6th Dec, 2016

Memorial unveiled to remember the Exhall disaster

Steve Carpenter 3rd Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MEMORIAL statue has been unveiled to remember the 14 miners who lost their lives 100 years ago in the Exhall Colliery disaster.

The men perished when underground tragedy unfolded in the early hours of the morning on September 21, 1915.

A fire swept through the mine and although 375 miners got out alive, 14 died of carbon monoxide poisoning and Asphyxia.

In the midst of the dreadful disaster came an unexpected blessing when beneath three dead miners, ‘young lad’ Bert Pearson was discovered alive.

The weight of his fellow miners collapsing had caused Bert to fall and lose consciousness – but in a twist of fate this saved his life because it prevented him from breathing in the deadly fumes.

A project was launched to commemorate the disaster in April earlier this year and organiser Vince Taylor says it is important the victims should be remembered.

“It’s important that we don’t forget our heritage and that 14 men died underground that morning,” Vince told the Observer.

“To the families this means everything. We managed to track down people from 12 of the 14 families which was far more than we expected.

“The whole project went better than expected and I’m delighted with what we’ve produced.”

The memorial includes a three-and-a-half ton granite memorial which is surrounded by 14 silver birch trees to provide a focus point for the victims to be remembered.

There has also been an exhibition about the disaster at Bedworth Heritage Centre with many family photographs of the deceased miners on display.

As a final act of remembrance, there will be a get together of family members and friends in the small Church Hall at St. Giles Church at 3.30pm on Sunday (December 6).

For more details contact Vince Taylor on 024 7636 4446/vctgenealogy@google.com