Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

Rescue Station Man Dies Friday 6th Sept 1957

Bernard Foyster Tells How Men Train at Ilkeston to Save Miner's Lives
Mostly from Ilkeston Advertiser Friday Sept 1957
Down Your Way

Carole Dick from Alberta, Canada would like to know more about Arthur Syson,
Philip's first boss at Ilkeston Mines Rescue. She is a Syson descendent and is working on The Family Tree. Please email me if you can help. In the meantime read their stories.

A LOCAL MAN who took part in rescue operations at Creswell Colliery after the pit disaster in 1951, died at his home, at 63 Manners Road, on Monday after a short illness. He was 59 year old Arthur Syson, who had been superintendent at Ilkeston Mines Rescue Station for 21 years.

Probably one of Ilkeston's most decorated men, Mr. Syson had been at the station for 35 years.

Leaving Manners Colliery as an ordinary miner Arthur started work as a fireman at the Rescue Station in 1922. Tremendously keen on his work and exceedingly efficient, he was made second officer in 1925 and first officer a year later and by 1936 had been promoted to superintendent.

During his time at the station Mr. Syson helped with rescue work at the Bolsover Colliery fire of 1931; the Clipstone Colliery fire of 1932, the Markham Colliery explosion of 1938 and the Fould Ordnance explosion, near Burton-on-Trent, in 1944 where he received a certificate for bravery. Among certificates and medals he held were the North Midland Coal Owners' Rescue Station Company Ltd., Certificate of Rescue and Firefighting, the First Class Civilian Anti-gas Precautions certificate, the N.C.B. certificate for Rescue Work, the N.C.B Long Service Medal, the First Aid medallion and bars, Home Nursing certificate Mines Rescue Officers' certificate and an award for bravery in the Foulds Ordnance explosion.

He was a complete master of his work and, even, after so many years, he still brought to it an enthusiasm which communicated itself to the many people with whom he came in contact.

Mr. Syson's duties left him little time for outside activities since rescue men have to be so much on call, however he was a member of Ilkeston Round Table, and his hobbies were nature walking, sketching and painting. Whenever possible he also liked to visit the Manor Ground football matches and was one of the earliest season ticket holders in the new stand.

He will be greatly missed, both for his professional efficiency and for the friendliness and helpfulness which endeared him to so many. He leaves a widow and one son.

The Funeral

The funeral service was held at the Congregational Church, Wharncliffe Road, on Wednesday morning. It was conducted by the minister, the Rev. R. J. Frost, and was followed by cremation at Markeaton.

Family mourners were: Mr. Arthur Russell Syson (son), Mr, John W. Syson (brother), Mrs. E.F. Gowett (sister), Mr Fred Cholerton (brother-in-law), Mr. Sydney Norman and Mrs. L. C. Greenough (nephew and niece). Mrs. Syson was not well enough to attend.

Mine rescue station representatives were; Mr. A. J. G. Coulshed (Divisional Rescue Station Manager representing East Midlands rescue organisations), Mr. H. Hyde (N.C.B. Area No.5 Safety Engineer, representing No. 5 Area officials), Mr. W. Jackson (N.C.B. Area No. 6 Safety Engineer, representing No. 6 Area Officials), Mr. Sheffield (representing Ilkeston Mine Rescue Station). Supt. A. Bonser (Chesterfield Mine Rescue Station), Supt. F. N. Quinn (Mansfield Mine Rescue Station), Station Officer J. G. Wilson (Ashby Mine Rescue Station), Mr. J. Martin and Mr. G. Bevan (Mapperley Colliery Rescue Team).

Other mourners included: Mr. L. C. Greenough, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Keeling, Mr. C. Keeling, Mrs. C. Sheffield, Mr. F. Huckle, Mrs. W. Jackson, Mrs. M. F. Scattergood, Mrs. R. Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. F. Redman, Mrs. M. Beardmore, Mrs. S. A. C. Harrison, Mrs. J. Thornhill, Mrs. G. Davies.

Bearers were Brigadesmen E. Cocking, G. Weston, T. Rainbird and Phil. Healey.