WOODWARD, Charles Edgar [of Worksop]

Photo:Detonation of the Hawthorne Ridge Mine that made the Lochnagar Crater, July 1st 1916

Detonation of the Hawthorne Ridge Mine that made the Lochnagar Crater, July 1st 1916

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'WOODWARD, Charles Edgar [of Worksop]' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'WOODWARD, Charles Edgar [of Worksop]' page
Photo:1920s postcard showing the enormous crater which can still be visited today

1920s postcard showing the enormous crater which can still be visited today

A highly-decorated mining officer

By Ralph Lloyd-Jones

Charles Edgar Woodward was born in Worksop on January 5th 1887, son of steel manufacturer Robert and his wife Clara.  He was educated at Giggleswick Grammar School, Yorkshire. In 1912 he gained his Certificate of Surveying and qualified First Class as a Mines Manager. When the First World War broke out he volunteered as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross, arriving in France as early as October 1914.

 

By December 1915 he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, receiving his Commission and becoming a Captain shortly afterwards. He and his 179th Tunnelling Company were instrumental in digging the famous Lochnagar Crater mine at La Boiselle in the Battle of the Somme.

 

Having already been awarded the Military Cross he received the DSO (Distinguished Service Order)  for locating and defusing twelve delayed-action mines which the retreating Germans had planted as booby-traps, 25th October to 17th November 1918. It is worth noting that that takes one to nearly a week after the 11th November Armistice: the fighting had ended, but there was still dangerous work to be done.

 

In the 1920s he worked at Bolsover, Cresswell and Rufford Collieries before becoming first Manager at the new Clipstone pit in 1925. Later he was Manager of Thoresby. In the Second World War he was Superintendent of the Mansfield Special Constabulary, being appointed MBE in 1944.

 

 He died in May 1948 aged 61.

His original trench maps are kept in Mansfield Library and may be seen on application to the Local Studies Librarian.

This page was added by Ralph Lloyd-Jones on 31/07/2014.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.