David Humphreys

b. ? 1877 Spennymoor, County Durham. d. 3rd Q 1915 Weardale, Durham.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 08/12/1914 Murton, County Durham.

David Humphreys EM

David was born in Spennymoor, County Durham in 1877, the third of seven children, born to Edward and Margaret Humphreys. His father was a miner, and the family moved close to the Murton Colliery soon after David’s birth. David lived with his parents until his mid 20s, working as a railwayman at the Murton Colliery. In c. 1907, David married Margaret and they had two children, Edward and Ida. The family resided at 4 Brooklyn Terrace, off Murton Street, near to the Colliery. David’s employment on the 1911 Census was listed as Coal Miner Rolleyway (Railway?) Man. Sadly, David’s heroism at Murton Station in December 1914 was shortlived, as he only lived for a few months after the announcement of his Edward Medal appeared in the London Gazette in April 1915. David died aged 38 in Weardale, in the late summer of that year.



On the 8th December, 1914, a woman was standing on the platform of Murton Railway Station and fell on to the line in an epileptic fit about eighty yards in front of a train which was approaching at fifteen miles an hour. Humphrey, a porter, who was standing some fifteen yards away, ran up and jumped on the line. The train at this moment was only a little over twenty yards off, and he was unable to remove the woman; but he succeeded in holding her down between the rails until the train came to a standstill, after the engine and one waggon had passed above them. By this brave action he saved the woman’s life at great risk to himself.