702. George Henry Burnham Chapman
TERRIBLE MINING TRAGEDY - Gas Explosion and Fire. - Twenty-one Deaths. - CESSNOCK, September 2.
A terrible tragedy occurred at the Bellbird colliery, on the South Maitland coalfield As far is it is possible to learn, inflammable gas on Saturday afternoon caused a big explosion and a subsequent fire. Twenty one deaths are said to have occurred, 20 being miners and one a member of the rescuing party, John Brown manager of the Aberdare mine fifteen bodies have been recovered. The mine has now been sealed down for the purpose of damping the flames. Six bodies are left in the mine. A second explosion occurred at 7.45 last night. The following are the names of the dead - Harold Richards, married, Sneddon street Cessnock, William Albert Griffin, married, Anne street, Cessnock, Gordon Locking married, Cruickshank street Bellbird, William Hartley, married, Stephen street, Cessnock, Alfred Hines, married, William street Cessnock, Jerry McLaughlin, View street, Cessnock, John Stewart, married, Edden street, Bellbird Jack Grabor, Edden street Bellbird, Maurice William Hyams, married, Aberdare road, Aberdare, George Sneddon married, Cruickshank street, Bellbird, George Chapman, married, Daniel street Cessnock . Malcolm Bailey married, Bellbird, Frederick Moodie, married, Wollombi road, Cessnock, Philip Roberts, married, Kalingo street, Bellbird, John Morgan, married, Edden street, Bellbird, Joseph Frederick Lambert, single, Harris street, Cessnock; Fredenck Fone, single, Mount View road, Cessnock; George Robinson Kelly, single, Edith street, Cessnock; Alexander Corns, single, O'Brien street, Cessnock; Charles Augustus Mills, married, Aberdare road, Cessnock; John Brown manager of Aberdare colliery, one of the rescuers. The afternoon shift, comprising 31 men, went to work in tho No J east section of the mine, where the miners were engaged in the ' dips,' two and a half miles in They had not been long at work when a fire occurred Volume of smoke issued from the shaft, and gave indication that something was wrong below. Officials of the mine hastened to the scene and doctors and nurses from the local hospital were summoned. Rescue work at once commenced, a call for volunteers met with a ready response Work continued in desperate haste When the first news reached the town ship of Cessnock, which is two and three quarter miles from the scene of the disaster, men and women were shocked by the terrible news. Men immediately made for the mine, followed by women and children There were heart rending scenes at the pit head when the bodies of the deceased men were brought to the surface. The probable cause of the explosion is said to be through a naked light coming into contact with explosive gas.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart) 3 Sep 1923
Ruby Grace Brewer
Divorced Hugh in 1923