b. 1862 Whitehaven, Cumberland. d. ?
DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
John was one of ten children born to George and Ann Batty, who lived in the St Bees Parish of Whitehaven. From a young age, John followed the rest of his family in becoming a coal miner. He married Frances (nee Teasdale) and they had ten children, the last in 1907. By the time of the incident, he had become an overman. Little is known about him after the incident at Wellington Colliery in 1911.
On the llth May. 1910, a terrible fire occurred in the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, at a point about 4,500 yards from the shafts. Various rescue parties, with great courage and selfdevotion and at considerable risk, descended the mine and endeavoured to extinguish the fire and penetrate to the persons in the workings beyond the same. Thorne and Littlewood, fitted with breathing apparatus, reached within a distance of 150 yards of the fire, but were driven back by the great heat and effusion of gases. The others got to within about 300 yards of the fire, working in the smoke backing from the tire. It was found impossible to penetrate to the scene of the fire or to rescue any of the entombed miners. Had an explosion occurred—a by no means unlikely eventuality, seeing that the mine is a very gassy one—they would undoubtedly all have been killed.
Special gallantry was shown by John Henry Thorne, to whom the Edward Medal of the First
Class has already been awarded, and by James Littlewood.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
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