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1164531 Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Frank Garraway
(King's Commendation for Brave Conduct)
On 14th November 1940 there was an intense bombing attack on Coventry from 7.10 p.m. and this continued into the 15th
November 1940 until 6 p.m. The raids left chaos in their wake.
The attack caused considerable damage to the balloon sites and Electricity, Gas, Water and Telephone services were all
inoperable. In addition, the main roads were impassable causing considerable disruption. No. 917 Barrage Balloon Squadron Station
Headquarters and “A” Flight Headquarters were damaged along with the huts on sites 17/25 and 17/37. The balloon on site
17/37 was cut adrift and the winch burnt out due to enemy bombs. The Station Sick Quarters had to be evacuated because of
On 14th November 1940 Leading Aircraftman William Aitken Osborne was on duty when his crew were subjected to an enemy air
Osborne ordered his crew to the shelters as several high explosive bombs fell on and around the balloon site.
Their balloon was punctured by shrapnel and began to lose gas and lift. Osborne rallied his crew of four to haul it down.
Later he along with 852043 Leading Aircraftman Thomas Roberts and 1164531 Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Frank Garraway
realised that a nearby house had collapsed from the bombing and that civilians were trapped.
Osborne ordered all three of the balloon crew to help the trapped civilians. A German bomb fell and rendered Osborne unconscious
852043 Leading Aircraftman Thomas Roberts and 1164531 Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Frank Garraway.
852019 Leading Aircraftman William Aitken Osborne was awarded the British Empire Medal for his actions that night.
1164531 Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Frank Garraway was commended for brave conduct by the King on 1st July 1941
in the London Gazette. (Page 3752-3 Supplement to the London Gazette, 1st July 1941)
1164531 Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Frank Garraway was born on 3rd June 1913 at Swindon the son of George Edward and
Emily Beatrice Garraway (Nee Strickland). He worked for the Great Western Railway as a Messenger from 21st March 1938 to 1939.
In 1939 he lived at 19 Taunton Street, Swindon with his wife Hilda May Garraway.
He is pictured here at the back at the wedding of Frank and Doris Nulty
Men from No.917 Squadron act as bearers at the funeral
Men from No.917 Squadron act as bearers at the funeral along with an honour guard
He was buried at Swindon (Christchurch) burial ground, Extn. Grave 85.
In June 2019 it was noticed that his entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (cwgc.org) did not list the commendation
for brave conduct but the listing for his equally brave comrade, 852043 Leading Aircraftman Thomas Roberts, who also died did.
Peter Garwood contacted the C.W.G.C. and explained that somehow he had not been listed correctly. The C.W.G.C. investigated and
examined the evidence he sent them and on 15th July 2019 they amended his C.W.G.C. listing to include his posthumous award for bravery.
Peter Garwood June 2019
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