An act of courage and a gift of friendship

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.

1 comment:

T A Dickens said...

I have one of this style of brass matchbox holders engraved Boulogne Worldwar 1918. It belonged to my grandfather who was wounded in France by shrapnel. It eventually killed him in 1946 when it caused a brain haemorrhage.