George Edward Robert Pilgrim EM

b. 26/06/1878 Lamarsh, Essex. d. 20/09/1952 East Ham, Essex.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 23/10/1920 Stratford Station, East London.

George E R Pilgrim EM

George was one of eleven children born to William and Sarah Ann Pilgrim. His childhood was spent in Lamarsh, Essex. From a young age he became an employee of the Great Eastern Railway as a porter, and in 1906, he married Eleanor, and they had a son, Sidney Robert William Pilgrim. Little is known about his life after the incident at Stratford Station. He died on 20th September 1952 at East Ham Hospital, Essex, aged 74.



On  October  23rd,  1920,  while a  number  of passengers  were waiting at  Stratford  Station  on the  Great   Eastern   Railway  for   a   train   to Liverpool   Street, it  became  known  that  the earliest  train  would  start  from   another  platform  and  many  of  them,  instead  of  using  the subway,  proceeded  to  cross the  metals.    Three sets   of   rails  separated   the   platforms,   and among  the  last  to  cross  was a  woman  accompanied  by  her  child.    As  she  was  crossing the centre track,  she saw an express  train  approaching,  and  thinking  that  the  train   was  going straight  through  the  station  on the  centre  line of  the  rails,  she  rushed  across  to  the  edge of the  platform  where  she  thought  she  would  be safe.    The train, however, did  not  go through, but  was diverted  at  the  points,  and  came down the  line of rails on which the  woman was standing,  as it  was intended  to stop  at  the  platform alongside Pilgrim, a railway porter in the service of the Great  Eastern  Railway,  was  on  the  platform and’  realised   the   dangerous  situation   of   the woman  and  child.    The  woman,  too,  saw  the danger,  but  became terrified  and  clung  to  the edge  of  the  platform.      The  train  reached  a point  about  50  yards  from   the  woman  when Pilgrim  leapt  from   the  platform  on  the  line and  dragged  the  woman  and  child,  by  mainforce,   across  the  permanent  way  and   out  of danger.    The  driver  of  the  train  applied   his brakes  with  such  force  that  the  train  parted in  the  middle,  and the  engine was not brought to  a  standstill  until  it  had  reached  a  spot  ten yards  past  the  place  where  the  woman  hadbeen   clinging   to   the   platform.    All   three persons  concerned  had  a  very  narrow  escape from   death,   or,  at  any  rate,   severe   injury. Pilgrim   fully  realised  the  danger  and,  disregarding  any  consequences  to  himself,  jumped literally  in  front  of  the   engine  and  dragged away  the  stupefied  woman  and  her  little  girl. But  for his prompt  and  courageous action they could  not   possibly  have  escaped.