- Name: Herbert Edgar BURTON
- D.O.B: 26th Jul, 1864
- D.O.A: 1st Nov, 1914
- D.O.D: 4th Dec, 1944
- Award: Empire Gallantry Medal translated to George Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Major and Honorary Superintendent, Tynemouth Motor Life-Boat, RNLI
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
Off Whitby, Yorkshire 1 November 1914
1 November 1914
The First World War
On 30 October 1914 the Hospital Ship HMHS Rohilla, en route south from Queensferry to Dunkirk with over two hundred aboard, was driven ashore by a gale at Saltwick Nab, Whitby. Six lifeboats, in the course of seven attempts, rescued over thirty survivors. Early next day the motor lifeboat Henry Vernon reached Whitby from Tynemouth, under the command of its Superintendent, Captain H E Burton RE, and Coxswain Robert Smith. Despite appall- ing weather conditions, it succeeded in rescuing a further fifty. Both Burton and Smith were awarded Royal National Lifeboat Institution Gold Medals for their gallantry and thanked by the Lords of the Admiralty. To mark the centenary of the RNLI in 1924, the eight surviving holders of the Institution’s Gold Medal were awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal. Of these eight Burton was one, Smith having died. Four, including Burton, lived long enough for their EGM to be converted to the GC. The other three were the Reverend J M O’Shea, H G Blogg and W G Fleming.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the Award of the Medal of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to the undermentioned (to be dated 30th June, 1924):– For Gallantry. Captain Thomas Gerald Fitzgibbon McCombie. The Reverend John Michael O’Shea. Major Herbert Edgar Burton, O.B.E., Royal Engineers. Robert Smith. Henry George Blogg. John Howells. William George Fleming. John Thompson Swan.