PARAS 2 Grieve, Donald

John Robertson

Staff member
  • UNIT
2 Para (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers,attached)
  • RANK
British Empire Medal
Brunei 1966
London Gazette 44126, 29th September 1966, Page 10599


British Empire Medal : On 19th June 1966, a serious accident involving two civilian vehicles, a taxi and an estate car, occurred on 'the Brunei-Seria road. At a bend in the road the two cars had collided causing the estate car, with nine passengers on board, to burst into flames, and the driver of the taxi to be completely trapped in his driving seat. There was an imminent danger that the fire might at any moment spread to the taxi, for the estate car was fiercely burning.

Shortly after the crash, a military landrover driven by Corporal Grieve and carrying other members of his unit reached the accident. Corporal Grieve immediately despatched his vehicle to summon help, posted a traffic sentry to prevent further disasters, and with one soldier, Private Munro, ran to the crash.

On reaching the burning car he found a man screaming in pain near the car with all his clothes alight; he immediately seized a tarpaulin and rolled the man in it to smother the flames. Another injured man holding a two year old boy lay near the burning car; together with Private Munro he moved them both to safety.

The intensity of the fire which by now had engulfed the entire car made any further rescue of its occupants impossible. Meanwhile, in the other vehicle, the taxi driver remained trapped by his legs and terrified that his taxi would also catch fire.

Finding all the doors of the taxi jammed, Corporal Grieve smashed open a rear window, climbed in, broke open a rear door and then with the help of Private Munro smashed the front driver's door open by using a pickaxe against the main door post.

The taxi driver, who was suffering from severe leg injuries was then freed from the entangled dash board and lifted out of his seat, assisted by some local men whose help Corporal Grieve had enlisted.

Throughout the rescue Corporal Grieve displayed a cool but most forceful standard of leadership without which it is unlikely that the taxi driver could have been saved. Obviously aware that the taxi might also catch fire at any moment, he did not hesitate to crawl into the taxi, whose doors were jammed, to start the rescue of the driver. His leadership, initiative and courage were of a high order


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