Geoffrey Fletcher EM

b. 3rd Quarter 1888 St George’s Square, London. d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 02/01/1920 West Elliot Colliery, New Tredegar, Monmouthshire.

Geoffrey (Jeffrey on his citation) Fletcher was born in London, in the summer of 1888. Very little can be traced about his life, or how he came to be in Wales working as a coal miner by 1920. In the 1911 Wales Census, Geoffrey was a single man of 23, boarding with William and Ann Sarah Jones and their three children at 31 Duffryn Terrace, New Tredegar, near to the West Elliot Colliery where he worked as a colliery hewer. It would be nine years later, that in that same pit, Geoffrey would be awarded the Edward Medal in Silver for his rescue of the repairer Mr Jones. What became of Geoffrey Fletcher after that is a mystery.



On January 2nd, 1920, a repairer named Jones was engaged on work in an air pit at the West Elliot Colliery in Monmouthshire when a fall of rubbish occurred and Jones found himself entirely buried and tightly pinned down, though able to breathe owing to the looseness of the earth. His son, who was near by, heard his father’s shouts and hurried for help. Fletcher, with other men, arrived on the scene, and for nearly three hours, in spite of the possibility of a further big fall, proceeded gradually to uncover Jones to below the shoulders and by cheerful talk braced him up considerably. No foundation could be obtained to put in supports to the rubbish which was constantly moving. Further falls occurred, and Jones was again buried up to the neck. After many attempts, lasting over a further three hours, during which time Fletcher fed Jones with stimulants, he found it possible to release the latter, and rescued him practically uninjured. Fletcher was in the hole for about five hours, during which time he ran the risk of being buried by falls from the loose rubbish coming from above. He showed great initiative, coolness and bravery while he himself was exposed to very great danger.