Henry Foster EM

b. ?  d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 26/02/1918 Pilkington’s Colliery, St Helens, Lancashire.

Little is known about the life of Henry Foster other than his actions at Pilkington’s Colliery, St Helens, Lancashire on 26th February 1918.



On the 26th February, 1918, a fireman, Peter Anders, was inspecting a place where a level was being driven to cut off a brow, and he went round the brow to test the progress of the work by knocking on the coal. Unfortunately, gas had accumulated in the brow owing to the brattice cloth by which it was ventilated being broken down by a fall of coal. Anders was overcome by the gas, and his groanings brought several men to the place where he lay, which was in complete darkness, as it was dangerous to use any light. Thomas Pickering, a jigger, first tried to rescue the fireman, but, though he succeeded in getting hold of Anders, he could not release the fire­man’s legs, which were fastened round a prop, and he was overcome with gas, though he managed to roll clear. Henry Foster, a collier, then tried to rescue Anders, but was in turn overcome by the gas and fell senseless. Pickering made a second attempt, without success. In the meantime, Robert Farrington, the under-manager, arrived and immediately went into the gas, but fell unconscious after two attempts, though he managed to grasp Foster’s legs. Pickering then succeeded in grasping Farrington, who had kept his hold on Foster, with the result that both were rescued. Foster was brought round by artificial respiration. The position of Anders was ascertained with the help of an electric lamp, and, as soon as the ventilation was restored, Anders was also brought out, but life was, unfortunately, extinct.