Showing posts with label Only the brave. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Only the brave. Show all posts

Saturday 7 March 2009

Only the brave, George Medal and Frank Bellamy

After his successful run illustrating a full colour double-page spread on Field Marshall Montgomery in Eagle, Bellamy created 6 single black and white page stories in the Eagle series "Only the brave". His episodes ran from Eagle volume 13:33 to 13:38 with dates 18th August 1962 to 22nd September 1962.

Background to the series: Only the brave told the true life stories of recipients of the George Medal (as opposed to the George Cross) and the British Empire Medal. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the George Medal which was "instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI". I re-read the stories for this blog and was amazed how moving they are after all these years and how Bellamy managed to fit excitement and pathos in the series taking only one page! Bellamy illustrated part of the covers of the 2 Eagles in which he did his first 2 black & white pages. The cover at that time was divided up in illustrative panels. For the curious, this is directly before the Eagle decided to create single image covers of racing drivers "Kings of the road". The name is not to confused with the exciting Gerry Haylock drawn series - but I digress!)

Which names are covered by Eagle?
No. 24 Flt Sgt John Goldsmith I February 1941 Flight Sergeant John Goldsmith was driving his ambulance when he spotted a plane in difficulty. He sprang to the rescue of the pilot stuck in the wreckage despite the danger of a likely fuel tank explosion

No. 25 John Edwards John Edwards, a bank manager in Birmingham, stopped a robbery in his bank, facing up to two masked men. "After the gunmen had stood trail the judge left his bench to congratulate Mr. Edwards"
No. 26 Lilan Daka in 1958, a Ngomi tribesman in Northern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) rushes headlong into a hut where a woman is screaming, as a lion heads towards her baby. He forgets that he has not loaded his rifle yet fights the lion bear-handed

No. 27 Malcolm Bignall In June 1957 Bignall drove a 50 ton transporter (with a tank on board) for the Royal Army Service Corp through the towns and villages of Hampshire. The brakes failed on a hill and he was heading for Hurstbourne Tarrant where villagers were unaware what was coming. Despite personally being injured as the transporter's flywheel hit him he managed to steer the transporter and tank into a nearby field and was awarded a British Empire Medal

No. 28 PC Verth of Manchester P.C. Archibald Verth of Manchester stops a robbery in a gunsmiths and is awarded a BEM. (see the Third Supplement the the London Gazette Fri 23rd May 1958 for further details - or read the Eagle!)

No. 29 PC Tom Young P.C. Tom Young hangs onto a car when he discovers a petrol thief. He's taken for a ride on the bonnet and travels at 70 miles per hour (could cars go that fast before 1962?) Eventually the car runs out of petrol and Young chases the criminal. Later he too is awarded the British Empire Medal

These were the reprinted:
  1. WHAM #95 (09/04/1966) "World of Adventure" Bomb Burglar (PC Verth of Manchester)
  2. WHAM #96 (16/04/1966) "World of Adventure" Death ride (PC Tom Young)
  3. LOOK AND LEARN #545 (24/06/1972) - 549 (22/07/1972) titled the series as Bravest of the Brave
  • #545 - "Lionheart" (Lilan Daka) (24 June 1972, p.18)
  • #546  - "Crash Landing" (John Goldsmith) (1 July 1972, p.18)
  • #548  - "Runaway Tank" (Col M Bignall)  (15 July 1972, p.18)
  • #549  - "Maniac Bomber" (P C Verth)  (22 July 1972, p.32)