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In Memory
Frederick Lebeter Killed At Digby Colliery


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In MemoryJohn
16 Jul 2015
Frederick Lebeter Killed At Digby Colliery, Coal Gas Ignited By Naked Light 1924

Nottingham Evening Post Saturday 2nd August 1924




A verdict that Frederick Lebeter, aged 41, miner of 4 Swinegate, Kimberley, died from injuries sustained through accidently being burnt by coal gas ignited by a naked light used in contravention of the regulations was returned by the Notts Deputy Coroner (Mr. E. Williams) yesterday. The inquiry was held at the Digby Colliery offices, Kimberley, Lebeter having died the previous day, after being found badly burnt about the body on Monday.

Job Sedgwick, a deputy stated that the stall in which Lebeter began work was safe and free from gas, though there was a slight trace of gas in a heading about 100 yards away. Later in the morning, on hearing there had been an accident, he went to the spot and found a strong smell of burning. The gas in the heading that day was due to a fall at the slipside, and witness fenced the place off, and told the incoming deputy. Sedgwick said he was also present when the under-manager found matches in deceased's waistcoat pocket, which was a breach of regulations.

Wilfred Clifford, Stanton-road, Ilkeston, a stone-worker in the pit, said he was just about to commence work 300 yards from the stall, where Lebeter was employed, when he felt a sudden in rush of air. Feeling that something was wrong, witness called to a deputy, and went in that direction and found deceased lying burnt near the junction road. He put his coat round the man and brought him to the main road, where he was taken charge of by the deputy.

Cyril Hunt, of Awsworth, the deputy referred to said Lebeter, when spoken to could give no explanation of how the accident happened. In company with the under-manager they made an examination of the stall, and behind the brattice hurdle sheeting they found 1 to 2 per cent of gas, whilst lying on the floor on the opposite side of the sheeting were the candle and safety lamp. Close by deceased's waistcoat was found, with half a dozen matches in one of the pockets and a partially smoked cigarette.

Witness added that two days previously Lebeter had been working in a stall where he was entitled to use a candle and matches, but naked light were prohibited there. Witness advanced the opinion that Lebeter was in the act of commencing work, and the candles ignited the coal gas produced by some weight or slip.

Dr. S. R. Northwood, who first attended Lebeter at the pit lamp house, found him suffering from shock, and extensive burns to the neck, back, head and face. Deceased could give no account of what took place, and died from shock and exhaustion.

Ernest Humphreys (18), of 99, Chapel-street, Ilkeston In Memory

Finally another person I have researched also died in a mine accident, but does not appear on your lists. I do not have a typed up version of his death details but I do have his article, which I could type up for you, if it is of interest? He was called Ernest Humphreys (18), of 99, Chapel-street, Ilkeston, employed as a ganger at the Waterloo Pit, Shipley Collieries, met his death in a peculiar manner in November 1923.

Can your colleagues search their records for his death details as well please, and confirm whether he is listed? He also has a Lebeter connection because N.B. Ernest Humphreys, was the illegitimate son of Agnes Humphreys and grandson of Ruth Humphreys, wife of William Lebeter.


Ilkeston Advertiser – Friday 30th November 1923
Page 1 Columns 4 & 5

SHIPLEY Colliery Fatality

On Saturday morning Ernest Humphrey (18), of 99, Chapel-street, Ilkeston, employed as a ganger at the Waterloo Pit, Shipley Collieries, met his death in a peculiar manner, the circumstances surrounding the sad affair being explained at the inquest, which was held on Monday at the Ilkeston Hospital by Mr A N Whiston. There were also present H M Inspector of Mines (Mr W E T Hartley), Mr F H Ferens (agent of the Shipley Collieries) and Mr Wm Clayton (manager).

John Wm. Wing, 99, Chapel-street, Ilkeston, said the deceased was his step-son. Witness last saw him alive at ten minutes past four on Saturday morning. He had just come to the pass-by in the pit with some wagons, and witness told him the time. Shortly before five o’clock witness heard of the accident, and saw the deceased lying on a stretcher. He (deceased) had worked at the Shipley pit about four years.

Michael Geehan, 41 Norman-street, Cotmanhay, said on Saturday morning he went with the deceased to hang his horse on at the top of the “bunkey.” Witness saw him put his lockers in, and followed him down a short distance behind. The horse went in his usual manner. The deceased opened the door, and the horse went through. When witness opened the door he heard him crying out: “Mick !” “Mick !” Witness went to look for him, but could not find him at first but afterwards he found him under the loaded trams, lying full length across the rails; his neck was on the rail, and the buffer of the tub over it. The boy called out witness’s name again, and he (witness) went and shouted to the corporal, Jack Hardy. Together they removed the trams and extricated the lad, who did not speak again. The horse was pinned on the left hand side to one of the props. Witness thought the boy slipped, and the horse turned to dodge the lamp. He was walking in front of the horse when witness last saw him – not riding. There was nothing wrong with the lockers, which were in good condition.

In reply to Mr Hartley, witness said he saw nothing of the lamp; and to Mr Ferens witness replied that the pony was a quit one. Witness added in answer to a question from the coroner, that the deceased knew his work.

John Wm. Hardy, 49, Lord Haddon-road, Ilkeston corporal did not see the accident, but came on the scene in answer to the last witness’s call for help. Witness thought the boy must have slipped  down, or the pony have turned into the wide side and perhaps knocked the boy down. Why the pony should turn aside he did not know. The boy had worked here some months and knew his work. “He was a good lad too,” added witness.

Dr Dobson described the injuries, and said he could not discover any bones broken. He came to the conclusion that death was due to injury caused by pressure on the neck. The face looked as though it had been driven into some soft substance, and the lad had been unable to free himself.

The Coroner described it as a very sad case. The boy was a good workman, who knew his work well. It was one of those cases in which one could not say what caused the boy to fall, but as the witnesses said something caused him to fall and the tubs passed on to his neck. The coroner recorded a verdict of Accidental death, and expressed sympathy with the relatives in which Mr Ferens joined on behalf of the officials and staff.


Ilkeston Advertiser – Friday 30th November 1923
Page 4 Column 8 Deaths

Humphreys – Nov 24th at 99, Chapel-street, Ilkeston, Ernest Humphreys, aged 18 years.
N.B. Ernest Humphreys, illegitimate son of Agnes Humphreys and grandson of Ruth Humphreys, wife of William Lebeter.

Ilkeston Advertiser – Friday 17th April 1903
Page 8 Column 4

THURSDAY – Before the Mayor (Ald F Sudbury), Ald C Maltby, and Ald W Merry.

Between Men – John Barrowcliffe was summoned for assaulting Frank Lebeter, on April 7th. Complainant said he was coming through the Market-place and the defendant met him, and without any provocation whatever struck him several times in the face. A witness named Paling corroborated. It transpired that there was an existing grievance which occurred over ten years ago, and which the Bench said was not out of date. – A fine of 10s and 19s costs or 14 days was imposed.

N.B. There is no recorded entry in the St Catherine’s Lists of a person called Frank Lebeter. It is likely to be Frederick Lebeter as per the report on the same date in the Ilkeston Pioneer.

In MemoryIlkeston Pioneer – Friday 17th April 1903
Page 5 Column 3


An inquest was held at the Queen’s Head, Ilkeston, on Monday morning by the Deputy Coroner. W. R. H. Whiston, concerning the death of George Lebeter, 44, a collier, who was found dead in his own property late on Good Friday night, with a rope round his neck, pointing to a case of suicide.

Mary Lebeter, widow of the deceased, said she lived in Briggs’-arcade, Bath-street, Ilkeston. Deceased was a collier, and was 44 years of age. She last saw him alive a few minutes before 8 o’clock, on Friday night at home. She left him in the kitchen, and went out to see some friends. He was alone. She returned home at half-past eleven, and seeing no one in she went to lock the gate. She then called upstairs to her husband, and then went upstairs and searched both bedrooms, but could find no trace of him. She then went to the w.c., but he was not there. Thinking he might be outside, she went and unlocked the gate again. Coming into the house again, she went into the scullery, and found him hanging from the shelf bracket with his knees on the floor, and a rope round his neck. She went and called on Mr. Stone, who cut the deceased down. He was quiet warm, and witness thinking he was not dead rubbed him well, but was unable to bring him round. A doctor was sent for, but he could do nothing, as deceased had been dead for two hours. She had no idea where deceased obtained the rope. The latter had not been in good health for some time. He had been depressed, more or less, since he had been at home, a period of 19 weeks. He was out of work, and said he did not feel as if he could work. Previous to leaving work he had his face burnt, and this always seemed to trouble him. He had always told her that he would not live long and that there was something hanging over him. On Friday he seemed in better spirits than usual. She could not persuade him to see a doctor. He always said his head was going, and constantly had to lie down. There was nothing at home to trouble him except for the fact that he was bringing in no money, and this seemed to trouble him. He had not always been a steady man, but he had not had anything since August. They live comfortably together. They had no unpleasantness on Friday whatsoever.

Ernest Stone stated that he lived in Briggs’-arcade and was a painter. Last Friday night, about half-past eleven, he was called upon by Mrs. Lebeter. He went with her into the scullery, and there saw George Lebeter hanging with a rope from the bracket on the shelf on his knees, which were touching the floor. The rope was in the form of a slip noose with the knot at the back, and was very tight. Witness cut him down. He was quiet dead. Witness fetched the doctor, who stated that the man had been dead some time. Witness had known deceased ten months. He had not been very well, and had seemed queer in his manner at times. Witness had never heard him complaint at all. Deceased and his wife lived comfortably together. He was a steady man as far as witness knew.

A verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was recorded.


Ilkeston Advertiser – Friday 17th April 1903
Page 8 Column 6


This is an almost identical article to the one printed in the Ilkeston Pioneer on the same date, so it has not been transcribed.


Ilkeston Advertiser – Friday 24th April 1903
Page 8 Column 7  Deaths

Lebeter – April 10th, at Briggs’ Arcade, Bath-street, Ilkeston, George Lebeter, aged 44 years.


Ilkeston Pioneer – Friday 24th April 1903
Page 8 Column 1  Deaths

On the 10th inst., at Briggs’ Arcade, Bath-street, Ilkeston, George Lebeter, aged 44 years.


Nottingham Evening Post – Monday 13th April 1903
Page 4


An inquest was held to-day at the Queen’s Head, Ilkeston by the Deputy coroner (Mr. W. R. H. Whiston), on the body of George Lebeter, 44 a collier, residing in Bath-street, Ilkeston, which was found on Good Friday night hanging by a rope in the scullery, - Mary Lebeter, the widow of the deceased, stated that she went out on good Friday night about eight o’clock, and left her husband in alone. She returned at half past-eleven, and missing him, made a search of all the rooms in the house and outhouses. At length she went into the scullery and found his suspended from a bracket with a rope round his neck. She called a neighbour, Mr. Stone, who cut him down. A doctor was sent for, but he stated that death had taken place two hours ago. Deceased had not enjoyed good health lately, and had been depressed in spirits during the 19 weeks he had been out of work. Being out of work seemed to pray on his mind. He had repeatedly said to her that there was something hanging over him, and that he would not live long. They had lived comfortably together. – A verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was recorded.


Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 13th April 1903
Page 3  (Entry from the index only)


George Lebeter, collier (44), was found hanging with a rope round his neck at his residence in a cottage behind Briggs’ Arcade, off Bath Street, Ilkeston. Lebeter had been ill for some time and unable to follow work. On Friday night his wife had ………….


I am fairly sure Ernest Humphries can be found in Alan Beales Fatalities list and Bob Bradley's the Fatalities