1938 – Whitehead, Redvers Baden

Derbyshire Times 13thMay 1938

R. B. Whitehead, aged 37, of 56, North Crescent, Duckmanton was married and had one son. He had worked in the Markham Black Shale pit for 10 years. He was a member of the Company’s St. John Ambulance Brigade and a rescue worker. A native of Eckington and belonging to an old family there, he formerly played for the football team of an Eckington Free Church. His brother was gassed in the explosion but was able to return home after treatment.

Ancestry research:

Redvers Baden Whitehead was baptised 10 Dec 1900 in Eckington parish church, the son of William and Harriet Whitehead of 12 Fanshawe Road.  His father was a blacksmith.  He was the youngest of 3 sons – his brothers were William Dennis Whitehead (aged 17 in the 1911 census and an above ground colliery worker), and Frank Wright Whitehead (aged 13 in 1911).  By 1911 his father had died but the family still lived in Fanshaw Road – though at no. 1.  On 29 August 1923 he married Margaret Mather.  She and her sister Rose were Sunday school teachers at Eckington Wesleyan Church where they married in a double wedding – her sister Rose married Richard Lilley (there’s a news article 1 Sep 1923 in the Derbyshire Times describing the wedding).

The name Redvers is in honour of General Sir Redvers Buller who was a popular military leader in the British Army.  He returned to Britain from the Second Boer War on 10 November 1900, to much celebration, and the day was later remembered as ‘Buller Day’.  It’s possible that Redvers was actually born on Buller Day, which is why he was named after him.


Further Information:

Markham Colliery 1938 disaster

List of miners killed and injured in the 1938 disaster


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