b. 29/03/1900 Heathfield, Sussex. d. 08/01/1971 Peacehaven, Sussex.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 21/03/1940 Portslade, Sussex.
Gerald Winter (1900-1971) was born on 29th March 1900 in Heathfield, Sussex, one of seven children born to George and Hannah Elizabeth Winter (nee Hope). His father was the owner of Marklye Farm, and also owned a cattle lorry business. Gerald’s siblings included brothers George and Guy, and sisters Molly, Pansy, Sylvia and Bertha. Gerald inherited the cattle lorry business after his father’s death in 1936, while George inherited the farm.
Gerald married Winifred Green, and they had two daughters, Mary Winifred and Barbara. Their children were born at Freinden Farm in Chiddingstone, Kent, where Gerald and Winifred had moved to after his inheritance. During World War II, the family took in evacuees.
Gerald’s life changed on 21st March 1940 when he was working in a field when a Mk 1 Blenheim crashed nearby, bursting into flames. Winter ran to the scene, where he met Corporal Lapwood, who informed him that three men were still inside the aircraft. WInter immediately pulled out Leading Aircraftsman Oultrain, and then climbed into the gun turret in an effort to locate the remaining crew. He saw 2 figures at the front of the aircraft, but they were beyond his reach. He tried to get in through the nose at the front of the aircraft but was beaten back by the exploding ammunition and intense heat. Sadly, both Henry Hulton and Oliver Dumbreck died in the flames.
Gerald was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Civil Division on 28th June 1940, which three months later was exchanged for the new George Cross on its creation. Little else is known about Gerald’s life following the award of the GC. What is known is that sometime in the early 1950s, Gerald left his wife Winifred and moved in with Anne Agamba in Peacehaven, Sussex. He lived with Anne until he died on 8th January 1971 in Lewes, Sussex. It is sadly unknown where Gerald’s final resting place is. It is believed that Anne sold his GC shortly after his death and the medal went to Canada. It’s current whereabouts are not known.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: UNKNOWN – POSSIBLY LEWES, SUSSEX.