John Thomas “Tom” Baker EM

John Thomas “Tom” Baker (14/04/1912 – 07/12/2000) was awarded the Edward Medal for his actions at the South Garesfield Colliery on 17 May 1929

“He was 17 years old and working at the South Garesfield Colliery when Deputy Richard Lowes was injured during blasting operations. Baker went down the pit with James Purvis and Overman Robert Glendenning; collecting a tram and stretcher, they went in search of the deputy. They were joined by Hewers John Kenny and Samuel Hughff. Meanwhile another party of 5 men had attempted a rescue, but 4 of them had become overcome with gas while the 5th crawled out just in time. The overman organised his party and through repeated efforts they succeeded in extricating the 5 men, 3 of whom were dead. The rescue party were all affected by the fumes and both Kenny and Hughff were overcome and had to be removed. For an hour, during which time the atmosphere was thick with smoke and gas, they knowingly and repeatedly risked their lives in determined efforts to save the lives of their colleagues. There is no doubt that the death toll would have been higher if it was not for their actions.”

He is buried in Windmill Road Cemetery, Coventry.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/03/2017. Images and information courtesy of Mark Green