Charles William Lawson EM

b. 14/11/1851 Burradon, Northumberland.  d. 13/01/1929 Hetton le Hole, County Durham.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 14/03/1911 Lyons Colliery, Hetton le Hole, County Durham.

Charles W Lawson EM

Charles was one of ten children born to William and Elizabeth Lawson (nee Clementson), and grew up in Burradon, Northumberland. His father was a miner, and from a young age, Charles followed in his footsteps. By the early 1870s, Charles had moved to County Durham for work, and in 1873 he married Elizabeth Ann Howe, and they had seven children, two of whom pre-deceased him. The couple spent all of their married lives in Hetton le Hole, and Charles worked in two of the local collieries including Lyons where he was awarded the Edward Medal. He died in 1929 aged 77, and was buried in Hetton Cemetery.



On the 24th March, 1911, a fall of stone occurred at the colliery, burying a miner named Shears and striking the Under Manager, who was fortunately knocked clear of the main body of the debris. Mr. Lawson found that Shears was beneath a large mass of stone, which was held up to some extent by displaced timber and rubbish, but which also rested in part on a prop that pinned down his foot. He obtained help and freed Shears’ head, but a larger fall appeared imminent, and, to prevent further injury to Shears if a fall should occur, so much material had to be placed round him to serve as supports that the party could hardly get room to work. Repeated attempts to release him were made, both from the front and by trying to get over the fall in order to work in from the back. On three occasions the rescuers had to retreat owing to fresh falls, which considerably increased the danger in which they worked. All the time Shears was held fast, and the prop holding him down could not be sawn through without injuring him. Finally, after many attempts, Lawson managed to creep through to Shears’ side, where he remained till he had chipped away enough of the stone to enable Shears to be liberated, nine hours after the fall.