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GORNAL IN THE NEWS - OLD NEWS AND GOSSIP FROM AROUND THE VILLAGE
These reports were taken from newpapers of the time....
Wednesday 20 July, 1921
Attempted Murder Charge
Against A Miner
At a special sessions at Sedgley last night, William Cartwright, aged forty-two, a miner, residing at 7 Stone Street, Upper Gornal, charged with attempted murder, was remanded in custody until Monday. The injured man is John Cox, aged 23, of 15 Brook Street, Gornal Wood, who was removed to the Wolverhampton General Hospital. Cartwright's daughter, it is stated, instituted proceedings against Cox for an affiliation order at Sedgley Police Court on Monday, but the summons, owing to a technicality was withdrawn by the solicitor who represented her.
The same night Cartwright met Cox at Lower Gornal, and it is alleged, drew a knife across the young man's throat inflicting a wound four inches long.
According to inquiries made yesterday, the man's life is not in immediate danger.
Police-constable Bailey said that when charged prisoner replied, "I have not cut his throat; I am innocent as a new-born babe."
TWO MEN KILLED AT LOWER GORNAL COLLIERY
VERDICT: "ACCIDENTAL DEATH." Two miners, Joseph Jones, aged 42, of 64, Ruiton Street, and John Thomas Guest, 32, of 8, Garden Walk, Lower Gornal), met with their deaths on Saturday morning last while working at the Gatacre Colliery, Lower Gornal. The inquest was held on Monday last week, before Mr. J. T. Higgs (Coroner). There were also present Mr. G. N. Scott (H.M. Inspector of Mines and Mr. A. M. Fairbairn, representing the widows and dependants of the deceased men, Mrs. Mary Ann Jones, widow of Joseph Jones, said her husband was a miner in the employ of Messrs. Jones and Churmage.
On the morning of Saturday, the 7th inst., he left for work in quite good health. His body was brought home at about eleven o'clock the same day. William Jones, 19 East Street, Lower Gornal, said he was one of the proprietors of the Quarry in which the men were killed. Joseph Jones was a brother of witness and was employed by him as a pikeman. Witness, with Mr. Churmage, took the business over from Mr. F. Nott on March 6th of this year, and they had been at work on the outcrop for a period of ten weeks.
There were about seven men at work on the job, Churmage and Guest being in charge. The coal was six or seven feet deep from the top to the bottom. Continuing, witness said the slip occurred on the left-hand side of the Quarry, where Jones and Guest were at work. They were in a stooping position at the time, and were completely overpowered by the fall of coal, which was between two and three tons in weight.
Everything that could he done to get the victims out as quickly as possible was done. It took altogether twenty minutes to get them out. When they were recovered from the debris it was found that although they were dead, no bones had been broken. The men appeared to have died from suffocation.
In answer to the Coroner, witness stated that all the work was done with picks, and explosives were not used. Replying to Mr. Scott, witness said both Guest and Churmage always examined the workings. Mr. Scott: Do you not think the workings were too vertical, would it not have been better to have them going back more? Witness did not think that it would be necessary, as they had gone as far in as they wanted to, and had nearly finished working on that spot.
By Mr. Fairbairn: Witness said that Guest was paid one shilling per week more than the other men, for looking after things. Mr. Churmage. 19, Groveland Road, said he and Guest were in charge of the work at the outcrop, and they were both at work on the day of the accident. The workings appeared to witness to be quite safe when he made his usual examinations. He examined the top and Guest the face of the workings but neither of them saw any movement of the earth.
Witness had been a collier since he was 13 years of age. At about 9.20 in the morning, he left the workings, and had not been home long before he was fetched back to the scene of the accident. The bodies of the victims were recovered about two minutes after he got back. By Mr. Scott, witness said the coal which fell was from the left-hand side of the workings.
The Coroner, addressing the Jury, said it was quite evident Jones had been working at the bottom of the left-hand side of the quarry and had been buried by a fall of two or three tons of coal. They could not call it a mine, because it was not twenty feet deep, and so did not come within the province of the Mines Inspector. Mr. Scott, however, had come forward and rendered them every assistance in the Inquiry. He (the Coroner) did not think any blame or carelessness could be attached to anyone, and the occurrence was purely accidental.
The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death." A similar verdict was returned in the case of Guest, whose body was identified by his father. Wm. Henry Guest, of 21. Louise Street, Gornal Wood. Witness said his son was a pikeman, and also held his fireman's certificate. William Jones corroborated the evidence given in the previous case.
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