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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 34, August 22, 2010, Article 27

ARTICLE PROFILES 1881 CHOW BENT BATTLE MEDAL AWARDEE

The Leigh Reporter of Leigh, England published an article about medal releated to an 1881 labor skirmish. I wish they'd bothered to publish an image of the medal - few details can be seen in the one picture with the article. Has anyone come across this medal before? How many were made? -Editor

1881 Chow Bent medal This rare medal is close to Frances Wilcock's heart.

Frances, 63, has two medals given to her great grandfather John Unsworth for his role in 'The Battle of Howe Bridge' in 1881.

The famous incident saw a mass protest of local miners following a strike to protect the rights of workers injured in the pit.

Striking miners from other areas marched to Atherton to join the protest against those who crossed the picket line.

Fletcher Burrows workers, who decided not to join the strike, had to be protected by troops and magistrates close to the bridge over Colliers Brook, in Leigh Road in the town.

Mrs Wilcock, of Manor Grove, Leigh, has the medal awarded to her great-grandfather by his fellow miners after he helped to prevent the authorities from catching them.

She said: "My great-grandfather was one of the first miners to reach long meadow that day, when he was hotly pursued by the military.

"He held the field gate open to allow the miners to pass, and then closed it on the military thus allowing the miners to get away. For this action he was later presented with a medal.

"One one side are the words "Chow Bent Battle 1881" and on the reverse is the Royal Coat of Arms, which was ironic as they were fighting the Queen's men."

To read the complete article, see: Frances shows off piece of history (www.leighreporter.co.uk/leigh-news/Frances
-shows-off-piece-of.6481374.jp)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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