Harold Frederick Claydon was born on 30th Dec 1907. He joined Liverpool City Police in 1927, and was promoted to Sergeant in 1938.
At 2-00am on Thursday 13th March 1941 a paruchute mine fell on two storey tenements in Adlington Street, Sergeant Claydon attended and he organised Police and civilians into parties and a search and rescue work began. He was told that a woman was trapped under debris and finding it impossible to remove part of a collapsed floor owing to weight of iron and concrete he decided to tunnel his way through. After about 2o minutes a narrow tunnel was made through the debris and kitchen walls.
The tunnel was then blocked by the body of a man and the hole had to be made larger. He then reached down and hauled up two women still alive. He then secured the tunnel with slabs of masonary and timber and continued to tunnel reaching Mrs Fagerass, a 70 year old woman, who was laying semi-conscious with her left arm fastened in the debris and a piece of wood across her chest, he succeeded in releasing her and despite her weight of 16 stone dragged her to safety. To do so he had to cut away part of her clothing.
By this time Sergeant Claydon was suffering from the effects of escaping gas, but after being given a drink of water he continued to tunnel through the debris.
Mrs Fagerass, on recovering conscious, said 14 other people had been sheltering in the small space. After next rescuing a man who had lost consciousness, he returned to the tunnel and heard a child’s voice say, “I am here, mister; can you see me?” He found the child with a piece of timber across his body. Sergeant Claydon had to use a saw to cut through wood to rescue this child, and afterwards a man who had been trapped in a chair, which he had to break before he could move him. By means of this tunnel ten of the 14 were rescued.
Sergeant Claydon, after working in the tunnel for two hours, collapsed from the effects of gas, and had to be removed to hospital.
As a result of this gallant effort he was awarded the George Medal.
He was later promoted to Inspector and in 1959 he was responsible for making safe a bomb in Sir Thomas Street. See: Claydon defuses bomb.
He retired in in 1964 after 37yrs service.
Died 1991 aged 83yrs.