Mexborough & Swinton Times, December 27, 1918
Denaby Deputy’s Death
Killed whilst Helping the Men
An inquest on W.H.Hancock, colliery deputy, 76, Warmsworth Street, Denaby main, was held on Saturday at the Men´s Institute, Denaby Main, Mr F. Allen was the coroner.
Mr HW Smith represented the Denaby and Cadeby collieries, and Mr Danby, H M.Inspector of mines, was also present.
The deceased was employed at the Denaby main colliery, in the deep seam as a deputy. On Thursday afternoon, December 19 he commenced his usual round at 242 stall. To help forward the work he was assisting the Colliers by loading the full trucks, when there was a sudden bump, and extensive fall, which caught deceased, inflicting fatal injuries.
Mr W.Hancock, 31 Bolton Street, Denaby, colliery deputy, the father of the deceased, gave evidence of identification. He said his son was 24 years of age, and he saw him alive on Wednesday, the 18th inst in the pit at 10 PM. He next saw him after extrication and he was then dead.
Thomas Kane, 60, Cliff view, Denaby, said he was a Collier on the deceased district, and on the afternoon of the 19th he stood close to the deputy, knocking blocks out whilst the deputy was jiggling. There was a sudden bump, and immediately a large fall which buried the deputy. He (Kane) only got a scratch. The tubs and wheels ran down the jig about 2 yards. They had examined the place when first entering that shift. They had been there two hours, but there were no signs of `weighting´.
The coroner: do you think the accident could have been avoided – No Sir.
Mr W.A.Smith: in your opinion was a place satisfactorily timbered, and the deputy a capable man? – Yes, Sir.
James Kane, 30, Cliff view, said he was a brother of the last witness and worked in the same stall. When the Deputy came round on the afternoon of the 19th he said, “the lads are away, so I´ll” jig” for you. He (witness) went down to hang empties on. The tubs came steady till nearly at the bottom and then broke loose. He thought something gone wrong and on going up to the top he heard his brother shouting that Billy was buried.
Sam Green, 26 Carlisle Street Mexborough, said he was a morning deputy of that district. He examined the place in question. On the morning shift at 12:50 PM. The prop was sound, the roof lowered a little, but quite still. There was a break parallel with the face. He did not think it required further propping.
The Coroner: Do you think any timber could have prevented the accident? – Nor Sir.
Was the prop quite good? – Yes
The coroner said that it was quite certain. There was no shortage of timber.
The jury returned a verdict of “accidentally killed” Mr H.W.Smith, expressed sympathy with the widow and parents. The diseased, he said was a man of considerable ability.
The jury expressed a wish to be associated with the expressions of sympathy.