THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Mine disposal officers get awards’

Lieutenant Colin Churcher
Lieutenant Colin Churcher
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Two Royal Navy men who disarmed an ‘outstandingly dangerous’ mine found in a London reservoir were awarded medals for gallantry.

Lieutenant Colin Churcher, 44, of Hayling Island, who led the Portsmouth and Medway Clearance Diving Team, was made an MBE.

Petty Officer Roy Coulson, 34, of Tipner, the team’s senior rating, got the British Empire Medal for gallantry.

Workers from nine factories were evacuated as the two worked for six hours to make the Second World War German mine harmless.

They could not explode it because of the factories and houses nearby but it was too risky to move it.