The Superb London Ambulance Service BEM for Gallantry Group awarded to Ambulance Driver/Attendant Edward Alfred Quigley
A Rare Gallantry British Empire Medal, World War two North West Europe group of 5 awarded to Edward Alfred Quigley London Ambulance Service, comprising , British Empire Medal (Civil Division), BEM Gallantry Emblem, (Edward Alfred Quigley), 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, 1939-45 Defence Medal, 1939-45 War Medal, unnamed as issued, mounted for wear, very fine rim of BEM cleaned.
British Empire Medal for Gallantry (Civil Division London Gazette 8th August 1969
Edward Alfred Quigley Ambulance Driver/Attendant, London Ambulance Service
Thomas Edward Peter Smith, Descaling Engineer, London S.E.5.
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 cover 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 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 unconscious and one man fighting for breath. Realising that there was not 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, he placed 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 gain 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 he too had to be pulled out.
Edward Alfred Quigley was born on the 30th October 1921, he died on the 4th September 1995 he lived at the time at 121, Church Road, Ferndown, Dorset.
Sold with Original letter to Mr Quigley dated 25th October 1993 and copied London Gazette entry.