Mr Benjamin Stanley Musgrave, an ARP warden from Chingford, shows his BEM to Miss Fenn and his sister Mrs Franklin after he visited the King at a recent Investiture, 29 May, 1941. The British Empire Medal (formally British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service) is a medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The current honour was created in 1922 to replace the original medal, which had been established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire.
In the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 28 March 1941:
Awarded the Medal of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for Meritorious Service:--B enjamin Stanley Musgrave, A.R.P. Warden, Chingford.
During a heavy air raid several houses were destroyed. The debris caught fire and blazed fiercely. Fireman Davies' house was severely damaged and he was badly shaken. Immediately he had recovered he went to a wrecked house in which two persons and a child were trapped under a bed. Having located the casualties, he burrowed
into the debris with his bare hands. He succeeded in reaching the bed and, finding the baby, he passed it out to the Wardens. He then tried to release the other victims. This he could not do unaided and Warden Musgrave volunteered to help him. Davies then levered up the debris with his body whilst Musgrave crawled under the bed
and allowed himself to be pulled out with the woman on his back. Still taking the weight of the debris, Davies, after fifteen minutes, succeeded in releasing the remaining trapped person, who was then drawn to safety.
Davies was in a state of collapse and had to receive first aid treatment but, when it was reported that another child was trapped, he again crawled under the wreckage and continued working for the rest of the night. His heroic action saved many lives.
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