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Mosedale, William Radenhurst

Date of birth:
March 28th, 1894 (Birmingham, Great Britain)
Date of death:
March 27th, 1971 (Nailsea, Somerset, Great Britain)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

He was also awarded:
- Birmingham Fire Brigade Long Service, 2 clasps, 20 Years, 5 Years, silver
- Association of Professional Fire Brigade Officers L.S.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Station Officer & Rescue Officer
Unit:
Birmingham Fire Brigade, Home Guard
Awarded on:
March 28th, 1941
Action:
Citation:
"William Mosedale, Station Officer and Rescue Officer, Birmingham Fire Brigade. An Auxiliary Fire Station was completely demolished by a very large high explosive bomb. A number of Auxiliary Firemen were trapped in the station and civilians were buried in an adjoining house which had also been demolished. Station Officer Mosedale immediately began tunnelling and propping operations. Hundreds of tons of debris covered the site and Mosedale fully realised that at any moment he might be buried by a further collapse. When the first tunnel was completed and the Control Room reached, he found that there were still men whom he could not extricate. He carried out another tunnelling operation from a different direction and again entered the Control Room. Five men were found, one dead, the others injured. The Station Officer crawled through and administered oxygen to the injured men and they were then taken out through the tunnel. The entrance to the cellar of the private house was full of debris. Station Officer Mosedale directed operations for removing this, only to find that the cellar itself had collapsed. He nevertheless persevered and, after a time, reached seven people who were trapped. Three had been killed outright when the roof collapsed. He gave oxygen to the remaining four and succeeded in extricating them. To reach other victims it was again necessary to tunnel, and Mosedale immediately commenced this work. The dangers to be faced were similar to those which he had found in reaching the Control Room. He nevertheless completed the tunnel and entered the cellar under the Fire Station. Four men who were alive were given oxygen and, despite their injuries, were safely removed. Tunnelling through such difficult material had necessarily been extremely hazardous and the cellar collapsed completely, shortly after the removal of the last victim. These operations, which lasted more than twelve hours were carried out under a most intense bombardment. Twelve lives were saved by Station Officer Mosedale who showed outstanding gallantry and resource. In effecting the rescues he repeatedly risked his own life."
George Cross
King George V Coronation Medal
Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal 1953

Sources

Photo