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b. 08/1860 Ireland. d. 1939 Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 10/01/1928 Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.
James was born in Ireland in August 1860, though little is known about his parents and early life. He married Mary and sometime c. 1889 they emigrated to England, and settled in Benfieldside, Durham. They had nine children in total.
Sometime prior to 1901, they moved south to Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, where he gained employment as a steel smelter. James spent all of his working life working at Acklam Iron & Steel Works, where his brave act in trying to save the life of 76 year old Mr Davies earnt him and James Mullen the Edward Medal for Industry. James died in 1939, aged 79.
On the 10th January last, while a furnace was being tapped at the Acklam Iron Works of Messrs. Dorman Long and Company, Middlesbrough, a portion of the brick flooring near the furnace was forced upwards by an explosion, and flames and several tons of molten metal belched forth. In a very short time all the ground near the furnace was covered with molten metal, flames were leaping into the air nearly fifteen feet high and it was almost impossible to see on account of steam. A man named Davies aged 76, who was employed as a cleaner, was partially overwhelmed and took refuge in a water channel surrounding the furnace. Two attempts were made to rescue him by the foreman but he was beaten back. Marron and McMullin, hearing that a man was believed to be trapped by the molten metal, ran to the scene of the explosion and jumped over the tapping channel which was then full of molten metal. At first they could see nothing on account of the steam and flames, but on the steam lifting for a few seconds they ran along the water channel where they saw Davies lying and carried him away.
Davies subsequently died from his injuries and at the inquest the jury, in returning a verdict of accidental death, commended Marron and McMullin very highly for their brave action and requested the Coroner to call attention to their conduct with a view to some recognition being accorded to them for their fearless action in the face of known danger. Although the time taken to effect the rescue was short these men ran very considerable risks of a further upheaval, of burning by flames or molten metal, of asphyxiation and of losing their way in the steam, and their bravery received high praise from their fellow workmen.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.