b. 25/12/1885 Stanghow, Yorkshire. d. 29/03/1978 Cleveland, Durham.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 17/12/1935 Loftus Ironstone Mine, Yorkshire.
George Christopher Heslop (1885-1978) was born on Christmas Day 1885 at Seaton Hill House, Stanghow, near Lingdale, Yorkshire, the son of Christopher and Susannah Elizabeth Heslop (nee Hartley). His father was a mining engineer and was manager of the local ironstone mine. George had three sisters, Margaret, Ethel and Amy. George married Eva Spink in Chester in 1913 and they had three daughters, though sadly, Eva, drowned at sea.
George served in World War I in France first with the Royal Engineers then with the Durham Light Infantry ending the conflict with the rank of Captain. On 4th June 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross. After the end of the Great War. George became a Mine Manager and Agent in a number of mines in the county of Yorkshire. In 1932, George became the manager of Loftus Ironstone Mine , and set about modernising the equipment and re-negotiating contracts.
On 17th December 1935, a roof fall occurred. John Henry and Henry Murrell were buried in the debris. On arriving at the scene, although falls were still occurring, he at once crawled under the fall into a cavity of about 2ft until he reached Henry, but could not free him as his legs were trapped. He then instructed the men to pile a road through the fall to protect Henry from further falls. Then he again crawled under the fall and located Murrell, who was pinned by his foot. Heslop gave him a stimulant and then worked strenously for 4 hours in a cavity so small that there was room for only 1 person, until he freed him. Falls were continually occurring and he was in danger of being buried himself. Despite warnings, he managed to free Henry and being trapped for 8 hours. Shortly afterwards there was a heavy fall and whole piling which had been built to assist in the rescue collapsed. Sadly both rescued men died later from shock.
On 15th July 1936, George was invested with the Edward Medal in Bronze by King Edward VIII at Buckingham Palace. George continued to work at Loftus Mine for over twenty years, before retiring in 1951. A very private man, who was not keen to discuss his Edward Medal action, it was unsurprising that following the change in the Royal Warrant in 1971, he turned down the opportunity to exchange his EM for a George Cross.
George died peacefully on 29th March 1978 in hospital in Brotton, Yorkshire, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Saltburn Cemetery. His medals including his EM. MC, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19, and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are not publicly held.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: SALTBURN CEMETERY, SALTBURN, NORTHUMBERLAND. (UNMARKED).