Rowland Bennett EM

b. 1899 Swinton, Lancashire. d. 11/04/1959 Staffordshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 17/01/1935 Hanley, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

Rowland was eldest of four sons born to Arthur and Eleanor Bennett and grew up in Swinton, Lancashire. He attended Manchester College of Technology and became a member of the Council of South Staffs and Warwickshire Institute of Mining Engineers. He gained employment with the Stafford Coal & Iron Co. From 1924-25, was in charge of the sinking of the original Hem Heath Pit, at Trentham. In November, 1925, became Manager of Stafford No. 2 Colliery, and later, Manager of Madeley Collieries, at Leycett. From 1930-36, was Manager at Hanley Deep Pit, Stoke-on-Trent. In 1936, became General Works Manager of the Sheffield Steel Co’s. collieries and coke ovens. In 1947, was appointed Area General Manager of Cannock Chase Area.



On the 17th January, 1935, a fall of roof  occurred at Hanley Deep Colliery, North Staffordshire. Tom Harrison, a collier, was knocked down and his legs and feet were fastened. .He was saved from fatal injury in two further falls by a steel prop and bar which were placed over him by another worker. After rescue operations had proceeded for some considerable time it was found that the only way to release the imprisoned man, apart from amputation, was for someone to work his way alongside him under the fall and scrape the debris away with his hands, passing it out piece by piece. The space was so small that only a man of slim build could undertake the task and in doing so he had to lie prone over the imprisoned man. Mr. Bennett, the colliery manager, and Albert Maley carried out this extremely dangerous work. Maley, with the aid of a pick, managed to set Harrison free after he had been imprisoned for about 6 hours. Bennett was present most of the time and Maley for 4 hours. During the latter stages the rescuer had to lie under the fall with his head beside Harrison’s feet. Another fall while he was in such a position would probably have proved fatal to the rescuer.



Grave: N.P. 882