Philip Cox EM

b. 11/03/1876 Pennington, Lancashire.  d. 3rd Quarter 1959 Durham.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 29/09/1930 Hedley Pit, South Moor, County Durham.

Philip was the sixth of nine children born to John Thomas and Mary Cox (nee Hughes). He was born on 11th March 1876 in Pennington, Lancashire, but by the age of four, the family had moved to Cornsay, County Durham, where they lived at 288 West Street. By the age of 18, Philip was working as a collier at Broom Colliery. On 26th January 1895, he married Margaret Morton at St Margaret of Antioch Church, in Tanfield Lea, Durham, and they went on to have five children (two boys John and Philip, and three girls Mary, Jane and Florence). Soon after their marriage and birth of their first child, they moved to Tempest Terrace in Stanley, and Philip moved to working at the Hedley Pit, South Moor. Sadly, his wife Margaret died in 1918, and in 1920, he re-married to Mary Clarkson in Lanchester.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the tragedy for Philip. His two sons, John and Philip both died young, John aged 25 in 1920, and Philip in an accident in 1939. By 1939, Philip had retired from the mines and was living with Mary at 8 William Street, South Moor, County Durham. Philip died in 1959 in Durham, aged 83.



On the 29th September, 1930, a fall of roof occurred at the Hedley Pit, South Moor, County Durham, partially burying a hewer, Frederick Beaumont. A chargeman, Victor King, was the first to come to the rescue. He found that a small passage-way remained open by which the buried man might be reached and, with the assistance of his son Richard and John George Tarn, be immediately built two chocks of timber to keep it open. The passage was seven yards long and about two feet square and the only practicable method of rescue wafor three men to crawl along the passage-way and lie full length, two in the passage-way and one over Beaumont’s body, and pass back, one at a time, the stones that were pinning him down. This perilous and arduous work was carried on for nine hours by a team of miners (including Victor King) working in relays under the direction of the manager (Walter Robert Scott) and the under-manager (Robert Reed) until at last Beaumont was released, shaken but otherwise uninjured. During the whole nine hours the roof was shifting and ” trickling ” and on four occasions Beaumont was almost freed when another fall buried him again. At one time the danger of a further fall appeared so great that the manager telephoned for a doctor (Dr. Charles James Brookfield Fox) to come to the pit to amputate Beaumont’s leg and so expedite his release. Fortunately—as it turned out— the doctor found it impossible to amputate in the restricted area in which Beaumont was confined, but he remained on the scene until Beaumont was rescued and examined and treated him before sending him to the surface. Shortly after Beaumont was extricated the whole of the tunnel collapsed.