b. 14/04/1898 Newhall, Derbyshire. d. 23/03/1977 39 High Street, Newhall, South Derbyshire.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 11/09/1929 Burton on Trent.
John Ingram “Jack” Gough (1898-1977) was born on 14th April 1898 in Newhall, Derbyshire, the son of a coalminer William Gough and his wife Sarah Ann nee Ingram, the maiden name being used as Jack’s middle name. He was one of three children, and after primary school, he left at 13 to join his father in the mines. He began at Bretby Colliery, in Burton on Trent. He married Ethel Lily Pilkington on 6th February 1926, whom he had met at the Nottingham Goose Fair, and they went on to have two children, John and Nancy.
On 11th September 1929, at Bretby Colliery, the men were filling coal, but were warned to leave their work as a shot was about to be fired nearby. As they were leaving about 10 tons of roof fell and buried two men, Redfern and Hardwick. Deputy Samuel Crofts and others at once tried to release the trapped men, at great personal risk, as further falls were taking place. Crofts remained at work for 20 minutes trying to rescue Redfern, until a further large fall of about 100 tons occurred, killing Redfern. Crofts was knocked down but he returned to work and only gave up when he crawled under the fall and found Redfern was dead. While Crofts was trying to free Redfern, Gough and others were attempting to free Hardwick. At great risk, they removed the fallen coal from his head and shoulders and placed over his body some covering timber, which saved his life when the second large fall occurred. It was only after two hour’s hard work did they succeed in rescuing Hardwick alive and recovering Redfern's dead body. Crofts was awarded the Edward Medal alongside Gough (LG 17th June 1930) but died before the exchange date to a GC. He was invested with the EM on the 7th July 1930.
Jack was also presented with the Carnegie Trust Fund Certificate, a cheque for £25 and an inscribed gold watch from the coal owners and miners of South Derbyshire. Jack spent the rest of his working life in the mines, and due to mining being a reserved occupation, didn’t serve in either of the World Wars.
Gough chose to exchange his EM for the GC in 1971, and proudly held the medal for 6 more years, before passing away on 23rd March 1977, aged 78. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered near the Gough and Ingram family graves in St John’s Churchyard, Newhall. His GC and his 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal are proudly held by the Gough family.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: WITH RECIPIENT'S FAMILY.
BURIAL PLACE: ST JOHNS CHURCHYARD, NEWHALL, DERBYSHIRE. (ASHES INTERRED).
The Gough and Ingram family graves where John's ashes were scattered. (Kevin Brazier)