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Mining Roll of Honour

Mining was the way in which most Jarratts men earned a living. It was a very dangerous occupation, especially in the nineteenth century when safety was not always a prime consideration. This section lists any Jarratts resident who died in the course of their mining work, whether from an accident or by natural causes. Some of the deaths are covered in detail elsewhere in the Jarratts Research section.

John Hitchin (22) 8th December 1862 Edmunds Main Explosion

George Pickering (44) 10th December 1862 Edmunds Main Explosion

John Christopher (13) 26th March 1864 Edmunds Main Explosion

Aaron Kilner (33) 9th October 1866 at Edmunds Main
Crushed by falling rocks

Thomas Winter (16) 21st April 1874
Crushed by falling coal

Benjamin Bennett (29) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

Alfred Bower (14) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

Edwin Bower (12) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

John Gibson (14) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

John Pickering (23) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

Joseph Winder (20) 6th December 1875 Swaithe Main Explosion

Peter Cox (14) 7th January 1876 Martins Main Colliery
Crushed by falling coal

Tom Cope (42) 24th October 1891 Swaithe Main
Crushed by Coal Truck

George Swift (55) 19th October 1896 New Oaks Colliery
Died at Coal Face from Natural Causes

William Gibbons (57) 3rd July 1911 Hoyland Silkstone Colliery
Former Jarratts resident. Killed by falling stone whilst clearing a roof fall

Tom Rathnell Cope (23) 15th November 1907 Barrow Colliery Disaster

James Whalley (53) 18th November 1912 Barrow Colliery
Died at Coal Face from Natural Causes

James Joseph Dicken (18) 10th March 1922 Rockingham Colliery
Crushed by falling coal

Harold Beecroft (29) 11th April 1943 Mottram Wood Colliery
Underground Explosion

The impact of tragedies in the coal mines would have been much wider than this list. Many Jarratts residents would have been touched by accidents to members of their extended family who lived elsewhere in Worsborough. Men who worked together often developed a strong camaraderie and felt the loss of friends and colleagues deeply.

An interesting entry in this list is the death of John Christopher in March 1864. The death announcement in the Barnsley Chronicle indicates that, aged 11, he had survived the Edmunds Main explosion with no physical injuries, but was so shocked by the experience that he slowly faded away. It is unusual to find information about how mining affected mental health.

Despite the depressing regularity of major explosions and apparently preventable incidents that snuffed out life, death in the mines was not common. Loss of limb or eye was an occupational hazard and damage caused to the head by a fall of coals could be invisible. Many men survived the accidents that maimed them. Before sick pay was available to those who were not well, some had to return to work even if they were not fit to do so, perhaps to a pit-head job that paid much less than they had earned as an underground worker. Others become dependant on their children to keep a roof over their heads.

Permanent damage to health crept up over time. Respiratory problems caused by breathing in coal dust and arthritis from working in damp spaces degraded a man's body and often left him in pain for twenty four hours a day and prematurely aged. The collieries extracted a high price for the coal they yielded.

In December 1866, the Oaks Colliery suffered a devastating explosion that killed just under 400 men and boys. None of the victims were living at Jarratts as at this time, the accommodation was rented to men who worked at the Edmunds Main Colliery.

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