The Forest of Dean.

Bygone Days

   Bygone Days.

Accidents & Rescues.

   Funeral of a Local Hero.

Brave action at Colliery recalled.

Forest of Dean Mercury - September 6th 1935.
The funeral of Mr Joseph Hale of Bowson House, near Cinderford, took place at Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Hale who was in his 80th year, was the son of Mr and Mrs John Hale of Upper Lydbrook, both of whom were well respected in the district. He was the last surviving son of a family of five sons and two daughters. Two of his brothers, both of an adventurous disposition, went to America in their youth and died there.

Mr Hale started work at the Trafalgar Colliery in his youth and worked there until his retirement about twelve years ago. By dint of hard work he attained the position of under-manager, a position he occupied for about 46 years.

While in this office, Mr Hale experienced one of the most thrilling episodes of his life, for when a fire broke out in the colliery in the year 1900 he distinguished himself by a gallant rescue of two men’s lives.

His bravery was noted by the Royal Humane Society and he was presented with a medal which always remained one of his most treasured possessions. He was also presented with a beautiful clock by the directors of the colliery. The clock bears the following inscription "Presented to Mr Joseph Hale, under-manager of Trafalgar Colliery, by the Directors of the Company, for bravery in rescuing two men from death. lst March 1900."

Mr Hale was also a very old member of the Freeminers and several representatives from this association attended the funeral.
It is interesting to note that Mr Hale was the oldest member of four generations in his family. There is his daughter Mrs A. Green, of Temple Guiting, near Cheltenham, who herself has a married daughter, Mrs K. Holder, of The Bungalow, Hawkwell. Eleven months ago a son was born to Mrs Holder and “ Tim,” as he has been christened, completed the fourth generation.

"A Wonderful Man"
Mr Hale was a wonderful man in many respects Up to the last he never had to wear glasses and his hearing was extremely good. His health kept so well that in all his life he never had to stay in bed for a day through illness. He made a wonderful recovery from an accident which occurred nine months ago, when he sustained a broken thigh when skittling and at the time of his death he was able to walk quite well without any support. He had to receive treatment at the Dilke Memorial Hospital for his thigh and when he returned he could not speak too highly of the kind and careful attention he had received there. His happy disposition quickly made him friends with both nurses and other patients alike and only recently he had received a friendly visit from one of the nurses at his home.

Mr Hale leaves three sons {all married} and two daughters. One of the daughters, Emily, has recently taken up an appointment at Pillowell School as head mistress whilst the other daughter, Ada, has been a District Nurse in the Cotswolds for the last 16 years.

Mrs Hale died about 12 years ago and at the funeral last Tuesday Mr Hale was laid to rest in the same grave. Two sons who died in their youth are buried in the same graveyard.

There were many mourners at the funeral, for during his life Mr Hale endeared himself to all he met through his good humour and ready sympathy.

The service in the church and at the grave-side was conducted by the Vicar of St Stephens, Cinderford the Rev. F. W. Potto Hicks.

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