L.A.C. Bernard Darley (Service no. 28345), R.A.F, was commended for fighting a fire at Workshop No. 2 M.T.R.D. Royal Air Force, St Omer. He entered a burning building and fought the fire from within to prevent the explosion of two petrol filled tanks and the possibility of an electrical fire spreading to a nearby power station, at great risk to his own life.
He was assisted through the entire operation by a German Prisoner of War named Otto Arndt of the 139th P.O.W. Company. The two became friends. Otto crafted Bernard a matchbox (pictured here) as a gift and a reminder of their joint act of courage. Images of the matchbox and papers detailing Bernard's gallantry were submitted to The Great War Archive by Bernard's great-granddaughter, Merilyn Jones of Sutton Coldfield.