- Contributed by
- People in story:
- George Roxburgh
- Location of story:
- Fleet Street, London
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 15 November 2005
Letter to George Roxburgh
This story was submitted to the People’s War web site by Ron Steer, of BBC South East Today, on behalf of John Watson,and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr.Watson fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
This is the story of the bravery of one man, namely George Roxburgh, on the night of 29th December 1940.
George was a slightly built man; 44 years of age and who suffered from Bronchial Asthma.He lived in Orient Street, not far from the Elephant and Castle, where his family spent their nights in an Anderson Shelter situated in the small yard at the back of their house. George was employed at night in the Circulation Department of The Daily Telegraph in Fleet Street. On the night in question, The Daily Telegraph Building was set alight by incendiaries during a German air raid. Members of the staff were engaged in trying to put out the fires and George found himself at the top of the building with a large reel of fire hose on his shoulder. The problem he faced was that the hose needed to be on the other side of the building. To get there meant walking along the top of a wall with a drop on either side with incendiaries burning all round. He did not hesitate and got the hose to the other side. He said afterwards that he did not know how he found the strength to lift the fire hose or the nerve to carry it across the top of the wall. Together with his colleagues their efforts were successful in preventing the destruction of the building. During the Blitz there were hundreds like George whose bravery went unrecorded.
His courage, however, was acknowledged by the above letter from the General Manager of The Daily Telegraph.
It was my privilege to know the man. George was my father-in-law.
John R Watson DFM, PFF
53 Broad Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex. BN20 9QT. Tel 01323 484959.
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