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Whitehaven News

Haig Pit Disaster - 5th September 1922

Thanks To John Lumsdon


Haig memorial
Photo by Stuart Tomlins

The inquest was formally opened in the Power House (the room next to No.4 engine hall), with the bodies being kept in the cellars below. Eight were in handsome coffins with brass mountings, but the majority were covered up with the exception of their bandaged faces, which were exposed. The dead were then identified as :-

Thomas Parker Telford

19

Shifthand

7, Low Harras Moor

Violence of the Explosion

Identified by father John James Telford

Robert Routledge McCreadie

19

Hewer

4, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Violence of the Explosion

Identified by brother Joseph McCreadie

Gordon McCreadie

17

Hewer

4, Thwaite Ville, Kells

CO Poisoning

Identified by brother Joseph McCreadie

George McCreadie

47

Hewer

4, Thwaite Ville, Kells

CO Poisoning

Identified by son Joseph McCreadie

Robert Denwood

21

Hewer

13, Quay Street

Violence of the Explosion

Identified by mother Elizabeth Denwood

Joseph Moore

29

Shifthand

22, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Violence, CO Poisoning

Identified by father James Moore

Albert Powe

19

Shifthand

Low Harras Moor

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by father Philip Powe

James Graves

46

Shifthand

Goosebutts

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by son James Graves

Moses Huddleston Tyson

24

Hewer

3, Thwaite Ville, Kells

CO Poisoning

Identified by father Moses Huddleston Tyson

Thomas Corlett

58

Shifthand

Birley Court , Duke St

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by nephew Thomas Corlett Robson ***

John Kirkpatrick

32

Hewer

1, Hill's Place, Church St

CO Poisoning

Identified by father Robert Kirkpatrick

William Hope

25

Hewer

10, School House Lane

CO Poisoning

Identified by brother Thomas Hope

John Moore

25

Hewer

10, Bransty Road

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by father in law John High

Thomas Gilhooley

39

Hewer

40, Keekle Terrace

CO Poisoning

Identified by father Thomas Gilhooley

Leonard Ixon Hellon

27

Hewer

3, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Burns, Shock

Identified by Moses Huddleston Tyson

Bernard Murphy

24

Hewer

56, Bowthorn Road

Burns, Shock

Identified by father Bernard Murphy

Sylvester McAvoy

34

Hewer

29, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by uncle James Harvey

Thomas Haig

37

Hewer

2, Cook's Court, Scotch St

Burns, Shock

Identified by widow Mary Elizabeth Haig

Albert Shepard

39

Hewer

135, Main St, Parton

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by Ernest Shepard

William Weightman

32

Deputy

16, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Burns, Shock

Identified by father in law Thomas McKenzie

Samuel Coulter

28

Hewer

52, Main St, Hensingham

CO Poisoning

Identified by brother John Robert Coulter

Thomas Robinson

29

Hewer

53, Main St, Hensingham

Burns, Shock, CO poison

George Stevenson Parkinson

26

Hewer

Low Harras Moor

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by widow Mary Jane Parkinson

Thomas McDowell

19

Trailer

Streeton's Trc, Hensingham

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Identified by brother in law Robert Knox

Jackson Sparks

19

Hewer

4, Williamson's Lane

Burns, Shock, CO poison

William John Sparks

23

Hewer

4, Williamson's Lane

Burns, Shock, CO poison

John Casson

37

Hewer

Low Harras Moor

CO Poisoning

Henry Goulding

32

Hewer

2, Ravenhill

CO Poisoning

John Bennett

23

Hewer

28, Arrowthwaite

CO Poisoning

John Pattinson

36

Hewer

13, Williamson's Lane

Burns, Shock, CO poison

Thomas Henry Cooper

28

Hewer

28, Auction Yd, NewTown

CO Poisoning

Isaac Osbourne

26

Hewer

Crookdale, Brayton

CO Poisoning

George Watson

37

Hewer

5, Brookbank, Hensingham

Violence of the Explosion

John Carson Brewster

39

Shotfirer

17, Lonsdale Place

Violence of the Explosion

Richard Denvir

58

Shifthand

2, Low Road

Violence, CO Poisoning

(Spelt as Denver in the Whitehaven News)

Douglas James Michael Fell

21

Student

Holy Trinity Vicarage

CO Poisoning

William Carter

26

Hewer

30, Thwaite Ville, Kells

Violence, Burns, Shock

Thomas Moore

29

Hewer

3, Garden Villas, Hensinghm

Burns, Shock

Robert McDowell

44

Hewer

High Hensingham

CO Poisoning

The enquiry heard evidence regarding the strong feeder of firedamp (a release of methane from the coal strata) found discharging from the fissure at Moore's Place. Questions were raised about the safety procedures adopted by Weightman and Brewster, but it was thought most unlikely either would have fired shots into a face if there were any suspicion of a blower behind it.

A youth named Joyce was described as having a miraculous escape. He was on the telephone, in a manhole on the main road, when the explosion ripped past. This alone, saved him from certain death. A Mayors fund was opened to "place the relatives beyond the reach of poverty" and money poured in from around the country. A letter and 20 shillings was received from a mother in Scotland for Mrs McCreadie because her own two sons, who had been killed in the war, bore the same names as the McCreadie boys, Robert and Gordon.

Yesterday, our Reporter called on some of the men who were down the mine when the explosion occurred but escaped. In some instances, their re-collection of what occurred after the explosion was distinctly hazy. Our Reporter called up on Mr T. Travaskis, Rope Splicer, who resides in Catherine Street. Mr Tervaskis escaped with his life but is severely injured. He has three ribs broken, is suffering from internal injuries, has sustained severe wounds on the back of his head and forehead, and has been burned down the left side.

Rescue Man Haig Pit 1922

Our Reporter found Mr Trevaskis lying in a clean, comfortable, well-furnished bedroom, where he is being nursed by his devoted wife. He was much to ill to talk, but managed, speaking slowly, and with an effort, to tell our representative that the explosion sounded, at the place where he was working, "like a gun shot". After that he knew no more. From other sources, our representative gathered that Mr Trevaskis was found unconscious, his head lying over a tub".

Thanks to Whitehaven News and Volunteers and Staff of Haig Colliery Mining Museum.
Whitehaven News 7th September 1922


Pit Terminology - Glossary