Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

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Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £750

Estimate: £700 - £800

An Edward Medal for Mines in bronze awarded to Harold West for distinguished service in the Holmewood Colliery Rescue, Chesterfield, 1922

Edward Medal (Mines), G.V.R., 1st issue, bronze (Harold West) mounted as worn, very fine £700-800

Footnote

‘A heavy fall of earth occurred on 22nd September 1920 in a seam of the Holmewood Colliery, near Chesterfield, imprisoning two men who were working in the seam. It was ascertained that the men were uninjured, but, as it was obvious that the work of reaching them would occupy some days, the first necessity was to supply them with food. Peter, the under-manager, with great ingenuity passed food through a cycle tyre enclosed in iron piping. Further falls occurred during the 48 hours following the original fall, but it then became possible to pass some timber through, although gas appeared in the cavity and began to give trouble. A small hole was made through to the imprisoned men, and they were eventually freed after four days in the seam. Peters, West, Harrison, and Calladine all distinguished themselves greatly in the work of rescue, and were engaged for practically the whole time in a dangerous position at the face of the fall exposed to the risk of injury from falling stones’. (Ref. Gallantry, by Wilson & McEwen). The four men were each awarded the Edward Medal in bronze.