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Who are the Bevin Boys?

  • When Britain declared war in 1939, thousands of experienced miners left the mines to join the armed services or transfer to higher-paid "war industries".
  • By the summer of 1943 more than 36,000 men had left the coal industry and the Government decided it needed around 40,000 men to take their places.
  • Labour and National Service Minister Ernest Bevin devised a scheme whereby a ballot put a proportion of conscripts into the collieries rather than the armed services.
  • Alongside the ballotees were also men who volunteered for service in the coal mines rather than military.
  • Between 1943 and 1948, 48,000 young men were conscripted for National Service Employment in British coal mines - they were known as the Bevin Boys.
  • It is thought around 5,000 miners lost their lives during the war.

Wartime miners' memorial to be unveiled

A memorial will be dedicated to the Bevin Boys. Credit: PA Wire

A memorial will be dedicated to thousands of men, known as the Bevin Boys, who worked in British coal mines during the Second World War.

The memorial at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire, is designed by Harry Parkes, a former Bevin Boy, and features four blocks of Kilkenny limestone.

One features an engraving of the emblem of the Memorial Campaign along with the words: "We also served 1943 - 1948".

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Miners trapped in cave-in for almost a week

Nine workers trapped inside since last Thursday have been rescued from the Cabezo de Negro mine in Peru.

The cave-in was caused by an explosion they set off. The mine is one of many "informal" and unregulated mines dotted across the country.

The rescue mission was witnessed by President Ollanta Humala who urged "informal" companies to register their workers and improve safety measures.

Nine miners rescued in Peru

The first miner to be rescued from the Cabeza de Negro mine in Peru. Credit: Mariana Bazo / Reuters

Nine miners have been rescued after spending five days trapped in a collapsed gold and copper mine in Peru.

The men have been stuck about 656 feet below the ground since last Thursday.

Pariona (pictured above) was the first miner to be rescued from the mine outside Cabeza de Negro. He was greeted by the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala who said:

"All of them are healthy but obviously dehydrated and dizzy. They need to get used to the sun still, that's why they are wearing sunglasses."

A rescued miner is escorted outside this morning Credit: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo