1938 – Smith, Frank

Source: Derbyshire Times

1938 – FRANK SMITH, Belt Trimmer, 26

Frank Smith of New Bungalows, Barlborough was of a reserved, though happy disposition.  He left his widow Elsie May and one daughter Noreen Peggy.  His brother James was injured in the disaster and his wife was a cousin to Bernard Gregory who died in the disaster.  Frank was buried in a mass grave at Barlborough.

Frank was commemorated on 16th September 2019. The location of the artwork can be found in zone 15 on the trail map which can be downloaded here.


Family History Researched by Paul Burkitt:

Frank Smith (1911 – 1938) was born in Barlborough on 16th July 1911. His parents were Thomas Smith (1876 – 1959) and Elizabeth Breeze (1877 – 1943). His father was from Hemingford in Suffolk and his mother was from Oakington in Cambridgeshire.

On the 30th September 1933, Frank married Elsie May Grundy (1904 – 1979) at Barlborough. The following year their only daughter, Noreen Peggy Smith (1934 – ) was born.

Bernard Gregory the first cousin of Elsie May was also killed in the 1938 Markham Colliery disaster.

At the time of the disaster Frank and his small family were living at New Bungalows in Barlborough. Frank was employed as belt trimmer at Markham Colliery


The Derbyshire Times Friday 13thMay 1938

Frank Smith (27), of New Bungalows, Barlborough was a reserved, though happy disposition. He leaves a widow and one child. His brother James Smith, Occupation Road, Barlborough who was injured, is a well-known local cricketer, and has figured prominently in the Derbyshire Minor League for the past few seasons. He has the reputation of being one of the biggest hitters in the league.


The funeral of all the miners killed in the 1938 disaster took place on Saturday 14thMay in thirteen different cemeteries. The funeral at Barlborough was reported in the Derbyshire Times:



At the neighbouring village of Barlborough ten of the eleven victims were interred in one large grave, which was lined with ivy. They were: Roe Kirk, Leonard Atkin, S. Lodge, Joseph Hibberd, Frank Smith, Bernard Gregory, George Davidson, Charles Bown, Henry Taylor and Colin Gee-Pemberton.

The eleventh victim, Edward Salt, a colliery deputy, who resided at Poolsbrook was buried earlier on Saturday in a grave adjoining that of his father (who was killed at the Crown colliery some years ago) in Barlborough churchyard.



In May 1945 the family of Frank placed the following ‘In Memoriam’ notices in the Derbyshire Times.


SMITH – Memories of our dear son, Frank, lost his life in the Markham Disaster, May 10th, 1938.

“Thoughts drift back to bygone days;

Life moves on but memories stay.”

-Mam and Dad.


SMITH – Dearest memories of a dear husband and daddy, who died in the Markham Disaster, Mat 10th1938.


“Sweetest thought of you.”

                                                               –  From we two, Wife and Daughter (Barlborough)


Further Information can be downloaded here:

Frank Smith

Frank Smith Family Tree


Further 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 Barlborough


If you have any information to contribute to the research please contact us.