(John) William Fish EM

b. 22/09/1874 Seghill, Northumberland.  d. 1st Quarter 1954 Northumberland.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 19/01/1917 Hartford Colliery, near Blyth, Northumberland.

John William, or William as he was commonly known, was one of six children born to William and Margaret Fish, who lived in Seghill, near Bedlington. The family lived at 9 Cross Row in Seghill. His siblings were called Jane, Emily, Alexander, Elizabeth and Philip. William became a coal miner from an early age before becoming a chargeman on the night shift. He married Hannah Ridley and they had three children – Evelyn, James William and John. They lived at 2 Plessy Street very near to the Hartford Colliery where William would perform his heroic deed to earn the Edward Medal in Bronze. Little is known of his life after this event, though in 1939 he and Hannah were living in Seaton Valley, Northumberland, at 3 Everard Street, and William was still working in the mines as a stoneman. William died in the early months of 1954, aged 79.



On the 19th of January, 1917, a heavy fall of roof occurred at the Hartford Mine, Northumberland, at a spot where two men were working, instantly killing one man and injuring and pinning down the other. Fish at once set to work to release the injured man, although there was constant danger of a further fall by which he himself might be killed or injured. After more than half an hour’s work he succeeded in his attempt. There can be little doubt that, but for Fish’s gallant action, the injured man would have died.