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Seven Derbyshire men who never returned home will be honoured

The Hargreaves family. Leslie is on the left, Herbert is third from the right and Herbert Junior is on the right. Picture submitted.
The Hargreaves family. Leslie is on the left, Herbert is third from the right and Herbert Junior is on the right. Picture submitted.

Seven miners who died in the Markham Colliery disaster of 1938 will be honoured this month.

So far, 27 life-size steel figures have been installed at Markham Vale as part of the Walking Together commemoration to remember miners who lost their lives down the pit.

Robert Henry Wood. Picture submitted.

Robert Henry Wood. Picture submitted.

It will eventually feature 106 figures to represent each man who perished in three accidents at the site near Bolsover in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

On Wednesday, January 17, seven more figures will be put in place thanks to generous donations from the Duke of Devonshire's trust fund and other contributors.

They will honour seven men who died in the disaster on Tuesday, May 10, 1938 - Hebert Hargreaves, 49, and his two sons Herbert Junior, 27, and Leslie, 23; Albert Ernest Rodgers, 19; Robert Henry Wood, 22; Robert Simms, 56, and Arthur Henson, 45.

Sandra Struggles, who is part of the Walking Together project, said: "It is of vital importance that our mining heritage does not get forgotten when you think of the dangerous jobs those men did for us.

The Walking Together memorial at Markham Vale. Picture by Anne Shelley.

The Walking Together memorial at Markham Vale. Picture by Anne Shelley.

"If there are any relatives who would like to attend or if there is anyone with any information, please get in touch."

In total, 79 men were killed and more than 30 men were injured in the 1938 disaster.

The Derbyshire Times reported on the tragedy in a so-called 'Black Friday' edition on Friday, May 13, 1938.

Sandra said: "All 79 men who died on that dreadful day were buried on the same day in 13 cemeteries.

"The accident wrecked the lives in 17 village communities and left 62 widows and 83 children without their dad."

The Walking Together memorial has been designed by Cheshire-based Artist Stephen Broadbent.

It symbolises a miner's journey to the pit and back home again.

Sandra added: "If you would like to sponsor a figure or just give a donation, no matter how small, please let us know because there are still another 72 needed to complete the trail.

"Thank you."

If you would like to get in touch with Sandra, call her on 01246 233772.

You can also email her on sandrastruggles@talktalk.net