THE CADEBY DISASTER.
Widow´s Painful Disclosure At Inquest.
A Painful Incident.
With the recovery of the last of the bodies remaining in the mine since the Cadeby Colliery disaster of July 9th last, the way was cleared for the final offices for the dead.
The prospects, so nearly realised, that in every case the remains would be identified, was unhappily frustrated at the last moment by the revelation of a sad mistake.
The District Coroner, Mr. Frank Allen, and the standing jury met at the Colliery Surface offices on Saturday afternoon for the purpose of taking evidence of identification in connection with the last six bodies, and the proceedings were marked by an affecting scene. Two bodies could not be identified by the supposed widows and it appeared therefore, that their husbands had been buried under another name.
Mary Dove, of 27, Garden Lane, Conisbrough, said her husband, Willie Dove, aged 47, went to work the night before the explosion, and he had not been home since. She could not identify his body.
Hannah Stone, a married woman, residing at 39 Warmsworth Street, Denaby, said her husband, Frederick Stone ( 33 ), was a collier, and went to work on the night previous to the explosion, returned home again, and afterwards went to the pit to join the rescue party. She had not seen him since, but she had seen one of his boots in the colliery office.
The Coroner declared that under the circumstances it was impossible to tell where the two ladies´ husbands were buried. They were buried somewhere in the parish and that was all he could say. But he would do his best to get them a proper certificate. There was no doubt that they both died on 9th July. If they once started trying to get to know where the two bodies really were, they would upset the feelings of other parties who had relatives buried.
Mr. W.I. Gibbs : Is it possible, Mr. Bridges, that he may have changed his boots ?
Mr. Bridges : Yes, sir. They have done that a lot.
Mrs. Stone : I think my husband changed his boots when he went down.
The Coroner : Were there any boots found strewn about the pit, Mr. Bridges ?
Mr. Bridges : Yes, sir. A lot were picked up in the workings.
The Coroner : There have been more boots down there than feet to fill them.
In reply to a statement by Mr. Bridges, the Coroner said : they must not regard
the deceased men by appearance. They must regard them by their own judgement.
CLOSING BURIAL SCENES.
An Impressive Memorial Service.
The last burial service in connection with the Cadeby Colliery disaster was held at Denaby on Monday.
In some respects it was more impressive than any of it´s predecessors, in as much as the sorrowing mourners included the widows and relatives of two victims of the disaster, who had not been satisfactorily identified.
In these sad circumstances, the services conducted in the Parish Church by the Vicar ( the Rev S.F. Hawkes ), had a special significance, for in the last rites the clergyman and the black-garbed congregation were gathered together for the purpose of committing to the ground ” the poor earthly bodies of two men, who,
by whatever name they were known in earthly life, had died nobly and bravely,” and whose supposed widows were present humbly supplementing the prayers of the Vicar for their prayers of their souls to God.
The widows in question were Mrs. Anna Stone, of 39 Warmsworth Street, Denaby Main, and Mrs. Mary Dove, of Gardens Lane, Conisbrough.
Before the cortege left the church the Vicar gave a short address relative to the unusual circumstances that surrounded them, and many of the congregation were moved to tears.
The Vicar said : We have been asking week by week that the men and women should pray for those who have lost the men they have loved and they have been praying. Now today we have an added sorrow. There is the doubt in the minds of those who are left whether they are really, this afternoon before the altar of God, with the bodies of those whom they loved. And therefore we want to ask ourselves what are we praying for this afternoon ? What are we doing ? We always do two things in a burial service. We commit the souls of those who have gone, to God´s love and protection. We commit the dust to the dust whence it came. We are with no shadow of doubt and with absolute confidence gathered here this afternoon before the altar of God to commit to God´s love and protection the souls of Frederick Stone and Willie Dove. We shall thank God in the church yard for taking the souls to himself. And what else are we doing ? We are committing the poor earthly bodies of two men, by whatever name we knew them in earthly life who died nobly and bravely – we are committing them to the earth with Christian reverence and Christian faith.
And lastly remember we have just said in the words of St. Paul, that the Father brought comfort to all Christian men and women from the days of our Lord and Master, who is himself the Resurrection and the Life. There is an earthly body and a spiritual body. Whatever doubt some may feel about the first there is none about the second. We are here committing the souls of Frederick Stone and Willie Dove to God´s love and protection, knowing that he will clothe their souls in their spiritual bodies for their communion for all time in the hereafter with those who have loved them here on earth. So I ask your prayers. Ask God to comfort those who have who have had this trouble that he will make them ever thankful that they met together before his altar to commit the souls of their husbands to God´s love and protection.
The united ” Amen´s ” that followed the impressive utterance of the prayers made the atmosphere a spiritual one.
At the cemetery the graves had been prepared in close proximity to each other, and the Vicar uttered the committal sentences in turn over each of the bodies.
The coffins bore the following inscriptions :-
” Presumed to be Willie Dove.
Who died 9 th July 1912, aged 42 years.”
” Presumed to be Frederick Stone,
Who died 9 th July 1912, aged 33 years .”
35 Gardens Lane, Conisbrough.