1938 – Simms, Robert

Source: Derbyshire Times

1938 – ROBERT SIMMS,  Contractor, 57

Robert Simms of 21 The Square, Poolsbrook was a native of Bolsover and had only lived at Poolsbrook for about five years.  At Carr Vale he was a well-known pigeon fancier.  He left a widow, six daughters and two sons and was buried at Bolsover.  In November 2017 a new memorial was unveiled in Poolsbrook to remember all the men from the village who died in disasters or wars and Robert’s name is on the side of the memorial dedicated to the 1938 Markham Pit disaster, listed together with five of his workmates who died with him.

Robert was commemorated in January 2018. The location of the artwork can be found in zone 20 on the trail map which can be downloaded here.


Family History Researched by Paul Burkitt:

Robert Simms was born in North Leverton with Habblesthorpe, Nottinghamshire in 1881. His parents were Robert Simms (1857 – 1923) and Emma Adamson (1860 – 1937). On the 1891 Census, Robert aged 10 was living with his parents and four siblings in North Leverton with Habblesthorpe, a village north east of Retford. The village name is the longest in England and the second longest in Europe, behind a Welsh village. In 1906 he married Mary Davies (1887 – 1973) in the Chesterfield registration district. Robert and Mary had eight children between 1906 and 1915: Emma, Olive, Elizabeth, George, Muriel, Lillian, Bessie, Gordon Isaiah. On the 1911 Census, Robert was living with his wife and first four children at 82 Scarsdale Street in Carr Vale. Robert was employed as a coal miner – hewer. At the time of the disaster on the 10th May 1938, Robert was living with his family at 21 The Square, Poolsbrook. He was employed as a contractor.

He was buried in Bolsover cemetery on 14th May 1938. The Sheffield Independent reported on the funeral –

‘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.’


 The following year Mary, and her seven children placed an In Memoriam notice in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald:

“SIMMS – In ever loving memory of ROBERT SIMMS, a dear husband and father who died in the Markham Disaster May 10th 1938.

“Sweet memories”

Wife, Sons, Daughters.


Further information can be downloaded here:

Robert Simms

Robert Simms 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 Bolsover