b. ? 1866 Whitehaven, Cumberland. d. 1st Q 1923 Whitehaven, Cumberland.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
John was the second of two children born to Peter and Elizabeth Hampson, and grew up in Whitehaven. In 1897, John was awarded the Royal Humane Society Certificate for saving a girl from drowning. John had married Mary and they had two children, Margaret and John. John had become a master mariner and in 1902, during the wreck of the Wild Rose off the coast of Maryport, Cumberland, he distinguished himself. For swimming out ‘at great personal risk, and bringing a woman ashore on his back’, he was awarded the bronze Edward VII Sea Gallantry Medal, a forerunner of the George Cross.
Plainly a man of considerable character, Hampson was awarded the Royal Naval Reserve long service and good conduct medal before becoming a miner. He was a deputy – a combination of foreman and safety offer – at the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, when disaster struck in 1910. An explosion trapped 136 men and boys underground and, despite the heroic efforts of Hampson and fellow colliers, all died. For his actions he was awarded the bronze Edward Medal (Mines), only 318 of which were ever awarded.
Hampson was not rewarded with a happy life – his only son John died of wounds aged just 19 in 1917, and Hampson himself died aged 57 from pneumonia, very possibly a legacy of his life in the mines in the early months of 1923.
In addition to the names which appeared in the London Gazette of the 22nd of July, 1910, His Majesty has been graciously pleased to award the Edward Medal of the Second Class to the workmen whose names appear below on account of their conspicuous bravery in connection with the attempt made to resctie their fellow workmen at the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, on the 11th of May, 1910: Fletcher Young, Edward McKenzie, Senior, Edward McKenzie, Junior, George Henry, James Scawcroft, John McAllister, William Ginbey, Thomas Birkett, Thomas Donald, Joseph Cowan, Hugh McKenzie, Allinson Mathers, John Hampson, Thomas Ferryman.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD. SOLD AT AUCTION IN NOVEMBER 2019 FOR £2900.
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