In Memoriam

A part record of men killed at Pleasley Colliery

Coal mining was a dangerous occupation. Below is a list for the period 1875 to 1936 of accidental deaths at the pit with additional information up to 1967

Please note that this collection of names is by no means complete!

Accidental deaths 1875 to 1967

Adkin, Thomas

30 Jun 1884, aged 28, Stallman, Fall of roof whilst building a pack

Annable, Ezra

05 Sep 1900, (accident: 03 Sep 1900), aged 14, Incline boy, Several loaded tubs broke away from the top of a self-acting incline, and when they reached the bottom they ran into some empty tubs standing there, and behind which deceased was endeavouring to get for safety. Died on the 5th instant (Top Hard Coal)

Ball, John

23 Jun 1898, aged 34, Stallman, Fall of roof. Deceased was building a pack in the stall when a quantity of roof fell and killed him

Barrett, James Francis

02 Jul 1902, aged 28, Loader, He was acting as horse-driver and stumbled or was knocked down by the horse and run over by the full tubs (Top hard coal)

Beardow, William

24 Feb 1903, (accident: 13 Feb 1903), aged 45, Loader, He trapped his finger between a prop and a tub, and died on 24th February from blood poisoning caused by the injury (Top hard coal seam)

Bennett, George

13 Oct 1899, aged 48, Stallman, Fall of roof. The attention of the deceased had been called to a part the roof which his loader considered to be unsafe, and while he was examining the same, it fell upon him (Top hard coal)

Blackwell, John

09 Dec 1886, aged 32, Collier, Fall of coals

Boot, Alfred

23 Jul 1924, 12.30 p.m., 7th hour of shift, aged 28, Dayman, Deceased was dressing coal off the face to make room for a prop when a heavy fall of roof took place and severely injured him. The stone fell from between two keen slips and in falling ran out two props. There is little doubt that in getting down the coal, deceased unknowingly freed the stone which caused his death

Brindley, Thomas

02 Oct 1875, aged 40, Sinker, after lighting two shots in the bottom of the shaft they started to come up without first steadying the tub this swinging about came into contact with the pump stays, breaking the handle of the tub and dropping the men to the bottom of the shaft

Brooks, Thomas

06 Nov 1908, aged 40, Dayman, Fall of roof. Deceased was getting coal down when a fall of roof took place and killed him (Top Hard Coal seam)

Brown, Samuel

27 Feb 1907, aged 15, Horse-driver, Deceased was conveying full tubs along the roadway and was found dead with the shafts pressing him against the side of the roadway (Top hard coal)

Bull, William

08 Jun 1881, aged 22, Loader, Fall of roof whilst loading coals

Coupe, Henry Butterworth

20 Nov 1906, aged 20, Screenman, Deceased was crossing the railway sidings at night when he appears to have stumbled, and was crushed between a standing wagon and a moving wagon

Cutts, John

19 Jul 1906, aged 42, Stallman, Deceased suddenly expired while leaving work for the day, and at the inquest a verdict of death from "natural causes" was returned [fatality reported during the year but not classified as a reportable accident]

Davies, John William

04 Aug 1909, aged 44, Stallman, Deceased was getting coals from the web and intended making room for a bar with a prop under each end when a fall of roof pushed the end off and killed him (Top Hard Coal seam)

Dixley, Benjamin

02 Oct 1875, aged 31, Sinker, after lighting two shots in the bottom of the shaft they started to come up without first steadying the tub this swinging about came into contact with the pump stays, breaking the handle of the tub and dropping the men to the bottom of the shaft

Dixon, George

23 Oct 1894, aged 15, Horse driver, Whilst walking by the side of his horse the horse stumbled knocking deceased down and seven full tubs passed over him

Donaldson, William

06 Sep 1893, (accident: 25 Jul 1893), aged 59, Holer, Fall of coal. While deceased was holing a piece of coal fell upon him from between two sprags. He died 6th Sept

Drabble, Henry

24 Jan 1887, aged 40, Collier, Fall of roof while repairing the roadway

Everley, Ernest

15 Jun 1906, aged 13, Tub-coupler, Deceased was attempting to remove a tub-coupling from between two full tubs, when other tubs bumped into them and killed deceased (Top hard coal)

Flory, George

05 Aug 1892, (accident: 26 Jul 1892), aged 30, Stallman, The deceased stated that he had strained himself by lifting a full tub on the rails. He died from spinal and brain disease presumably caused by the strain. Died 5th August

Giles, Stephen

04 Nov 1890, aged 17, Shunter, Crushed between railway wagons. He was passing between the waggons to couple them by hand instead of using his coupling pole which he threw down on the railway sidings

Glazebrook, Benjamin Charlton

07 Jan 1911, (accident: 05 Jan 1911), aged 19, Loader, He was cleaning up in part of the coal face where the web had been loaded, when some coal rolled from a break and crushed him against a prop. He died on the 7th January

Graves, Charles Frederick

21 Oct 1893, aged 24, Shunter, He went between two railway wagons to uncouple them instead of using the shunting pole when the engine driver moved the wagons before deceased was clear off the rails. Deceased had a foot fast in the points or would probably have been out from between the wagons. He died the same day


Hackett, Ernest

04 Oct 1906, aged 17, Rope-boy, Deceased was coupling a train of four full tubs on to an endless-rope, when he appears to have slipped, and was run over and killed (Top hard coal)

Hallam, Samuel

07 Mar 1900, (accident: 17 Feb 1900), aged 29, Stallman, Fall of roof. Deceased was loading coals, when a fall of roof occurred, and seriously injured his leg. He was taken to a hospital, where "erysipelas" and "dropsy" supervened, and he died on 7th March (Top hard coal)

Hallam, William, 09 Apr 1919, (accident: 31 Mar 1919), aged 54, Stallman, Piece of coal which he was bringing down knocked out a sprag and allowed clod to fall — foot fractured. After two operations it was decided to amputate. Died of scepticemia 9th April

Holmes, C.

28 Aug 1936, Miner, killed by a fall of roof [date of report]

Jackson, George

11 Jan 1899, aged 55, Stallman, Fall or roof. Deceased went into the gate to pull some stone down which was bad. He went under the stone to examine it, and when he knocked upon the stone it fell and killed him

Jones, J.

27 Nov 1935, (accident: 18 Nov 1935), Miner, struck on the head by a fall of stone

Kirkham, James

19 Jun 1905, (accident: 05 Jun 1905), aged 51, Loader, He had a slight injury to a toe on 5th June, and the coroner's jury found that this injury had nothing to do with death. He died of "hemorrhage into the pericardial cavity" [fatality reported during the year but not classified as a reportable accident]

Lea, John

29 Jul 1905, (accident: 27 Jul 1905), aged 43, Stallman, Fall of roof. Deceased was doing some repairs at the gate-end, and when he knocked a prop out the roof fell and fatally injured him. He died 29th July (Top hard coal seam)

Lee, George,

 06 Oct 1891, aged 29, Stallman, Fatally injured by a shot. The deceased had charged two shots very near each other in the roof of a roadway. He fired one and after it had exploded he went back to fire the second when it exploded the first shot having ignited the fuse of the second

Livingstone, Frank

01 Jul 1912, aged 14, Coupler-on, Deceased had been employed three days coupling empty tubs. In spite of several warnings he attempted to take the links off a full tub, and an incoming set pinned his head between the ends of the tubs

Moore, James

04 Jun 1902, aged 14, Rope-boy, Run over by a train of three full tubs. The deceased was guiding the full tubs over a crossing point on the rope road when they became derailed, and before the train could be stopped the tubs had gone over and fatally injured the deceased. He died the same day (Top Hard coal)

Murfin, John James

07 Oct 1907, aged 13, Door-boy, Deceased was holding a door open for a train of full tubs to pass through when he got crushed between the door and the last tub (Top hard coal)

Nuttall, John,

 05 Jun 1895, (accident: 27 Oct 1894), aged 28, Stallman, He died from cerebral apoplexy which was probably due to a fall of roof. He died 5th June due to injury received

Priest, John

14 Aug 1914, aged 16, Ganger, He was found under the front tub of a set of five full ones which he was bringing out of a gate. The first and second tubs were attached and he was astride the crank which, at this colliery, is fastened to the draw bar. His position suggested that he was riding and fell off

Pyzer, W. E.

17 Jul 1935, Miner, killed by a fall of clod

Reason, William

24 Jan 1887, aged 43, Collier, Fall of roof while repairing the roadway

Shone, Henry John

19 Feb 1914, aged 22, Labourer, A locomotive had pushed four wagons of slack up into the fan boiler siding, the first and second wagons being 2 feet 3 inches apart. Deceased secured the second one but not the first, and he was found crushed between the buffers, the front one having moved down 1 foot 3 inches. It is not known why he was between the buffers

Short, Ernest

02 Aug 1900, aged 16, Horse driver, Fall of roof. Deceased was in charge of a horse and four full tubs, travelling along a roadway, when the horse stumbled against one of the props supporting a bar, knocking it out, and allowing the roof to fall, which killed deceased (Top hard coal)

Sims, John

28 May 1885, aged 41, Stallman, Withdrawing back timber when a portion of the roof fell upon him

Smith, Harold

15 Jul 1915, aged 22, Loader, Wedging down top coal when bind fell — fractured skull and killed him

Smith, John William

25 Jan 1905, aged 16, Horse-driver, He was found dead under a set of five full tubs, and appeared to have been riding contrary to the rules of the mine (Top hard coal seam)

Smith, Wilfred

20 Apr 1912, aged 15, Motor Driver, Deceased was in charge of a 30 H.P. motor driving an endless rope for haulage. He was seen to leave the starting switch and go towards the gearing, and at the time that some coal fell off the tubs on the haulage road into the rope race he was inside the fence. The falling coal made him step back and he was taken into the gearing and fatally crushed

Teece, William

06 Oct 1913, aged 57, Stallman, Deceased was travelling up an endless haulage rope road on his way to work. He was trying to pass five empty tubs when a set of three full ones ran away, owing to the clips slipping. Deceased was caught and run over by all the tubs, being dragged 20 yards. The refuge holes were on the empty road side, but the empty tubs prevented him getting into the one he was opposite. A back clip will be used in future


Walker, Richard

12 Jan 1897, aged 44, Haulage contractor, Deceased was the contractor for getting out coal from the working stalls to the pit bottom. A train of four tubs got off the rails in the engine plane and deceased instead of stopping the endless rope as provided for by the rules of the mine attempted to put the trams on the rails and another tram came into collision and crushed him

Wall, John Thomas,

 07 Jan 1903, aged 49, Stallman, Fall of roof. Deceased was found under a fall of roof in a goaf from which he had withdrawn the timber a short time before (Top hard coal seam)

Wardall, William Henry,

 27 Mar 1908, aged 14, Rope-boy, Deceased was walking along an engine plane when he was knocked down by full tubs and killed (Top Hard Coal seam)

Wilson, Horace

24 May 1894, aged 13, Motor attendant, Deceased was found in the wheels of a haulage engine worked by an electric motor. He appears to have got through the fence for some purpose unexplained


Wilson, John,

26 May 1881, aged 26, Stallman, Explosion of gas

Information provided courtesy of The Durham Mining Museum and its contributors

Each named deceased has a link to the source of the information via the Durham Mining Museum Website.

Additional Information from 1935 to 1967

Robert Toon (30) 

fall of roof 12/1/1935 died 13/1/1935

William Hunt (52) 

fall of roof 24/1/1935

Jack Jones (27) 

fall of roof 16/11/1935 died 27/11/1935

Arthur Beresford (..) 

fall of roof 6/1/1937, died 15/1/1937

James Lawson (47) 


Vincent Whileman (15)

 pony driver, mutilated body, run over by fulls, on haulage road, riding ? The pony made its way back to the stables Sat 10/4/1937, TE Pickering HMI

Ernest Harris (38) 

fall of coal 11/1/1938

John Green (24) 

fall of roof 22/6/1939

Walter Cooper (20) 

fall of roof 20/1/1940

Frank Hill (45) 

fall of roof 1/1/1940, died 2/2/1940

Harold Morris (33) 

fall of roof 24/10/1940

William Hall (50) 

crushed by a cable in the shaft 11/11/1940

Fred Coupe (46) 

fall of roof 24/11/1940

John Roebuck (31) 

fall of roof 19/10/1941

Wilfred Brace (24) 


Ernest Sampson Harris (16) 

run over by loco on the surface, 23/12/1942:

George William Randle (60) 


Horace Brown (34) 

fall of roof, 29/11/1945

Ken Farnsworth (14) 

caught in creeper on pit top, 15/2/1946

John William Gaynor (57)

 fall of roof 24/1/1948 died 19/2/1949

Harry Hill (42) 

caught his head as cage moved, Thurs 27/6/1949

Arthur Holmes (34) 

fall of roof 15/10/1951

William Marc Owen (38) 

fall of roof 1/1/1953

Richard Edwin Roebuck (49) 

was killed in the pit bottom whilst using a whitewashing machine with unguarded electric motor and leaned across to switch it off and his scarf became entangled in the drive shaft -/1/1961

Harry Elliott (34) 

crushed by roof support 24/3/1966 

Peter Evans (57) 

crushed by roof support 30/5/1967.

Additional Information from Robert Bradley at