1938 – Geary, Joseph

Source: Derbyshire Times

1938 – JOSEPH GEARY, Dataller, 55

Joseph Geary of 58 Lime Avenue in Staveley, was born in Burton upon Trent in 1882.  Aged seventeen, Joseph was working as a pony driver underground alongside his brother Ernest.  In July 1915 Joseph married Annie Elizabeth Wright. Joseph and Annie had three children – Elsie, Roy and May.  Joseph was buried in Staveley cemetery.

Joseph was commemorated in July 2017 . The location of the artwork can be found in zone 1 on the trail map which can be downloaded here.


Family History Researched by Paul Burkitt:

Joseph Geary was born in Burton upon Trent on 26 November 1882. His parents were Joseph Geary (1850 – 1895) and Mary Ann Oakden (1848 – 1926). Joseph Geary Snr was employed in the brewing industry as a labourer. On the 1891 Census Joseph was living with his parents on Wetmore Road in Burton upon Trent, which is very close to Burton upon Trent town centre. In 1895 his father died at the age of 45, leaving his mother with the difficulty of bringing up three young children, Joseph, Ernest and Percy. This obviously proved too difficult and all three children entered the Burton upon Trent Union workhouse in 1896. There is no discharge date for Joseph, but his brother, Ernest was discharged from the workhouse in 1900, and in 1901 they were both living with their older ‘brother’, Thomas in Staveley. Joseph was 17 and Ernest was 19. Both were employed as pony drivers underground. Their other brother, Percy had been given an apprenticeship with the Royal Navy. Joseph may have also joined the Royal Navy, since there is no record of him in 1911. His brother Ernest in 1911 was a stoker 1st Class based at Portland. In July 1915 Joseph married Annie Elizabeth Wright. Joseph and Annie had three children – Elsie, Roy and May. At the time of the disaster Joseph was employed at Markham Colliery as a dateller and was living with his wife and three children at 58 Lime Street in Staveley. Joseph was buried in Staveley cemetery on Saturday 14th May 1938 with 20 other of the 79 miners killed.

In May 1939 the relatives placed several ‘In Memoriam’ notices in the ‘Derbyshire Time and Chesterfield Herald

GEARY – Treasured memories of my dear husband. JOSEPH GEARY died May 10th 1938 – From Wife and Family

GEARY – Loving memories of JOSEPH GEARY of Staveley, accidentally killed in Markham Blackshale Colliery, May 10th 1938.

 “Ever in our thoughts”

From his brother Ernest and Wife, Bertha, Bill, and Irene.


Further information can be downloaded here:

Joseph Geary

Joseph Geary Family Tree


Other Information

Markham Colliery 1938 disaster

List of miners killed and injured in the 1938 disaster

List of miners killed in the 1938 disaster who were buried in Staveley