Chaplain (Squadron Leader)PUGH, The Rev. HERBERT CECIL

Service Number 76558

Died 05/07/1941

Aged 42

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

G C

Son of Harry Walter and Jean Pugh; husband of Amy Lilian Pugh, of Bridgnorth, Shropshire. M.A. (Oxon.).

Citation

The London Gazette of 1st April, 1947, gives the following particulars

The Revd. H. C. Pugh was on board H. M. T. Anslem, bound for West Africa, when the ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic in the early hours of 5th July, 1941. Coming up on deck he seemed to be everywhere at once, doing his best to comfort the injured, helping with the boats, rafts, and visiting different lower sections where men were quartered, When he learned that a number of injured airmen were trapped in the hold which had been damaged by the torpedo, which distroyed the normal means of escape, he insisted on being lowered in by a rope. Everyone demurred, as the hold was below the water-line, the decks were already awash, and to go down was to go to certain death. He simply explained that he must be where his men were. The hold now was so full of water that when he knelt to pray, the water reached his shoulders. Within a few minutes the ship plunged and sank and Mr. Pugh was never seen again. He had every opportunity of saving his own life but, without regard for his own safety and in the best tradition of the Service and of a Christian minister, he gave up his life for others.

Commemorated at RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
Number of casualties: 20278

Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 29.

See cemetery plan
Memorial details

CWGC Archives

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This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.