The Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct was awarded to eleven men due to their efforts to save the life of another miner who was trapped in a roof fall in Kilton Ironstone Mine on January 13 1956.
Edward Bendall, a 42 year old loaderman was ten minutes from the end of his shift in the south east Cross Cut District of the mine when he was caught by a heavy roof fall.
One and a half miles from the shaft bottom, twenty tons came crashing through the roof destroying the supporting steel and timber. Bendall was hit, face down and only able to move his head an inch. Fortunately, the fallen steel and timber had saved him from being completely crushed.
His colleagues worked for four hours while pieces of roof were still falling around them. Mine manager, Mr. Andrew Turnbull sent to the surface for two jacks, with which they were able to lift the stone just an inch at a time around Bendall. Until it was jacked up eighteen inches and Bendall's upper body was free. His legs however, were pinned under the timber supports. Working in relays, the rescuers sawed the timber surrounding Bendall, ultimately freeing him. Bendall remained conscious throughout the rescue but did endure a fractured leg, wound to his arm and multiple abrasions.
Kilton Pit Bravery Team who rescued Edward Bendall 1956 Message under photograph reads: The rescue team at Kilton Mine back row: l - r. W Bendall, joiner, R.E. Johnson, back overman. Ivan Zagrovic, R. Brown, E Dove, loadermen, W. Wnek, fitter Front row: l - r. George Woodall, haulage hand, J.R. Carter , senior overman, A. Turnbull, mine manager, D. Pearson, deputy, E. Bendall, loaderman (buried under fall of roof), F. Morris, head loco, fitter.
The rescuers were awarded the Queens Commendation for Brave Conduct in 1956, presented by Princess Margaret. From 1946 onwards civilians received a silver metal laurel leaf and a bronze oak leaf for armed forces personnel.
Information for this blog has been gathered from newspaper articles including the Evening Gazette, 1956.
As a newcomer to the area and to ironstone mining, I had many questions in my mind about the communities that supported this industry.
The Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct was awarded to eleven men after a roof fall in Kilton Mine, January 13th 1956
The following articles have been extracted from local and national newspapers for the period 1871 to 1881
A miner's tribute to his father