Monday, June 4, 2012

Local hero remembered

Every now and again a relative of someone who has donated an object, or was involved in a historic event gets in touch with us and last week Paul Miziewicz, on holiday from Australia, came to see us.

His Great Grandfather, George William Beaman was a coal miner at South Kirkby Colliery. Following a series of explosions in August  1935, Beaman risked his life as part of rescue parties to recover trapped and injured miners.  10 men were killed but it would have been more if it wasn’t for the bravery of Beaman and his fellow rescue team.

Beaman and two other rescuers, Norman Baster and James Pollitt were awarded the Edward Medal (the civilian equivalent to the George Cross which recognises military bravery) and the medal is now in the museum collections.  It was displayed as part of the '50' exhibition at Wakefield Museum and at Pontefract Museum in 2010/11.
Curator John Whitaker (left) and Paul Miziewicz (right) looking at Paul's Great Grandfather's Edward Medal last week

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