Parlington Hall :: The Gascoigne Mines in Garforth

A Sad Epitaph to the Garforth Mines

There are no reliable records of deaths which occurred in the mining industry prior to 1850. Thereafter the records have been extensively catalogued and my research has uncovered some 61 men and boys who died in the three Garforth Pits: Sisters, Isabella and Trench, between 1849 and the closure of the pits in the 1920's. Fortunately no disasters occurred on the scale of the pit disaster at Micklefield (Peckfield) in April 1896 when 63 miners died as a result of an explosion caused by firedamp.

Coal Mining Deaths at Garforth Pits 1850 - 1915

The following table is of miners who were unfortunate enough to be killed at work in the Gascoigne pits. The data has been obtained from the Coalmining History Resource Centre, by querying their online database. Should you wish to see the nature of the accident click on the miner's name link which will open a new window with the result from the Coalmining History site direct. If the data queries are changed in the future and these links do not work, please go to the home page of the site here:
The link will give a database listing which includes the query terms - surname and intitial or christian name. After that click on the name in the list you are interested in and an entry like the following example for the last entry in the listing:

Mining Accidents - EdgarÊWilson

Name: WILSON Edgar
Age: 15
Date: 16/01/1912
Year: 1912
Occupation: Pony driver
Colliery: Isabella
Owner: Owners of Garforth Colliery
County: Yorkshire
Notes: He was leading a pony which was drawing 3 tubs loaded with rails. He stumbled and fell in front of the tubs and the first one ran over him and crushed him against some pipes on the side of the road.

I have to say on reading this last entry, where the victim was a fifteen year old boy, we don't know how lucky we are, basking in our post industrial world!

Table of Miners Killed in the Gascoigne Pits

Name Colliery Age at
HAWKINS W. Garforth 50 Leeds 1881
SPARROW Thomas Garforth 50 1913
BANKHOUSE George Garforth Leeds 1864
MASKELL John Garforth 54 Leeds 1884
ROGERS Thomas Garforth Leeds 1873
HEBDEN William Garforth 18 1912
BICKDERDYKE Ben Garforth 33 1909
MOSLEY George Garforth 54 Leeds 1873
HEMSWORTH Edward Garforth 66 Leeds 1871
ATKINSON Joseph Garforth Leeds 1854
SIMPSON William Garforth Leeds 1854
ALLISON J. Garforth 45 1896
BATEMAN J.W. Garforth 16 1901
GRAY J. Garforth 40 Leeds 1887
GASCOIGNE Thomas Garforth 58 1902
WILSON J. Garforth 39 1903
CUST George Garforth 16 Leeds 1869
ROBINSON J. Garforth 56 1899
GODDALL John Garforth 36 Leeds 1880
GOODALL W. Garforth 49 1901
THOMPSON G. Garforth 24 1896
KILBURN A. Garforth 38 Leeds 1891
AYTON Robert Garforth 22 Leeds 1867
GOODALL John Garforth Leeds 1855
TAYLOR N. Garforth 45 1901
McMILLAN C. Garforth 46 1898
THOMPSON T. Garforth 35 1897
MEVITT Sidney Garforth 15 1913
WALKER G. Garforth 19 Leeds 1876
WALKER J. Garforth 54 Leeds 1893
CULLINGWORTH J. Garforth 50 Leeds 1891
PRATT Henry Garforth 34 1909
BALLANCE Frederick Garforth 51 1913
SIMPSON Thomas Garforth Leeds 1864
BURTON J. Garforth 55 1900
BACKHOUSE John Garforth Leeds 1856
FARNDALE A. Garforth 17 1901
BACKHOUSE S. Garforth 37 Leeds 1884
DIXON R. Garforth 51 Leeds 1881
BARBER T Garforth 50 Leeds 1868
COCKRAM Charles Garforth 45 1902
RODWELL J. Garforth Leeds 1876
THOMPSON H. Garforth 30 1897
TAYLOR Robert Garforth 36 1849
GROOM Walter Garforth 26 1909
WALKER Edward Garforth 50 1908
HOWSON Thomas Garforth Leeds 1861
KILLMURE A. Garforth 16 1901
PARKER W. Garforth 15 1898
LEIGH James Garforth (Sisters) 45 1915
PARKER Roland Garforth, Isabella 45 1907
KERSHAW John Garforth, Isabella 17 1915
YOUNG Samuel Garforth, Sisters 22 1905
PLOWS Albert Garforth, Sisters 20 1908
HEMSWORTH William Isabella 61 1911
BACKHOUSE William Trench 13 1911
WILSON Edgar Isabella 15 1912

There are sixty one names in the listing above, the majority of deaths occurring during the long tenure of Colonel Frederick Trench-Gascoigne from 1850 following his marriage to Isabella until his death in 1905. I've often wondered how he felt about the toll of deaths of his miners, fifty men and boys on your conscience regardless of the circumstances, could be the basis for a troubled mind. Fortunately nothing as devastating as the Peckfield disaster at Micklefield befell the Gascoigne mines.

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The full extent of the mines and the railway that served them, and Aberford, is detailed in an excellent book by Graham Hudson, sadly no longer in print. Title: The Aberford Railway and the history of the Garforth Collieries published by David & Charles.


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