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Whitwick Colliery Pit No. 5 Colliery Disaster

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 19 Apr 1898
Location: Coalville, Leicestershire, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: England Mining_Disasters
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04:31, 31 March 2019 (EDT)
Mine Explosion
This page gives the history of, victims and others involved in the Whitwick Pit No. 5 Colliery Gob Fire, Coalville, Leicestershire, England on 19-Apr-1898 with genealogy resources
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Whitwick Colliery No. 5 Pit,
Coalville, Leicestershire, England -
1898 Colliery Gob Fire

19 April 1898


History and Circumstances

Area History
Include a short history of the town or area of the mine relating to the mine; how the mine influenced the area, etc.
Mine History
Include when the mine opened, or whatever you can find
Mine Disaster Circumstances

When it happened, why, how, etc.; who was involved.

PUT IN BOLD any names of miners, investigators, rescuers that may be in the text.

Add photos if you find any.

Investigation Report

Add any info you find of interest; if books written, make a copy of the cover and link to the book UNDER Want to Know More? section.

Add any positive results of the disaster.

Miner Victims

35 Lives Lost in the Whitwick No. 5 Pit Gob Fire
NameAgeApprox DOBJobAlternate Info
Belcher, William Thomas311867 StallmanWilliam Belcher aged 36 years
Beniston, Thomas431855 StallmanThomas Berniston aged 45 years,
Bostock, William471851 ShifterDataller
Bradshaw, William611837 Stallman
Brookes, Josiah401858 Stallman
Clamp, Charles B.271871 OnsetterCharles Bradford Clamp
Davies, John James281870 Stallmanbrother of William Davies and brother-in-law of Edward Edwards
Davies, William301868 ShifterDataller, brother of John James Davies
Edwards, Edward271870 ShifterDataller, brother-in-law, John James Davies
Elliott, John431855 ShifterDataller
Evans, James551843 ShifterDataller
Gee, John Albert131885 Deputy's BoyAlbert Gee aged 15 years
Greasley, Thomas291869 Stallmanson of William Greasley
Greasley, William641834 Stallmanfather of Thomas Greasley
King, Joseph291868 Stallman
Limb, William191879 Holer
Moon, William Curtis331865 Stallman
Moore, John461852 ShifterDataller
O'Mara, Patrick451853 StallmanPat O’Mara
Percival, William291868 Stallman
Platts, John William231875 Holer
Richards, John301867 Stallman
Shaw, Joseph241873 Holer
Skellington, John William411858 ShifterDataller
Smith, Lewis Edward241874 Holer
Springthorpe, Henry451853 ShifterDataller
Stacey, Samuel261872 StallmanSamuel Stacey aged 22 years, holer, brother of William
Stacey, William241874 Holerbrother of Samuel
Timson, Thomas361862 StallmanThomas Timpson aged 30 years
Tugby, John W.161882 DriverJohn William Tugby
Wileman, Benjamin511847 ShifterBenjamin Wileman aged 46 years, Dataller
Wilson, Joseph431855 Stallman
Wright, James301868 Stallman
Wyatt, Henry411857 StallmanJacob Henry Wyatt, 41 years
Wyatt, James351863 Stallman
  • Add photos if found and other items of interest.
  • Add newspaper articles if found.
  • Add number of children, etc., or other info about the families.

Victims' Occupations

The 35 men and boys killed at the Whitwick Colliery Pit No. 5 Gob Fire held the jobs below. Most no longer exist.[1]

Victims' Occupations
Dataler Underground workman paid by the day - can have another specific job
Deputy's Boyassigned to run errands and orders for the deputy who was the safety officer for the mine, usually under the age of 16.
Drivers A boy employed in driving the horses on the main road underground. He is usually 14 or 15 years of age.
Holerminer who would pick holes for placement of charges in underground coal mine
Onsetters Person who pushes full mine waggons on to the cage at the shaft bottom and takes the empties out. The rolley-way is a road or path sufficiently high for a horse to walk along it with the rolley, and is kept in repair by the rolley-waymen. The driver has charge of the horse. The onsetter transfers the tubs to the cage in which they are raised to bank, where the coal is weighed, screened, and sorted.
Shifters men who repair the horse-ways and other passages in the mine, and keep them free from obstructions.
Stallman Sub-contractor in charge of a "stall" or working place

Miner Survivors

11 Survived the Gob Fire. Add Survivors in a table if you find a list using the same format as victims.

If you add text containing names, add that or other info and PUT THE NAMES IN BOLD.

Rescue Effort & Rescuers

From disaster history, add the rescue efforts and any rescuers you may find.

If the NAMES are in the text you put here, BOLD THE NAMES.

You can create a table of Rescuers using the same format as for victims.

Others Involved/Supporters and the Aftermath

Many were involved after the disaster:

  • family,
  • investigators,
  • miners, not involved in the disaster as survivors or rescuers, who might be noted elsewhere as working in that mine,
  • and supporters in the aftermath

We would like to honor them also.

The sources and resources may uncover others who may be honored and remembered.

Create table if you find a list,

Add what you find in photos, stories, articles, etc.

If the NAMES are in the text you put here, BOLD THE NAMES.

Museums & Memorials

  • Add links to museums or memorials regarding this disaster
  • Add photos of memorials

Children Who Died Working in the Mines

Sad, but true, many boys and girls under the age of 16 worked and were killed in the mines. In addition to the Miner Memorial, you may also COPY & PASTE the following somewhere below the profile Biography section heading to show they died way before their time:

{{Died Young}}

This results in this sticker:
... ... ... died young.

This can be inserted in the paragraph describing the child mine worker’s death circumstances.

  • Note: Also be sure to mark “no spouse” and “no children” in the appropriate places in the profile edit page
  • Click on “Add” in the “Spouse” area which takes you to another page where you can click on UNMARRIED and follow the links to show no spouse.
  • On the edit page under CHILDREN, check the box by “No Children”.

This results in a much cleaner and accurate profile.

Memorial Stickers

The Memorials add the Occupation categories to the Miners' and Mining Rescuers' profiles.

The Miners' Support Ribbon is added to Miners' Family members and Supporters involved in this coal mining disaster.

General Notes regarding Stickers:

  • The text is a variable that can be changed to fit the individual.
  • Text is limited to 100 characters
  • The name line in a person's profile will fill in the name of the person in the Memorial Sticker.
  • wording may be changed in the Connection= to fit the individual's profile
  • A miner who is killed in the disaster along with a brother or father can have both a Miners' Memorial and "Miners' Family Sticker added to his profile. An example is included below.

For others involved, i.e., family members, others involved, miners who worked there but not in the mine that day, the suggestions can be copy&pasted and then edited.

Some Suggestions For Miners:

  • wasn't working that day, so escaped the
  • worked in the mine, but was not involved in the

Suggestions For Mining Rescuers:

  • helped with rescue and recovery in the
  • was a rescuer killed in the rescue efforts in the

Miners' Memorial Sticker

Copy & Paste the following to the profile either just below the Biography Heading or just before a paragraph that includes additional details.

{{Worldwide Mining Disasters
|text= was killed in the [[Space:Whitwick_Colliery_Pit_No._5_Colliery_Disaster|Whitwick]] Colliery Gob Fire
|category=English Coal Miners


... ... ... was killed in the Whitwick Colliery Gob Fire on 19-Apr-1898

  • With the category= set on English Coal Miners, this automatically adds the profile to the appropriate Coal Miners category AND automatically added the Coal Miner Memorial image

Mining Rescuers Memorial Sticker

Copy & Paste the following to the profile either just below the Biography Heading or just before a paragraph that includes additional details.

:*The Image=, date=, category=, and flag= should remain the same.

See suggestions above for examples of other wording in the text= field between = and Space

{{Worldwide Mining Disasters
|text= helped with rescue and recovery in the [[Space:Whitwick_Colliery_Pit_No._5_Colliery_Disaster|Whitwick]] Colliery Gob Fire
|category=Mining Rescuers
| flag=UK_Flags-32.png


... ... ... helped with rescue and recovery in the Whitwick Colliery Gob Fire on 19-Apr-1898

  • With the category= set on Mining Rescuers, this automatically adds the profile to the Mining Rescuers category AND adds the Mining Rescuer Memorial image.

Family Members & Supporters in the Aftermath

The Miners' Support Ribbon is added to family members of miners, and those who were Supporters in the Aftermath.


  • A miner who is killed in the disaster along with a brother or father can have both a Miners' Memorial and "Miners' Family Sticker added to his profile. An example is included below.
  • Delete the category= line for Supporters which will add the Ribbon and no category

'The following suggestions or other wording replaces the text= where shown text=XXXXXXX

Suggestions for the Family Members:

  • was a widow of a miner killed in the
  • lost his/her father in the
  • was a baby when father was killed in the
  • wasn't yet born when father died in the
  • lost his/her son in the
  • lost his/her brother in the
  • was killed along with his brother/father in the

Supporter in the Aftermath Suggestions:

  • was involved in the aftermath of the
  • testified at the Inquest of the

Family Member

{{Worldwide Mining Disasters
|text=XXXXXXX [[Space:Whitwick_Colliery_Pit_No._5_Colliery_Disaster|Whitwick]] Colliery Gob Fire

Results In:

... ... ... XXXXXXX Whitwick Colliery Gob Fire on 19-Apr-1898

Miner Killed in Same Incident as a Family Member

{{Worldwide Mining Disasters
|text=was killed along with his father in the [[Space:Whitwick_Colliery_Pit_No._5_Colliery_Disaster|Whitwick]] Colliery Gob Fire

Results In:

... ... ... was killed along with his father in the Whitwick Colliery Gob Fire on 19-Apr-1898

  • A miner who is killed in the disaster along with a brother or father can have both a Miners' Memorial and "Miners' Family Sticker added to his profile. Be sure to add this one along with the Miner's Memorial above if more than one member of the family was killed in the disaster.

Supporter Example with no category and date removed:

{{Worldwide Mining Disasters
|text=testified at the Coroner's Inquest of the [[Space:Whitwick_Colliery_Pit_No._5_Colliery_Disaster|Whitwick]] Colliery Gob Fire


... ... ... testified at the Coroner's Inquest of the Whitwick CollieryFiredamp Gob Fire

  • With no category, this automatically adds the Support Miners Ribbon image.

Other Ways to Use Memorials

These are enlarged images for the Coal Miner Memorial, the Mining Rescuer Memorial, and the Support Miners Ribbon used for family and supporters, and any miner or rescuer to be honored. The stickers contain very small images and this is how you can use the images outside the sticker.

Coal Miner Memorial

Mining Rescuers

Family & Supporters
Adding the Memorial as Person's Primary Profile Photo

You can use the Memorial image as the person’s profile primary photo by adding the profile ID to the appropriate Memorial image above.

  • Get the Profile ID by copying it from the web address on the Profile view of your person.
  • Double-Click on the image above. This will take you to the image page. (This space is copied from another image-you won't see the same wording on the image page as in this illustration).
  • In this space, add your Profile ID:

  • Save Changes and make sure "Changes Saved" show at the top of the page.
  • Click the button in the lower-right column that says "Set as Primary" by your Profile ID.
  • SAVE your changes with the button at the bottom of the page.
  • Save the profile page and reopen. The image should appear on the right side and in the thumbnail at the top of your profile page.
Adding the Memorial Image to Person's Biography

You may use any Memorial image in a person’s profile by adding the image in the biography.

  • Double-click on the image above. This will take you to the image Page.
  • On the right side, go to Use Inside Text
  • Go to the section: To align it on the right side of the page, in a medium size, with a different caption. (This example uses the Support Miners' Ribbon and removes the caption= line).
  • Copy the text and paste into the edit box in the profile. You can change the "align" and "size", but for this image, size=m works best. This will add the image to the right side of the profile page and insert the image in the biography where you placed it.

{{Image|file=Images_Mining_Disasters-4.jpg |align=r |size=m }}

Categories to Add to Miners' Profiles

ADD the following categories to the TOP of the Miner's profiles as they are researched and added, or found on WikiTree.

To add categories to an individual's page:

1. Copy & Paste the following to the top of the profile page:

[[Category: Coalville, Leicestershire]]

[[Category: Whitwick Colliery Pit No. 5 1898 Mining Disaster, Coalville, Leicestershire, England]]

2. Save Changes

3. Click on the PROFILE and make sure the categories appear.

If underlined and in BLACK, congratulations! You have added the profile to the category. You may click on the underlined categories to see the miner's profile on that category page.

Note: If you see someone you are researching, or your ancestor appears on this page you are welcome to add the categories and a sticker to that person's page and contact a Profile Manager of this page for the table to be updated.

This is our way of helping you honor the miners in your family.

OR if you want to help grow the WikiTree community tree:

  • Research the names of miners killed on WikiTree, and if found, add the categories above and the project template and stickers below to their profile page.
  • Add miners to WikiTree by creating their profile.
  • Research names found in the investigation report and add the profiles if you find enough information.

England Project on Wikitree

The England Project has the noble goal "to make every single English profile the very best it can be" and provides many resources, profile recommendations and regional information that can be added to miners' profiles as well as family members.

Visit England Project and check out their information, stickers and and opportunities to join that Project.

Please see England Project.

Genealogy Resources

Add genealogy resources that are found specifically relating to this disaster, or the area.
Possible sources to add by link:
  • Interment Records
  • Area Genealogical & Historical Societies
  • Library Collections online

Want to Know More?

This is where to place additional stories, articles and other items of interest to Read More About It
  • Add resources or links to articles [that may be copyrighted] that add more details
  • List books about the disaster, possibly with a photo of the book cover

To Do

  • Disaster Page
  • History and circumstances of the disaster with photos as available
  • Memorial to be used for that disaster (Profile Memorial Template)
  • List of names of those killed, injured, etc. where available & Create tables
  • Genealogy Resources
  • Museums/Memorials commemorating the disaster web links/photos
  • Resources & Read More About It [Want to Know More Section]
  • Sources
  • Individual Profiles To Do List
  • For each miner, family member, mining rescuer or family member found:
  • Research WikiTree for existing profiles
  • Research external sites for more information on miners killed
  • review investigation reports for names of miners and others involved
  • complete profile page
  • upload individual miners' photos; family info of select miners, other similar if found
  • Search resources and genealogy info for more information on victims and families, and others involved
  • For Wikitree Profiles:
  • All duplicates should be merged into the final profile ID. PPP should be added if there are known duplication problems/or the person is considered notable.
  • Worldwide Mining project box template, sticker and categories included on the page
  • Biography is cleaned up and free of any GEDCOM leftovers, Ancestry trees with no links, etc. and styled according to Category:Styles and Standards. Use of inline citations is encouraged, and please do not copy large swaths of text from elsewhere. Paraphrase and link!
  • Each individual should have a quality source or reference to their association with the Worldwide Mining Disaster- i.e. a website or published biography
  • Create and attach immediate family
  • Connect to the main WikiTree tree
  • Link/include any memorials, gravestones, etc. whether photo, web link, obituary or other
  • Personal To Dos
  • Also can be used as a personal To Do list as the page is worked on
  • Delete the Disaster Page “To Dos” as they are completed


  1. Old Occupations
Add other sources used in completing or researching the disaster.
  • TIP: add inline references and sources as you work through the page - it will save a lot of time and frustration.
Thank you for Visiting.
We Honor Those Who Were Lost, Those Who Helped & Those Left Behind
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