BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL (CIVIL) G.VI, FIRST TYPE ‘ALEXANDER ROSS GORDON’
B.E.M. London Gazette 5 November 1943. Ground for Recommendation: Devotion to duty and fire fighting in Auckland Road at Grimsby, Lincolnshire on 13 June 1943:
"Alexander Ross Gordon, fire guard, Grimsby. During an air raid, incendiary bombs fell around the building where Gordon was on duty. Under his direction, fires in adjoining buildings were tackled and great efforts made to prevent the flames from spreading. When the water supply temporarily failed, Gordon salvaged important documents and carried them to safety. By this time the building was ringed with fire, but although the smoke was very thick and the heat intense, Gordon continued to fight the fires and eventually they were subdued. Gordon showed courage and it was due to his energy and leadership that the building was saved from destruction.”
Alexander Ross Gordon, a 41 year old Fire Guard of 14, Cynthia Road, Grimsby was awarded the British Empire Medal for his gallantry in fire fighting in Auckland Road, Grimsby, during German SD2 ‘Butterfly Bomb’ air raid of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes on 13 June 1943:
“On the night of 13/14 June 1943 the air raid sirens sounded across Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Great Coates signifying an imminent air raid. But this was no ordinary air raid, over 3,000 butterfly bombs were dropped that night together with incendiaries and HE's, leaving 66 people dead and over 1000 homeless. Although not realised at the time this was the first 'area denial' raid to be carried out, neverthe- less a blanket of secrecy was thrown down over the entire area, and papers at the time only reported that an air raid took place on the east coast with anti-personnel bombs. The secrecy seemed to work, although it took over 10,000 man hours to clear the town, no raid of its kind was carried out again.”
A newspaper article on the Gordon’s award, published in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph 6 November 1943 notes that it was the premises of Consolidated Fisheries Ltd that Gordon saved.
The original recommendation, which may contain a more detailed recommendation, is held in the National Archives, ref: HO 250/85/2095A
Condition GVF couple of minor EK’s or better. Edge prepared prior to impressed naming, as extremely common with B.E.M.’s.