b. ? 1863 Parton, Cumberland. d. 01/10/1930 Whitehaven, Cumberland.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
John was the youngest of four children born to John and Mary Rothery (nee Devlin), in Parton, Cumberland in the Spring of 1863. On 29th December 1881 he married Hannah Singleton in Millom, Cumberland, and they would have three sons, John, Isaac and William. He had a career in mining, becoming the Under Manager of the William Pit, at Wellington Colliery. His wife pre-deceased him in 1923. He died in September 1930, aged 67 and was buried in Whitehaven Cemetery.
On the 11th May, 1910, a terrible fire occurred in the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, at a point about 4,500 yards from the shafts. Various rescue parties, with great courage and self-devotion and at considerable risk, descended the mine and endeavoured to extinguish the fire and penetrate to the persons in the workings beyond the same. Thorne and Littlewood, fitted with breathing apparatus, reached within a distance of 150 yards of the fire, but were driven back by the great heat and effusion of gases. The others got to within about 300 yards of the fire, working in the smoke backing from the fire. It was found impossible to penetrate to the scene of the fire or to rescue any of the entombed miners. Had an explosion occurred — a by no means unlikely eventuality, seeing that the mine is a very gassy one — they would undoubtedly all have been killed. Special gallantry was shown by John Henry Thorne, to whom the Edward Medal of the First Class has already been awarded, and by James Littlewood.
BURIAL LOCATION: WHITEHAVEN CEMETERY, WHITEHAVEN, CUMBERLAND.
WARD 1, SECTION S GRAVE 146.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.