AddThis SmartLayers

The biggest honour of my life

“The biggest honour of my life” is how Tamworth Herald deputy editor Phil Shanahan described collecting a posthumous award for three heroes whose bravery shortened the end of World War Two.

The three were honoured by the Celebrities Guild of Great Britain after the heroics of war hero Colin Grazier were highlighted by the Staffordshire weekly newspaper.

He retrieved vital codes for the Enigma machine from a German submarine but lost his life in the process.

Along with two other sailors, he was recognised by stars from the stage, screen and sporting world at a glittering ceremony in London.

Phil accepted the award on the sailors’ behalf from actress Prunella Scales.

Colin Grazier and his fellow serviceman Tony Fasson were awarded the George Cross, and Tommy Brown the George Medal for the crucial part they played in the war.

But not even their families knew what their duties had been because it was on official secret – until Phil began the campaign to recognise their exploits.

Prunella Scales said: “Today these heroes are recognised in the Official History of Intelligence and National Security with the words: Few acts of courage by three individuals can ever have had such far-reaching consequences.”

Phil, accepting the award, said: “To receive this award on behalf of three of the greatest war heroes the world has known is the biggest honour of my life.”

More than £12,000 has been raised by Herald readers to provide a monument to Colin Grazier in his home town of Tamworth.

The Herald is also hoping to persuade the Imperial War Museum to stage a permanent exhibition to the trio.

The newspaper’s campaign itself has also won an award, being voted Campaign of the Year in the regional press awards.

Back to the campaigns index

Do you have a story for us?
Ring the HoldTheFrontPage newsdesk on
01332 291111 x6022, or e-mail us now