John Johnson EM

b. ? 1875 Bedworth, Warwickshire. d. ? 1953 Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 29/07/1915 Newdigate Colliery, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

John was born in 1875 in Bedworth, Warwickshire, the youngest of six children born to Emmanuel Johnson, a silk weaver. John’s mother died when he was very young. By 1891, John, now 16, was already working in the mines, and was still living with his father. On 6th September 1897, John married Mary Arloturge in Bedworth. John and Mary would have three children, William, John Ernest and Gladys. Tragically, Mary died soon after Glady’s birth and John raised his three children alone. Little else is known about John’s life following his award of the Edward Medal in 1915. John died in 1953 in Nuneaton, aged 78.



On the 29th July, 1915, a heavy fall of roof occurred at the Newdigate Colliery, by which a man named Pacey was buried. Johnson ran at once to the spot, where others were already at work, and, finding that the roof was still very uneasy, ordered props to be set. Leaving the men at work, he found his way to the other side of the fall, where the roof was also very uneasy. Estimating correctly, however, that it was from this side Pacey could most easily be reached, he decided to carry on the work, and himself started to set props. Almost immediately, however, a further heavy fall occurred, burying and severely injuring him. The roof then ceased to be uneasy, and Johnson and Pacey were rescued alive. Pacey unfortunately died in hospital. Johnson was in and out of hospital for nearly two years, and had to undergo many operations as a result of his injuries.