January 1904

January 5th 1904 P. O´Malley

Age: 13 Door-boy Run over by Tubs

Sad Fatality At Denaby Colliery – Boy´s Fatal Slip.

The enquiry into the death of Patrick O´Malley, aged thirteen years, who had received shocking injuries in the Denaby Colliery on Monday night, death resulting later at the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, took place at the Hospital yesterday, before Mr. J. Kenyon-Parker, deputy coroner.

Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent, and Mr. C. Bury, manager, represented the Colliery Co. whilst Mr. W.H. Pickering, H.M. Inspector of Mines was also present.

Deceased´s brother, John O´Malley, who worked as a trammer in the same district as the deceased was killed, said deceased was only thirteen years of age, and had only worked in the pit one month. He died from his injuries at twenty minute to two on Tuesday morning, in the Montagu Hospital.

Frank Howlett, a trapper, residing with his parents at 4 Cross Hallgate, aged thirteen, said he saw deceased leaving work at 9-45 p.m., and as deceased stepped across the empty line ( on which the empties run ), he was caught by a run of full corves, which knocked him down, dragging him five or six yards, when they stopped in answer to his shout. Deceased was lying between the first and second tubs. Witness ran up the line for assistance.

In answer to Mr. Pickering, witness said the deceased was on his proper road.

Mr. Jackson, the foreman of the jury, asked if it was usual for the tubs to be going when the boys and men were returning from their work ?

The witness said it was.

In answer to further questions, the witness said if deceased could have got to the nearest refuge hole he would not have been able to get in because of the bell-wires.

Albert Smith, living at 39 Tickhill Street, Denaby Main, said he was a corporal in the colliery. He did not hear deceased shout. He was leaving work about 9-50 when a boy came up to him, and said the deceased was under some tubs. He was about one hundred and fifty yards away from the place of the accident. He went and got the deceased out. The rope was stopped before he ( witness ) got up to him. Deceased was lying on his left side in the full road. There were two full tubs passed him, and the others behind him. He was unconscious then. When they were removing him he spoke to a boy named Smeaton, and said, ” Don´t tell my mother.”

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

January 11th 1904 – H. Davis

Age: 19 Driver Struck by brake of self-acting Incline wheels.

Another Fatality At Denaby Pony-driver Killed.

Another shocking fatality occurred at the Denaby Main Colliery on Monday night, making it the second quite recently, the victim being a pony-driver named Henry Davis, living with his parents at 23 Park Road, Mexborough. It appears that about seven o´clock on Monday night he was in the pit-bottom, in the company of Edward Severn, aged fourteen years, and Henry Brammer, sixteen years, pony-drivers. Deceased was sat on the handle of a brake, which prevented the full tubs going down the loop line, whilst a man named John Whitehouse was knocking the blocks off. The tubs suddenly ” sided away ” from the deceased, whilst the brake handle, bouncing up, the deceased´s head was struck against an iron girder in the roof. He died five minutes later.

The Inquest.

The inquest was held yesterday afternoon at the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, before Mr. J. Kenyon-Parker, the deputy coroner.

Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent, and Mr. C. Bury, colliery manager, represented Denaby Main Colliery Co., whilst Mr. J.R. Wilson, Assistant Inspector of Mines was also present.

Thomas Davis, of 23 Park Road, Mexborough, father of the deceased, gave evidence of identification. He used to work in the mine. Deceased was nineteen years of age, and was employed as a pony-driver in the Denaby Main Colliery. He had worked there for upwards of six years. He thought the deceased met his death accidentally. He did not see how any blame could be attached to any one.

John Whitehouse, residing at Church Street, Mexborough, said he was employed as a corporal and jinnier at Denaby Main Colliery. He had known the deceased for five or six years. He saw the deceased the last time before the accident descending the pit between 1-30 and 2-00 o´clock. It was part of his ( deceased´s ) duty, to help him in the jinney. He was ten tubs away from the deceased when the accident happened. When witness had got the tubs attached to the rope the deceased said, ” Are, you alright Jack?” Witness said “Yes” and commenced to knock the blocks out, and deceased put his weight on the brake handle to stop the tubs going down the loop. When he got to the other end of the tubs he found two had `sided-over´, and deceased was on the ground. Deceased said to him, ” Jack, pull my neck”. He pulled his neck and turned him over, deceased asked him to lay him down, and he did so. Deceased died almost immediately. There was a mark on the back of his head where it had been caught by the brake handle. It was his duty to hold the handle down. He would have not have had any difficulty in keeping it down. When he got there the handle was up in the roof. It should not have been in that position. Deceased was used to the handle, and had done it scores and scores of times. His opinion was that the cappel of the rope caught the pin. Witness had never known the cappel to catch before.

Edwin Severn, fourteen years of age, a lamp carrier, residing with his parents at 43 Cross Hallgate, Mexborough, said he had been employed at Denaby Colliery for twelve months. He knew deceased, and was working with him on Monday night. About nine o´clock he was near the jinney wheel. Deceased was sat upon the brake handle. Whitehouse shouted to Davis, “Are you ready?” and deceased said, “Yes”, Whitehouse knocked the blocks out, and the handle flew up and caught him on the head. Witness at once shouted for Whitehouse to come up.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” Mr. John Shaw was foreman of the jury.

April 25th 1904 – G. Jowett

Age: 27 Coalminer Fall of Roof

Denaby Miner Buried Alive – A Terrible Death.

An Inquest was held on Thursday, at the Reresby Arms, touching the death of George Jowett, twenty seven, a miner employed at the Denaby Main Colliery, who was killed at the pit on Monday night. Mr. D. Wightman, the district coroner presided, and there were present, Mr. G.W. Wilson, Assistant Inspector of Mines, Mr. C. Bury, manager of the colliery, and Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent to the colliery company.

Kitty Jowett, wife of the deceased, said he was twenty seven years of age, and was employed as a coalminer. He was a healthy man, and his eyesight and hearing were good. He was killed at his work on Monday last.

Wm. Bradley, filler of the deceased, said he went to work at two o´clock on Monday afternoon. They had been working about five hours when the accident happened. Witness was filling a tub, a deceased was setting a prop. The deputy had been to examine the place about four thirty, and he found it perfectly safe. He did not know whether he (Deputy ) ordered him to set the prop. He made no complaint. Witness was about four yards from the deceased when he heard a fall of roof. He went to him. Deceased was covered by a big fall. They got him out six hours later, dead. Witness did not know of any fault or slip existing.

In answer to the Inspector, witness said the place was well timbered, and there was plenty of loose timber about.

Enoch Sheldon, one of the deputies, said he examined the place in question about four thirty that day. The deceased man Jowett, and the previous witness were working at the time. He could find no fault, but the was a broken prop, and witness asked deceased to set another. He did not think that he was doing this when the accident occurred. He heard of the accident at 7-00 p.m., when he had just finished his round. He went to the place, and found there had been a large fall of roof. The deceased was under it. They endeavoured to get him out, and they were able to speak to him up to ten o´clock, at which time witness thought he died. There was seven or eight feet of dirt on him. In his opinion deceased had suffocated. There was a large lump of coal on his face, and witness took a pick and broke it off, but the small stuff came down on top of deceased.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally Killed.”

May 11th 1904 – T.Wathey

An accident occurred on Tuesday May 11th 1904, at the Cadeby Main Colliery, to a young man named T. Wathey, who sustained a crushed foot. He was taken in the colliery ambulance to his home in Tickhill Street, where he was attended by Dr. Twigg.

July 19th 1904 – Archer Hartley

Age: 18 Pony-driver Run over by Tubs

Colliery Accident At Denaby.

An inquest was held at Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital on Friday afternoon, by deputy coroner, Mr. J. Kenyon-Parker, touching the death of Archer Hartley, a pony-driver residing in Victoria Road, Mexborough, who died shortly after his admittance to the hospital on Wednesday, suffering from serious head injuries received the previous day at Denaby Main Colliery.

Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent, and Mr. C. Bury, manager, represented the Colliery Co. and Mr. James Mellor, Assistant Inspector of Mines, was also present.

Elizabeth Liversedge, of 78 Victoria Road, Mexborough, said she was the mother of the deceased, who was sixteen years of age, and was employed at the Denaby Main Colliery. He was a healthy youth. On Tuesday he went to work about five o´clock in the morning. He was brought to the Hospital the same day ; He was suffering from fractures of the collar-bone and both thighs, necessitating an operation. He succumbed to his injuries later. Although he was conscious he never said anything about the accident.

George Martin, a boy aged thirteen, of 14 Annerley Street, Denaby Main, said he knew deceased. Witness was a door-trapper, employed in the pit, and on the Tuesday he saw deceased many times. It would be somewhere near to twelve o´clock when he was in charge of a pony and a run of full tubs, about ten or fourteen. He saw him being dragged along under the tubs, just before he got through the door, and witness was trapping. Witness did not know how he got under the tubs.

Charles Jacques, aged eighteen, from Hallgate, Mexborough, a dataller, said the last witness fetched him to the assistance of the deceased, and he found him under the second tub. He was badly hurt, but he was quite conscious, and told him that he was running between the chain and the tubs ran over him. He was then taken to the Hospital, and every assistance given to him. The jury returned a verdict of ” Accidentally Killed.”

August 10th 1904 P. Howley Fall of Coal at Cadeby Colliery

Age:30 Coalminer Fall of Coal

August 15th 1904 – J. Ellis

Age: 41 Pump-man Run over by Tubs

Miner Run-over By Coal Tubs.

On Saturday at the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, the coroner for the district, Mr. Dossey Wightman, held an inquiry respecting the death of John Ellis, pump-man of Denaby.

Mr. Biggs was foreman of the jury, and present at the inquiry were Mr. J. Pickering, H.M. Inspector of Mines, and Mr. C. Bury manager Denaby Main Colliery.

Caroline Ellis, wife of the deceased, said he was forty one years of age, and employed as a pump-man at Denaby Main Colliery, where he had filled his last position for about eight years. He was a healthy man and was injured on 15th of August, being conveyed to Mexborough Montagu Hospital at once. Witness after -wards saw him in that institution, but he did not tell her how he got injured. He never blamed anybody, and died in the Hospital on the 25th of August. He was insured by the Prudential Assurance Co.

John Collins, corporal at the Denaby pit, said he worked with the deceased, who was a pump-man in the pit. Witness saw him on August 15th before he was injured – the time was 7-15 p.m. and they were on the Montagu Plane.

Deceased was examining a tap about fifteen yards off when the witness first saw him. Witness left him to go further down the plane, and when he returned two minutes later the rope was going. It was a double road, with full tubs going one way, and the empty ones the other. Deceased was standing on the empty side, with his back to the oncoming empty tubs, with the result that the latter caught him. When witness shouted to warn him, he turned right round, turning his back to the oncoming full tubs, with the result that the latter caught him. Unfortunately he stepped into danger, instead of out of it. There was a manhole within a yard of the spot where the accident occurred. After the deceased had stepped out of the empty road into the full road, witness shouted twice to warn him. As soon as he fell, witness rapped the signal, and the engine-man stopped within the length of two tubs. His legs were badly smashed.

A verdict of ” Accidental Death ” was returned.

June 19th 1904 P. Connelly

Age: 22 Filler Died from Natural Causes

An Irishman´s Death At Denaby.

The Inquest.

The circumstances surrounding the death of an Irishman named Patrick Connelly, aged twenty two, who died in the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital on Sunday, following his removal from the Cadeby Colliery, were enquired into by the deputy coroner, Mr. J. Kenyon-Parker, at the Hospital on Saturday afternoon.

Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent, represented the Colliery Company.

Thomas Connelly said he lived at Doonan, in County Galway, Ireland, and he was father of the deceased, who was twenty two years of age. He had not seen him for fifteen months. He did not think he had been in Mexborough more than a few days. He did not know what he had been doing during the time he had been in England, but he was used to farming work. Witness did not know that his son was ill. He ( deceased ) had sent him £7 last September, and also some money at Christmas.

Dr. Chas. Wilkinson, said he was a registered medical practitioner, and was assistant to Dr. Huey, of Mexborough, who was on the medical staff connected with the hospital. It was part of their duty to attend to patients in the hospital. Witness saw deceased on Sunday, and he was then in an unconscious condition. He formed an opinion as to what he was suffering from – he thought meningitis – but it was so obscured that he could that he could not give a definite statement. He had made a post-mortem examination of the body on Tuesday afternoon, when he found the cause of death was meningitis, or inflammation of the brain and it´s coverings. It was always difficult to say what was the cause of it. The internal organs were all healthy, but very much congested, which they would expect to find from such a condition. He did not find any marks of violence. There were no fractures of the skull, and he did not find any bruises. In this case, although meningitis could be caused by a blow, he did not think that was so.

Patrick Gavin, miner, living at 32 Balby Street, New Conisbrough, said he did not know the deceased. He saw him on Saturday morning in the West District of the Cadeby pit. Deceased had only started that morning, having been employed by the company. He was `filling´ for witness and a man called John Hewitt. He did not seem used to the work, although he told witness he had been employed in a pit before. He seemed all right then, and then filled five tubs ; he then rested for about quarter of an hour, and filled two more tubs, but again sat down on the bank, saying he felt tired, and did not feel at all well. Deceased´s lamp had gone out, and having had it re-lighted, Hewitt handed it to him, but deceased swung round and hit him on the shoulder. Connelly then laid down on the floor. Witness did not see him hit his head on the roof. There was no fight, and the deceased had been very quiet all morning. When the corporal came up he was unconscious.

James Toole, of 5 Lea View, Conisbrough, said he was a corporal in the Cadeby pit. He did not know the deceased, but saw him in the pit on Saturday morning, about 11-30 a.m., in the `gob´ looking very ill. He put his coat around his head, and all at once jumped up, striking his head against the roof. He did not sustain a severe blow, he rushed across the road, staggered about a bit, and then fell to the ground.

John Hewitt, of North Cliff Road, Conisbrough, also gave evidence. Deceased filled four tubs on Saturday morning. He remembered him going and sitting in the `gob´ ; he seemed to him to be over-taxed. He shouted for water, and witness brought him a bottle. As soon as he got to him deceased reeled and swung his lamp round, hitting witness on the shoulder. He did not think it was intentional ; he thought he was saving himself from falling. He did not see him strike his head against the roof.

The Coroner said the evidence bore out the doctor´s opinion. The jury returned a verdict that ” Deceased died from Natural Causes.”

Mr. C. Lazenby was foreman of the jury.

September 10th 1904 – Sam Wagstaff

Thrilling Experiences Of A Denaby Miner.

Entombed Alive For Ten Hours.

Some men are born lucky, and some otherwise. If Mr. Sam Wagstaff, of Clifton Street, Denaby Main, had been one of the latter, indubitably he would by now have travelled to that bourne from whence no traveller returns.

It is seldom that any miner who has the misfortune to be buried under some twenty tons of debris for an hour has the luck to be released alive, but Mr. Wagstaff was buried under that amount of fall for ten hours, and yet was brought out by a band of willing work-mates without having a bone fractured.

A few days ago Mr. Wagstaff was engaged at the coal-face in the East Plane of the Denaby Main Colliery ; it was about three o´clock in the morning, and he was toiling away with the aid of his dim safety lamp, and his driver was engaged filling a tub close beside him.

Tap! Tap! Tap! Hark! Crack! The driver hearing this ominous sound, made a dart for safety. Wagstaff threw down his pick, and was making a wild flight out of harm´s way, between the half filled tub and the coal-face, when his foot caught an obstacle which brought him to the ground. Wagstaff had just regained his feet, when down came the debris with thundering crashes, burying him completely. The frightened driver stopped spell-bound.” Wagstaff, Wagstaff, Wagstaff,” he shrieked. Crash, crash, was the answering sound which reached his ears as more debris heaped itself on top of that which already held Wagstaff in iron bonds.

Pit, pat, pit, pat, and the paralysed driver was quickly queried by several of the miners who were working in adjoining stalls, whose faces showed pale under, the shining coat of coal-dust. The driver´s tongue cloys to the roof of his mouth, and he just raised a shaking hand and pointed down Wagstaff´s stall.

Quickly a band of some sixteen workers including deputies, were striving to dig him out from the top of the fall. However, fall after fall took place, and any idea of digging him out had to be abandoned. Faintly Wagstaff´s voice could be heard urging the rescuers to release him.

” Ay, lad, we´ll hev tha´ out soon ; cheer up,” answered the sweating miners.

Quickly piles were procured and driven through the fall, the idea being to prop up the top portion and release him by undermining it.

Muscular miners drove the piles through with the aid of sledge hammers, when Wagstaff´s voice could be heard “For God´s sake, give it up, it´s going through my head.”

Promptly they stopped driving in the pile they were engaged with, and luckily they did. The sharp, cruel point of it was pressing up against the entombed miner´s head, and it would have crushed it after the next blow.

Ultimately the fall was securely propped up, and feverish miners picked away at the dirt in mad endeavours to reach their work-mate.

Several hours had passed since their promise to get him out, and he was still securely imprisoned.

The veins bulged out on the rescuers heads as they toiled away with un-ceasing energy.

Thank heaven! His legs were laid bare, once reached short work was made of getting him free.

“Quick, quick,” gasped Wagstaff in a faint voice as the debris around him was loosened, and he was dragged by brawny arms from under the fall.

” Got him” was the simple remark of Mr. Soar, the respected under-manager, who was one of the rescuers, as the miner, who had remained conscious for such a lengthy period, fell in a faint into his open arms. He had been buried alive for ten hours, twenty tons of dirt holding him down.

The rescuers shook hands with one another, and when Wagstaff had been conveyed home in the colliery ambulance, dispersed to their various homes to tell their wives and families what had happened, and then forgot it. It´s nothing – it´s all in a miner´s life.

A medical examination of Wagstaff revealed, that although hurt about the body and head, and bruised, no bones had been broken.

He has been in bed for five days, and when seen by our representative during yesterday afternoon, was just regaining the use of his right arm, which had had all the life taken out of it by being so severely crushed.” Will you work down the pit again ?” our representative asked of Wagstaff.

” Well yes, I have worked below the surface all my life, and – there´s nothing else for it.”

” You´ve had a miraculous escape.”

” I think if I had been there much longer I should have been dead by now. It´s funny was on the morning of my forty first birthday it happened.”

” Well, I hope you will soon be all right. Good-day.”

” Oh! I think I´ll soon be right. Good-day.”

September 20th 1904 – E.Dawson

A somewhat serious accident befell a youth named E. Dawson at Cadeby Main Colliery on Monday September 20th 1904, whilst following his usual appointment as a driver, he had the misfortune to have his head and body crushed rather badly, and was taken to the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital in the early hours of the morning, and is as well as can be expected.

October 15th 1904 – Luke Kenney

An accident of a somewhat serious nature befell a young man named Luke Kenney, he being admitted to the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital on October 15th 1904, with a dislocated hip and cuts to the head, caused by a fall of dirt, at the Denaby Main Colliery.

October 26th 1904 – John Farmer

John Farmer, a miner at Cadeby Main Colliery, met with an accident on Tuesday October 26th 1904, which resulted in his removal to the hospital at Mexborough.

October 27th 1904 – A Johnson

Age: 36 Labourer Crushed between two Wagons D.M.

Killed In Fog At Denaby. – Ex-Guardsman´s Dreadful Death.

Coroner´s Inquiry.

In the thick of a foggy night last week, Albert Johnson, of 46 Church Street, Mexborough, was engaged removing empty wagons from a siding in the Denaby Colliery yard, when a full dirt train, coming from the direction of Cadeby, collided with the last of the line of empties, fouling the crossing, causing a `bump´ which spelt a life – the life of Johnson, who despite a shouted warning, failed to evade the danger, and was jammed between the closing buffers, where he was cruelly pinned until released. The poor fellow never spoke again, and died twenty minutes later.

His death leaves a widow and two children to mourn their loss, and much sympathy is felt towards the bereaved.

Deceased was a genial fellow, generally respected, and had seen active service in the South African War, on returning from which he was made the recipient of a purse of gold, given by Mexborough admirers, whose warm recognition formed one of the brightest hours of his cruelly closed life.

The circumstances of the fatality formed the subject of a coroner´s inquiry, held on Friday by Mr. Dossey Wightman, at the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital.

Mr. J. Venables was foreman of the jury, and there were also present Mr. Wilson, H.M. Inspector of Mines, and Mr. A.H. Barnard, agent, representing the Colliery Company.

The first witness called was George Witham, father-in-law of the deceased, who, he said, was thirty six years old last birthday. He was a labourer for the Denaby Main Colliery Company, for whom he had worked altogether about twenty years. Previous to the South African War, in which he served eighteen months with the Coldstream Guards, he worked below ground, but through his

eyesight, after returning, he worked on the top at the washer. He was a healthy man, and was killed on October 27th.

George William Liversedge said he was a slack washer at the Denaby Colliery, and worked with deceased, whose duty was to empty slack wagons which came from the Denaby pit screens. Witness had worked at the colliery for about four years, and had known of deceased doing similar work for about two and a half years.

The accident happened about 12-30 a.m. on the Thursday, they were both working together, helping to get the wagons out after they had emptied the slack. They were getting them down the travelling road. It was a foggy night. There were eighteen empty wagons standing on the line, and deceased was `pinching´ at a wheel to move an empty wagon. Witness now knew that a locomotive fouled the wagons at the end of the line, and when he heard the wagons being `tupped´ up together, he shouted to the deceased, ” duck”, so that he could get underneath the buffers. Witness could not say whether deceased `ducked´ or not, as the buffers caught and pined him. Witness, who was standing at the side of the wagon, was spun round, and he went down to the locomotive driver to ask him to draw up the eighteen wagons, so as to set deceased at liberty. Deceased lived about twenty minutes after, but a surgeon arrived before he died.

Witness, asked for an explanation how it was deceased didn´t `duck´, said when a man was in a predicament like that he hadn´t time to think. The eighteen wagons were there in the ordinary course of work, and the weather at that time was dreadfully foggy.

Replying to the Inspector, witness said in the ordinary way wagons were not run over the crossing where the engine fouled the end wagon.

Previously the Inspector had explained to the jurymen a plan, which showed that the engine responsible for the collision was to pass over the crossing which passed at the end of the straight line where the deceased was working.

Witness, proceeding, said deceased was in charge, and it was the usual custom to `pinch´ wagons out of the road at the accident end, regardless of the other end, where, however, the points were put down. No doubt he said, casing the brakes would cause the wagons to go a little towards the crossing.

Replying to the Coroner, witness said, he knew the line was fouled at the crossing before the accident happened, but they were trying to remedy that by getting another wagon on the `grate´. If the locomotive from Cadeby had arrived ten minutes later, the accident would not have happened.Replying to further questions, witness said there were not more empties than usual.

Ellis Brook said he was foreman shunter with the `loco´ which caused the accident. He was coming from Cadeby with nine wagons of dirt. The whistle was blown ten or twelve yards before they got to the wagons, and it was foggy, and witness was about seven wagon lengths in front of his engine, when he saw the line was fouled. He signalled to the driver to stop, and shouted for him to hold the train up. The driver saw and heard him, and put on his brake. The engine wheels however, skidded, and ran into the empties, about half a wagon length was foul of their line. That, no doubt, was the cause of knocking up the line of the empties, which killed the man at the other end. If it had not been foggy and the rails greasy, the engine could have been stopped in time.

Replying to the Inspector, witness said his line should not have been fouled. He had previously passed the point four times. The men at the emptying station

he advised to keep the wagons back and the crossing clear. He told the last witness and others, but not the deceased. He warned them that he was coming back again, and that he was working backwards and forwards all night. When witness walked in front of his `loco´ he did not expect to find the line fouled, but to turn some points. The driver certainly whistled within a reasonable distance of the place. Those who unloaded ought to have known the line was fouled at the crossing.

Goulding, the engine-driver, corroborated the former witness as to the signal to stop being received, and the impossibility of stopping sooner on account of the greasy rails.

The Coroner said the only thing he could not understand why the people who put the empties in had not known the line was foul.

Mr. A.H. Barnard said deceased was responsible for seeing the number of wagons did not exceed the lengths of line and overlap the crossing.

The first witness, recalled, said Stables was the chargeman, not the deceased.

Mr. Barnard said Stables was in charge of the washer generally, and was in a superior position to Johnson.

The man Stables, said his duties were confined to the washer, while Johnson had to do with getting out the empties. The last time witness saw the empty wagons they were just forcing the road. He told the shunter, with the express purpose of getting the road clear. The shunter said he would attend to it directly, and witness returned in the wagons.

Describing the accident, he said deceased just bent down and appeared to slip, and then, going across, was caught by the buffer.

A juryman said a stop-block near the crossing would do away with the danger, but witness said they could not put one there, Further, he said he did not know that eighteen was the usual number of wagons.

The Coroner said that unless they were pinched very, very tight, eighteen wagons would be too many for the length of line. His difficulty was to find out who were the responsible parties. There seemed to have been a lot about at work, but no one appeared to be the ostensible head. He had never known in previous enquiries such a case. Several of them appeared to have some sort of authority over the lot. It certainly looked as if it was seen by one or two that the empties did foul the line. The man in charge of the locomotive said he was entitled to come and go all night. Evidence had also been given that the driver got a signal to stop, but the weather and the weight of the train prevented him doing so in time, with the result that the train ran into the wagons fouling the line, and the man at the other end got killed.

A juryman said, under the prevailing conditions of work there was always a possibility of the line being fouled again, and of another accident occurring.

The Coroner said that was why he asked whether eighteen wagons was more than the usual number. There seemed no alternative but to bring in a verdict of accidental death, but there had evidently been carelessness in having too many empty wagons on the line.

Mr. Barnard said that was so, but the men had no business in having so many there.

The Coroner : Who is responsible ?

Mr. Barnard : The men who work the wagons down. The responsibility rested with deceased and the other man. Otherwise there might have been any number put down.

A juryman asked whether anything could be put up to do away with the possibility of another accident.

Mr. Barnard promised to look into the practicality of the suggestion.

The Coroner said he hoped the Colliery Company would take a warning to see that the line was not overcrowded in the future.

Mr. Barnard : I think I can insure that in future.

The Coroner said it was one of those cases in which it was easy to be wise after the event. The representative of the Colliery Company had readily admitted there were too many wagons on the line. It was a very big concern, and if this gentleman ( Mr. Barnard ) would undertake to see that steps were taken to avoid too many wagons being put there in the future, he would be inclined to feel satisfied. Obviously, it was not to the advantage of the Colliery Company to have such accidents.. Rather the reverse, and he was satisfied that the Denaby Main Colliery Company would do all they could to prevent a similar accident in the future.

“Accidental Death” was the verdict returned.

November 27th 1904 – George Fearn

A serious mishap befell a young man by the name of George Fearn of Doncaster Road, who injured the spine of his back in a fall of roof at Denaby Main Colliery on Saturday November 27th 1904.

December 9th 1904 – George Lawrence,

George Lawrence, a joiner, employed at Cadeby Main Colliery, fell down unconscious on Friday night December 9th 1904, whilst following his employment.

December 17th 1904 – Ernest Stonehouse

A somewhat serious accident befell a youth named Ernest Stonehouse of Strafforth Terrace, on December 17th 1904, whilst following his employment at Denaby Main Colliery, he having the misfortune to have his ribs injured.

He was conveyed to Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, and the latest report is that he lies in a very critical condition.

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