1938 – John Arnold Bray
Family History Researched by Paul Burkitt:
Arnold Bray was born on 16 March 1904 in Brampton, Derbyshire. His parents were Walter Bray (1880 – 1941) and Lydia Coupland (1877 – 1947).
In 1928, Arnold married Nellie Hickman (1903 – 1985) in Staveley. They had two children, Philip and Maureen. At the time of the disaster, Arnold was employed as a ripper at Markham Colliery, and he lived with his wife and two children at 30, The View, Poolsbrook. Nellie, his widow and two children, still lived at the same address on the 1939 Register.
An article in the Daily Mirror on 13 May 1938 covering the disaster, mentioned Arnold:
“Most of all the village will mourn Uncle Bray. He was the children’s friend. At thirty-two he was a father himself, and he loved the village children. Arnold Bray was the organist at the Wesleyan Chapel. For weeks he had planned for the children’s anniversary procession and service next Sunday, had selected the hymns. Now Uncle Bray is dead, and there will be no children’s procession on Sunday.”
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