Tollemache A.H.A








Anthony Henry Hamilton Tollemache
Flying Officer
Auxilliary Air Force

Born: 3rd August 1913

The citation for the award of the George Cross to Flying Officer Tollemache reads:

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following Awards: —

The Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for Gallantry: –

Flying Officer Anthony Henry Hamilton TOLLEMACHE (goioo), Auxiliary Air Force.

On the night of 11th March, 1940, this officer was pilot of an aircraft which carried a passenger and an air gunner and was engaged in a searchlight co-operation exercise. When approaching the flare-path to land, at 2320 hours, after completing the exercise, the aircraft struck a tree and crashed into a field, where it immediately burst into flames. Flying Officer Tollemache was thrown clear of the wreckage, and his air gunner was able to escape. Realising, however, that his passenger was still in the aircraft Flying Officer Tollemache, with complete disregard of the intense conflagration or the explosion of small arms ammunition, endeavoured to break through the forward hatch and effect a rescue. He persisted in this gallant attempt until driven off with his clothes blazing. His efforts, though in vain, resulted in injuries which nearly cost him his life. Had he not attempted the rescue it is considered he would have escaped almost unscathed."