and he was told to tie it around the other man. Smith was by now seriously affected by the fumes and although he tied the rope it kept slipping. Smith was too affected to retie the rope but refused to leave his colleague and he eventually became unconscious himself. By this time Mr. Quigley had arrived as a result of an emergency call to his depot. On being told that two men were in the sewer he looked down the manhole where he saw one man apparently unconscious and the other fighting for breath. Realising that there was no time to wait for assistance he took an oxygen mask and went into the manhole, where he could smell what appeared to be acid fumes. As Smith was the least affected of the two men the mask on him and then pulled the head of the other man clear of the sewer. He tied the rope which had been passed down to him around Smith, who was then pulled out of the manhole. The rope was again passed down and Quigley tied it around the other man who was pulled out. He was found to be dead on arrival at hospital. By this time Quigley was almost unconscious and he too had to be pulled out.’ The British Empire Medal for Gallantry with the Gallantry emblem was only awarded between 1958 and 1974 when it was replaced by the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Awarded in both the Civil and the Military Division, during this period there were only 636 awards of the Civil Division made. This is an exceptional rare award to a member of the London Ambulance Service. Quigley latterly lived in Fernsdown, Dorset, he made a contribution of £10 to the Order of the British Empire 75th Anniversary Appeal for repair to the Chapel of the Order at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in 1993, and died on 4th September 1995.