William Downing Wooley EM

b. 12/12/1884 Newport, Wales.  d. 19/02/1970 Weybridge, Surrey.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 18/05/1912 Markham Colliery, Tredegar, Wales.

William was one of two sons born to Henry James and Adah Downing Wooley (nee Evans), born at 45 York Place, Newport, Wales. Sadly his father died when he was just two whilst he was overseas in Marseilles, France. William’s mother remarried soon afterwards, and she moved to Carleon. He married Gladys Kate Parry on 25th April 1911 at St Cradoc’s Church, Carleon, and they would have two sons Keith and Geoffrey. Following the award of the Edward Medal, he became the General Manager and Agent of Markham Colliery in 1923. By the outbreak of World War II, he had become the Managing Director of the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company. Little is known of his later life, though in retirement he moved to Surrey, where he died in Weybridge on 19th February 1970, aged 85.



On the 18th of May last an explosion of firedamp occurred at one of the pits which was in process of sinking at the Markham Colliery, Tredegar, and resulted in the death of five men. At the time of the explosion two men were down the shaft, which was then full of afterdamp. A rescue party was organised, consisting of the men above-mentioned, who descended the shaft, and after an hour’s work reached the pump lodge room at a depth of 350 yards from the surface, where they found a man named Snashall, who was badly burned. After some difficulty they managed to get Snashall into the bucket, in which he was safely raised to the surface. All the rescuers were equipped with breathing apparatus, but Mr. Wooley had not previously worn it.