Whitehall, September 20, 1944.
The KING has been pleased to award the Albert Medal to Geoffrey Riley in recognition of his gallantry in the following circumstances :—
On the 29th May, 1944, a thunderstorm, followed by a cloudburst, broke over the Digley Valley, near Holmfirth, Yorkshire, and the River Holme became a raging torrent So feet wide and over 15 feet deep, flooding surrounding land and buildings. Geoffrey Riley, aged 14, saw that an elderly woman, aged 76, had taken refuge on a low wall, surrounded by flood water which was rising rapidly. He first attempted a rescue by walking to her along the wall, but she would not leave her position. He then entered the flood water, rescued her from the wall, which later collapsed, and, though only a moderate swimmer, struggled to bring her to safety through the flood until he became exhausted. His father Donald Riley went to his assistance, but all three were swept away into the river, Geoffrey Riley being the sole survivor.