Inquest Reports From Newspapers -
Re Nottinghamshire Fatal Accidents
Nottingham Evening Post Friday 21 June 1901
At the White Lion Inn, Kimberley this morning, an inquest was held by Mr. D. Whittingham, with reference to the death of Luke Morley, aged thirty, a collier, who was employed at the Broxtowe Pit, and was killed whist at work on the 18th instant. Mr. Hepplewhite, Inspector of Mines, was present, and Mr. C, H. Williams, represented the relatives of the deceased, Mr. Hunt appeared on behalf of the Babbington Coal Co. Joseph Cooke, 42, Prince Street, Cotmanhay, stallman, said that the deceased was a loader in his stall. On Tuesday afternoon witness was about twelve yards away from the deceased when he heard a fall of coal and on-going to the spot found deceased lying dead on his right hand side. His head was against one prop, and another lay by his right shoulder. A mass of coal about six feet long and three feet wide, and fifteen inches thick had fallen and knocked out the prop that was on the deceased. Morley was apparently engaged in getting coal down by the ringer off the face which was part of his duty. Witness could not suggest anything that might have prevented the accident. Mr. L. M. Taylor, surgeon of Kimberley stated that he had examined the body of the deceased, and found a gaping wound in the head, and three ribs fractured. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned..
Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 13 September 1901
Tom Hickman Langham - Isaac Hickman
This afternoon Mr. D. Whittingham, District Coroner, held an inquiry at the Colliers Arms Inn, Cinder Hill, into the circumstances associated with the deaths of Tom Hickman Langham, twenty eight, of 7, Dora Place, Ladbrook Road, New Basford, and Isaac Hickman, twenty five, of 29, Austin Street, Bulwell, which occurred at the Broxtowe pit, of the Babbington Colliery at Cinder Hill through a fall of bind on Wednesday. Mr. H. R. Hewitt, Inspector of Mines for the Midland district; Mr C.H. Williams, solicitor for the Notts Miners Association; Mr. George Fowler, representing the Babbington Coal Co; Mr. J.G. Hancock, miners agent; Mr. W. Hunt, manager at the Broxtowe pit; and Mr. S. Starr, under-manager, were present watching various interests. Harry Langham, a collier, of High Street, Old Basford, brother of one of the deceased men, gave evidence of identification, adding that he had only been employed at the Broxtowe pit for a fortnight, having previously been engaged at Langton. Mary Ann Smith, a single woman, living at Bulwell, identified the body of Hickman, stating that he had worked at the pit as a stallman for several years. Alfred Hickman, living at 5, Birkland Street, Bulwell, said he worked with his brother, now deceased as a stallman at Broxtowe Pit. A fortnight ago they commenced at a new stall, but until Wednesday last they had not experienced any trouble with the roof. They went to work on Wednesday morning at seven o’ clock, Langham acting as loader. Witness and Isaac Hunt were holing, but nothing of a special character had occurred until the time of the accident to indicate that anything was wrong with the roof. Mr. Hunt, and Mr. Starr, manager and under-manager respectively, had passed through the pit during the morning and everything was all right then. About three o’ cock witness and Isaac were loading at the gate end of the stall, when Langham called to witness to take the sprag out to liberate the coal, and as he was crawling past the tub to remove one, a fall of bind occurred, and a portion of it struck Langham on the head and knocked him into a waggon. Witness shouted for help, and as Isaac ran down the bank to his assistance another fall took place which buried him. Witness being saved by the tub. Both men were killed instantaneously. They were not short of timber; the roof being supported by bars, That portion which fell had been satisfactorily propped with timber. The fall of bind extended along the roof along the roof for two or three yards, and witness estimated it weighed about five tons. When the bind fell there was not sufficient space in the roof to fix bars, but witness had worked in the pit ten years and had not known another fatal accident of this kind occur there during that period. In answer to Mr. Hewitt, witness could not say definitely how the bars were set. They were working between two well defined slips, and were quite aware that the stall had recently come through a series of falls. Witness understood that they were responsible for the safety of the place in accordance with the rules, and when the under-manager passed through he cautioned them to be careful. By Mr. Whittingham: Had they known of the dangerous state of the roof, it would have been possible to have set some bars, although they could not have been set crossways. The witness was questioned by Mr. Hancock and Mr. Fowler, with regard to several technical points, and agreed they might have set the bars in a slanting direction. Samuel Kirk, deputy at the pit, said he passed though the stall in which the deceased men and the last witness were working on Wednesday morning. He cautioned Isaac Hickman to be careful about setting plenty of bars. The Coroner emphasised the importance of the officials at collieries realising their responsibility. They should do all in their power to protect the lives of men, and it was gratifying to find that in this particular case the deputy had administered a word of caution. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 16 August 1902
The City Coroner Mr. C. L. Rothera, held an inquest at the Hyson Green Mortuary Nottingham, this afternoon, upon the body of William Poxon, aged thirty three, a butty at the Broxtowe pit, living at Main Street, Awsworth, who died from injuries sustained at his employment on Wednesday. The inquest was attended by Mr. H. Hepplewhite, Inspector of Mines, Mr. J. A. Green, on behalf of Notts Miners Association, also Mr. Poxon, under-manager of Broxtowe pit. Rachel Poxon, the widow of the deceased identified the body. She said her husband had been employed at the pit for six years, and was in his usual health when he went to work on Wednesday morning. Samuel Burton, collier, Swingate, Kimberley, said he worked in the next stall to the deceased. He saw Poxon at work last Wednesday at about mid-day when deceased was getting a sprag out. Witness spoke to deceased for a few minutes, and had just turned away when he heard a crash. On looking back, he saw that quantity of coal had fallen upon the deceased, in the opinion of witness, deceased was not taking the sprag out in the safest way, as he was removing the lower part first. The weight of the coal that fell upon deceased would
weigh about a ton, and the accident occurred about six hundred yards from the shaft. Frederick Hibbert, a butty, Main Street, Awsworth, said he was a partner with deceased in his stall, and was present when the accident occurred but he did not see how it happened. It was all coal that fell: no roof came down with it, and witness had not noticed any faults or slips near where the accident took place. Thomas Syson, a deputy at the Broxtowe pit, said he asked deceased how it had happened, and he replied that he had slipped while taking a sprag out. Dr. Allen, house surgeon, at the Nottingham General Hospital , said the deceased had two small cuts about the mouth, another in the middle of the forehead, and a graze upon the back. There was also an injury to the internal organs,
soon after admission deceased developed peritonitis. An operation was performed, and a rupture of the intestine was discovered. Deceased died on Thursday morning. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 25 May 1906
The City Coroner Mr. C. L. Rothera, held an inquest this afternoon at the Nottingham General Hospital upon the body of Albert Severn, aged twenty years, a miner, residing at 14, Babbington Cottages, Cinderhill, whose death took place in the hospital on Sunday last, as the result of meningitis at the base of the brain. Deceased had had his head crushed in the Broxtowe Colliery, mine on 7th October 1904. Mr. F. Acton, appeared for the colliery company, and Mr. J. A. H. Green, for the relatives of the deceased and the Notts Miners Association. Hannah Severn, mother of the deceased, said that her son had first gone sown the pit at the age of fourteen. In October 1904, he was taken to the General Hospital, suffering from a fracture at the base of the skull, which he had sustained down the mine. He stayed in the hospital for three weeks, and was sufficiently recovered at the end of that period to resume his work on 29th November. He continued to be an out-patient at the hospital, and had frequently complained of pain in his head. This became so bad about a month ago that he went to Dr. Fulton, who attended him to the 7th instant, when he sent him back to hospital, where he died. Replying to Mr. Acton, witness said that deceased had told her that he was uncoupling some trams in the mine when the accident took place. His head was crushed between the trams, and the base of the skull was fractured. The Coroner expressed his regret that the house surgeon who had attended to deceased immediately after the accident had since left, and therefore the exact nature of the injury at that time could not be ascertained as definitely as it might have been, Dr, Snell, assistant house surgeon at the hospital said that deceased had been under his care since the 7th instant. He found him suffering from inflammation and compression of the brain, and the cause of death was tubercular meningitis, Deceased was also suffering from tubercular disorders in the lungs. The membranes surrounding the brain were unduly adherent to the skull, especially at the base, and this was the cause of the inflammation. It was quite possible for a person to suffer and die from tubercular meningitis even if no injury whatever had taken place. It was reasonable to suppose that the damage done to the skull in October 1904, had caused deceased’s health to suffer, and accelerated the progress of the meningitis, although death might have taken place as the result of the accident without any reference to the injury. The adhesion of the membranes to the skull could have been caused by the tubercular condition generally. By Mr Green: Deceased would have died within six weeks or a couple of months from the tubercular condition of the lungs. Dr. R. G. Hogarth, honorary surgeon at the hospital, stated that he attended the post mortem examination, finding in both lungs indications of recent acute tuberculosis, and also the basal tubercular meningitis. There was no evidence of any injury and in witnesses opinion deceased suffered from chronic tuberculosis of the glands of the bowels, which would often set up an acute general acute tubercular condition of the lungs and the brain, and died from this general acute tuberculosis. There was nothing to connect his condition and death with injuries sustained twenty months before. The adhesions to the skull which he saw did not appear to be of more than a fortnights standing. The Coroner at this stage asked the jury to say whether they thought the cause of death was attributable in any way to an injury sustained previously or not. The jury decided that the injury was connected to the man’s death. James Childs, 60, Leanor Street, dayman at the Broxtowe pit, stated that he was at work in October 1904. They were running a drift of four tubs, but deceased had nothing to do with this. He was by the side and attempted to do some uncoupling, and got his head between the last two tubs which were in motion. He was not uncoupling in the usual manner, and as they had not buffers and were going down a gradient the two wagons ran closely up and crushed his head between. Deceased had been waiting there for some material, and having nothing to do he occupied his time in that manner. He appeared unconscious when released and was carried away. Deceased subsequently never complained to witness. By Mr. Acton: Deceased’s injury was entirely due to his interference with somebody else’s work. As far as witness knew, he had no instruction in uncoupling, but went to assist another youth. The verdict of the jury was of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 25 June 1908
One of the regrettable fatalities which occur from time to time in coal mines was investigated by the Nottingham City Coroner, Mr. C. L. Rothera, at the General Hospital this afternoon, when an inquest was held on the body of John Holyhead, aged thirty three, of Harwood Terrace, Old Basford. The deceased man, who was a miner in the Broxtowe Colliery, was at work there on Friday afternoon last, when he was fatally injured by a fall of coal. Those present at the inquiry included Mr. A. H. Stokes, Inspector of Mines. Mr. J. Poxon, colliery manager, and Mr. T. K. Knox, assistant manager. James Jennings, of 4, Lincoln Street, Basford, who supplied the evidence of identification, mentioned that deceased had worked in coal mines since the age of fourteen. Samuel Shaw, a stallman, said the accident took place just before one o’ clock on Friday afternoon, when Holyhead was engaged in shovelling dirt from under that part of the coal that was being made ready for holing. About ten minutes before the fall occurred witness had examined the whole length of the face, and had found that it was in his opinion quite safe, and ready for spragging. Witness was going towards the spot, when a large piece of the coal face scaled off and collapsed, striking the deceased man on the head. Witness had to lift a big piece of coal off his head before he could extricate him. He was terribly injured, and quite unconscious, so help was at once summoned and he was removed to the hospital with all possible speed. Witness added that deceased was an extremely careful workman. Mr. Stokes put it to the witness that his examination ought to have revealed the dangerous state of the face, but Shaw replied that he investigated it very carefully, and it seemed perfectly sound. Mr Stokes, pointed out that there was a rule in the mine for sprags to be set not more than six feet apart, and this was where this piece fell, the two sprags were nine feet apart. The witness explained that this was due to the fact that the spragging was being done from opposite ends of the stall, by deceased and another miner, and they must have misjudged the distance at the point where they met. Thomas Sutton, colliery deputy, spoke of examining the stall and finding it in a satisfactory manner early on Friday. He had seen the place subsequently and found that there were a number of joints and cracks in the coal seam. Falls like this one were liable to occur with such seams but witness thought the state of the piece of coal which fell could have been discovered by a careful examination ten minutes previously. Answering Mr. Stokes, witness said it had appeared to him that the coals at the spot had been overhanging. Mr. Stokes: And if such was the case, they ought to have been spraged before the loading was done, ought they not? Yes sir. Dr. K. Black, the hospital house surgeon, said Holyhead’s injury was a compound fracture of the skull, which had been smashed in “just like an eggshell “. He died on Friday evening, a few hours after admission. The Coroner having summed up, the foreman expressed the opinion that the spragging had hardly been properly carried out, and a juryman said he thought that the testing of the coal face had not been done as efficiently as it might have been. After further discussion the jury decided to confer in private, and after a deliberation of twenty minutes they decided that Holyhead’s death was due to a fall of coal, and that not sufficient care was taken by the stallman. At the request of the jury, the Coroner reprimanded Shaw for not having made a sufficiently careful examination of the coal, and for also for not seeing that the sprags were set in accordance with the rules. Shaw said he was very sorry, and Mr. Rothera remarked that he hoped it would be a lesson to him.
Nottingham Journal - Thursday 06 October 1910
William Edward Whyld
An inquest was held at the Hyson Green Mortuary yesterday on the body of William Edward Whyld, aged twenty two, of 83, Turton Street, Bulwell, who sustained injuries to his hand and left arm working in the Broxtowe Pit, on Monday, he died in the General Hospital the same day. His skull was fractured and his left arm broken. Henry Garden, a miner working with the deceased, said the latter was in a sitting position preparing to start holing, when a bump occurred on the coal. The sprags were knocked away, and about two tons of coal fell. Whyld was unable to get away and practically buried by the fall, whilst a boy received some of the coal on his legs. The coal had to be broken up before deceased could be released. Whyld had set two of the sprags. Answering Mr. Hewitt, Mines Inspector, witness said the coal which fell was overhanging and about eighteen feet in length. There were three sprags to the bottom of the coal but no support to the middle of the overhanging coal. He was not aware that a dirt tub brought into the stall touched the sprags as it went along. Fred Johnson of Kimberley a stallman, said the coal under which deceased was working was overhanging. Two sprags had been put underneath the coal where dirt had been removed, but the overhang was not supported. The tub passed where deceased was working and the foot of one sprag was touched as it passed. He did not consider two sprags were sufficient to support the coal after the dirt was removed, and thought a third sprag should have been set. The fall occurred three quarters of an hour before knocking off time but Whyld was not hurrying up matters. Witness told Mr. Hewitt the overhanging coal was fast to the roof. Whyld was undercutting in order to get it down. As the tubs passed they touched one of the sprags but he did not think the sprag was disturbed. A blow on the sprag might have moved it but the one that was touched was only grazed, after the tubs passed the rails were removed. Cockers would have supported the overhanging coal, but none were set. As stallman he was responsible for setting cockers and props, but he did not give any special instructions to the deceased as he considered him a capable man, who ought not to require instructions in regard to timbering. It was his duty he continued, to keep the stall safe and in working order. Mr. Hewitt: A boy was injured in the stall? Yes. What was he doing in the stall? I did not know he was there. Robert Soar, of Babbington Lane, Kimberley, deputy, said he examined the stall at ten o’clock several hours before the fall, it was then safe. At that time one sprag was set at the foot of the coal, but there was very little overhang then while he was in the stall the coal was properly spragged. In answer to Mr Hewitt, witness said he thought a cocker and a sprag would have held the overhanging coal. Had the overhanging coal been supported the fall would have probably have been prevented. The jury found that the deceased met his death accidentally, adding that had better supervision and care been exercised by both the stallman and deceased the accident would have be avoided. The Coroner conveyed the opinion of the jury to the stallman Johnson. The colliery manager Mr. Poxon, expressed the companies regret for the accident. The deceased was a careful man and a good workman.
Nottingham Journal - Tuesday 02 February 1915
A verdict of “Accidentally killed” was returned at an inquest held at Cinderhill yesterday on William Harris, aged twenty-nine, of Springhill, Kimberley, who met his death at the Broxtowe pit on 29th January. Evidence was given that the deceased was working in No.14 stall, cleaning up dirt from under coal which had just been holed, he was suddenly buried by the coal and killed. it was stated by Robert Wildman, of Bobbers Mill, the stallman, and Daniel Whale the deputy, that apparently everything was alright, and that Harris had previously been cautioned about the slip. Sympathy with the relatives was expressed by Mr. C. Bunfield, Notts Miners Association, and Mr. J. Poxon, colliery manager.
Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 17 November 1916
An inquiry was held at the Nottingham General Hospital this afternoon, into the death of George Sheldon, aged forty nine, a miner, of 57, Babbington Lane, Kimberley, who died in the institution on Friday last. The deceased had worked at the Broxtowe Pit all his life, till a week last Saturday. A week before he had hurt his knee while at work, but it did not trouble him until last Sunday week. The injury was treated, and a doctor was called in, but the knee got no better, and the deceased was ultimately brought to the General Hospital; where he died five hours after his admission. The injury was caused by the overturning of a full tub of coal, which drove his knee into the pack. Subsequently the deceased was able to go on with his work for a week, and he made no complaints to his comrades though he was lame. Dr. Crooks, house surgeon at the hospital, attributed death to heart failure, secondary to chronic vascular disease, and accelerated by the injury to the knee. Deceased was in a moribund condition when he reached the hospital, The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” Mr. E. R. Frazer, Inspector of Mines, and Mr. John Poxon, manager of the Broxtowe Colliery attended the inquiry.
Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 25 April 1919
George Robert Simms
Whilst at work in the Broxtowe Colliery on the 27th instant, a miner named George Robert Simms, aged twenty, of Clarges Street, Bulwell, was injured by a fall of coal, and admitted to Nottingham General Hospital, he succumbed to his injuries yesterday. The inquest was held to-day by Mr. C. L. Rothera, present were Mr. J. Hall, Inspector of Mines, and Mr J, Poxon, colliery manager. John Rigley was working with the deceased and stated they were driving a road by blasting. After the charges had exploded a piece of roof fell onto Simms, and just caught the witness on the back of his head. Simms head and shoulder were partially buried by the fall which weighed about one hundred weight. Witness had examined the roof and found it safe. Clarence Butler, a deputy, said he had acted as a shotfirer, and had examined the end of the heading after the shots were fired when he considered it sound. Work was restarted and a few minutes after the fall occurred. The drilling machine had been set under the stone but he did not think that caused the fall, Deceased was very experienced in that kind of work. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. The jury thought every precaution was taken, and expressed sympathy with the mother of the deceased, with this Mr. Poxon associated himself.
Nottingham Guardian - Saturday 10 December 1921
John Horace Marshall
While working in Broxtowe Colliery on Monday, John Horace Marshall, aged twenty, of 1, Gauntley Street, Hyson Green, a dataller who started working at the pit at the age of fourteen, met with such injuries that he died before reaching the Nottingham General Hospital. Arthur George Davis, 140, Commercial Road, Bulwell, a chargeman at the pit said at the time of the accident the deceased was filling tubs with dirt on the main road, which was being widened. Without any warning a steel girder or bar burst from the side and deceased was struck by, either the bar or a piece of rock. The fall was not caused by the shovelling of the dirt. Frederick Taylor, of Wicklow Street, a dataller at the colliery said the bar fell on Marshall some rock came down and fell upon his legs. Witness proceeded in the ambulance to the hospital with Marshall, but did not know he was dead until told by one of the nurses. Eric Martin, 2, Babbington Lane, Kimberley, a deputy at the pit, recognised no weakness or defect in the side of the road before the burst. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 08 April 1922
“Accidental death” was the verdict returned at an inquest at Cinderhill today on Harry Kirk, aged forty three, of Scot Street Bulwell, a dataller employed at the Broxtowe Pit. Thomas Harby, of Kent, Street, Bulwell, a door boy at the colliery, who was working with deceased when he met his death, told the Coroner Mr. H. Bradwell, that Kirk was engaged fastening up pulleys which ran along a brick wall by the side of the road, when a fall of roof occurred without any warning just above him. A bar came out striking the deceased on the back of the head and knocking him down and then there was a fall of about two tons of dirt. Witness ran for assistance and when he returned found Kirk completely buried. It took an hour to dig the man out. Another witness who assisted in removing the dirt said deceased was dead when uncovered. There had been a fall at the same spot some month before but the roof had been lagged. George Edward Jebson, a deputy at the pit spoke to examining the place shortly before the occurrence, and said he then thought it quite safe. In his opinion the fall came sideways, and not from immediately above. Mr. J. Poxon, manager of the pit, and Mr. G. Bunfield representing the Nott’s Miner Association, expressed sympathy with the relatives.
Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 16 October 1928
The City Coroner Mr. C.L. Rothera, held an inquest this afternoon at the Nottingham General Hospital upon the death of John Spencer, a miner, of 1, Rutland Terrace, North Street, Kimberley. Thomas Spencer, of Swingate, Kimberley, a brother, said that deceased met with an accident in the Broxtowe pit on 23rd August, Clarence Albert Severn, of Bank House, Hyson Green, stallman, said he was working with deceased and had just moved a tub away when the crash occurred. Part of the roof came down. The fall was four yards long and nine inches thick. The Coroner asked if there was enough timber supporting the roof, The reply was inaudible from the press box. The Coroner: was any timber displaced by the fall? Yes. It was a new roof. The Corner: My experience of these falls is that they are wedge shaped. This was not? No. It was not an ordinary slip? No. Had you plenty of timber? Yes. Had you tested the roof when you got the coal down? Yes, and the first thing in the morning as well. In reply to Mr. J. R. Felton, Inspector of Mines, witness said that the deceased, although a day man was fully experienced. They were cutting coal when the fall occurred. Mr Felton: You exercise supervision over the men working under you? Yes. And when you left him you thought he was in a safe place? Yes. How long have you been a stallman? About fourteen or fifteen years. Can you suggest any means of preventing these accidents? We are getting quite a lot of them. Unless it was following up with timbering after cutting. You think another middle set might have done good; In cases where these slips are. John William Kirk, Newcastle Colliery house Bobbers Mill, said he was the deputy at the Broxtowe pit at that time. He was in the stall two hours previously. It was timbered above the requirements of the Mines Act. There were no breaks exposed. In reply to Mr. Felton, he said he thought if the man had tested the roof just before the fall it would probably require a prop. Mr Felton: Do you know that sounding a roof is a defective method. It is not the ideal method, but you have to use both eyesight and sound. The Coroner: Can you suggest a way of preventing these falls? I wish I could. Mr. Felton: One way is to have more timber. Witness: Not in every case. I am of opinion that the best man if the world would have passed the stone. Dr. Malkin said that when brought to the hospital on 23rd August, Spencer had a fractured dislocation of the spine, which caused paralysis in the legs. He died on 13th October, from these injuries. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 15 January 1931
John Robert Bird
The case of a miner who injured his back two years ago while working in the pit and died on Tuesday last was investigated by the Nottingham City Coroner Mr. C. L. Rothera, at the Hyson Green Coroners Court, this afternoon. Deceased was John Robert Bird, aged seventy, of 116, Newmarket Road, Bulwell, a stallman. On January 10th 1929, he was working in the Broxtowe pit lifting a jottie when he fell backwards injuring his spine. The widow Mary Anne Bird, in reply to Lieut. Col. H. Bradwell, who appeared for the colliery company, said full compensation had been paid to her husband. Dr. George O’ Gorman said he had attended deceased in conjunction with Dr. Coutts-Wood. He examined him at the time of the accident and found he was suffering from a spinal injury and shock. Death was due to hypostatic congestion due to the injuries. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.