War hero, former professional footballer and founder of Newmarket’s Market Street pet shop John ‘Jack’ Taylor died at Newmarket Hospiatl on Friday.
Mr Taylor, who was the only man to be awarded the George Cross and the British Empire Medal, was 77. Born and bred in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, he joined the RAF when war broke out a nd was posted to Newmarket almost 50 years ago with 99 Squadron as part of the crash rescue team.
In February 1941, a plane crashed close to the airfield at the racecourse and then Cpl Taylor dressed only in football strip rushed to the scene.
Together with Flying Officer Richard Robinson he rescued the only remaining crew member . A year later he plunged into the flames following another crash helping to rsecue four crew members.
His bravery was recognised with the award of the British Empire Medal