Samuel Jarrett Temperley GC (EM exchanger)

b. 21/08/1899 Consett, Co Durham. d. 15/12/1977 Northallerton, Yorkshire.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 20/11/1931 Bentley, Yorkshire.

Samuel Jarrett Temperley (1899-1977) was born on 21st August 1899 in Consett, County Durham, the eldest of four children. His parents were George and Hannah Elizabeth Temperley (nee Johnson). Sadly one of his sisters, Winifred died before the age of one. His father was a farmer. He was educated at a local Durham Council School in Rowlands Gill, and trained as a mining surveyor and engineer. At the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted as a Private in the Durham Light Infantry, and was wounded in the leg during action at Dickebusch, Belgium.

Samuel J Temperley GC

After the war, Samuel became Assistant Surveyor at Bentley Colliery in 1925 and a Certified Colliery Manager by 1930. His role at Bentley was a dual one as he also taught at Doncaster Technical College, and he was actually there at the time of the explosion on 20th November 1931.

There was a violent explosion of firedamp, followed by several fires. Of the 47 men and boys working, only 2 survived the blast. Temperley, along with Ernest Allport and Edgar Frazer were prominent in rescuing men from the area of the fires, which was seen as an extremely dangerous activity. He volunteered to lead a rescue bridge to the return airway, where some men were still alive, by the way of the face, there being a fire on the direct route. Another explosion severely burnt three of the rescue party, but Temperley continued without breathing apparatus to rescue another man.

Temperley was awarded the Edward Medal in Silver alongside Ernest Allport, Edgar Hamilton Frazer, and John Ward, whilst Edward Medals in Bronze were awarded to Richard Edward Darker, Oliver Soulsby, Frank Sykes and Philip William Yates. The London Gazette announced their awards on 30th September 1932. In June 1933, he married Mary Ivy Leighton, and they went on to have four children.

Samuel remained in mining in various managerial posts becoming Area General Manager, National Coal Board for ten years with his last job being as President of the Yorkshire Branch of the National Association of Colliery Managers in 1950.

In 1971, Samuel chose to exchange his Edward Medal for a George Cross and attended his investiture on 14th November 1972. Samuel died on 15th December 1977 in Northallerton, Yorkshire, aged 78, and was cremated at Darlington Crematorium. He is listed in the Book of Remembrance. His GC, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19 and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are privately held.