1938 – Denton Whelpdale

Family History Researched by Paul Burkitt:

Denton Whelpdale was born in Clowne, Derbyshire on the 11th November 1898. His parents were Ernest Whelpdale (1868 – 1944) and Mary Ann Fletcher (1874 – 1955). On the 1901 Census, Denton was living with his parents at 51 Pit Row in Clowne. His father was employed as a colliery blacksmith. In 1908, Denton started his secondary education at the Shuttlewood Brockley Secondary School. On the 1911 Census, Denton, his parents and three younger siblings were living at Portland Cottages in Stanfree. His father was still employed as a colliery blacksmith. In 1920 he married Beatrice Ellen Allfree (1899 – 1984) in Bolsover. Between 1921 and 1932 Denton and Beatrice had four children – Eva, Esme, Denton & Zilpha. In 1936 he was admitted to Chesterfield hospital with an injury to his arm while working at Markham Colliery as a ripper. At the time of the disaster on 21st January 1937, Denton was still working as a ripper and was living with his wife and four children at 87 Clowne Street in Stanfree. The funeral of Denton took place on 14th May 1938 in Bolsover with ten other victims of the disaster.

The Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald reported the following –


At Bolsover ten victims in all were conveyed at intervals into the Parish Church, were Canon J.E.Paget, vicar of Pleasley and vicar of Bolsover until three weeks ago, returned to conduct the communal service and offer words of consolation to the heartbroken relatives. After the services many of the grieved widows and relations broke down and had to be comforted and assisted by the men folk. The funerals were of D. Bann, G. C. Buckley, M. Richards and C. Silcock of Bolsover. W. Sherwin, G. Rowlands, R. Simms (Duckmanton), G. Cowley (Shuttlewood) and D. Whelpdale and J. Hadley (Stanfree). They were buried in separate graves. Canon J. E. Paget conducted the one committal service.”

Various newspapers reported the following on the 23rd May 1938

“Mrs Beatrice Whelpdale of Clowne Road, Stanfree, described how her husband, Denton, aged 39, wemt off to work on the morning shift. She had last seen him at 3.40am – about two hours before the explosion – as he left the house singing.”


Further information can be downloaded here –

Denton Whelpdale

Denton Whelpdale Family Tree