Teenagers showed their courage

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - FOCUS ON -

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

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