Samuel Turner EM

b. 27/02/1863 South Hole, Yorkshire. d. 28/08/1933 8 Preston Street, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 11/05/1910 Wellington Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

Samuel Turner EM

Samuel was born on 27th February 1863 near Thorpe Hesley, Yorkshire, the second youngest of eleven children of Samuel and Mary Turner (nee Eastwood). His father died when he was seven and the family was raised by their mother alone. His mother then died when he was seventeen and Samuel had begun a career in coal mining. On 14th April 1884, he married Sarah Anne Burgin in Thorpe Hesley. He and Sarah Anne would have seven children. All but one of the children was born in Rotherham, before Samuel’s work took them to Derbyshire, where he had moved up the ranks to become a colliery manager. By 1901, Samuel had become the manager at Wellington Colliery in Whitehaven, Cumberland, where nine years later, he would be awarded the Edward Medal for his part in the rescue from a terrible fire.

In later life, Samuel retired from mining and owned a bakery in Whitehaven. He became an alderman and was Mayor of Whitehaven between 1925 and 1927. He died at his home at 8 Preston Street on 28th August 1933 aged 70 and was buried in Whitehaven Cemetery,



On the 11th May, 1910, a terrible fire occurred in the Wellington Pit, Whitehaven, at a point about 4,500 yards from the shafts. Various rescue parties, with great courage and self-devotion and at considerable risk, descended the mine and endeavoured to extinguish the fire and penetrate to the persons in the workings beyond the same. Thorne and Littlewood, fitted with breathing apparatus, reached within a distance of 150 yards of the fire, but were driven back by the great heat and effusion of gases. The others got to within about 300 yards of the fire, working in the smoke backing from the fire. It was found impossible to penetrate to the scene of the fire or to rescue any of the entombed miners. Had an explosion occurred — a by no means unlikely eventuality, seeing that the mine is a very gassy one — they would undoubtedly all have been killed. Special gallantry was shown by John Henry Thorne, to whom the Edward Medal of the First Class has already been awarded, and by James Littlewood.