The Edward Medal.

A rare George VI 1st Type Bronze medal engraved with the name of the recipient John Weller on the rim.

The medal was awarded to John Weller, a Process Worker at the SPRA Works at Catterick Railway Station for his outstanding bravery when an ammunition train exploded destroying most of the station and surrounding area during WW1. Presented to the town by his family.

His citation published in the London Gazette of the 9th June 1944 was as follows: “His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to award the Edward Medal to John Weller, in recognition of his gallantry in the following circumstances”.

“When a violent explosion took place at an ammunition railhead, Mr. Weller was in a hut 40 yards away. The hut collapsed and he was blown a considerable distance. The explosion was followed immediately by extensive fires in the surrounding area, caused mainly by grenades and incendiary bombs scattered from adjoining wagons”.

Mr. Weller, though shaken, returned to the hut, which was already on fire. He was joined by another man, who though injured himself, was able to assist him to extricate three other injured men from the ruins of the hut and carry them to safety. They then assisted in the rescue of killed and injured from other burning and wrecked buildings. Mr. Weller continued the work until emergency parties arrived and took over the work of rescue and fire fighting. Mr. Weller well knew the area contained other loads of high explosives which might well have exploded. His behaviour showed courage, initiative and determination of a high order.

© Copyright of Alan M. Wilcox Richmond Town Clerk 1985-1997.