Teenagers showed their courage
A large number of civilians participated in their country’s defence, and some of them were very young indeed. Betty Quinn, aged 17, was awarded the George Medal, the second highest bravery award for civilians. She was working in an aid post during an air raid on Coventry. Despite falling bombs and shrapnel, she went out, extinguished several firebombs, helped a wounded man to a shelter, then helped dig seven survivors from a shelter that had been hit. She then returned to her post to help others.
Civilian Rose Ede, aged 18, won the George Medal for burrowing into the wreckage of a house and digging out a child with her bare hands. Neil Leitch, a 15-year- old van boy, was sserving as a messenger wwith the Glasgow Fire SService and, on his own initiative, cycled to BBankhead Fire Station, wwhich had been hit by a bbomb. He was blown ooff his bike by a bomb, ssustaining severe head aand other injuries, but aattended the fire and rreturned with a vital mmessage. He was oordered to a first aid ppost but tried to return tto his own fire station to hhelp and was hit by an incendiary bomb and ddied of burns. The Fire Service recommended him for the George Cross, the highest possible civilian award, but the committee felt this was not warranted. He received a simple commendation. Neil was one of five boy messengers killed in the Glasgow raids out of about 90 who served there in the war (see page 63 for his commendation).
Betty Quinn receives her George Medal in 1941