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Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News, June 30, 1906

A shocking and fatal accident occurred to a miner named James William Clift, employed in the Woodhouse Pit, St. George's, near Wellington, last Week, and on Monday Mr. Coroner Lauder investigated the circumstances attending the poor fellow's death.

Joseph Clay, a fireman, said deceased was working in stall No. 60. Witness examined the stall before deceased commenced to work, and as far as he could see there was nothing wrong. He spoke to deceased after the accident, and deceased said he was getting a few coals when it fell on him. He examined the place after the accident, and found that about a ton of coal had fallen. The accident occurred in the airway. The place was properly supported in accordance with the regulations. He could not account for the fall of coal. Deceased had no right to fetch the coal from the airway, and should not have been there. He found a dresser there; deceased would not require a dresser to get the loose coal out. By finding the dresser there he thought deceased had been "pulling" the coal. He had no business to do that, and there was no necessity for deceased to fetch the coal from the airway.

Harry Ferriday stated that he was working with deceased. He had not been working half-an-hour when he heard him call out, "Oh dear, pull me out". He went to deceased, and found him in the airway buried up to his waist. The roof had fallen in, and about a ton had come down. They were not sent to work in the airway. From the Saturday till the Tuesday morning a quantity of coal had fallen, and deceased went to get it out.

Dr. Johnson stated that he attended deceased, and found him suffering from severe injuries to his back. Death was the result of the accident.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

The remains of the unfortunate man were on Tuesday interred in the Parish Church-yard, Dawley. The funeral was largely attended, as the deceased was much esteemed. He leaves a widow and a large family, for whom the greatest sympathy is felt.

Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

Note: The accident happened on 19th June 1906. So the Monday referred to above would have been Monday 25th June 1906.

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