Home > 250th Anniversary Stories > Man saves girl of 4 who had fallen into a fissure

Man saves girl of 4 who had fallen into a fissure

Year 1916

Read by Neil Sayer – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn
Play Video

Hockey, Edward, Lance Corporal, Tyne Royal Engineers.

At 11.15 a.m. on the 25th November, 1916, Irene McDonnell, aged 4, was walking along the street at West Hetton, Durham, when the ground suddenly gave way and she disappeared. It was found that she had fallen down a new pit crack, and could not be seen, but was heard crying. A pit lamp was let down and it was found that she was wedged between the sides of the fissure 45 to 50 feet below the surface.

Corporal Hockey at once volunteered to go to her help, and with a lamp and rope attached to him he was lowered down; but in order to avoid the danger of loose stones falling on the girl the descent was made some distance away. After an hour’s hard work he got within a few feet of her and then stuck fast. He was, however, able to lower a rope to her and draw her up till he got hold of her hand, and both were then pulled to the surface. The child was fortunately little the worse, but Corporal Hockey was completely exhausted by his efforts.

There was great risk from falling stones or from the fissure closing up.

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn

More about the Royal Humane Society