b. 1875 Clay Cross, Derbyshire. d. 1938 Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 26/03/1914 Clay Cross,. Derbyshire.
William Henry Broomhall was born in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, and baptised on 21st July 1875. His parents were Hugh and Emily Broomhall. Sadly, his mother died before he was 5, leaving his father to raise him and his older brother Hugh, with the support of his older sister Sarah. Hugh Broomhall Senior was a coal miner. By 1891, William was living with his father and brother at Clay Lane in Clay Cross. He then married Martha Annie and they had five children by the time of the 1911 Census, where William is described as a labourer in the blast furnaces. Following his recovery from his injuries suffered in the incident which led to his Edward Medal, he stayed in Derbyshire, and died in Chesterfield in 1938, aged 63.
On the morning of the 26th March, 1914, William Broomhall, a workman employed by the Clay Cross Coal, Lime and Iron Company, and Edwin William Birkumshaw were charging blast furnaces on a platform seventy-five feet above the ground when a severe explosion took place in one of the. furnaces, accompanied by an outburst of flaming gases at a high temperature.
Birkumshaw was standing about ten feet away from the furnace; his clothing caught fire, and he was severely burned. Broomhall was at the far end of the platform near the other furnace, about fifty feet away. A gale of wind carrying the gases was blowing almost straight down the platform, and he was burned about the face and hands. In attempting to escape, he fell into the hopper of the other furnace. He again reached the platform and heard a cry for assistance. In the teeth of the gale and the flaming hot gases which were still escaping he made his way, at the risk of his life, to Birkumehaw, and succeeded in pulling off his burning clothes. In doing so he sustained further injuries. To add to his danger a wooden cabin and some timber near which he had to pass
caught fire, and he also ran the risk of a further explosion in the furnace. In all probability Broomhall, by his prompt and courageous action, saved the life of his fellow-workman.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
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