Attachments: Combs Pit - Current list
I live in Thornhill and am currently researching the names of those who died, especially as some of them were distant relatives of my husband. I was interested to read your list on your website, but I have discovered a few amendments. I have attached the list of what I have found out so far; as you already know, most of the casualties were buried at Thornhill Parish Church, and I have seen the Parish burial records held at Dewsbury Library.
Some of spellings you have are incorrect or possibly typos, and some of the names were aliases eg Rufus Scargill was really Rufus Summerscales; Robert Scargill was actually his stepfather. Curiously, his death is recorded on BMD under both Scargill and Summerscales!
Another odd two are Joseph and James Noble, not Nobel - the parish records show their ages as you have listed ie Joseph aged 44 and James 16, but they have recorded the ages the wrong way round. I have checked both BMD and the 1891 census; James was the father and Joseph the son: in 1893 therefore it was James who was 44 and Joseph who was 16!
Also I had already discovered in my husband's family tree that Willie Coates was really Willie Oates - I'm not sure when he and some of his family seemed to have changed their surname to Coates, but from the information I have, he was actually 14, not 12!
You will notice that I have highlighted in bold the amendments on the attached list, and I have also added a few other names which were not included on your list, such as Willie Brooke aged 14 - the son of the 45 year old Charles Brooke - his name was misspelled on the burial record as Brook, not to be confused with the otherCharles Brook aged 33.
I have also been to Whitley Parish Church graveyard and found an additional few names; sadly some of the gravestones are covered in moss/too worn/vandalised to find the extra that are possibly buried there, but a proposed trip to Huddersfield Library may yield a few more names.
It is a sobering thought to think that although 139 men and boys died in this tragedy, I have only been able to track down 118 of them so far. I would like to know who the other 21 were.
One thing I forgot on my last email is that James Sheard, buried at Thornhill Parish Church on 7 July 1893 was NOT one of the Combs Pit casualties - the burial record specifically states that he was 'not in colliery disaster'. He just happened to die in Dewsbury Infirmary and to have been buried the same day as several of the casualties.
13 April 2011
Since I emailed you, I have found some more names, from my visit to Huddersfield Library, where they have an excellent local & family history section, with microfiches of loads of parish records. I have attached the updated list. Unfortunately they did not have the burial records from Thornhill Baptist Chapel though, and although I went to the graveyard today, I did not find any which clearly resulted from the Combs Pit disaster. However a few graves either did not have a headstone or the headstones were extremely worn/vandalised, so maybe they were the ones I was looking for! If I ever find where the records are I will satisfy my curiosity!