b. 20/10/1905 Wix, Essex. d. 31/12/1989 Norwich, Norfolk.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 02/06/1935 Quetta, India.
Alfred “Joe” Herbert Lungley (1905-1989) was born on 20th October 1905 in Wix, in the district of Manningtree, Essex, one of six children of Frederick and Eliza Maria Lungley (nee Haggar). He had two older brothers, George and Frederick, two older sisters Eliza and Emily, and a younger sister, Rose May. His father was a farm labourer and Joe as he was known from a young age, attended the local school. He left school at the age of 12 and began working on a local farm.
In the Great War, his brother Frederick was killed in action in 1918. Joe became disillusioned with life on the farm, and in 1921, he enlisted with the 24th Mounted Brigade, Royal Artillery.
He served in several theatres before arriving in India, with the rank of Lance-Sergeant in the early 1930s. On 31st May – 1st June 1935, a huge earthquake struck Quetta in India (now Pakistan), and a survivor was located in the wreckage of a house on the east side of Bruce Road. In order to extricate the man, it was necessary for Joe Lungley to dig to the bottom of a deep hole surrounded and overhung by tottering masonry. This was liable to collapse during any minor shocks, several of which occurred during the rescue work. Lungley showed the greatest zeal and disregard for his own safety, although he was already suffering from a severe foot injury. The man was recovered alive.
On 19th November 1935, Joe was one of nine people awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division for their actions at Quetta. He was promoted to Battery Sergeant Major and served in World War II, mostly in France and Germany. He married Lilian May Moore in the early weeks of the war on 23rd September 1939 at Holy Trinity Church, Norwich. They went on to have three children, Barry, David and Christine. In September 1940, following the creation of the George Cross, , he alongside the other five surviving EGMs from Quetta, exchanged his medal for the new award.
Following the end of the war, he settled in Norwich where his Battery was located. He then gained employment as a fitter for British Rail Eastern Region, in the coach works, until his retirement in 1964. In his retirement he was a keen gardener and allotment holder, and loved watching his local football team, Norwich City. Joe passed away on New Years’ Eve 1989 in Norwich, and he was cremated at Earlham Crematorium, and there is a memorial stone in his memory. His widow Lilian’s ashes were placed with him after her death in 2003.
Joe’s medals including his GC, 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, 1953 QEII Coronation Medal, 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal and the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal are proudly held in the Lungley family.
LOCATION OF MEDAL:WITH RECIPIENT’S FAMILY.
BURIAL PLACE: EARLHAM CREMATORIUM, NORWICH, NORFOLK.
PLAQUE AND IN BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE.
Richard Yielding – Image of Alfred Lungley GC at the 1968 VCGA Reunion.