The Maltby Pit disaster
Going through some old papers, I found an article written for the Sheffield Star and Telegraph, referring to the Shilling Fund, set up to raise money for relatives of the miners killed in the Maltby pit disaster in 1923. I have typed the article out. My connection is that GEM, who wrote the poem, was my grandfather (George Edward Martin, who was a journalist on the paper). I have found that the accident was an explosion on 28th July 1923 in which 27 miners were killed, but sorry, no names. I remember my parents telling me about this disaster, and I remember them saying that there was a bump in the tunnel that you had to go over and I think it was the bodies of the pit ponies that were left down there.
Bridget Osborne, October 2003.
Help sufferers in the Maltby Disaster.
SHILLING FUND FOR THE DISTRESSED
"For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to help their sire's return
Or climb his knee the envied kiss to share." Gray.
"FOR THEM NO MORE"
"For them no more." Still in that fearful tomb
Dead heroes lie, as on the battlefield:
They fought the fight, and, fighting, met their doom,
With nought but honour as their dear ones' shield.
And we who live, in reverence and awe
Have we no part in strengthening that defence?
To save the helpless from "red tooth and claw,"
One shilling, please: One shilling-just twelve pence!
"For them no more." For US the day is NOW:
These are our brothers, in such shocking shape
That Time alone can show the way and how
They died that MORE might dreadful death escape.
"Not theirs the "Glory": not theirs the soldier's "fame":
Just Yorkshire miners-plain-without pretence:
To mark their graves, and in their loved ones' name,
One shilling, please: One shilling-just twelve pence.
The deep sympathy of our readers with the 22 widows, the 57 fatherless children, and the relatives of the other victims of the terrible tragedy at Maltby Main colliery a week ago is being splendidly translated into action by contributions to the Shilling Fund opened jointly by the "Yorkshire Telegraph and Star" and the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph"
The response on the first day (yesterday) is gratifying so far as it goes: but with such an enormous population in the districts covered by our morning and evening papers, and with so many sufferers suitably to provide for, we confidently await much more generous and widespread support.
"ONE SHILLING PLEASE !" The proprietors, in fixing the small silver coin as a basis, place the opportunity of assisting the bereaved within the power of most people-even in these days of depressed industrial conditions- and they trust that all classes, sects and creeds, will join eagerly in assuring that nothing is wanting in those many sad homes. How much have YOU given? "ONE SHILLING PLEASE!"
Subscriptions may be sent to us by post or handed in at our main office in the High Street, or they may be received at our Branch Offices, 17, Midland Street, Barnsley: 12, West Laithe Gate, Doncaster: 28, Westgate Street, Rotherham: 26, Corporation Street, Chesterfield and 52, Bank Street, Mexborough. All donations will be duly acknowledged in these columns.
"THE BOX AT THE DOOR"
To enable the "Passer-by" to assist the fund, a contribution box has been placed outside the main entrance to the "Telegraph" buildings, High Street. The intention is, of course, to secure all the small subscriptions possible, and it was, therefore, a surprise to find yesterday's collection, which included coppers, sixpences, and all sorts of coins, splendidly increased by way of two £5 notes-representing individual gifts of 100 shillings by generous friends.
Transcribed by Bridget Osborne
The Sheffield Star and Telegraph 1923