Harold Gregory EM

b. 14/12/1878 Chesterfield, Derbyshire.  d. 3rd Q 1962 Thanet, Kent.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 28/02/1916 Ireland Colliery, Staveley, Derbyshire.

Harold was born on 14th December 1878 in Chesterfield, the second child of Henry and Louisa Gregory. He had four siblings. His father worked as a colliery deputy, a career that Harold would follow himself. On Valentine’s Day 1901, at St Mary’s Church, Sutton cum Duckmanton, Derbyshire, he married Charlotte North. Charlotte hailed from Leicestershire, and they began married life living at 28 Markham Cottages, Sutton cum Duckmanton. Harold’s employment at the time of his marriage was a miner deputy underground. Harold soon changed jobs becoming a Under Manager at the Ireland Colliery, Staveley, and he and Charlotte moved to 1 Hartington Cottages. They had three children – Emily, William and Vera. Following his award of the Edward Medal for his actions on 28th February 1916, little is known about his later life. At some point he and Charlotte moved south to Kent, settling in Eastry, where Harold was a colliery time keeper. Harold died in 1962 in Thanet, Kent, aged 83.



On the 28th February, 1916, at 7 a.m., a fall of roof occurred at the Ireland Colliery, by which a filler named John William Fieldsend was imprisoned. Gregory, Franklin, Hudson, Nurse and Smith at once set to work to open a passage through the fallen roof in order to rescue their fellow workman. The roof was everywhere very uneasy and a further fall was liable to occur at any moment. Owing to the narrowness of the place, only one man could work at the head of the passage (the most dangerous place), while the remaining four, one behind the other, passed out the material removed, the men taking by turns the post of danger. After about three hours’ work, at 10 a.m. a further fall occurred, closing the passage which had been made for three yards. Fortunately the workers escaped without injury. Work was at once resumed, and Fieldsend was reached. As soon, however, as an attempt was made to remove him from under a piece of timber, by which he was pinned down, a third fall occurred, blocking up the passage for about four yards, and displacing much of the timber which had been used to prop up the roof and walls of the passage as it was made. Finally, at 5 p.m., after ten hours’ continuous work, Fieldsend was reached and taken out of the pit. He was not much injured. All five men ran continuous risk, during the whole ten hours, of serious injury or death from falls of roof.