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Normally called Gordon by the family he was born 1868. He died at age 40 in 1908 in Siberia. Edwin North age 12 lived at 31 Surrey Square Newington with his father. He married Julie Mathews, place and date not yet known.  He is next recorded working for Rio Tinto Spain 1898 as a chemist. 


26/7/88 Assistant chemist at London Laboratory on salary of 80 per annum, aged 20

28/2/898 Transferred to mines in Spain as 2nd assistant at salary of 150 per PA

15/5/90 To be 2nd class assistant in laboratory at 200 PA

13/4/93 Transferred to second assistant cementation at 200 PA  

30/11/94 50 granted to erect furnaces to carry on his experiments for elimination of arsenic from precipitate.

4/4/95 promoted to succeed Mr Carswell at cementation at 250 PA

6/6/95 granted short leave to England to see his dying sister. (His sister Lavinia died in 1895 so this must have been her since all other sisters accounted for)

20/2/96 bonus of 100 in recognition of services over arsenic kiln

12/7/1997 a son born (Frank Weevil Gordon North) recorded in Rio Tinto so family must have been with him, when he was aged 29

29/1/98 recommended for chief of Suplhate salary rised to 275 PA

7/7/99 bonus of 10% of salary 27.10

26/7/90 explians how he proposes to come within clause 4 of his agreement

1901 salary raised to 300 PA

27/2/02 resignation accepted (15/5/02 bonus of two months salary)

Information by courtesy of Rio Tinto PLC

So he left Rio Tinto aged 34. We know that Edwin Gordon North went to work in Siberia at the Spassky Copper Mine in Siberia but we are not sure when. Nelson Fell, an american who negotiated the purchase of the Spassky mine wrote “Russian and Nomad” about his travels in Siberia and his story of the management of the mine paints a picture of a tough life 400 miles miles from the nearest rail head. The mine was manned by a small army of Kirghiz (local steppes dwellers) as carriers, miners and laborers and Russian mechanics, engineers and accountants. Remember this was just before the Russian Revolution, so many disputes arose especially with the Russian Staff.  Foreigners were few, but Edwin was one of them. As conditions were tough he probably did not take his family, which may explain why he only had one child.  His son went to Clifton in England in 1907.

He was killed in 1908 and there is a memorial on the ground in Siberia

“A great fight and a good death”

Word of mouth from his wife Julie (above date not known), reports Edwin died trying to save a colleague from falling into a furnace but fell in himself

Memorial to Edwin at the Spassky Copper mine in Amounsk, South of Omsk West Siberia

Edwin, date not known

Follow up research continues

The Mines Handbook: An Enlargement of the Copper Hand Book; a Manual of the by Walter Harvey Weed (1920)
"Spassky COPPER MINE, LTD. SIBERIA Office: JA Clark, sec., Finsbury House, Bloomfield St., London. FC 2, England. Sir A. Fell, chairman of board of directors ..."

Fell family contacted 20/11/08. Nelson Fell was there in 1908. Companies house approached 3/12/08

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