Christopher Bywater EM

b. ? 1870 Leeds, Yorkshire.  d. 10/04/1929 Leeds, Yorkshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 12/08/1913 Lower Wortley, Leeds, Yorkshire.

Christopher Bywater EM

Christopher was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1870, the son of Emma Bywater, and he had at least four siblings. He grew up living in Duke William Street in the city. By 1901, he was boarding with the Riley family in Hunslet, and was working as a coal miner. Christopher died on 10th April 1929 in Leeds and was laid to rest in Beckett Street Cemetery, Leeds, Yorkshire. At the time of his death he was living at 5 Camel Street and was listed as a labourer.



On the 12th August last repairs were being carried out at Lower Wortley, Leeds, on a large gasholder 105 feet high by 117 feet in diameter. At the bottom of the holder was water 30 feet deep, and on this was placed a raft for the workmen to stand upon. The holder was entered at the top by means of an air-lock; nine feet below was a small unrailed platform, about six feet by five feet,, from which was suspended a rope ladder, 70 feet long, descending to the raft on the water below. The holder had been emptied of gas and two men were at work on the raft testing the rivets of the holder. Feeling the effects of gas given off by the water when disturbed, they decided to climb out, and the foreman outside, thinking that something was wrong, entered the holder and descended to the raft. Bywater, who was stationed at the air-lock, followed to the platform, taking with him a rope, and by means of this one man of the three was brought up from the raft below. Briggs and Vinters then made their way into the holder and. on to the platform. Bywater had lowered the rope again to the raft; but, though the foreman had attached it to the second workman, the three men on the platform were unable to pull him up. At length all three began to feel the effects of the gas, and had to climb out of the holder. Briggs became unconscious, and Vinters descended to the ground for help; but, being unsuccessful, he climbed back and returned inside to the platform with Bywater. Unable to do anything, they were again forced to come out, Bywater beginning to lose consciousness. Further assistance then arriving, steps were taken to lower the holder and. to revive the men suffering from gas, .Vinters helping in the task. When the holder had’ fallen nearly to the ground level a number-of men entered, and succeeded in bringing out the two men remaining within, but attempts to resuscitate them were unavailing. Briggs, Bywater, and Vinters deserve much credit for their plucky action. Exposed to the effects of gas and running risks of falling from the unprotected platform in which case no assistance could have reached them they did their utmost to save the three men at the bottom of the holder, and, while unsuccessful in two cases, they effected the rescue of the third.






Alun Pugh – Image of the Bywater EM Grave.