Herbert Williamson EM

b. 25/06/1887 Harton, near South Shields, Durham.  d. ? 1955 Durham South West.

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

Herbert Williamson EM

Herbert was the only son and middle of three children of Ralph and Caroline Williamson, born on 25th June 1887 in Harton, near South Shields. His father was colliery engineer, and Herbert’s childhood saw him change family home a few times as his father changed employment. Ralph Williamson eventually became Chief Engineer of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries near Doncaster, Yorkshire, and the family lived in Conisborough. Herbert was educated at Doncaster Grammar School and trained as an electrical engineer, and was employed by his father at Cadeby Colliery. On the outbreak of WWI, Herbert gained a commission as a Lieutenant in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was given command of a Machine Gun Company.

He served throughout the war, gaining promotion to Captain in 1916, and later Major. He survived relatively unscathed except for a couple of minor wounds. In 1919, he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Staveley Coal and Iron Company near Chesterfield. In 1923 he married Amy Caroline Clater in Chesterfield. Little else is known about his life, though in the 1939 England and Wales Register, he and Amy were living in Basford, Nottinghamshire, where he was still in employment as a Chief Mechanical Engineer. Following his wife’s death, he returned to the North East where he died in 1955 aged 68.



Two distastrous explosions had occured in the south workings of the Cadeby Colliery, near Doncaster, originating at the coal face and spreading along the roads for distances of nearly half a mile. Herbert Williamson, mechanical engineer, 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.