b. ? 1875 Liverpool. d. 04/03/1908 Hamstead Colliery, Birmingham.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 04/03/1908 Hamstead Colliery, Great Barr, Birmingham.
John was born in Liverpool in either 1875 or 1877. Little is known of his parents or childhood, though by the age of 14, he was boarding with the Priestley family in Liversedge, near Dewsbury, Yorkshire. He became a miner, and on 14th March 1896, he married Harriet Rothery at St Peter’s Church, Birstall. John and Harriet had three children, the last being born soon after his death. John and Harriet lived in Yorkshire, and John became part of the Altofts Rescue Brigade. It was in the capacity that he found himself attempting to rescue 24 miners at the Hamstead Colliery, near Birmingham on 4th March 1908. Welsby was killed in the attempts to rescue the entombed miners, and his body was returned to Yorkshire, where he was buried at St Mary Magdalene Churchyard in Altofts.
His Majesty has been pleased to award the Edward Medal of the First Class to James Hopwood ; James Whittingham ; James Cranswick ; John Henry Thorne ; Walter Clifford; and the Edward Medal of the Second Class to Joseph Outram. On the 4th March, 1908,a fire broke out at the Hamstead Colliery; 24 miners were entombed. The above named miners (together with John Welsby, who succumbed) descended the mine at various times at great personal risk to rescue the miners. They were provided with oxygen apparatus, but were unable to effect their object. His Majesty has been graciously pleased to allow the widow of John Welsby to receive the Medal which would have been granted to her husband.
BURIAL LOCATION: ST MARY MAGDALENE CHURCHYARD, ALTOFTS, WEST YORKSHIRE.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.