An appeal has been launched to find Bridlington war hero's family to take part in a remembrance plaque presentation

An appeal to find family members of a Bridlington-based George Medal hero has been issued ahead of a special presentation.
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A tribute to the World War Two railway hero has been planned at Bridlington Railway station on Tuesday, July 11 at 11am.

Train operator Northern, alongside the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership, will honour courageous ticket collector Ernest Barker with a blue plaque.

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The heroic railway worker saved lives by battling a fire after a bomb hit the station yard close to a train carriage full of ammunition.

The blue plaque which honours Ernest Barker will be unveiled next month.The blue plaque which honours Ernest Barker will be unveiled next month.
The blue plaque which honours Ernest Barker will be unveiled next month.

His brave act was carried out on July 11, 1940, as an unexpected raid by a German bomber caused devastation on nearby Hilderthorpe Road.

Five people died as blasts destroyed buildings.

But just a few hundred yards away another bomb was close to causing more carnage.

Bridlington railway station yard was also hit – and a fire broke out on a train carriage full of ammunition.

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Barker ran to the scene and fought the blaze as his colleagues worked on the fires nearby and thankfully extinguished it, saving many lives.

He became one of the first people to receive the new George Medal. His story has come to light thanks to the research of local historian Richard M Jones.

Ahead of the event Mr Jones, who is also a prolific author, is hoping to contact relatives of Ernest Barker so they can be at the official unveiling of the blue plaque.

Mr Jones said: “I have not had any contact from any family members so hopefully in the next month, with the amount of publicity so far this will persuade people to get in touch as I would really like a relative of Ernest Barker to do the unveiling.

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"The LNER ticket collector was awarded the George Medal for his brave actions and has never been recognised in the town until now. Huge thanks to Northern for allowing me to have this plaque placed here and for the UK Operational Support Services Ltd for supplying the funding.”

Tony Baxter, regional director at Northern, said: “This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to a local hero and the heritage of Bridlington station and we are delighted to be a part of this community project.”

If you are a relative of Ernest Barker you can contact Richard M Jones by emailing him at [email protected].