Great heroism by ex-Liverpool player


December 24, 1943
Flames all round.
Led ammunition savers.
A Liverpool young man, now in the Army, who was a record goal-scorer in peace-time Soccer, gets the George Medal for great heroism in a list of awards published today, and an RAF officer, son of a Liverpool chaplain in the RAF., gets the D.F.C.

The Army man is Lieutenant John Search, RA.O.C., whose late father was jeweller at 87 Wavertree Road, a business now being run by his brother, and whose mother lives at Childwall. Lieutenant’s Search’s wife, whose home is at Greenhill Road, Allerton, is at present living in Blackpool.

Lieutenant John Search.

The citation referring to Lieutenant Search states that in July, 1943, a petrol fire broke out at Syracuse. There was a considerable quantity of ammunition nearby. Lieutenant Search encouraged a large number of the labour party working on the quay to assist him in clearing the ammunition from the path of the flames.

Despite the fact that the flames spread, he repeatedly led bodies of men to clear the stacks nearest the flames. At times he rushed between bursts of flame, clearing cases of ammunition which had been, at the previous moment, surrounded by flames.

Out of a proximately 200 cases of ammunition he managed to get away all except two or three. There were three store ships containing petrol and ammunition lying on Berths 1, 2, and 3, and quantities of ammunition stacked on the other side of the quay.

By his devotion to duty he minimised the risk of any further damage occurring to the ships and shore due to exploding shells, though he was fully aware that ammunition was likely to explode at any minute.

Goals and runs.
Lieutenant Search, who before the war was assistant to the public relations officer at the Liverpool Gas Company, and a most popular member of the staff, was a skilful centre forward who cherished his amateur football status.

“He several times refused offers to join the big clubs,” a member of his family said today, “and at one time Arsenal were very keen on having him.”

Lieutenant John Search went to Liverpool Institute, at one time was senior boy in the school, and scored a record of 100 goals for the Old Boys’ team. He played for Liverpool in Central League games and also for Runcorn. He was also a record goal-scorer in Cheshire County football, having 200 goals to his credit in League games.

He also took part in club cricket and tennis.
(Liverpool Echo: December 24, 1943)

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