Frederick Holcombe Edgelow EM

b. 05/06/1879 Teignmouth, Devon. d. 3rd Quarter 1940 Stepney, London.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 30/09/1910 Psyche Mine, Southern Rhodesia.

Frederick H Edgelow EM

Frederick was born on 5th June 1879 in Teignmouth, Devon, the fourth of five children born to Frederick and Frances Louisa Margaret Eastfield Edgelow (nee Holcombe). His siblings were called Frances, Frederick (died as an infant, so Frederick was named after him), Hilda and Gladys. As a child, the family home was in Thorn Park Road, West Teignmouth. As a young man, Frederick became involved in mining and travelled to Southern Rhodesia as a prospector. Little is known about what happened to Frederick after his time in Southern Africa, and by 1939, he was living in Stepney, working as a cleaner in a cookery school. Frederick died the following year, aged 61.



On the 30th September, 1910, two natives descended a shaft of the Psyche Mine, in Southern Rhodesia, and, as no sign was given to haul up the bucket, the natives on the surface concluded that something was wrong below. As Mr. Walsh, the miner in charge, was absent, they called to Mr. Edgelow, a mining prospector, who happened to be staying at the camp. He looked down the shaft, which was 110 feet deep, and saw the two natives lying unconscious. Although he had little experience of mines, and had never been down lower than 40 feet, he immediately descended the shaft with a native; but, when they encountered gas, the native lost his presence of mind, and gave the signal to draw up. On reaching the surface Mr. Edgelow tied a wet towel round his face, and, lashing himself to a rope, descended by himself. He tried to lift one of the natives into the bucket, but before he succeeded in doing so, he felt the effects of the gas and was only just able to give the signal to draw up. He was raised to the surface unconscious, and, on being revived, sent a note to Mr. Walsh, and again prepared to descend. On Mr. Walsh’s arrival, Mr. Edgelow made two more descents with a rope provided with a running loop, and by this means he succeeded in bringing both the natives to the surface, although life was found to be extinct. Mr. Edgelow displayed a high degree of courage in his persistent attempts to rescue the natives, and ran an imminent risk of losing his own life.