Albert Henry Tyler GC (EM exchanger)

b. 02/04/1901 Datchworth, Hertfordshire. d. 28/12/1975 Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 19/10/1929 Welwyn Garden City.

Albert Henry Tyler (1902-1975) was born on 2nd April 1901 in Datchworth, Hertfordshire, one of six sons of William and Dinah Tyler (nee Cutts). They also had two daughters. Albert attended the local primary school at Jewin. Following his schooling, he followed his father’s occupation of sinking wells. His elder brother Ernest also worked with them.

Albert H Tyler GC

On 19th October 1929, Albert was working at a factory in Burnham Green cleaning and enlarging a cesspit with his brother Ernest and his father William, when Ernest became affected by gas. He had been lowered by a bucket attached to a rope, and was being brought back up at his own request when he fell out of the bucket while still 20ft from the top of the pit. William went down at once to rescue his son, but collapsed and became unconscious on reaching the bottom. Despite the collapse of his brother and father, which Albert had witnessed, he descended into the pit to rescue them. He was driven back 4 times by the gas but at the 5th attempt he succeeded in getting a rope around them. They were hauled to the surface but artificial respiration and oxygen failed to revive them.

It was no consolation to Albert following the loss of his father and brother, but his efforts to rescue them saw him awarded the Edward Medal (London Gazette 14th February 1930). He was also awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal and the Certificate of the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust. In 1936, Albert married Gertrude Rogers in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales, and they went on to have a daughter.

For thirty years, Albert was a slipper for the North Hertfordshire Coursing Club. In 1971, following the change in the Royal Warrant, Albert chose to exchange his Edward Medal for the George Cross. He donated the Edward Medal to the Hertford Museum. Albert was not well enough to attend an investiture for his GC so received it by registered post. He died in Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn Garden City on 28th December 1975 and was cremated at Stopsley Crematorium in Luton. His GC is privately held.