James Mullen EM

b. ? d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 10/01/1928 Acklam Iron and Steel Works, Middlesbrough.

Little is known about the life of iron foundry worker James Mullen other than his actions on 10th January 1928 at the Acklam Iron and Steel Works.



On the 10th January last, while a furnace was being tapped at the Acklam Iron Works of Messrs. Dorman Long and Company, Middlesbrough, a portion of the brick flooring near the furnace was forced upwards by an explosion, and flames and several tons of molten metal belched forth. In a very short time all the ground near the furnace was covered with molten metal, flames were leaping into the air nearly fifteen feet high and it was almost impossible to see on account of steam. A man named Davies aged 76, who was employed as a cleaner, was partially overwhelmed and took refuge in a water channel surrounding the furnace. Two attempts were made to rescue him by the foreman but he was beaten back. Marron and McMullin, hearing that a man was believed to be trapped by the molten metal, ran to the scene of the explosion and jumped over the tapping channel which was then full of molten metal. At first they could see nothing on account of the steam and flames, but on the steam lifting for a few seconds they ran along the water channel where they saw Davies lying and carried him away.

Davies subsequently died from his injuries and at the inquest the jury, in returning a verdict of accidental death, commended Marron and McMullin very highly for their brave action and requested the Coroner to call attention to their conduct with a view to some recognition being accorded to them for their fearless action in the face of known danger. Although the time taken to effect the rescue was short these men ran very considerable risks of a further upheaval, of burning by flames or molten metal, of asphyxiation and of losing their way in the steam, and their bravery received high praise from their fellow workmen.