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Norman Tunna

Recipient of the George Cross

Died when: 62 years 219 days
Star Sign: Taurus


Norman Tunna Norman Tunna (29 April 1908 – 4 December 1970), a shunter for the Great Western Railway in Birkenhead was awarded the George Cross in 1941. Tunna was born in Birkenhead on 29 April 1908, the son of Charles and Emily Tunna, his father was a railway porter. On 26 September 1940, Tunna was at work at Morpeth Dock, Birkenhead when an air raid commenced. Ignoring the bombing Tunna continued his work, marshalling a goods train where the main freight being carried was high explosive bombs for use by the Royal Air Force. While making a final inspection of the train before it departed, he came across one wagon laden with 250 pounds (110 kg) bombs alight due to a number of incendiary bombs having landed upon it. Fetching a bucket of water in an attempt to extinguish the fire, he was joined by the engine crew of the train and while they fetched more water, Tunna removed the wagonsheet hoping that this would also drag the incendiaries off the wagon. It did dislodge one but another fell into the wagon between some of the bombs. Tunna climbed into the wagon and prised the incendiary out, throwing it away from the wagon. He then joined the enginemen in pumping water over the wagon until they considered the bombs to have been cooled to a safe temperature. Tunna's bravery in preventing what would have been a large explosion was rewarded by the award of the George Cross.
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