Richard Rylance EM

b. ? d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 21/02/1941 Maypole Colliery, Wigan, Lancashire.

Little is known about Richard Rylance, other than his actions as Colliery Under-Manager on 21st February 1941 at the Maypole Colliery in Wigan, Lancashire.



On the 21st February, 1941, an extensive fall of roof occurred underground at the Maypole Colliery, Wigan, as the result of which a collier was trapped in a small area of the workings. On arrival at the Colliery the Under-manager, Mr. Richard Rylance, began to make a narrow tunnel through the fallen material. By working at full length with his arms above his head for four hours with only three short breaks of ten minutes each, he excavated a passage twelve yards long to the place where the collier was trapped. After removing some loose stones he succeeded in crawling in and assisted the collier to escape alive and unhurt. The tunnelling had to be done with a pick blade as there was not sufficient room to wield a proper tool and during the whole period there was risk of further collapse. Mr. Rylance showed outstanding courage in effecting the rescue of William Pennington, the trapped collier, in most difficult and dangerous circumstances.