Granville Charles Wastie GC (EM exchanger)

b. 29/10/1902 Witney, Oxfordshire. d. 24/03/1992 Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 25/11/1929 Northleigh, Oxon.

Granville Charles Wastie (1902-1992) was born on the 29th October 1902 in Witney, Oxfordshire, the eldest son of nine children born to Charles and Evelyn Grace Wastie (nee Godfrey). He was one of twins, though sadly his twin sister Phyllis died as an infant. His mother died when he was 24, and his father remarried. His youngest sister Stella looked after his father and stepmother in their old age. The family home was Greystones in Long Hanborough and Charles Wastie was a successful builder in the Witney area.

Granville C Wastie GC

Granville attended Witney Grammar School known as The Henry Box School and after leaving school at 14, he worked with his father until 1922 when he decided to take up farming. Being the eldest, his father purchased his first farm and he later extended his farming interests by taking over a tenancy on the Duke of Marlborough’s Blenheim Palace estate.

On 25th November 1929 on his farm in Northleigh, Oxfordshire, his brother Hector, a bricklayer, descended a well some 30ft deep and 3ft wide; he was overcome by carbon dioxide gas about halfway down and fell unconscious into 30in of water. His brother Stanley went to his assistance but he too was overcome and collapsed, falling to the bottom of the well. Another workman, George Broughton, attempted to descend the well but when halfway down became faint and was pulled up by a rope which he had fastened around himself. By this time Granville had arrived. After tying a handkerchief over his face and a rope around himself, he descended the well and, tying a rope around Stanley, succeeded in bringing him alive to the surface. He then went down a second time and brought up Hector. But a doctor who was summoned found that he had drowned after falling unconscious. Granville though had saved Stanley’s life.

Granville was awarded the Edward Medal in Bronze on 6th June 1930 for his actions. He also received a gold watch from the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust. In 1932, he married Alison Forbes Leslie Sharp, a teacher, living in Long Hanborough. They went on to have two sons, Charles and Granville Forbes (known as Forbes). During World War II, Granville served in the Home Guard and the family now lived at Millfield Farm.

In 1971, Granville chose to exchange his Edward Medal for a George Cross. He donated his EM to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. On 13th March 1973, Granville attended his investiture for the GC having had to tell his sons about his actions over 40 years before, having never told them anything. He retired from farming in 1977 and moved to a smaller house in Long Hanborough. His wife Alison died in 1986, aged 81, and Granville lived alone until he passed away on 24th March 1992 in hospital in Aylesbury. He was buried with his wife in Christ Churchyard, Long Hanborough. His GC and 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal are held proudly in the Wastie family.





Marion Hebblethwaite – Image of Granville Wastie GC.