James Frederick Porter EM

b. 10/04/1905 Manchester.  d. 07/10/1997 Rochdale, Lancashire. (this is still being investigated as whether its the correct man)

DATE OF EM ACTION: 30/01/1924 Smedley Bridge Dye Works, Manchester.

James was born on 10th April 1905 in Manchester, the son of Frederick and Alberta Porter. He had a younger brother Arthur, and they grew up in Pendleton, Manchester. He gained employment at the Smedley Bridge Dye Works, where he worked as a machine minder. In 1945, he married Ada Beattie in Manchester. Little else is known about his life other than he lived to the age of 92, dying in a care home in Rochdale on 7th October 1997.



On  January,  30th,   1924,  during  bleaching operations  at  the  Smedley  Bridge  Dye Works, near  Manchester,   two  boys  named   Bamford and  Marriott  were plaiting  down cloth  running into a large  two ton ” kier ” which was  filled with  a  mixture  of water,  caustic  soda  solution and tetralene.    It  was observed  from  the  platform  above  the  kier  that  the  boys  were  not visible,  being  covered  by  the  cloth,  and,  as  a matter  of fact,  they  had  been  overcome by  the tetralene  fumes.    Two  machine  minders  and bleacher’s  assistants named Porter and Ingham were    summoned    and    Porter    immediately descended  into  the  kier  to  look  for  the  boys but  was unable to  see  them  and  was forced  to return   to   the   top,   being   overcome  by   the fumes.      He  recovered,  however,   and   again descended  accompanied  by  Ingham   and  they eventually  succeeded  in  bringing  out  Marriott, who  was  quite  unconscious.    Porter  too  was badly  gassed,;  and  both  men  were  taken   to hospital.  The    other    boy    Bamford   was eventually  pulled  out  by  a  rope  but  was  unfortunately  already  dead. Porter   and  Ingham   undertook   the   rescue quite voluntarily  and but  for their  efforts  there is  little  doubt  that  Marriott  too  would  have lost  his life.    Both  men behaved very  gallantly but   Porter   showed   exceptional    courage   in twice entering the  dark enclosed vessel without any  artificial  light  and  his  action  was  a  very brave  one.    He  is  only  18  years  of  age.