1938 – Williams, Matthew

Source: Derbyshire Times

1938 – MATTHEW WILLIAMS, Contractor, 36

Matthew Williams of 2, Markham Road, Duckmanton was a native of Seaham Colliery Durham where his father was a miner.  He had worked for Markham Colliery for eight years.  Matthew left his widow Hannah and children Peggy, Mavis and posthumous son, Matthew.  He was buried at Duckmanton.

Matthew was commemorated on 12th October 2022.  The location of the artwork dedicated to Matthew can be found in zone 15 on the trail map which can be downloaded here.


Family History Researched by Ann Lucas:

Matthew Williams was born at Seaham colliery, Durham, in the autumn of 1901 to parents Elizabeth Ann Stoves (1877-1950) and John henry Williams (1874-1955). His father originally hailed from Hever, North Wales and worked as a hewer in the coal mines. Elizabeth and John Henry had married at the beginning of 1901 at Easington, Durham, and Matthew followed by his brother David (1904-80), who was born on 17 January 1904, and sisters Elizabeth (1907-08) and Elsie-May (1910-10) who both died in childhood. 

In the 1911 census, nine year old Matthew was living with his mother Elizabeth and brother David at Peats Yard, North St John’s Street, Seaham Harbour. His father was a patient at the Sunderland Infirmary at this time. 

Matthew married Hannah rain (1909-1995) at Easington on May 26, 1928, when he was 26 years old and their daughter Margaret (known as Peggy) was born in 1929 at Easington. The following year, Matthew, Hannah and Margaret moved to Duckmanton, Derbyshire where Matthew worked as a contractor at the Black Shale pit and where their daughter Mavis was born in 1935. The family lived at 2, Markham Road.

Matthew Williams died, aged 36, at Markham colliery on May 10, 1938, in Derbyshire, England and is buried in Duckmanton. His widow returned to live in Durham after his death where she gave birth to his posthumous son, Matthew, a few months later.

Hannah re-married in 1945 to James Turnbull (1898-1964) and again in 1966 to Stephen Holmes. 

Derby Daily Telegraph 12.5.1938

“A father and his two sons were identified by a relative at the colliery – Albert Boyd. The victims were Boyd’s uncle, Herbert Hargreaves (48), and his two cousins, Albert Hargreaves junior (27) and Leslie Hargreaves (23). It is understood that Mrs Hargreaves was too overcome to be present. A few minutes later Boyd again stepped forward, this time to identify Matthew Williams (36), of Markham Road, Duckmanton, his neighbour and friend.”

Derbyshire Times 12.5.38

“Matthew Williams aged 33, of 2, Markham Road, Duckmanton, was married and had two children. He was a native of Seaham colliery Durham, and had worked for 8 years at the black shale pit.”

Derbyshire Times 5.5.39

“Williams – Treasured memories of my dear husband, MATTHEW, who died in Markham Disaster, May 10th, 1938. 

‘Day by day we sadly miss him.

Ever do we feel our loss:

Lonely is our home without him.

O help us Lord to bear our Cross’  

From Wife and Children, Peggy, Mavis and Matthew.”



Further Information on the disaster.

Markham Colliery 1938 disaster

List of miners killed and injured in the 1938 disaster


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