17 January 1919 We Lost 124

A fire breaks out at the brewery at Wizernes. In the engine room a Frenchman whose cries for help can be heard is entombed by a fall of masonry which blocks the entrance.  The upper part of the building is blazing fiercely and the only entrance to the engine room is by a small hole in a wall which carried the machinery belting.  Lieutentant (Acting Major William Revell Smith MC (Royal Field Artillery), Sergeant Alexander Gibson, Royal Engineers and Corporal James Smith, Military Mounted Police succeed in making their way through this hole into the room and work for three quarters of an hour before they expose the head and shoulders of the entombed man, who is found to be dead.  They risked their lives in attempting to save this man’s life as a further collapse of masonry which appeared imminent would have completely cut off their exit.  For their efforts all three men will be awarded the Albert Medal.