George Medals for hero firefighters

TWO brave firefighters who lost their lives in a tower block fire have been recognised for their bravery. The families of Jeff Wornham and Michael Miller, who died while attending a fire on the 14th floor of Harrow Court in Stevenage in 2005, received the

TWO brave firefighters who lost their lives in a tower block fire have been recognised for their bravery.

The families of Jeff Wornham and Michael Miller, who died while attending a fire on the 14th floor of Harrow Court in Stevenage in 2005, received the George Medal on their behalf last week.

Michael's sister Terri and Jeff's brother Thomas, collected the medals from the Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The medal, which is the second highest gallantry medal after the George Cross, is only ever awarded for acts of great bravery and was first introduced, together with the George Cross, by Royal Warrant in 1940.

Cyndy Harper, Michael's mother, said: "It was a lovely day and very exciting. The Queen was fab and so little. I felt very honoured."

Roy Wilsher, Hertfordshire's chief fire officer, said: "We are delighted that Michael and Jeff have been posthumously awarded with the George Medal. These two brave young men put the welfare of others before their own and made the ultimate sacrifice. The George Medal is only ever awarded for acts of great bravery and that is exactly what Jeff and Michael showed on that fateful night."

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County councillor Richard Smith, executive member for community safety, said: "Jeff and Michael acted so courageously during that tragic incident. We must never forget that their efforts saved a man's life. They went back inside the flat to try and save Natalie Close but they were overcome by the ferocity of the fire. Their actions will never be forgotten and I am sure this medal is something their families will treasure forever.

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