David Devine EM

b. 1881 Whitehaven, Cumberland.  d. 4th Quarter 1922 Barrow in Furness, Cumberland.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

David was born in 1881 in Whitehaven, the middle of three sons born to John and Ellen Devine (nee Parker). His father was a plasterer, and David became a sawyer after finishing his basic schooling. His older brother William was working as a moulder and his younger brother Wilson was following in his father’s footsteps as a plasterer. On 21st February 1903, he married Isabella Martin in Whitehaven, and they moved to 1 Plumblands Lane, near to the Wellington Pit, where David became a pitman joiner. By the time of his Edward Medal action he had two sons – John Edward (born 1904) and David (born in 1906) and was Isabella was pregnant with his third son, Stanley (born in late 1910). Soon after the incident, David and Isabella moved to Barrow in Furness, where they lived at 133 Hindpool Road.

On the outbreak of World War I, David (aged 33), enlisted with the Royal Artillery. He served on the Western Front and was demobilised in 1919. He returned to Barrow after the war, and died in the 4th Quarter of 1922, aged 41.



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 selfdevotion 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 tire. 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.