Frank Platt EM

b. ? d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 10/05/1920 Shaw Mill, Shaw, Oldham, Lancashire.

Little is known about Frank Platt, a labourer from Oldham, Lancashire other than a few details. It is known that he was a committed Jehovah’s Witness. It was his beliefs that led him to be a conscientious objector in World War I. He was sent to France to fight and was tortured by the military for refusing to fight. After being demobbed, he gained employment at the Oak Mill in Shaw, near Oldham, where he would be awarded the Edward Medal for Industry.



On 10th May 1920 the walls of the Oak Mill at Shaw, near Oldham, were being pointed by three men. One man named Cavaghan was seated at the top of a wall in a cradle, which was controlled by means of pulleys and ropes. The latter were held by Platt and another labourer standing on the sloping roof of a low shed fifty feet below.

Owing to the displacement of one of the pulley-blocks the cradle swung round, and Cavaghan was precipitated head downwards. Platt’s companion ran away, but Platt, standing firm, swung the rope he was holding so as to encircle Cavaghan, and succeeded in doing so. The rope tightening broke Cavaghan’s fall, and when he was about twelve feet from Platt’s standing place, the latter, taking advantage of a projecting sill, managed to swing Cavaghan on to it. This broke his fall further, while as he recoiled from the window-sill Platt interposed himself so as to save him from injury so far as possible. Both men received injuries to the head, and there is no doubt whatever that Platt’s action saved Cavaghan’s life. Only wonderful presence of mind and lightning decision could have enabled him to do what he did, and but for his instantaneous action Cavaghan would have been dashed to the ground in two seconds. Platt ran very great risk as, had he failed, he would certainly have been hit by Cavaghan’s body falling from a considerable height.

This is the second occasion on which Platt has been instrumental in saving a man from injury by falling.