George Medal awarded to Frederick John Redman.
As well as medals awarded for service in the First World War, (Images on this web-site) Mr Redman further distinguished himself as a civilian in the Second World War. The George Medal was awarded when he was working at the Gas Light and Coke Company as Chief Valve-man. Redman and several other men were awarded the GM for their courageous action. The following is an extract of the report, as it relates to Redman, which appeared in the Supplement to the London Gazette of 21 March, 1941:-
Mr. Redman was responsible for saving the gas holders by turning off the valves, a long and difficult process. To do this he worked between blazing sheds and pumping stations with bombs falling all round. There was the added danger of exploding mains and gas fumes. Redman displayed great courage and endurance.
(see attachment for reverse side of medal)
Part of Newham Heritage & Archives collection
Before Natural Gas began to be used Coal Gas, or 'Town Gas', used to be made at Beckton. This article describes the industry as it was in 1896.
By Robert Rogers
In 1889, the lives of the workers at Beckton as with other Gas works was very poor, a 12-hour day, 7days a week, with the associated dangers of the job, led to Industrial unrest and the Gas Light & Coke Company begun to lay off some of the Workforce. Will Thorne came from Birmingham, and had begun working at Beckton in 1882. He became a member of the SDF (Social Democratic Federation), a forerunner of the Labour Party.
By R.J.Rogers, February 2006.
This busy modern shopping centre was built on the site of Beckton Gasworks. Some of the gas holders are still in use as can still be seen in the photograph. The Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC) were formed in 1812, the year of Napoleon’s great retreat from Moscow.