Fatal Accident at Denaby Main – John Humphreys

March 1888

Leeds Times – Saturday 10 March 1888

Fatal Accident at Denaby Main.

A miner named John Humphreys, living at New-buildings, Denaby Main, was killed by a fall of coai whilst following his employment at Denaby Main Colliery on Monday.

The deceased was ” holing,” when a ” bump,” arising from a ” letter-off,” disturbed a prop and cross bar which held up the coal, with the result that he was completely buried by the fall that followed.

His five brothers and father were in the same working place, but they escaped. When got out it was found that he was dead.

Deceased was about 30 years old.


Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Thursday 08 March 1888

Fatal Accident At Denaby Colliery.

Yesterday afternoon an inquest was held at the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, before Mr. Dossey Wightinan. Coroner, touching the death of John Humphreys, aged 34, who was killed in the Denaby Main Colliery on Monday afternoon.

Samuel Humphreys, deceased’s brother, said he was working with him at the time the accident happened. Deceased was sitting down “holing” at the time the accident, having holed about a foot at that place. The fall gave no warning, but came with a bump—about three tubs full.

He was got out in about ten minutes, but was then quite dead, and as he never spoke not groaned it was witness’s opinion that his brother was killed instantly.

The fall had the effect of knocking a sprag out. There was a slip there which they all knew about, but they did not know that a face slip met it, and they thought this slip was perfectly safe so long as it was “cockered.” Witness was about four or five yards away when the fall came, and there was another brother nearer deceased, and when the fall came it struck him on the knee, but did not hurt him. To the best of his belief witness would swear that the fall could not have been foreseen or prevented.

Robert Wright, the deputy, said visited the scene of the accident quarter hour before the fall occurred. He knew the slip was there, but inasmuch the place was properly timbered he thought it was perfectly safe, not knowing about the other slip.

Mr. Wardell, the inspector, had visited the place, and had not blamed witness.

The Foreman said was perfectly satisfied that the affair was the result of a pure accident. No one could avoid these bumps; they came very suddenly, but when the best man in the world could not tell.

A verdict of “ Accidentally kilied” was returned.