b. 03/09/1879 Clay Cross, Derbyshire. d. 25/05/1944 Clay Cross, Derbyshire.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 08/06/1915 Clay Cross No 2 Pit, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Samuel was born on 3rd September 1879, in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, one of ten children of Samuel Sims and Lizzie Stoppard (nee Pettit). From a young age, he became a miner at the Clay Cross No 2 Pit, later becoming a deputy. He married Mary Pugh in 1905 and they had three children. He received his Edward Medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 15th January 1916. Following the award of the medal, he later changed careers and worked in an iron foundry. Samuel died on 25th May 1944, aged 64 and is buried in Clay Cross Cemetery.
On the 8th of June, 1915, a miner named Haslam was hewing coal at the face of his stall, when a fall of roof occurred and buried him all but his head. Stoppard ran to the spot and tried to get him out, but failed and, as the roof was very weak and a further fall imminent, he set catch props to it and erected a metal plate to protect Haslam’s head. He then made further attempts to liberate Haslam and, while he was doing so, a further fall occurred, burying Stoppard up to his waist. He managed to free himself, and worked at the fall until Haslam was liberated; but unfortunately Haslam was by this time dead. The place at which the fall occurred was difficult to get at, and only one man could work at a time there. During the whole of the rescue operations Stoppard ran great risk from a further fall of roof, and he was well aware of this. His action therefore was a very brave one.The medal was presented by His Majesty on the 15th of January, 1916.
BURIAL LOCATION: CLAY CROSS CEMETERY, CLAY CROSS, DERBYSHIRE.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.