Peculiar Fatality at Cadeby Colliery – Labourer Falls 5 Feet and is Killed

May 1906

Mexborough and Swinton Times May 12, 1906

Peculiar Fatality at Cadeby Colliery
Labourer Falls 5 Feet and is Killed

A sad accident occurred to a young man named Edmund Dawson, on Friday May 12th, Dawson who lived with his father at Highfield Road, Conisborough, was nineteen years of age. The accident happened at the Cadeby Main Colliery were he was employed as a labourer on the pit-top, when he died after falling from a gantry five feet high.

The Doncaster District Coroner, Mr. F.E. Nicholson, held an inquest at the Star Hotel, Conisborough, on Monday afternoon May 15th, in regard to the death of Edmund Dawson, aged nineteen of Highfield Road, Conisborough, a labourer, who died in peculiar circumstances at Cadeby Main Colliery on Friday May 12th.

There were present , Mr. Wilson, H.M Inspector of Mines, and Mr. A.H. Barnard, representing the Denaby and Cadeby Colliery Co.

Bartholomew Dawson, father of the deceased, colliery labourer, gave evidence of identification. He last saw the deceased alive about 5-30 a.m. on Friday, and he was in good health.

John Gibson, another labourer, living at Cadeby village, said he worked along with the deceased, whose duty it was to take the tubs off the gantry. On Friday he noticed deceased fall off a `switch back´ to the ground, about five or six feet.

In answer to a juryman, witness said, deceased as far as he knew, had nothing to do on the `switch back´ because there was no work for any of them to do.

Mr. Barnard explained, that the `switch back´ was really a `creeper´, and Mr. Gibson said the lad was on the full gantry, and it appears he was employed on the empty side some distance away. According to the witness´s evidence he fell off the empty `creeper´, It was not working at the time, but it was not worked by electric power. The men had no need to go there unless a tub had come off the rails.

The foreman, Mr. A. Morris, said at the time of the accident the deceased had nothing to do, the machinery standing during the changing of the shifts. His duty to lower the full corves from No. 2 to No. 1 switch. The deceased had no right to be there at all ; it was no part of his duty to be there, There were no about the deceased could touch, and it would have been just the same if there had, because the power was cut off. There was only a motor and a switch board there.

Dr. James Forster said he was called to the deceased, about 3-10 p.m., life was then extinct. The deceased about eighteen months ago met with a severe accident in the pit, having both his legs broken, his head injured, and a large wound in his back. He recovered from this and witness had not attended him at any time since.

He had made a post-mortem of the body, and found all the organs healthy, the only external marks being a bruise to the right side of the head, and a small bruise on the side of the face. The heart was strong.

Asked by the Coroner as to the actual cause of death, the witness said his opinion was that the knock on the head produced concussion, from which he had never recovered. It was not, of course, usual for a man to fall five feet and never recover.

Do you think he came into connection with any `live´ wires ?

Well, I don´t think so.

There were no signs of burning ? None at all.

Do you think he had a fit ?

No I cannot say he was subject to fits. He was not likely to have one.

Is it possible for a man to have concussion and die about nine months afterwards ? Yes.

Do you think it had any connection with the previous accident ?

No, he had fully recovered. I can only account for it as I have stated.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that ” The deceased met his death `Accidentally´ by a fall from the Gantry.”