List of the Victims of The Wood Pit Explosion Haydock, 1878

The above information comes from the book Weep Mothers Weep by Ian G.Winstanley and appears with his permission. For more information about mining, and mining disasters see The Coal Mining Resource Centre. Consult the Glossary of Mining Terms for more details about some of the terms used.

This list is in the order in which the one hundred and eighty nine victims of the explosion are listed in the 1878 Report of the Inspector of Mines. The other details have been taken from the local newspaper reports of the disaster, the report of the Inquest, and the surviving grave records. The victims were buried at St.Thomas' Church of England, Ashton, St.Oswald's Roman Catholic Church Ashton, St.James' Church of England Haydock or Wargrave Cemetery (Newton le Willows), Earlstown, St.Helens or Mold in North Wales.

Further to the above the following were Victims of the Disaster also....

There was one known death amongst the rescue party:

James Callighan, 33 years. A married man from Lodge Lane, Ashton who was killed by a fall of roof in the rescue attempts and buried at St.Oswalds' Ashton 13th June.

The Victims Not On The Official List

The original Coroner's reports do not survive but some points of interest that come from a study of the victims seem to indicate that there are inaccuracies in the official list in the Report of the Inspector of Mines. The following are a list of victims appearing in the Coroner's Inquest and in some cases in the burial registers but do not appear on the official list.

If these fifteen are included, the final total is two-hundred and four. The conditions both above and below ground were deteriorating. Bodies had started to decompose and there was great pressure to get them identified and buried as soon as possible as the danger of disease was very great. The true final death toll may never be known but all those who are mentioned as victims are listed here. One thing is sure - that the true count is higher than the 189 which is the official number given in the Report of the Inspector of Mines for 1878.

The above information was extracted by Joanne Fraser from the book Weep Mothers Weep by Ian G.Winstanley.