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In Memory

Jim Tilt
29 September 2010
Fallen Headstone

A few years ago I took some photograph's of headstones in cemeteries near my home as I was concerned about the lack of care, vandalism etc., being shown toward them and I wanted to preserve their image for future generations.

One of those I came across appears to be that of a miner, Samuel Clegg, and possibly his son. This headstone is in St Cuthbert's Cemetery, St Cuthbert's Rd., West Herrington, Sunderland, and, despite having fallen, appears to be in good condition.

From what I can gather, the local council can cart away fallen stones and use them for rubble and the like if they are not claimed by a relative etc., and it would be a shame/loss if this were the case here.

Is there anything you can do to ensure that this headstone does not suffer the same fate?


Accidently killed/died from injuries sustained, in pit:
(DMM is a link to the Durham Mining Museum, If the name is Blue and Bold click on it to go to Grave Stone)

Name Age Colliery, Date Notes
Thomas Henry Anderson 42 years New Herrington Colliery,
17 Aug 1898
Occupation: Deputy - a fall of stone occurred in the Hutton Seam engine plane, and while it was being cleared away some side stone fell and displaced the timber, and this caused a second fall from the roof, which caught and killed these three men [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 17 Aug 1898 pg 4; inquest - 19 Aug 1898 pg 4, 20 Aug 1898 pg 3] - DMM
John Appleton 29 years Dorothea Colliery,
20 Mar 1893
While hewing in a jud he exposed a slip, and a fall of stone took place killing him.
Buried:St. Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington DMM
Robert Armstrong Nicholson 13 years Margaret Pit, 18 Sep 1894 Occupation: Driver - run over by a set of full tubs, 18th Sep 1894 12:00 p.m., 6th hour of shift, supposed to have been hanging on his pony when the hook slipped off [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 20 Sep 1894 pg 3] - DMM
Joseph Bell 47 years Eppleton Colliery, 20 Jun 1952
Small stone fell from roof and he suffocated
Buried: Hetton-le-Hole Cemetery - DMM
Cornelius Bradley 23 Years Eppleton Colliery, 6 Feb 1936 A truck dislodged a large stone which fell on him
Buried: Hetton-le-Hole Cemetery - DMM
John Simpson Brown 25 years Margaret Pit, 27 Apr 1915 In loving memory of John Simpson Brown the beloved husband of Annie Brown who was accidentally killed in the Margaret Pit April 27th 1915 aged 25 years - DMM
John Burnside 58 years New Herrington,
23 Dec 191_
Accidently killed  23rd Dec 191_
Aged 58 years
John George Carr 18 years Silksworth Pit, 27 July 1907 Occupation: Incline lad, he slipped when getting into a refuge hole and was caught by the full set which dragged him 70 yards [Sunderland Echo reports: accident - 29 Jul 1907]
Buried: St. Matthew's Churchyard, Silksworth - DMM
Thomas Chappellow 59 years Dorothea Pit, Newbottle
16 Oct 1914
Rolleywayman, Thomas was walking outbye at the end of his shift, when he was overtaken and caught by the front end of a full set of tubs travelling at about 4 miles per hour - DMM
Samuel Clegg 56 years New Herrington Colliery,
20 Jan 1895

Occupation: Hewer. 28 Jan 1895 3:30 p.m., 6th hour of shift. Killed by a fall of stone in the face of his working place, his son (Thomas) was killed in the same pit 11 years previously [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 29 Jan 1895 pg 3 col 4; inquest - 30 Jan 1895 pg 3 col 4]
Buried: St. Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington DMM

Thomas Clegg 22 years New Herrington Colliery,
21 Feb 1884
Occupation: Hewer, crushed by fall of stone from goaf while holing a jud, his father (Samuel) was killed in the same pit 11 years later DMM
George Edward Cleghorn 10 years

New Herrington Colliery
July 29th July 1887

Buried: St Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
John Pugh Crome 14 years Houghton Pit, 13 Aug 1894

Occupation:  Driver - Fall of stone from roof, 10:15 a.m., 5th hour of shift, as he was taking an empty set of tubs into station, caused by some timber being displaced, which caught and killed him instantly [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 23 Aug 1894 pg 4] DMM

Thomas Curry 63 years Margaret Pit, Newbottle,
6 Oct 1909
Occupation: Wasteman, run over by the set and fatally injured.
George Davis 44 years Eppleton Colliery
17 Nov 1951
William Davison 22 years Margaret Pit, 3 June 1885 Occupation: Hewer, Killed in Maudlin Seam by an irruption of water and gas. 13 killed. - DMM
William Dawson 29 years Rainton, Plain Pit,
3 Nov 1823
Occupation: Overman. Explosion of gas. 57 killed
John Dixon 29 years Houghton Pit, 2 Jun 1913 Occupation: Hewer - Accident 2nd Jun 1913, the deceased were taking out a pillar in a 4-foot seam and were engaged in kirving in the coal when both coal and stone above it came away for a length of 13 feet and fell upon them, killing them on the spot; they had undercut beyond a "breaker" which liberated the fall, and apparently had not set sufficient sprags to the face, which was overhanging at the start [Sunderland Echo reports: accident - 02 Jun 1913 pg 6 col 2; inquest - 04 Jun 1913 pg 3 col 3] - DMM
Oliver Drury 17 years North Biddick, 19 Mar 1924 Occupation: Putter. Crushed
Buried: All Saints Churchyard, Penshaw - DMM
John Thomas Etherington 22 years 6m Lambton Colliery,
30 May 1919
Buried by a fall of stone and killed.
In loving memory of John Thomas dearly beloved son of Thomas & Dorothy Etherington who was killed at Lambton Colliery May 30th 1919 aged 22 & 6 months - DMM
Matthew R Ferguson 13 years 6m Houghton Pit, 2 Jun 1893 Door Keeper, Crushed while attempting to get on an engine set of tubs, contrary to orders DMM
Robert Foster 26 years Margaret Pit, Newbottle,
23 July 1902
Occupation: Road Layer. Accidently Killed - a coal cutting machine was at work in the face of some longwall workings, there was a "hitch" on the goaf side of the machine, and when cutting the wheel cut into a slip in the roof and a large stone fell, without any warning, and killed these two men. - DMM

John Gibson

50 years

Ryhope Colliery, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, 1884

Engineer Of Ryhope Colliery For  25 Years
Died Jan 10th 1884, aged 50 Years
Richard Graves 49 years Bishopwearmouth Cemetery, Sunderland, 8th Jun 1901 Deceased was riding on the front waggon of a set which got off the rails, and he fell under the wheels - DMM
Alexander Hardie 29 years Margaret Pit, 27 Dec 1922 In loving memory of Mary Jane the beloved wife of Robert Hardie who died Jan 10th 1916 aged 47 years also Alexander Hardie son of the above who was accidentally killed in the Margaret Pit Dec 27 1922 aged 29 years also Robert Hardie beloved husband of Martha and the late Mary Jane - DMM

William Ewart Hawke

25 years Elemore, National Coal Board
5 Jul 1951
In loving memory of William Ewart dearly beloved son of John Robert & Sarah Ann Hawke who died through injuries received at Elemore Colliery, 5th July 1951 - DMM
Robert Humble 21 years North Biddick Colliery,
31 Mar 1920
Notes: Accidently killed on railway
Buried: All Saints Churchyard, Penshaw - DMM
John George Henderson 42 years Dorothea Pit, 20 Jun 1903 Occupation: Hewer, killed by a fall of stone, measuring 7 ft. by 6 ft. by 21 ins, thick in centre; it fell at a feathery edge all round it, and displaced two pairs of gears - DMM
William Hissett 12 years Houghton Pit, 16 Nov 1891 Occupation: Driver - a heavy fall of stone took place in a station, 9:00 a.m., 3rd hour of shift, breaking down the timbers and burying both him and a horse (recorded in Inspectors Report as 'William Hassett') [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 17 Nov 1891 pg 3 col 1, inquest - 19 Nov 1891 pg 3 col 1] DMM
William Hodgson 22 years 22 Aug 1898 Accidently Killed
John George House 46 years Margaret Pit, 3 Jun 1895 Killed in the 1885 disaster (inrush of water from old workings) - left a wife, Margaret House - DMM
Joseph Laidler 19 years Margaret Pit, 3 June 1885 Occupation: Shifter. Killed in Maudlin Seam by an irruption of water and gas. 13 killed.
Buried: St. Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington DMM ++
Richard Laidler 21 years Margaret Pit, Newbottle,
9 Nov 1893
Accident: 9th Nov 1890, died: 15th Nov 1893. Occupation: Wasteman. Died from injuries received from a fall of stone while drawing a prop on 15 November 1890.
Buried: St. Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington DMM
William Langan 43 years Margaret Pit, 23 Aug 1906 Occupation: Deputy - He drew out a prop set under a plank. The crumbly roof above thrust this plank and two others down, and a large stone falling, he was held fast by the leg. More crumbly roof followed, and he was buried up and smothered. His life would probably have been saved had he used a proper timber-drawing appliance. There was one at hand. - DMM
Thomas Maddison 25 years North Biddick Colliery,
16th Dec 1890
Occupation: Shifter. Suffocated by gases from old workings [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 17 Dec 1890 pg 5 col 1, 18 Dec 1890 pg 3 col 1]
Buried: All Saints Churchyard, Penshaw - DMM
Matthew McGee 62 years Herrington, 15 Feb 1898 Occupation: Wasteman. Killed while clearing away some loose stones he seems to have disturbed the side, as a piece of stone fell away and caught him, causing such severe injuries that he died half-an-hour afterwards [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 15 Feb 1898 pg 3] - DMM
Robert Merrington 69 years Herrington Pit, West also known as the New Pit and Lady Beatrice Colliery,
4 Feb 1944
Hewer, killed by a fall of stone
Buried: All Saints Churchyard, Penshaw - DMM
Henry Morrell 24 years Dorothea Pit, Philadelphia,
22 Dec 1894
15th Dec 1894 10:00 a.m., 5th hour of shift. Broken thigh, the brake of the wagon had not been pinned on, and fell off, deceased fell before the wagons, and was so severely crushed that he died 23 Dec 1894 DMM
Richard Parkin 33 years Eppleton Colliery
6 Jul 1951
Died from carbon monoxide poisoning; killed in the 1951 Explosion, firedamp propagated by coal dust, ignition caused by defective master control box of Joy loader - Lives Lost: 9 - DMM
William Frederick Pearson 18 years Dorothea Pit, Newbottle,
26 Jul 1902
Putter, (he pushed tubs by hand) died from blood poisoning, the result of his arm being crushed between a tub and a prop in the pit - DMM
William Pearson 16 years Dorothea Pit, Newbottle,
29 Apr 1902
Occupation: Way-end lad - a sheave at a turn on the engine plane being loose, the tail-rope swung across and crushed him against the fender - DMM
George Pickering 18 years Margaret Pit, 21 June 1917 In loving memory of George, the beloved son of
James Henry & Jane Pickering, who was accidentally killed in the Margaret Pit, 21 June 1917 aged 18 years - DMM
John Poulter 66 years Dorothea Pit, Newbottle,
11 Jul 1916
Occupation: Wasteman, he was suffocated when a fall of small stone came away and completely buried him. DMM
Thomas Richardson 51 years 26 Jan1899 Occupation Shifter, Thomas and another man had removed a chock, and then commenced to move some stones to reset it, when a fall of stone from the roof took place and killed him [Sunderland Daily Echo reports: accident - 27 Jan 1899 pg 3 col 2; inquest - 30 Jan 1899 pg 3 col 3]
Buried: St. Matthew's Churchyard, Newbottle
Alexander Robertson 55 years Margaret Pit, 9 Nov 1915 In loving memory of Alexander the beloved husband of Isabella Robertson who died through an accident received at Margaret Pit 9th Nov. 1915 aged 55 years - DMM
James Scott 45 years Houghton Colliery,
17 Oct 1932
Died 27 Oct 1932
(Accident: 17 Oct 1932), aged 45 Hewer, fall of coal, died from injuries received
Buried: St. Matthew's Churchyard, Newbottle - DMM
William Shaw 15 years Margaret Pit, Newbottle,
28 July 1902
Occupation: Driver, when driving a full tub it, by some means, up-ended and crushed him to death - DMM
Thomas Sherriff 19 years Herrington Colliery, also known as New Herrington Colliery, Philadelphia Collier
5 Sep 1923
Notes: Guard, killed while carrying out shunting operations.
Buried: St Cuthberts Churchyard, West Herrington, Sunderland - DMM
William Smith 39 years Eppleton
4 Aug 1939
Occupation: Stoneman
Notes: Killed by a fall of stone
Buried: Hetton-le-Hole Cemetery - DMM
John Soppett 45 years Dorothea Pit, Newbottle,
6 Apr 1903
Occupation: Stoneman ( Person who makes excavation in "stone" i.e. hard strata other than coal) when drawing a prop with a mall he hit himself on the stomach with the shaft of the mall and caused such injuries that he died within three hours - DMM
Alan Tait 15½ years Eppleton Pit
7 Jul 1951
William Teasdale 38 years Silksworth Colliery Occupation: Filler
Notes: Fractured spine
Buried: Hetton-le-Hole Cemetery
Joseph Turnbull 61 years Lumley and Harraton Collieries, 1 Oct 1891 Engineer, possibly natural causes
William Turnbull 49 years Herrington Pit,
8 Feb 1890
Buried St Cuthberts New Herrington
William Urwin 20 years Eppleton Colliery
18 Apr 1896
Occupation: Putter, Head and neck crushed between roof and top of tub while riding on the limbers. Died the following day.
Matthew William Watson 21 years Margaret Pit, Newbottle, Fence Houses, Co Durham. Hewer, Crushed by tubs, engine set got off the way
William Watt 35 years New Herrington, 20 Jun 1934 Occupation: Overman, William was killed by a fall of stone.
Buried: St. Matthew's Churchyard, Newbottle DMM
Mark Howarth Whiteley 16 Years Oct 3rd 1918 Accidently Killed

James Russell Whitling
** Brother of
Richard Whitling

Both named on same stone

38 years

47 years

Lambton D Pit, 6 Apr 1913

Occupation: Filler - Accident: 5th Apr 1913, deceased was filling coals in a machine cut long wall face, when some undercut coal and ramble fell over on to him; he died on 7th April, 1913 [Sunderland Echo reports: accident - 09 Apr 1913 pg 3 col 3] ; his brother Richard was killed a year later at Lumley Colliery - DMM
Richard - DMM

Richard Whitling
** Brother of
James Russell Whitling
(See above, 6 Apr 1913)

Both named on same stone


47 years Lumley, 3rd Pit, 11 Dec 1914 Occupation: Coal-cutting Machineman - Deceased was at the back-end of a coal-cutting machine in a seam 2 feet 7 inches thick with a strong shale roof, at a point about halfway between the ends of a crossgate and a newly formed gateway. The machine was running when without warning the roof, over a length of 15 feet, 4 feet wide and 2 feet thick, collapsed in one piece burying the machine and killing deceased instantly. There was a well defined slip at one end of the fall and breaks formed the other three sides of it. His brother (James Rusell) was killed the previous year at Lambton D Pit - DMM
William Wigham 43 years Silksworth Colliery,
19 Mar 1875
Fitter, fell out of cage, Buried: St. Matthew's Churchyard, Silksworth
James Wilcox 42 years Margaret Pit, 7 Apr 1913 Occupation: Back Overman - Deceased was found at the bottom of a staple pit injured, having fallen from part way down; he thought he had fallen a distance of 5 ladders, i.e., about 50 feet; he died the same day - DMM
Robert Wilson 47 years Margaret Pit, 8 Jan 1916 In loving memory of Robert, the beloved husband of Margaret Wilson of Shiney Row, who died from the result of an accident at the Margaret Pit, Jan 9th 1916 aged 47 years. Also his wife Margaret Wilson who died 7 Sep 1948 aged 74 years - DMM
Thomas Wrightson 31 years Houghton Pit, 27 Feb 1912 Occupation: Hewer, he was engaged with his marrow in driving a road alongside an old working; a large stone rolled from an old bord, and knocking a prop out, caused a stone to fall from a hitch which the prop was supporting; the stone struck deceased on the head, killing him instantly; his marrow described the place as very pleasant to work in - DMM

Of possible interest:

  • John Scott, aged 85y(?) - `For 70 years on Newbottle Colliery` 
  • Peter Tate - `Manager of Philadelphia and Herrington Collieries Who died at Bunker Hill Nov. 8. 1889(?). 
    Aged 57 years. This monument is erected by the workmen, officials and a few intimate friends as an  expression of the respect and esteem in which he was held by them.`

Jim Tilt 1820
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