b. 4th Quarter 1855 Whitehaven, Cumberland. d. 24/03/1931 Whitehaven, Cumberland.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
Joseph was the eldest of seven children born to Robert and Ann Cowan (nee Smith) in the latter part of 1855 in Whitehaven, Cumberland. His father hailed from the Isle of Man, and his mother was a native of Whitehaven. His siblings were called Jane, Robert, Thomas, Elizabeth, James and Annie. In 1876, Joseph married Elizabeth Mossop in Whitehaven, and they would go on to have eleven children of their own, the last being born in 1898. Little else is known about Joseph’s life following the incident at Wellington Colliery that led to his award of the Edward Medal. He retired from mining, but stayed in the industry as a colliery actuarian in later life. He died in Whitehaven on 24th March 1931, aged 75.
In addition to the names which appeared in the London Gazette of the 22nd of July, 1910, His Majesty has been graciously pleased to award the Edward Medal of the Second Class to the workmen whose names appear below on account of their conspicuous bravery in connection with the attempt made to resctie their fellow workmen at the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, on the llth of May, 1910: — Fletcher Young, Edward McKenzie, Senior. Edward McKenzie, Junior. George Henry. James Scawcroft. John McAllister. William Ginbey. Thomas Birkett. Thomas Donald. Joseph Cowan. Hugh McKenzie. Allinson Mathers. John Hampson. Thomas Ferryman.
BURIAL LOCATION: WHITEHAVEN CEMETERY, WHITEHAVEN, CUMBRIA.
WARD 5 SECTION A GRAVE 53.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.