b. ? 1872 Whitehaven, Cumberland. d. 24/12/1932 Whitehaven, Cumberland.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
Charles was born in 1872 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, the second of four sons born to Hugh and Elizabeth Gibson (nee McAllister). Charles was baptised at St James Church, Whitehaven on 6th October 1872. After basic schooling, Charles followed in his father and older brother’s footsteps and became a coal miner underground. In 1903, he married Margaret Wallace in Whitehaven, and they had a son, Charles Wallace Gibson born in 1908. Following the award of the Edward Medal, Charles seems to have changed careers and left mining. After retiring from the pits, he became an innkeeper in Whitehaven. He died on Christmas Eve, 1932 and was buried in Whitehaven Cemetery four days later.
On the 11th May, 1910, a terrible fire occurred in the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, at a point about 4,500 yards from the shafts. Various rescue parties, with great courage and self-devotion and at considerable risk, descended the mine and endeavoured to extinguish the fire and penetrate to the persons in the workings beyond the same. Thorne and Littlewood, fitted with breathing apparatus, reached within a distance of 150 yards of the fire, but were driven back by the great heat and effusion of gases. The others got to within about 300 yards of the fire, working in the smoke backing from the fire. It was found impossible to penetrate to the scene of the fire or to rescue any of the entombed miners.
Had an explosion occurred — a by no means unlikely eventuality, seeing that the mine is a very gassy one — they would undoubtedly all have been killed. Special gallantry was shown by John Henry Thorne, to whom the Edward Medal of the First Class has already been awarded, and by James Littlewood.
BURIAL LOCATION: WHITEHAVEN CEMETERY, WHITEHAVEN, CUMBERLAND.
WARD 1, SECTION W, GRAVE 149.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.