A Birmingham war hero who received the George Cross for bravery during the Second World War has been remembered with another honour – a road named after him.
Mosedale Way, in the community-led development Park Central, in Lee Bank, was unveiled in honour of William Mosedale, a senior fireman who was born in Birmingham on March 28, 1894, and lived for most of his life in Ladywood.
Mr Mosedale received the George Cross for saving 12 people, who had been trapped in rubble following a German bombing raid in the city, in December 1940.
During the raid, the Birmingham Fire Brigade station officer, who specialised in the use of breathing apparatus, braved incessant German bombing and tunnelled for nearly 12 hours to rescue civilians and colleagues trapped following a huge explosion at an auxiliary fire station on the corner of Farm Road and Grantham Road, in Sparkbrook.
Although he received the highest civil decoration for his bravery, Mr Mosedale died, aged 76, in March 1971 without a memorial. As part of the road naming ceremony, a parade was held through the development’s Sunset Park, accompanied by West Midlands Fire Service pipers.
Two fire engines, one vintage and one modern, stood side-by-side as Kenneth Mosedale, William Mosedale’s nephew, officially unveiled the road sign.
Describing his uncle, he said: “He was great. I was only a very young lad at the time when he won the medal and he was a hero to me.
“It is absolutely wonderful to think someone in the Mosedale family has been singled out like that.”
The event was also attended by West Midlands Fire Service’s chief fire officer Frank Sheehan, who spoke about the bravery of the region’s firemen and members of the public who lost family members in the bombing.
A fire service spokesman praised the decision to name the road after Mr Mosedale.
He said: “It is important that the bravery of the West Midlands and of all firefighters, both during the war, before and ever since, should be remembered and celebrated in this way.
“We were very proud to take part in this road naming event and hope that people will understand the significance of the road name for many years to come.”
Mosedale Way will feature among a collection of roads and avenues to commemorate the city’s historic figures in the mixed-use scheme between Crest Nicholson and Optima Housing Association - built around two four-acre parks, consisting of 1,600 houses and apartments.
Developer Crest Nicholson chose to recognise Mr Mosedale on the advice of local historian Chris Sutton, who compiled a shortlist of worthy Birmingham born candidates.
Yesterday its project director Stephen Knowles described the naming ceremony as “marvellous”.
He said: “William was a local hero and it is really important that we do honour our heroes because of the fantastic example they have set us.”
Before becoming a fireman, Mr Mosedale joined the 5th Royal Irish Lancers at the age of 16. He reached the rank of corporal after three years.