b. 23/03/1889 Worthen, Shropshire. d. 21/07/1945 Wakefield, Yorkshire.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 29/04/1921 Bulthy Mine, Middleton, Shropshire.
Joseph Thomas Chidley was born in Worthen, Shropshire on 23rd March 1889, the son of Edward and Margaret. Joseph was their fourth of six children, and their father worked as a lead miner at the Bulthy Mine. Joseph and his younger brother Walter followed in their father's footsteps becoming lead miners. The outbreak of World War I saw Joseph enlist with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Whilst on a period of leave in the summer of 1916, he married Agnes Maud Davies, the marriage registered in Atcham, Shropshire. Joseph returned to the mines after the war, and was involved in the rescue of fellow workmen on the morning of 29th April 1921, which led to the award of the Edward Medal for himself and Robert Paddock. At some point in the 1920s, Joseph chose to move away from Shropshire and headed north to Wakefield, Yorkshire, where he also changed career and became a dairyman. He died in Snapethorpe Hospital, Wakefield aged 56 on 21st July 1945, leaving £394 13s to his widow Agnes.
Between 9 and 10 o'clock on April 29th, 1921, Chidley, with three other men, was engaged in
pumping water from old workings in the Bulthy Mine, in Shropshire, when the foreman became
affected by fumes from a petrol engine, and ordered the men to leave. He became unconscious, and was carried out by Chidley, who was himself in a semi-conscious condition on arrival at the foot of the air-shaft. The two other men were overcome by gas and collapsed. Paddock came to work at 10 o'clock, and, proceeding towards the working place, met Chidley and the foreman and helped them into the open air. He then returned and made two attempts to reach the other two men, but was each time driven back by the gas. He returned to the surface, and after consultation with Chidley, who had now recovered, the two men determined to make a third attempt. They
managed to reach one of the men and got him as far as the air-shaft, but were then becoming
overcome, and had to leave him. Unfortunately, this man was dead when eventually he was brought to the surface, but the remaining man, whom it had not been possible to reach,
subsequently regained consciousness, and managed to make his way to the surface. Both Paddock and Chidley displayed great courage and determination in the work of rescue.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE