LILEY, Eric Vincent
Honours & Awards:
Fusilier Eric Liley, from Scarborough, served in No 3 Commando. Post war in 1950 he was awarded the George Medal for saving the life of a man in a quarry accident. He was also presented with the Daily Herald Order of Industrial Heroism at the Roscoe Rooms, Scarborough, on the 22nd July 1950. His death was announced in Commando Association newsletter 86 of 1988.
Eric Vincent Liley, lately Dumper Driver, Scalby Road Quarry, Scarborough.
Donal Sutherland, Foreman, Scalby Road Quarry, Scarborough.
Sutherland and Liley , with the manager of the Scalby Road Quarry, were engaged in lighting the fuses of fourteen shots so placed about 3 feet apart that they would blast away a bed of shale at the foot of the quarry face and thus bring down a large quantity of the overlying clay ready for filling on the quarry floor. Just as the last fuse was lit, a fall of about 3 tons of clay from the upper part of the face, probably dislodged by the rain, struck the manager knocking him unconscious to the floor and burying his legs and the lower part of his body.
Sutherland and Liley, who were about to take shelter from the shots, immediately sprang to his assistance. They were well aware of the very real risk of serious injury from the shots, and of being buried alive beneath the fall of clay which they knew was imminent. They were unable to pull the man from beneath the weight of the clay, so started removing it with their hands. As they were doing so the first of the shots exploded. The blast blew them down but also blew most of the clay off the manager. They picked themselves up and dragged him along the quarry floor to the nearest place of refuge behind a pile of stones about 20 yards away. They were struck, but fortunately not injured, from material projected from other shots, and they had barely reached safety when the expected fall of about 300 tons of clay occurred covering the floor where the manager had been lying, to a depth of several feet.
Had he not been dragged clear he would certainly have been killed, and in making their successful attempt to save him, both Sutherland and Liley knowingly risked their lives.
London Gazette 38893, page 2030.
Commando Association Newsletter 20 of 1955.
Durham Mining Museum Online Archive.
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