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Arthur Merriman
25 November 1892 – 1972
Place of birth Manchester,Lancashire, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army and Ministry of Supply
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Royal Engineers
Awards George Cross UK ribbon.png George Cross

United Kingdom Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg DFC
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png OBE

Other work Government scientist, metallurgist, Deputy Lieutenant of London.

Dr Arthur Douglas Merriman GC, DFC, OBE, MA, MEd, DSc, CIMechE, FRSE (25 November 1892–1972) was a government scientist with the Ministry of Supply, an officer of the Royal Engineers and a recipient of the George Cross.[1][2]


Merriman was born in Lancashire. In the 1930s he was a teacher in Wallsend, before becoming Secretary of the Faculty of Architects and Surveyors, in March 1938. They later awarded him an honorary fellowship, shortly before the events for which he was awarded the George Cross.[3]

In 1940 the Luftwaffe were continually bombing London as part of The Blitz. Merriman was a government scientist at the time, whose work included positions connected with the provision of air-raid shelters.[3] When a bomb dropped on Regent Street on 11 September 1940,[1] Merriman proceeded to remove most of the explosive from the bomb. When it did detonate, it caused minimal damage and for his actions he was awarded the George Cross on 3 December 1940.[2] The George Cross is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to civilians in the United Kingdom.

On 1 January 1941 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and given the acting rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.[4] His substantive rank was increased to Lieutenant with effect 1 January 1942,[5] and later to Major.[6] On 6 January 1944 he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Military Division) (OBE) for "gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East".[7][8] He was Scientific Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief Middle East.[9]

In 1946 he became Registrar-Secretary of the Institution of Metallurgists, a post he held until 1957.[9] On 12 December 1955 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of London.[10] In 1967 he became Master of the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers.[9] He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Surrey in 1969.[11] He died in 1972.[9]

George Cross citation

The citation in the London Gazette reads:[2]

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS to:-

Arthur Douglas Merriman, Part-time Experimental Officer, Directorate of Scientific Research, Ministry of Supply.

For conspicuous bravery in connection with bomb disposal.


  1. ^ a b "Dr Arthur Douglas MERRIMAN, GC., O.B.E.". George Cross database. Retrieved 2007-11-18.  
  2. ^ a b c London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35006, p. 6909, 3 December 1940. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  3. ^ a b "Brave deeds in raided areas — George Cross for Scientist". The Guardian. 4 December 1940. p. 5.  
  4. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35034, p. 131, 3 January 1941. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  5. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35899, p. 746, 9 February 1943. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  6. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35818, p. 5388, 8 December 1942. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  7. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36317, p. 149, 4 January 1944. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  8. ^ "Documents Online - Image details, recommendation for award" (fee required). Documents Online, Family History: Recommendations for Honours and Awards (Army). The National Archives. Retrieved 2008-01-09. "War Office and Ministry of Defence: Military Secretary's Department: Recommendations for Honours and Awards for Gallant and Distinguished Service (Army)"  
  9. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Colonel A. D. Merriman" (subscription required to access the Times digital archive). Issue 58626 (The Times): p. 19, Col E. 8 November 1972.!pdf_imm_z77z0FFO-1972-NOV08-019-F. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  10. ^ London Gazette: no. 40656, p. 7073, 16 December 1955. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  11. ^ University of Surrey website, accessed 19 November 2007
  • Hissey, Terry - Come if ye Dare - The Civil Defence George Crosses, (2008), Civil Defence Assn (ISBN 9780955015328)


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