Lyme Colliery Explosion 1949

For some weeks, work to seal off the No1 pit, which was worked out, had been going on. The work was very hot due to heating and men employed in the task had been taken to hospital suffering from heat exhaustion.

At 5.45 on the morning of 16th September 1949, just as the night shift was off duty there was a terrific explosion which blew out a massive stopping constructed of sand and cement.

The mines Rescue Team from Boothstown was summoned and a team of five men went down the pit. Two of them lost their lives and another had a very escape. Jimmy Page aged 34 years and Harold Clare aged 48 years were both overcome by gas and Herbert Evitts aged 44 years was found unconscious and dragged to safety by William Seth Parr aged 33 years.

Evitts received the British Empire Medal and Seth Parr the George Medal. The citation in the 'London Gazette' read:- "In taking the decision to safety Parr was fully aware of the extreme risk . . . he had little oxygen left, and it was clear that, if he collapsed himself he could not rely on others helping him. . ."

Dear W Shaw

It is with great pleasure I have learnt that his Majesty The King has been graciously pleased to award you a COMMENDATION in recognition of the courage and gallantry you displayed on the occasion of the 15th September, 1949.The Divisional board are delighted you have been honoured in this way, and takes this opportunity of conveying to you their congratulations and best wishes.

May I add my own sincere congratulations to those already expressed and wish you every success in the future.

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