Arthur Bobbett EM

b. 23/01/1900 Abertillery, Wales. d. 19/11/1948 Abertillery, Wales.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 21/10/1948 Six Bells Colliery, Monmouthshire.

Arthur Bobbett EM

Arthur was one of nine children born to Joseph and Mary J Bobbett, and grew up living at 3 Virginia Cottage in Aberbeeg. In 1939, Arthur married Iris Lans in Bedwellty, and he was working as a coal hewer at the Six Bells Colliery. He rose up to the role of fireman prior to the incident which led to his posthumous award of the EM. He was killed less than six weeks later aged 48, and his medal was donated to the Abertillery and District Museum.



On 21st of October, 1948, two workmen employed at the Six Bells Colliery, Monmouthshire, were moving a conveyor to a new position in a four feet seam of coal when they found the passage of the machine was prevented by a transverse bar which formed part of the roof support for the worked out part of the seam. Temporary supports were set and the two men attempted to withdraw this bar with a lever device. While they were doing so there was a sudden and extensive fall of roof which dislodged the supports. One of the men jumped clear but the other was forced against the coal face and held there by the transverse bar which was held down by a massive heap of stones from the fallen roof. Arthur Bobbett (aged 48) who was employed as an under official at the Colliery, was soon on the scene and decided that the best way to release the imprisoned man was by sawing away the bar. To do this it was necessary to crawl into a very small space underneath both fall and bar. The whole weight of the fall seemed to be resting on the bar and it appeared probable that when it was sawn through, the bar and the fall would both collapse on the sawyer. There was also a strong possibility that a further fall of roof would take place causing the heap of debris from the original fall to collapse. In spite of these dangers, Bobbett crawled beneath the bar, supporting it in an improvised manner with a jack, and began to saw. While he was working, a large stone fell from the roof onto the heap of debris, causing further pressure to be exerted on the bar and the injured man to lose consciousness. Despite the entreaties of the workmen and orders by his superiors and although the debris moved from time to time in a threatening manner, Bobbett worked for 45 minutes to saw the timber through. This operation was completed without any further collapse and the injured man was extricated. It was found that he had died from the injuries he had sustained. Bobbett was exhausted and had to be taken home by ambulance. Unfortunately a few weeks after this incident Bobbett himself sustained a fatal injury at the Colliery.