The Vivian Colliery – List of Fatalities

The Vivian Colliery – List of Fatalities.
This list of deaths at the Vivian Colliery, Abertillery covers most of those reported in National and Local Newspapers and Ancestry files. This page is fluid will be updated as more information is received. Entries with an asterisk* after the date signify that the name and date was taken from Ancestry and cannot be verified with a newspaper report.   

Sinking Incident Fatalities – December 1890.
Mr George Bannister, aged 30. Died – Monday 8th December 1890. Cause of death – Sinking accident, the men bored and fired the holes though one of the shots failed without their knowledge. During the clearing process the shot was struck by one of the sinkers and went off causing the death of the three men, Mr Rees, Mr Millard and Mr Bannister. Mr Bannister lived at Bridge Street, Abertillery.

Mr Thomas Rees, aged 34. Died – Monday 8th December 1890 . Cause of death – Sinking accident as above. Mr Rees lived at Pantypwdyn, Abertillery.

Mr George Millard, aged 30. Died – Monday 8th December 1890. Cause of death – Sinking accident as above. Mr Millard lived at Cross Street, Abertillery.

The Vivian Colliery Sinking Team consisted of the following – Contractor Mr F. Gleeson; Mr Joseph Briggs (Master Sinker) ; Mr James Gibbon (Assistant); Those injured in the accident were – Mr Matthew Clark – Panty-pwdyn, Abertillery; Mr Henry Jordan – Bridge Street, Abertillery; Mr James Fear – Carmel Street, Abertillery; Mr Jacob Kyle – Panty-pwdyn, Abertillery; Mr James Johnston – Tillery Street, Abertillery: Mr James Fear was unscathed.

Mr Charles Carter, aged 40. Died – Wednesday 1st January 1896. Cause of death – Mr Carter suffered a fatal heart attack while at work. It was stated in the South Wales Daily Newspaper that during the inquiry on Saturday 4th January 1896 the jury handed their fees to the widow Mr Carter and she also received a donation of 50s shillings from Mr Stewart the head manager of the Powell’s Tillery Company.

Mr Worthy Gunning, aged 25. Died – Saturday 25th March 1899. Cause of death – Mr Gunning was run over by a horse and dram.

Mr Alf Jones, aged 21. Died – Wednesday 14th February 1900. Cause of death – Mr Jones had been severely injured in a fall of roof on Wednesday 31st January 1900 and died from his injuries on Wednesday 14th February 1900. Mr Jones lived at Castle Street, Abertillery.

Mr James Tippins, aged 34. Died – 17th April 1901. Cause of death – Run over by a horse and dram. Mr Tippins was from Tredegar though at the time of his death lived at 78 Cwm Street, Abertillery.

Mr Benjamin Hart, aged 20. Died – Saturday 14th December 1901. Cause of death – Mr Hart lifted a large stone and strained himself on Wednesday 4th December 1901, he died from complications of the strain on Saturday 14th December 1901. Mr Hart lived at 2 Gwent Terrace, Abertillery.

Mr Walter Andrew Higgins, aged 24. Died – Saturday 22nd August 1903. Cause of death – Fall.

Mr Thomas Moxley, aged 26. Died – Tuesday 10th November 1903. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Moxley lived at 95 Princess Street, Abertillery.

Master Daniel Evans, aged 14. Died – 18th March 1904. Cause of death – Fall. Master Evans was severely injured in a fall on Thursday 17th March 1904 and died from his injuries the following day on Friday 18th March 1904. Young Daniel lived with his parents at Glandwr Street, Abertillery. At the inquest his father stated his son was 14 years old and had been working at the colliery the past 18 months.

Mr David Smith, aged 53. Died – Monday 19th June 1905. Cause of death – Mr Smith was a pumpsman and had descended the pit to attend to a pump on a landing halfway down the shaft, whilst attempting to step back onto the cage he missed his footing and fell to pit-bottom. Mr Smith lived at Newall Street, Abertillery.

Mr Samuel Snelling, aged 33. Died – Monday 18th September 1905. Cause of death – Suffocation. Mr Snelling was a surface haulier and during his shift while taking waste to the tip he collapsed and died, the Vivian Colliery had been on fire for many years and Mr Snelling seemed to have been overcome by the smoke. Mr Snelling lived at 80 Glandwr Street, Abertillery.

Master Rees Dark, aged 13. Died – Wednesday 30th May 1906. Cause of death – Fall. The inquiry heard that up until the previous Monday Master Rees Dark had been working at the colliery with his father though his father had left to work at Pontymister and his son was taken on by another collier. Their shift was over and Rees sat down to wait for his partner as the fall occurred, crushing the boy. His parents were given £31. 4s. 0d. in full compensation from the Powell’s Tillery Company, equivalent to £3,828.53p in today’s money.

Mr William Owen, aged 39. Died – Wednesday 1st August 1906. Cause of death – Mr Owen was killed in a fall of roof along with Mr William Clothier.

Mr William Clothier, aged 55. Died – Wednesday 1st August 1906. Cause of death – Mr Clothier was killed in a fall of roof along with Mr William Owen. Mr Clothier lived at Princess Street, Abertillery.

Mr William Hosea Spencer, aged 22. Died – Tuesday 20th November 1906. Cause of death – Mr Spencer was severely injured on Wednesday 14th November 1906 and never recovered, he passed away from his injuries on Tuesday 20th November 1906. Mr Spencer lived at Evelyn Street, Abertillery.

Mr William John Hale, aged 34. Died – Monday 22nd March 1909. Cause of death – Mr Hale was pushing a dram underground when he collapsed and died. Mr Hale lived at 5 Cwm Cottages, Abertillery.

Mr Arthur Humphreys, aged 29. Died – Tuesday 17th August 1909. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Humphreys lived at 156 Richmond Road, Abertillery.

Master Albert Gooder, aged 15. Died – Sunday 13th March 1910. Cause of death – Master Gooder met with an accident on Wednesday 5th January 1910, he cut his leg and later blood poisoning set in and he died from his injuries on Sunday 13th March 1910.

Mr John Silverthorne, aged 25. Died – Thursday 9th June 1910. Cause of death – Mr Silverthorne was a haulier below ground had been severely injured in an accident on Saturday 25th September 1909, he never recovered and died from his injuries on Thursday 9th June 1910.

Mr Thomas Gauntlett, aged 40. Died – Thursday 26th February 1912. Cause of death – Fall.

Mr Joseph Price, aged 20. Died – Thursday 16th October 1913. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Price lived at Gladstone Street, Abertillery.

Master John George Meek, aged 14. Died – Wednesday 2nd December 1914. Cause of death – Master Meek was a colliers helper and on Monday 16th November 1914 was severely injured in an accident, he died from his injuries on Wednesday 2nd December 1914. Master John Meek lived at 39 Bryngwyn Road, Abertillery.

Mr Albert Jones, aged 37. Died – Tuesday 5th May 1914. Cause of death – Mr Jones was a haulier and while walking in with his horse and dram was caught under a fall, his horse was also killed in the fall. Mr Jones lived at Edward Street, Abertillery.

Mr Joseph Charles Rake, aged 30. Died – Tuesday 4th September 1917. Cause of death – Caught under a fall of coal. Mr Rake lived at Alexandra Road, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Another tragic story was reported in connection with this death at the colliery. Mr Tom Evans M.E., manager of the Tillery Collieries combine was called out that morning to investigate the death of Mr Joseph Charles Rake at the colliery, he was later informed of the death of his father Mr Evans aged 75 who was living in the Rhondda Valley, Glamorgan. After hearing the sad news Mr Evans returned home to Gelli Crug House, Abertillery and collapsed in his driveway and died from a heart attack, the same day his wife Mrs Tom Evans received a telegram to say her son Sec-Lieut R. T. Evans, aged 21 of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers had been killed in action in France. On that day, Tuesday 4th September 1917 Mrs Evans lost her husband, father-in-law and heard news of the death of her son.

Mr Fred Read, aged 44. Died – Wednesday 22nd May 1918. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Read was injured in a fall of roof on Monday 13th May 1918 and was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries on Wednesday 22nd May 1918. Mr Read lived at 15 Blenheim Road, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Master Walter Yemm, aged 15. Died – Thursday 15th May 1919. Cause of death – Mr Yemm was seriously injured on Saturday 22nd February 1919 and later died from his injuries on Thursday 15th May 1919. Master Yemm lived at Vivian Street, Abertillery.

Mr William Down, aged 37. Died – Thursday 21st August 1919. Cause of death – Mr Down fell under a journey of drams on Thursday 29th May 1919 and fractured his back, he later died from his injuries on Thursday 21st August 1919. Mr Down lived at 22 High Street, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Mr William Jones, aged 59. Died – Tuesday 13th January 1920. Cause of death – Mr Jones was caught in under a fall on Saturday 3rd January 1920 and never recovered and died from his injuries on Tuesday 13th January 1920. Mr Jones lived at 48 Duke Street, Abertillery.

Mr Edward Penny, aged 66. Died – Thursday 6th January 1921. Cause of death – Mr Penny died below ground. Mr Penny lived at 6 Mount Pleasant, Pantypwdyn, Abertillery.

Mr Archie Ball, aged 22. Died – Friday 23rd September 1921. Cause of death – Mr Ball was run over by a journey. Mr Ball lived at Lancaster Street, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Mr Mr William Hutchings, aged 34. Died – Wednesday 9th November 1921. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Hutchings was the chairman of the Vivian Lodge and lived at Clarence Street, Abertillery.

Closure of the Colliery.
The Vivian Colliery was closed in 1921 and resumed production in 1929.

Mr Frederick William Lewis, aged 37. Died – Saturday 18th January 1930. Cause of death – Mr Lewis had his leg crushed and fractured on Thursday 16th January 1930 while in charge of a horse and dram, he was taken to hospital and had his leg set, complications set in and caused an embolism on the brain with which he died on the following Saturday 18th January 1930. Mr Lewis lived at 75 Alexandra Road, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Mr Michael Welsh, aged 51. Died – Friday 12th November 1937. Cause of death – Mr Welsh was found crushed under a dram. Mr Welsh lived at 12 Lancaster Street, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Mr John William Lacey, aged 43. Died – Friday 13th May 1938. Cause of death – On Friday 13th May 1938 Mr Lacey, a coal-cutter was crushed by a two-ton block of coal which fractured his spine, he was taken to hospital and died from his injuries on Saturday 16th July 1938. Mr Lacey lived at 35 Portland Street, Abertillery.

Mr Aaron William Gooder, aged 52. Died – Thursday 14th November 1938. Cause of death – Mr Gooder was crushed by a dram. Mr Gooder lived at 24 Marlborough Road, Six Bells, Abertillery.

Mr Fred Herbert, aged 39. Died – Thursday 4th June 1942. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Herbert lived at 6 Bywaters Row, Abertillery.

Mr Thomas Williams, aged 71. Died – Friday 29th January 1942. Cause of death – Mr Williams was found dead under a dram. It was stated that Mr Williams had worked below ground for 47 years and had been an official for 36 years. Mr Williams lived at 34 Duke Street, Abertillery.

Mr Stanley Simmonds, aged 42. Died – Monday 19th September 1949. Cause of death – Fall. Mr Stanley Simmonds brother Mr William Simmonds would later be killed at Cwmtillery Colliery in 1958. Mr Stanley Simmonds lived at 11 Evelyn Street, Abertillery.

Mr Godwin Powell, aged 59. Died – Tuesday 11th April 1950. Cause of death – Mr Powell collapsed and died on pit bottom. Mr Powell lived at “Clyro”, New Row, Nantyglo.

Mr Alfred Edward Clutson, aged 61. Died – March 1955. Cause of death – Heart attack. Mr Clutson was scrubbing the floor of the first-aid medical room at the colliery when he suffered a heart attack. Mr Clutson lived at 50 Princess Street, Abertillery.

Mr Cyril Leslie Baker, aged . Died – Thursday 9th January 1958. Cause of death – Mr Baker was crushed by a journey. Mr Baker lived at Upper Pantypwdyn, Abertillery.

Many thanks to Mr Bryan Boots for his help in compiling this list. 

(More information to come).

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