Harry Hulley EM

b. 1875 Greasborough, Yorkshire.  d. ? 1932 Sheffield, Yorkshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 09/07/1912 Cadeby Main Colliery, near Doncaster, Yorkshire.

Harry Hulley EM

Harry, the third of eight children, was born in Greasborough, Yorkshire in 1875, to John and Sarah Hulley. He married Annie and they had two sons, Norman and Donald. After working for some years at the low stubbin colliery of Earl Fitzwilliam, as a Collier, he was appointed deputy at the Rotherham Main colliery of Messrs John Brown and Co Ltd. Obtaining a second-class certificate a few years later, he removed to Cadeby, when he afterwards qualified for a first-class certificate. Even then Mr Hulley continued his studies, and for several years has been engaged as a mining teacher at Denaby under the West Riding county council.

He also interested himself in ambulance work, and was specially trained for rescue work, so that prior to the terrible disaster at Cadeby colliery, in July 1912, he had been the leader of rescue parties at Maltby, and other places where explosions had occurred. At the time of the Cadeby disaster he was acting as charge deputy, and as the organiser of the rescue party it will be remembered that he distinguished himself, and was one of the two persons awarded the Edward Medal of the First-Class for bravery.

A short time afterwards he was appointed under manager at the same colliery, when he has now assumed full command. During his 12 years residence in Conisbrough and Denaby, Mr Hulley was heavily interested himself in public affairs, and for some time was a local councillor, and for several years he acted on the management of the cooperative society. Harry remained the manager of Cadeby Main Colliery until 1926, when he was promoted to Colliery Agent. Harry died in 1932 in Sheffield aged 57.



On the 9th July, 1912, two disastrous explosions occurred in the South Workings of the Cadeby Main Colliery, near Doncaster, originating at the coal face and spreading along the roads for distances of nearly half a mile.

H. Hulley and G. Fisher were among the first to explore the affected districts after each of the explosions. They assisted in attending to and removing the injured, and also in building stoppings to shut off the dangerous areas, in spite of the constant risk of further explosions and falls. Altogether Fisher was in the pit for about 12 hours and Hulley even longer, and, as both men were experienced pitmen, they were well aware of the imminent risk to their lives that they ran during the whole time. Their great courage and tenacity render their conduct conspicuous even among the many brave actions performed in connection with the disaster.

J. E. Chambers went down into the pit after the second explosion, immediately explored one of the roads near the point of origin alone, and was the probable means of saving two lives; he afterwards went through the district to assist in withdrawing all men from the workings.

W. H. Prince helped to organise rescue parties and assisted in saving life by the use of apparatus. With great presence of mind, and at much risk to himself, he personally extinguished a fire which occurred while he was so engaged, and afterwards he helped to build the stoppings.

Herbert Williamson superintended the rescue work in some of the roads after the first explosion. A fall caused by the second explosion prevented him from making any progress for a time; but he got together a body of men to clear a way over it, and then continued the work of rescue. He also returned to the affected roads by himself after the third explosion.

Sergeant Winch went with his brigade into the workings after the first explosion to help in the rescue work; he was knocked down by the second explosion, but proceeded inwards and assisted in saving lives by the use of his apparatus. He displayed great coolness in dealing with a fire, which broke out in one of the roads, and in keeping his men together to continue the work.

All these men displayed great courage and set a splendid example in the face of the disaster. Throughout their work the risk of a further explosion sweeping through the district was always present, and falls and fires were occurring in many places.