Thomas Jameson GC (EM exchanger)

b. 14/02/1898 Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire d. 29/03/1980 Buckley, Wrexham, Wales.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 14-15/02/1940 Bold Colliery, St Helens.

Thomas Jameson (1898-1980) was born on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 1898 in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, one of eight children for Thomas Jameson and his wife Mary (nee Donohue). Thomas Senior worked on the railways and on the 1901 Census was described as a “hingemaker”.

Thomas Jameson GC

Thomas Junior attended schooling at St Thomas’ in Ashton until the age of 14 when he decided to take up a career in mining. He was very keen to better himself and his prospects, and once his shift down the pit was over, he attended night classes at Wigan Mining and Technical College, and attained qualifications that enabled him to gain promotions until he became Colliery Manager in Ashton and then, for a short time, in the Potteries.

In 1927, Thomas married Jessie Shaw, a local tailoress, and they went on to have a daughter. Thomas moved to work at Bold Colliery, near St Helens, Merseyside in the late 1930s, and this was where the incident occurred which led to the award of the George Cross.

On Valentines Day 1940 (his 42nd birthday coincidentally), there was a serious roof fall in the main loading level, completely trapping 5 men. Rescue operations started immediately and within 1 and a quarter hours the first man, Heyes, was freed. He walked out of the pit unaided and was able to tell the pit agent, Thomas Jameson, who had arrived and taken charge, the approximate location of the other 4 men. Jameson, assisted by Carl Schofield, whose father was one of the buried men, removed stones and earth, working only with their hands, there being no room to use a shovel. The rescue operation continued, with William Jones, Perry Broughton, Joe Hughes, Richard Mayor and Mr Howitt taking turns, and after a prolonged effort Cunningham was freed by 2am the next morning. During this time there was another fall from the side which pinned Jones by the leg, but he was freed uninjured. At about 3am, Tulley was also rescued. The last two men, including Schofield’s father, could be seen but were dead. Their bodies were recovered later. The death toll would have been much higher without the heroism of Jameson and Schofield.

On the 8th October 1940, it was announced in the London Gazette, that both Thomas Jameson and Carl Schofield had been awarded the Edward Medal. In 1944, Thomas moved to work at Gresford Colliery in North Wales as Colliery Manager, where he remained until the formation of the National Coal Board (NCB) in 1947. He then moved again to the Midlands as Area General Manager and finally Labour Relations Manager for the Midlands Coal Board in 1960. He retired in 1964 to Prestatyn, North Wales though continued to be involved in mining by acting as the employer’s representative at the Industrial Tribunal Court. He and Jessie then moved to be closer to their daughter, Margaret, who was living in Buckley. Margaret had recently married and was a doctor. In December 1972, Thomas was presented at home with his George Cross, which he chosen to exchange his Edward Medal for, following the change in the Royal Warrant the year before.

Thomas died peacefully on 29th March 1980 in Buckley, and was cremated at Pentre Bychan, Wrexham Crematorium. His ashes were scattered in Plot No 4 on the banks of the lily pool. Thomas’ GC, and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are privately held.