This being the time of year when we remember those who have fallen in conflicts around the world, we thought we’d bring you something related but a little bit different in Remember When?

Those who have died in service of their country have been rightly honoured, and a new book by Lord Ashcroft, the international businessman and former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, details those who have been given one of the highest awards possible – the George Cross.

His book, George Cross Heroes, was published on Thursday by Hodder Headline, and among those mentioned is a very special Bradford woman.

Barbara Jane Harrison was one of only four women to be awarded the George Cross for courage – and she wasn’t even in the forces.

Jane, as she was known, was born and brought up in Bradford, and awarded the decoration posthumously after she died, aged just 22. when her plane crashed in 1968.

She perished because she was an air stewardess and she refused to leave the side of an elderly woman passenger after the aircraft caught fire.

Here we are proud to present an exclusive extract from Lord Ashcroft’s book about Jane Harrison: "Jane Harrison, as she was always known, is one of only four women to have been awarded the GC and the only one to receive it for gallantry for actions other than during the Second World War. Harrison was born on May 24, 1945, in Bradford, Yorkshire.

Her mother died while she and her older sister were still young. Harrison attended Newby County Primary School in Bradford and then Scarborough High School for Girls. Vivacious and full of fun, Harrison joined a bank in Doncaster after leaving school.

She then worked as a nanny in San Francisco, California, and in Switzerland before joining the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in June 1966. At the time, Harrison wanted to travel and liked meeting people.

On April 8, 1968, Harrison was a stewardess on a BOAC Boeing 707 passenger jet taking off from Heathrow airport with 126 passengers and crew on board. About a minute after take-off from Runway 28 Left, number two engine caught fire.

Just two-and-a-half minutes later, and shortly after the burning engine had fallen off, the aircraft made an emergency landing on Runway 05 Right back at Heathrow. By the time the plane landed, the fire on the port wing had intensified.

In an emergency, Harrison’s duties included helping the steward in the aft section to open the appropriate rear door and to inflate the escape chute. Then she was expected to assist passengers at the rear to leave in an orderly manner.

When the aircraft landed and stopped, Harrison and the steward opened the rear galley door and inflated the chute. However, the chute became twisted on the way down and so the steward had to climb down and straighten it before it could be used. The steward could not then return to the burning aircraft.

Harrison was therefore left alone to carry out the task of shepherding passengers to the rear door and helping them out of the aircraft. She encouraged some to jump and, for their own wellbeing, pushed others out on to the chute.

When huge flames eventually prevented further escapes from the tail of the aircraft, Harrison redirected passengers to another exit while she remained at her post. However, she then realised that an elderly disabled passenger was still seated in one of the last two rows.

Harrison went to the woman’s aid and was therefore unable to escape when both apparently became overcome by the smoke and flames. Harrison’s body was found close to that of the elderly woman. She was just 22 when she died. Passengers praised her courage and calmness during the evacuation.

Her posthumous GC was announced on August 8, 1968, when her citation ended: ‘Miss Harrison was a very brave young lady who gave her life in her utter devotion to duty.’ The chief steward on the flight, Neville Davis-Gordon, received the British Empire Medal for Gallantry (Civil Division).

An official inquiry into the accident, in which five people died and 38 were injured, made three safety recommendations.

Later, in 1971, Harrison was also awarded the Flight Safety Foundation Heroism Award. Established in 1968, the award recognised the bravery of aircraft crew and ground personnel whose actions exceeded the requirements of their job.

Memorial plaques were put up in Harrison’s honour at Scarborough High School for Girls, St Laurence’s Church in Scalby, near Scarborough, and in the chapel at Heathrow airport.”