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The Museum of London Docklands has acquired a rare George Cross medal awarded to Richard V Moore for his bomb disposal efforts during the Second World War.
On the night of 16 September 1940, near the beginning of the London Blitz, the German forces began to drop naval mines for the first time over London. Many failed to explode and created an imminent threat to the safety of Londoners. Richard V Moore was one of the naval staff who volunteered to make these mines safe. From the period of 17 to 21 September, Moore, along with Lieutenant-Commander Dick Ryan and Chief Petty Officer Reginald Ellingworth, travelled across London, Essex and Kent defusing these unexploded mines to make them safe. Read more about their extraordinary story.
On 21 September 1940, Moore, Ryan and Ellingworth were called to Dagenham to defuse three German mines. Whist Moore tackled a mine outside a factory, Ryan and Ellingworth headed to neutralise a mine hanging from a roof in North Oval Road. Tragically, the mine exploded, killing both men. All three men were awarded the George Cross, Ryan and Ellingworth posthumously, for 'great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty'. Only 12 George Cross medals had been directly awarded prior to Moore’s.
Moore’s George Cross medal is part of a display in the Docklands at War gallery.
Docklands at War gallery open