Frederick George Stephens EM

b. ? 1869 Weston P, Herefordshire. d. ? 1936 Pontypridd, Wales.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 10/09/1915 Aberaman Colliery, South Wales.

Frederick was the youngest of eight children born to Benjamin and Eliza Stephens (nee Bowen). Tragically, his father died when he was 1. His childhood was spent in the care of one of his older sisters and her husband. In 1896, he married Margaret Gallagher and they had six children between 1901 and 1910. Frederick had gained employment as a Under Manager at the Aberaman Colliery, and in this capacity he was awarded the Edward Medal for his involvement on the 10th September 1915. Little is known of his life following the award of the Edward Medal. He died in 1936 aged 67.



On the 10th September, 1915, a fireman of the Aberaman Colliery, on examining the pit at noon, found some timbers breaking, owing to roof weighting, and instructed a workman named Gamble to set props beneath the collars of the timbers. As Gamble was approaching the spot six pairs of timbers gave way causing a heavy fall (about 16 tons) of roof and sides, by which Gamble was caught. He was buried by about four feet of rubbish, his head and feet pinned tight; but his body protected by some fallen timber. Efforts were made to get him free, but were frustrated by the further falls, which were continually taking place. Stephens, the Under Manager, arrived about half an hour after the accident, by which time the roof and one side had become so dangerous that no one would venture near Gamble in spite of his cries for help. Stephens, however, immediately placed himself over Gamble, so as to protect him and called for volunteers. Four men responded and, under Stephens’ instructions, began to pull down the overhanging stones, which Stephens, who is a strong man, diverted from falling on to Gamble, and by so doing was himself injured. After two hours’ exertion Stephens succeeded in freeing Gamble, whose injuries, though not very serious, incapacitated him for two months from work. There can be little doubt that, had not Stephens been able to divert the falling stones, Gamble would have been in great danger of being crushed or suffocated, and it was Stephens’ example which prompted the other men to renew their attempt at rescue, from which they had desisted owing to the danger of falling stones.