Spr Thomas Heavers, 31st Field Company, British Empire Medal


On the night 18 and 19 July 1944 during the assault of the River Orne by 2 Canadian Corps some, 60 vehicles loaded with bridging equipment were assembled in the centre of Caen for the bridging of the Orne Canal. Prior to the commencement of the operation enemy bombs set fire to eight of these bridging lorries. Sapper Heavers immediately started removing the undamaged vehicles to a place of safety and encouraging other drivers to do the same. On completion of this task Sapper Heavers then entered one of the burning vehicles and driving it to the centre of the street attempted to extinguish the flames, although now suffering from burns on the hand and arms. Sapper Heavers by his courage, quick thinking and leadership not only assisted greatly in saving much vital equipment, but accepted grave risks to his personal safety to carry out this task.