935282, Aircraftman 1st class, Royal Air Force, WW2
Legion of Frontiersmen, England

George Cross
Gazetted 17 January 1941, Supp 35048, p403
'One night in July 1940, when returning to camp this airman observed an aircraft crash and burst into flames near Cranfield village.
He proceeded to the wreckage and made his way through the burning debris which was scattered over a wide area by the force of
the impact. He found the pilot, whose clothing was on fire, and put out the flames with his bare hands.  Had the pilot not been killed
instantly in the crash this action would in all probability have saved his life. In August this airman was again returning through
Cranfield to the camp when an aircraft spun into the ground and exploded. Ammunition was exploding all the time but despite this
he borrowed a gas mask, wrapped two sacks over himself, and spent some time in the flames making four attempts before he
succeeded in releasing the first occupant. He successfully recovered the second. All three occupants however, were already dead.
He displayed amazing courage and initiative on both occasions.'
So runs the citation in the London Gazette of 21st January, 1941, when Aircraftsman First Class Vivian Hollowday was awarded the
George Cross. In later years this ebullient young man, who was born at Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, on 16th October 1916,
became President of the Military Medallists League, actively participated in the Royal Society of Saint George, and was a member
of the Legion of Frontiersmen. It was, however, as the Committee Member of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, who
genially managed the arrangements for the overseas members of the Association at their biennial reunions, that he will be
remembered best.
A director of a firm of millers and grain merchants at Turvey, near Bedford, "Bob" Hollowday traveled widely and worked untiringly to make the reunions the huge success they are. His untimely death in April 1977 robbed the Association of a much-loved and respected member.
He was a member of the VC & GC Assoc Committee 1958-77; member of the Legion of Frontiersmen; Committee member of the Royal Society of St. George.

George Cross
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Italy Star
France & Germany Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Coronation Medal 1953

Legion Cross of Merit [1975]
Australian Medal of Merit [1975]

Cross for European Confederation
Albert I Merit Cross (Belgium)
with one gold and one silver palm

Born 13 October 1916, Ulceby, Lincolnshire, England
Died 15 April 1977, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England
Cremated at Bedford Crematorium

The Times, 22nd April 1977, p20
Mr Vivian HOLLOWDAY, GC, who died at Bedford on 15 April 1977 at the age of 60, won the third George Cross to be awarded (London Gazette dated January 21, 1941) for two acts of gallantry in July and August 1940, while serving in the RAF as an Aircraftsman First Class.  On both occasions, having seen an aircraft crash and burst into flames, he attempted to rescue the airmen. On the second occasion, despite the danger from exploding ammunition, he managed to extract two of the three airmen, but all three were dead. After the war he became a grain merchant in Bedford. Universally known as "Bob" Hollowday, he was a very keen and active member of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association Committee which he joined in 1958.  He will be particularly missed by all overseas members who attend the biennial reunions in London in whom he took a very special interest - meeting them on arrival and seeing to their needs throughout their stay. He also took a particularly active part in all reunion arrangements.

Major Vivian “Bob” Hollowday, GC, LCM, AMM
It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we report the death of Bob Hollowday, GC, on Friday 15th April 1977.  Most members will know that Bob suffered a stroke in 1974 but being the determined character that Bob was he recovered sufficiently to carry out all the duties which his business and Legion commitments required.  Bob was a person that always found it easier to give than to receive.  He gave unstintingly of his time and ability, taking little care of his own health or well being.  He believed that only 100% effort should be given and that nothing less would do.  He was a man of integrity, efficiency, ability and kindness.  He was a good Frontiersman and an example to others.
Bob had always stated that he would like to have a Legion funeral and this wish was granted.
The funeral took place at St Andrew’s Church and at the crematorium, Bedford on Thursday 21st April.  Amongst the Chief Mourners at his funeral were Odette, GC and Rear Admiral Sir Geoffrey Place, VC, who gave an address from the pulpit.  A number of Chelsea Pensioners attended as did members of the VC & GC Association, the Military Medallist League, the Royal Society of St George, associates of the Legion of Frontiersmen, members representing Amecale des Ancient Combattants Belge en Grande Brettagne and the standard bearers of the Royal British Legion (Bedford Branch), the Military Medallist League, the Standard of the Royal Society of St George was carried by the Legion of Frontiersmen who also carried the Legion Colours.  Colonel Arthur Thurston, LMSM, LCM, AMM represented the Commandant General and the overseas commands of the Legion and twelve members of the Legion provided the Standard carriers and the Guard of Honour.  Captain Francis Skilleter LCM, AMM organised the funeral arrangements with Mrs Betty Hollowday and he was responsible for all duties carried out.
Bob was awarded his George Cross for his heroism in the rescue of the crew and passengers of an RAF plane that had crashed.  He entered the burning aircraft time after time to rescue those trapped and within seconds of his rescuing the last person the plane exploded.
It was appropriate that the Director of Music at RAF Henlow gave permission for Corporal Evans to play the Last Post and Reveille during the service at the crematorium.
Bob will be missed by many people.  He was an official of the VC & GC Association, on the Council of the Royal Society of St George, a member of the Legion of Frontiersmen, a member of the Allied Brewery Traders Association, a member of the Institute of Corn and Agricultural Merchants, a Fellow of Agriculture and served on the Executive Council of the Legion of Frontiersmen as well as being for a number of years the Staff Officer for Public Relations.
Over 200 people attended Bob’s funeral and joined in paying their respects to a man that they admired for his many talents and generosity to his fellow man .


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