This week marks the 77th anniversary of an act of faith that led the Revd Herbert Cecil Pugh to become the only church minister awarded the George Cross.
RAF Chaplain, Squadron Leader Cecil Pugh, was aboard a troopship, the SS Anselm, sailing for West Africa when it was torpedoed by the Germans on 5 July 1941. Mr Pugh did his best to help the injured but, hearing that many men were trapped in the hold, insisted on being lowered into it, despite it already being below the water line. Mr Pugh insisted that he needed to be with his men and that his love of God was greater than his fear of death. According to the citation made in 1947, Mr Pugh knelt with the men in prayer as the ship went down. He was never seen again.