University of Birmingham Notable Alumni
Chris is one of Britain’s best loved comedians.
He has since been involved with the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival 11 times, performing stand-up comedy and in 2004 he was nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award for comedy for his show, “Civilisation”.
He is best known for his current role as a regular panellist on Mock The Week. He is also known for his lecture-style comedy shows, two of which he later adapted for Radio 4. In addition to stand-up, in television he plays Ollie in the BBC Two television satire The Thick of It and Toby in its spin-off film In the Loop, and he co-created and starred in the BBC Two sitcom Lab Rats. On radio, he previously hosted the weekly comedy news satire show 7 Day Sunday on BBC Radio 5 Live from 2009 to 2010.
Arthur was one of only eight people, and the only civilian, to be awarded both the George Cross and George Medal for his bravery and courage.
On 22 February 1944 there was an accident at an arms factory in Kirby. 19 workers were filling fuses when one exploded, killing one woman immediately and wounding two others. The fuse had exploded because of a defective striker and Arthur realised that the whole building, which contained 12,000 highly explosive fuses, was in danger of igniting. He led three other voulunteers in the dangerous work of clearing the wrecked factory of 12,724 fuses over the next three days, plus another 4,000 which were believed to be defective.
Arthur was awarded the George Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 24 October 1944.
A few months after his exploits for which he was awarded the GC, Arrthur was involved in another explosion in the same factory. This occurred during the filling of ammunition, the initial blast was followed by others which put out all the lights. The only illumination at the site was provided by the numerous fires.
Once the fires had been extinguished and the salvage work was finished a team was needed to clear the wrecked building. Arthur and three colleagues volunteered. The ammunition which had caused the accident consisted of anti-personnel, anti-disturbance and time-delay bombs which were scattered through and beneath the debris and were in danger of detonating without warning.
The movement of wreckage posed a constant hazard because ignorance or a moment of carelessness by any member of the team could endanger the lives of the others, but the clearance operations were completed without casualties.
He was awarded the George Medal from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 6 November 1945.
Arthur passed away 6 April 2005.