ELEY, John Graham

Acting Corporal
Unit / Base: 
'45 Commando RM'
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Acting Corporal John Eley was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct in recognition of his courage and determination on 14 June 1968 whilst deployed to Norway.
On 14th June, 1968, during Exercise Polar Express in Northern Norway, a heavily laden Norwegian truck carrying six Royal Marines crashed over a bridge into an extremely fast flowing river. Acting Corporal Eley witnessed the accident and immediately ran forward and plunged straight into the icy water in an attempt to reach the truck and save the occupants before the truck was swept away.
The force of water swept him about 80 yards downstream before he managed to grab a tree and haul himself out. However, he re-entered the river and this time succeeded in reaching the truck where he administered morphine to a marine with a broken leg and assisted putting lifejackets on the occupants. He remained at the scene of the accident until a rescue party took over.
London Gazette 44690, page 10773 & errata 44690, page 10773.
The Story of 45 Commando Royal Marines 1943-1971, author David Young.

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