Charles Benjamin Franklin EM

b. 10/05/1868 Daventry, Northamptonshire. d. 10/12/1936 Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 28/02/1916 Ireland Colliery, Staveley, Derbyshire.

Charles was born on 10th May 1868 to Emma Franklin, and he was baptised on 26th May in Daventry. Nothing is known about his biological father. Soon after Charles birth, his mother married GEorge Lovell and they moved to Whittington, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Emma and George had five children of their own, though one died soon after birth. In 1890, Charles married Mary Ann Voce in Chesterfield and they had four children – Annie, Harry, Elsie and Ethel. Tragically, Ethel died soon after birth. In 1897, Mary passed away, and Charles was left to raise his three children alone. Following the award of the Edward Medal for his actions at Ireland Colliery near Staveley, Charles re-married in 1918 to Lucy Fuller, though they had no children of their own. Charles and Lucy lived at 2 Handley Road in New Whittington for their married lives. Charles died on 10th December 1936 aged 68 and his estate was left to his widow Lucy and son Harry, who had followed him into the mining industry.



On the 28th February 1916, at 7 a.m., a fall of roof occurred at the Ireland Colliery, by which a filler named John William Fieldsend was imprisoned. Gregory. Franklin. Hudson. Nurse, and Smith at once set to work to open a passage through the fallen roof in order to rescue their fellow-workman. The roof was everywhere very uneasy and a further fall was liable to occur at any moment. Owing to the narrowness of the place, only one man could work at the head of the passage (the most dangerous place), whilethe remaining four, one behind the other, passed out the material removed, the men taking by turns the post of danger. After about three hours’ work, at 10 a.m. a further fall occurred, closing the passage, which had been made for three yards. Fortunately the workers escaped without injury. Work was at once resumed, and Fieldsend was reached. As soon, however, as an attempt was made to remove him from under a piece of timber, by which he was pinned down, a third fall occurred, blocking up the passage for about four yards, and displacing much of the timber which had been used to prop up the roof and walls of the passage as it was made. Finally, at 5 p.m., after ten hours’ continuous work, Fieldsend was reached and taken out of the pit. He was not much injured. All five men ran continuous risk, during the whole ten hours, of serious injury or death from falls of roof.