KAITANGATA MINE DISASTER
The Death Roll of the Kaitangata Mine Disaster
from The Evening Post, 22 February 1879.
The following is the roll of the dead:-
Samuel COULTER leaves five children - one boy of 13 able to work: girl in Dunedin, about 12, all the rest are young. He is an aged man, and arrived lately from Scotland in the ship Taranaki.
( PRESS ASSOCIATION )
David BUCHANAN about 27, leaves a wife and two young children; is the son-in-law of Mr Coulter's and is a new arrival.
William WATSON about 40, leaves his father-in-law, who is a very old man, and four children, the eldest of whom is about nine years.
James SPIERS leaves eight children, the oldest 10 years and the youngest four months.
Andrew JARVIE an elderly man, leaves eight children and three grown up girls at service.
SPIERS, JARVIE and Arch HODGE the last named of whom is deputy manager, are still in the mine. Arch. Hodge is unmarried. His brother A. Hodge is general manager aged about 35, single man is among the dead.
Charles SMITH between 35 and 40 leaves a wife and five children, all young and unable to work.
Barney McGEE, married man about 40, wife and three children, unable to work.
John GAGE, wife and three of family, all young children.
George JARVIE, wife and two young children.
Several of the dead men's wives have not only young children but are also near their confinement.
William WHENNEY a young man, leaves a wife and two children.
James BEARDSMORE a large family, five of whom are grown up and unmarried, and three if whom are little children.
Joseph BEARDSMORE brother of the last man, acting-foreman of mine, leaves wife and grown-up daughter and two sons.
Edward BEARDSMORE young married man, son of James Beardsmore leaves wife and three young children.
James BEARDSMORE Jnr. son of James Beardsmore, already mentioned, young man, unmarried. One old man and a boy, son of Joseph Beardsmore, and the only one grown up of the families now remaining alive. The old man is the late Caleb Beardsmore's father. In all five bread-winners of the Beardsmore family are among the dead.
James MOLLOY an elderly man, and his sons John aged 18 and Edward aged 16. Mrs Molloy who is a woman about 60, has thus lost husband and sons, and has not a relative here.
James CRUTON leaves a wife and three children. He was a young man about 25.
CLARK late of Green Island, was in the mine. His wife, sons and daughters came up by the afternoon train.
John FERGUSON leaves a wife and five young children, the eldest about seven years of age.
Charles MACDONALD son of John Macdonald, pony driver aged about 14.
Edward DUNN son of George Dunn, a hawker, who is well-know in up-country districts, was a boy of about 15 years.
William WILSON, late of Green Island, and nephew of the Sampson's of Green Island, leaves a wife and four children, all young.
William HAY a young man, unmarried, who has no relatives in Kaitangata but has a sister and brother in the colony; his married sister Mrs Hardie, is the wife of a baker of Green Island.
John McMILLAN was a young married man; he leaves a wife and four children, the eldest of whom is about six years; Mrs McMillan's only relative in the colony is a brother at Green Island, who came to Kaitangata this evening.
Thomas FREW a middle-aged man; he leaves a wife and five children residing in Dunedin; two of them are grown daughters, whom I hear are working in a factory there.
Thomas BLACK an elderly single man of about 40 years, no relatives in the district; he once had a lease of coal quarry at Level's.
Two Welshman, newly arrived from Home, who's name I cannot ascertain.
Daniel LOCKHART a young man, unmarried, brother-in-law to Hunter, another workman in the mines. Hunter was to have been at work today, but overslept himself, and did not go to the mine till after the explosion.
The last of the list of fatalities is Joseph MOULTON who leaves a wife and child.
It is stated that Mr. Twinning, a professional coal viewer, examined the mine last week and no later than yesterday told one of the directors that all the ventilation arrangements were perfect; and everything in excellent order in the mine. He cannot possibly conceive how the accident occurred. He went to Kaitangata today, and has superintended the arrangements for getting the men out.
LATEST -(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
The bodies of all (35 men) who were in the mine have been recovered. About one hundred children have been rendered fatherless by the mishap. William Hay who was the second brought out was on his knees and face hands when found, as if groping to avoid the fire-damp.
William Hodge was found sitting, with his head on one of his hands, as if he had been caught by the blast while thinking. Cuming was lying across Hodge's feet. The five men brought out were all found lying on the ground - one on his face and the other with his hands to his face; two appeared to have struggled hard. The thirteen found in one place were all their faces, as if making outwards, and all appeared to have placed themselves in that position to avoid the after-damp except two who fell over the others' and could not raise themselves.
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