Theodore George Barker EM

b. 06/03/1908 Bengal, India.  d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 20/10/1937 Kustore Colliery, Bihar, India.

Theodore was born on 6th March 1908 in Asansol, Bengal, India, the son of Theodore Collin and Louisa Susie Jane Barker, and was baptised on 14th April 1908. Little else is known about him other than the incident in Bihar in 1937.



On the 20th October, 1937, a roof in a part of the Kustore Colliery, Bihar, from which a pillar of coal was being extracted, began to ” weight ” and the miners were withdrawn. It was decided to remove the props which supported the roof in order to allow it to cave in. There were thirty-four props and at about 10 p.m. when eight had been removed, a mass of roof stone suddenly collapsed, burying two men engaged in the work. The Assistant Manager, Mr. Barker, was informed of the accident, went to the scene, and organised rescue operations. While these operations were in progress a second fall occurred and two men, Bhima and Akal Tanti were trapped. Bhima, who was completely covered by fairly small debris but was nearer the edge of the fall was rescued within half-an-hour by Mr. Barker, working at such risk that the Agent who was also present had to pull him out twice because stone was falling where he was working. Akal Tanti was buried from the hips downwards and was firmly held by a large block of stone, whilst above him was a large mass of stone insecurely supported. Small pieces of stone were falling. Mr. Barker with the co-operation of the Agent and others put in additional props to support the roof and erected a timber cage around Tanti. Barker then, using wedges and a heavy hammer, broke up the large stone which was holding Tanti’s feet and continued the work until he was released at about 4 a.m. The actual rescue of the two men took about two and three-quarter hours and Mr. Barker bore the brunt of the work. During the whole of the rescue operations, lasting about four hours, he was exposed to imminent risk of a further collapse of the roof and this actually took place after the two men had been rescued. It proved impossible to recover the bodies of the men buried in the first fall. Both the men who were rescued have fully recovered and have no permanent injuries.