John Babington (GC)

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John Herbert Babington
Born (1911-02-06)6 February 1911
Tai Chow Foo, China
Died 25 March 1992(1992-03-25) (aged 81)
West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Rank Lieutenant Commander
Unit HMS President
Battles/wars World War II
* The Blitz

UK George Cross ribbon.svg George Cross

Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png OBE
Other work Headmaster at the Royal Hospital School

Lieutenant Commander John Herbert Babington GC, OBE, RNVR (6 February 1911 – 25 March 1992) was awarded the George Cross for 'great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty' in defusing bombs during World War II.[1]

27 December 1940[edit]

Following a Luftwaffe air raid on the Royal Navy shore establishment at Chatham Dockyard (HMS Pembroke) Babington defused a bomb which had fallen that was fitted with an anti-withdrawal device. Babington was attached to HMS President in London.

George Cross citation[edit]

Notice of Babington's George Cross appeared in the London Gazette on 27 December 1940.

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross for great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty to:

Probationary Temporary Sub-Lieutenant (Sp) John Herbert Babington R.N.V.R.

— London Gazette

Later war career[edit]

He was later awarded an OBE for gallantry in 1944.

Post war career[edit]

Babington became the Headmaster at the Royal Hospital School and the Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted, the first co-educational bilateral school in Hertfordshire.


  1. ^ WW2 Awards - Babington, John Herbert