Miner Hero – Bravery Recognised – Edward Medal Awarded.

May 1909

Sheffield Independent – Friday 28 May 1909

Miner Hero

Denaby Man’s Bravery Recognised.

Edward Medal Awarded.

The Home Secretary has intimated the intention of the King to award to Henry Benton, miner of  Tickhill street, Denaby Main, the Edward Medal in recognition of his heroic conduct in the mine on October 27th, when at imminent risk to his own life, he saved a fellow-workman named John Green from terrible death.

The gallant deed was performed under circumstances of unusual danger, even in a coal mine. A fall of roof, three hundred tons in extent, subsequently described by Mr. Walker, H.M. Inspector of Mines as the heaviest he had known in the course of his experience—came the men working in the vicinity with startling suddenness, throwing the place into total darkness.

Benton somehow other escaped the fall, but a pony driver Churms was completely buried, and recovered until, after eight hours labour, fifty tons of dirt had been removed.

A filler named John Green was buried up to his waist, and extricated himself. While the roof was cracking ominously, Benton, working with feverish haste, managed to free the filler, though in momentary peril from the recurring falls of dirt.

When he fetched a light he found that Churms was in a hopeless position and the the work of digging out his body was commenced.

For his splendid coolness Benton was warmly commended by Mr. Walker at the inquest and the district coroner told him that higher credit no collier could have, coming as it did from the highest authority m the district. G

Green was brief but grateful. “I owe Benton my life.” He said.

The foreman of the jury, Mr R. Tingle, took the case up and as a result, the Home Secretary invites Benton to receive the Royal decoration at the hands of the King.

Benton is the second miner in South Yorkshire Yorkshire to earn the precious decoration.

Benton is a Worcestershire man who has spent the greater part of his life at Denaby Main.