Edward Medal Exchange George Cross, £10,000 at Baldwin’s.

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Richard King (1905-83) was one of 19 men who worked in perilous conditions to rescue coal hewer Frederick Beaumont at the South Moor Colliery in County Durham after a roof had collapsed.

A tiny passage way about 2ft square was the only practicable method of rescue with the shaft cleared stone by stone by men working in shifts for nine hours. Shortly after Beaumont was rescued the whole of the tunnel collapsed.

King received the Edward Medal for courage in 1931 (later donating it the Beamish Museum) and was the only one of the 19 recipients to exchange his medal for the George Cross. It made £10,000.