Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 3rd Q 1883 Parton, Cumberland. d. 1st Q 1937 Whitehaven, Cumberland.

 

DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

 

John Fisher Graham was the eldest of four children born to Wilson and Hannah, who both came from Cumberland. John's younger brother Isaac was also awarded the Edward Medal for his part in the fire rescue at Wellington Colliery. John and Isaac's father was a coal miner, and both boys followed him down the pit. In 1903, John married Eleanor Pattinson Powe in Whitehaven, and they went on to have four children (2 boys and 2 girls). They lived at 9 Bransty Road, Bransty, near Whitehaven. Little is known about his life following the award of the Edward Medal. He died in 1937, aged 53 in Whitehaven.

 

EM CITATION:

 

On the 11th 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 self-devotion 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 fire. 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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John Fisher Graham EM

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