South Shields Local History Group

Under Construction

Scott, James (ARP)

South Shields born James Thomas Annis Scott was a member of the Civil Defence Service, which had been called the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) until 1941.  He received the George Medal for his bravery, it was one of the highest awards open to none military personnel. The Newcastle Journal reported his bravery:

Newcastle Journal

The London Gazette on the 2ndOctober 1941 reported:

George Medal

Our wonderful and courageous reporter Amy Flagg recorded the incident which took place on September 30th 1941:

At 21.20 hours, Union Alley received a blow which was later to prove providential. It fell near the Market Place entrance, behind Crofton’s warehouses.  A Cafe at the corner was totally obliterated and a number of people were trapped in a basement.  A Rescue Party Foreman, who afterwards received the George Medal for his gallantry, was lowered headfirst into the cellar and succeeded in rescuing three people.  “In spite of a concentration of coal gas from a broken main & the possible collapse of heavy masonry, he continued searching for the remaining victims.  One youth and an elderly woman were found & extricated but another woman was buried up to her neck and in danger from the likely collapse of wreckage.  Without hesitation he placed himself in a position to hold up the unsafe debris and maintained this until the casualty was removed.”  The rear of Crofton’s premises was badly damaged, rolls of lino, carpet and other goods being flung considerable distances. The roadway at the entrance to Union Alley from the Market was completely blocked by the large crater and debris.

My best guess for the location of “Cafe at the corner” would be the site of the former Market Cafe, on the right of the photo below.

(South Tyneside Libraries, Amy Flagg, 1938, STH0010515)
(South Tyneside Libraries, Amy Flagg, 1941, STH0001567)

Amy Flagg’s photo of the bomb damage taken on the same day as James Scott’s rescue.

(Terry Ford 2019)

The bomb site on the corner of Union Alley and the Market Place is now the Novelist pub.

British Newspaper Archives
David Fenton

South Tyneside Libraries
Terry Ford

error: This content is protected.