Robert Armitage (GC)
|Robert Selby Armitage|
28 March 1905|
Birling, Kent, England
|Died||26 May 1982
Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, England
|Service/branch||Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve|
|Battles/wars||World War II bomb disposal|
Lieutenant-Commander Robert Selby Armitage, GC, GM, RNVR (28 March 1905 – 26 May 1982), sometimes known as Robert Selby, won both the George Cross and George Medal for his bomb disposal work during the Second World War, one of only eight people to have been awarded both.
The son of the Rev. Philip Armitage (1870–1960) and his wife Elizabeth Christina Armitage, née Marshall (c1875-1934), he was born in Birling in Kent on 28 March 1905 and educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge. On 28 September 1938 he married Frances Bland Tucker.
He defused unexploded bombs during the blitz in 1940, notably a mine that fell on Orpington in Kent. The mine had come to rest in a tree and he climbed a ladder to defuse it, offering no chance of escape if the fuse had been triggered. His George Cross was gazetted in the London Gazette on 27 December 1940, and he was invested on 24 May 1941 at the medal's first investiture ceremony. He was one of four recipients: one civilian and one each from the Navy, Army and Air Force.
- Michael Ashcroft, George Cross Heroes, 2010
- The George Cross at Sea Accessed 23 December 2007.
- Stephen Stratford, British Military & Criminal History in the period 1900 to 1999. Accessed 23 December 2007.
- The Times, 2 June 1982
- George Cross database Robert Selby Armitage Accessed 23 December 2007.[dead link]
- George Cross database Facts & Statistics page. Accessed 23 December 2007.[dead link]
- Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) Officers Accessed 23 December 2007.
- Henley Standard, 28 May 1982.