b. 23/11/1894 12 Owen Street, Southsea, Hampshire. d. 04/06/1959 Portsmouth.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 15/02/1930 Portsmouth Harbour.
George Wilfrid Harrison (1894-1959) was born on 23rd November 1894 in Southsea, Hampshire, the son of Harry and Rose Hannah Harrison (nee Simmonds). His father was a gardener and his mother was in domestic service. On leaving school, he became an apprentice blacksmith, but by 1911, George was at sea, aboard the Edgar where he was listed as a Boy 1st Class (Executive). On 30th January 1912 he joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class for a period of 12 years. He married Margaret Alice Jane Oastler, known as May in 1919.
On 15th February 1930 he was serving aboard HMS Hood in Portsmouth Harbour, when dockyard workmen opened the starboard after-bilge compartments for inspection. A shipwright named Langford entered through the manhole and was overcome by carbon monoxide and collapsed. A rescue party entered the bilge, but found great difficulty in locating him due to the very bad atmosphere and lack of lighting. The party had gas masks but these were ineffective against carbon monoxide. Notwithstanding these difficulties, however, Harrison made his way through successive compartments and, at great personal risk, continued his search and, with assistance, eventually brought Langford out. At this point Harrison was at a state of collapse himself. Langford, although alive when he was brought out, never regained consciousness.
George was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division on 1st January 1931, which following the creation of the George Cross, was automatically exchanged. George left the Navy in 1941 with indefinite exemption. George died on 4th June 1959 in Portsmouth, and he was cremated at Portchester Crematorium. He is commemorated in the Book of Remembrance. His medals are privately held.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: PORTCHESTER CREMATORIUM, FAREHAM, HAMPSHIRE.
NAMED IN BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE.