- Contributed by
- People in story:
- George Roxburgh
- Location of story:
- Fleet Street, London
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 December 2003
This is the story of the bravery of one man, namely George Roxburgh, on the night of 29th December 1940. Goerge 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 during the Blitz in an Anderson Shelter which was in a small yard at the back of their house.
George was employed at night in the Circulation Department of The Daily Telegraph. 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 fire-hose on his shoulder. The problem he faced was that the hose neded to be on the other side of the building. This meant he would have to walk along the top of a wall 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 carry the fire-hose or the nerve to walk across 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 following letter from the General Manager of The Daily Telegraph.
Lord Camrose has asked me to hand you this
token of his recognition of the outstanding
courage, fearlessness and determination dis-
played by you and other members of the Staff
on the occasion of the German incendiary raid
on the 'Daily Telegraph' buil;ding on the night
of Sunday, December 29th.
It is his wish that I should take this
opportunity of expressing the appreciation of
the Management of the wonderful spirit of co-
operation, loyalty to the paper and sense of
individual responsibility that has prevailed in
all departments of the organisation throughout
The Daily Telegraph
It was my privilege to know this man - George was my father-in-law.
John Watson, DFM, PFF
53 Broad Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 9QT
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