John Shields EM

b. ?  d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 18/08/1920 Darngavil Colliery, Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

Very little is known about miner John Shields, other than his actions on 18th August 1920 at the Darngavil Colliery, near Airdrie, Lanarkshire.



On August 18th, 1920, while seven men were working on a seam of the Darngavil Colliery, Lanarkshire, there was a considerable inrush of surface water into the shafts. The pump at the bottom of the shaft was unable to cope with the water, which was pouring in at the rate of 1200 gallons a minute, and there was every possibility of the men at work in the seam being cut off. The engineman at the surface realised what had happened and at once ran to inform Shields, a miner who lived close by. Shields immediately descended the shaft, proceeded alone into the workings and brought out the men. While the water had not reached any great depth when Shields descended, it was constantly rising, and he could have no idea as to when it would close the entrance to the seam. Shields did not hesitate to risk his life to save others, and his action was a very brave one.