William Kemp EM

b. ? d. ?

DATE OF EM ACTION: 26/04/1911 Camborne, Cornwall.

Little is known about the life of William Kemp other than his actions at the East Pool and Agar United Mines in Camborne, Cornwall on 26th April 1911. He was presented with his EM by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 6th March 1912.



On April 26th, 1911, three men employed at the East Pool and Agar United Mines at Camborne were descending to their work and were accidentally lowered into an accumulation of water, which was known to exist but had greatly increased during the previous night without the knowledge of the management. Two of the men, who were on the outside of the skip, jumped off; but the man who was inside was drowned. One of the two survivors caught hold of a ladder and managed to climb up the shaft to safety, while the other held on tO an air pipe, but was afraid to jump across the intervening space to the ladder. On the alarm being given, Opie immediately came down the shaft to try and get this man out; but failed to reach him. Accompanied by Kemp, he then descended another shaft and travelled along cross cut to the shaft where the man was hanging. This cross cut was nearly filled with water, which was constantly rising, and at one point actually touched the roof. Opie, at the risk of his life, plunged under the water, came up on the other side, and made his way to the shaft where the man was hanging. He succeeded in bringing him out by dragging him through the water in the cross cut. Kemp did not go under water, but stayed in a position of considerable danger to maintain a light while the man was being brought out. These Medals were presented personally by the King at Buckingham Palace, on the 6th of March, 1912.