Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009
The story of an evacuation hero
Captain Hervy H Golding
Captain Golding served on many ships throughout his career

Hervy H. Golding was honoured for his actions during the evacuation of Guernsey in June 1940.

He was the captain of the SS Isle Of Sark when it sailed from St Peter Port with more than 600 people on board following the bombing on the harbour.

For this Captain Golding was awarded the OBE and a rare accolade from the Southern Railway Company.

In December 2009 his medals went under the hammer and with them a dramatic story of rescue in Guernsey.

Golding had served on board ships for many years before 1940 becoming a member of a group known as "The Cape Horners" whilst in the Southern Ocean.

Southern Railway Company MSM Medals
The MSM medals of the Southern Railway company were a rare accolade

He was actively employed during the Great War as a mercantile marine before working on various routes between England and France which led to his being in Guernsey in June 1940.

On 28 June 1940 the SS Isle of Sark was docked in St Peter Port when German aircraft began a bombing and machine gun assault on the harbour.

This attack is well known in Guernsey for the tomato trucks that were bombed and 50 people who lost their lives but three ships, including the SS Isle of Sark, were equipped with guns and did their best to divert the aircraft thus lessening the impact of the attack.

Captain Golding's bravery and courage under fire was later praised in the Bournemouth Daily Echo saying that: "Captain Golding walked along the decks keeping everybody as calm as possible. His presence was felt immediately wherever he went, and in my [the reporter's] judgment he was largely responsible for the steadiness of the crew, the passengers and the people on the quayside."

OBE medals
Four of the seven medals Captain Golding was awarded for his OBE

The newspaper also reported: "He walked across the quayside to telephone the Naval Authorities, then returned calmly to his bridge, although concentrated machine-gunning and bombing were going on."

Once the attack was over the ship sailed from Guernsey, without escort and its only defence from its basic weaponry, with 647 passengers and became the final ship to sail from Guernsey before the Occupation began.

During the whole period of more than a day Captain Golding remained on duty throughout.

When due to receive his commendation from the Southern Railway Company he was deployed elsewhere but eventually was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in August 1940 at Southampton.

Following the war Golding continued his work for the Southern Railway Company until 1947 having completed 4,800 crossings of the Channel.

Captain Golding's medals sold at auction on Wednesday 2 December 2009 for almost £8,000 before commission, nearly twice their estimated value.




ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific