Built in 1847 the building that is now The Colin Grazier hotel was originally the town police station and is Grade 2 listed. The original structure was extended at the rear between 1847 and 1900 and still has the original cell block; brief tours can be arranged on request.

 

The police station closed in 1974 and moved to the other side of the town centre. The site was converted and operated for a number of years as offices which closed in the late 90’s leaving the building derelict.

 In 2001 it was developed into a small town centre hotel, during this year time limits for disclosure under the official secrets act expired and the wartime heroics of Tamworth born Colin Grazier were revealed.

 

The local newspaper set up an appeal to raise funds for a memorial to recognise the bravery of the men involved and it was decided that the newly refurbished hotel be named after the town hero. A gallery of Photographs is maintained within the hotel.

Read on for a brief outline of the war action.

Able Seaman Colin Grazier was posthumously awarded the George Cross for the "outstanding bravery and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of danger" which he displayed on 30 October 1942 in action in the Mediterranean Sea.

Lieutenant Anthony Fasson RN also won the George Cross for the courage that he displayed during the same incident. On 30 October 1942, the destroyer on which they served, HMS Petard, attacked and badly damaged the German U Boat U559, in conjunction with the Destroyers HMS Pakenham and HMS Hero, the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton and HMS Hurworth, and an RAF Sunderland flying boat of 47 Squadron based in Port Said. The crew of the U-559 surrendered and her crew was taken off with no casualties. Fasson and Grazier, along with NAAFI canteen assistant Tommy Brown, swam naked to the U-559 and entered the sinking submarine in complete darkness to capture instruments and documentation, fully aware that the submarine could sink without warning at any time. Grazier and Fasson continued to search for and hand over documents and equipment until suddenly the submarine sank, drowning them both. The awards were published in the London Gazette on 14 September 1943. It has been speculated that due to the significance of their actions they might have been awarded Victoria Crosses, however secrecy of the cracking of the German Enigma ciphers had to be maintained. Despite this speculation, it should be pointed out that Victoria Crosses can only be awarded for acts of valour while under enemy fire.

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