Robert Reed EM

b. ? 1864 Holmside, County Durham.  d. 1st Q 1937 Lanchester, County Durham.

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

Robert Reed EM

Robert was born in 1864 in Lanchester, County Durham, the eldest of at least three children born to Peter and Catherine Reed. From a young age, Robert followed his father into mining, and he became a hewer, before later becoming an overman. Robert married Elizabeth Ellen in c. 1888/1889 and they had two children, Catherine Mary (born in 1889) and Edward (born in 1893). By the time of the 1901 Census, Robert was now an Under Manager at Charlie Pit, Kyo, County Durham, and ten years later had moved to 5 Ivy Terrace in South Moor, close to the Hedley Pit, where he would spend the rest of his working life. His wife passed away in 1930. He died in the early months of 1937, aged 72.



On the 29th September, 1930, a fall of roof occurred in 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 wasfor 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 a further 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.





David Jobling – Several images of Robert Reed EM and his medal.