Andrew was born (into a coal mining family) in Southwick on the north bank of the river Wear, just north of the city of Sunderland. After his birth the family moved to the mining village of Ludworth in County Durham, where his father had secured a job in a coal mine which included a colliery company cottage. Such was the way in those bygone days sons followed fathers into the mines and Andrew was no different he went down the mine at the age of 13 in 1906.
At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 Andrew then 21 was caught up in the mood of the nation, along with thousands of other young men, he enlisted. He joined the Durham Light infantry and was posted to the army’s training camp on Cannock Chase, where he became a sergeant training officer. The coalminers in the First World War unlike their counterparts in the Second World War were not in a protected industry and so were free to enlist as thousands did. The inevitable happened and he was sent to France, while he was there and most likely on the Somme, he was wounded it was a Blighty one and he came back to York from where he was discharge from the army in April 1917.
During his time at Hednesford he became an accomplished one mile runner and won many trophies for the army. It was whilst at Hednesford that he met the local girl Florence Olive who would later become his wife. After his discharge he returned to Hednesford and married the young lady he had met on that earlier stay, he again took up his old job of coalmining and was employed as a fireman (deputy) underground at West Cannock Colliery Company’s No.3 mine on Greenheath Common now Pye green Valley.
He would also return to his second love running and became a member of Birchfield Harriers in Birmingham and had a successful time with them winning many races at a the mile distance.
In 1927 he became a member No.3 pits rescue team and trained at the Cannock Chase mines rescue brigade headquarters in Victoria Street Hednesford. In 1930 the team won medals in the area rescue competition and again in 1931 & 1932.
On June 6th 1933 Andrew would have the unenviable task of captaining one of the teams that was called to the underground methane explosion at the West Cannock Company’s No.5 mine at Brindley Heath Hednesford in which six men lost their lives and many were injured by the blast and fireball.
Andrew left West Cannock No.3 in 1939 due to health problems and took up a job with Cannock Urban District Council as an ambulance driver. He continued this employment until in 1946, with the soldiers returning from the war he was made redundant by the council. He returned to his old job at West Cannock No.3 pit and would later transfer to West Cannock No.5 pit on the closure of No.3 in 1949.
He retired in 1958 at 65 years of age and enjoyed a further 11 years of retirement until his death in 1969.