HADDON, Herbert Ball

Private Herbert Ball Haddon
174794 Machine Gun Corps
113th Training Reserves Battalion

EHerbert Ball Haddon born 1894 was the son of James Haddon, a pit deputy born 1858 in Northants and his wife Elizabeth (nee Ball), born 1861 at New Brinsley. In 1911 the family was living at Brinsley Moor. Herbert had brothers and sisters Sarah b. 1882, Arthur b. 1883, Walter b. 1886, Fanny b. 1890, Lucy b. 1896 and Elizabeth b. 1900. On the 1911 census Herbert, aged 17 was a pony driver, underground. Herbert followed in his father’s footsteps and became a pit deputy at Pye Hill Colliery. On 28th November 1916 there was a roof fall at the Pye Hill Colliery and three workmen were buried. Herbert’s father James who was the the under-manager at the pit and four other men, namely, Daniel Foulds, William Heathcote, James Short and Alfred Smith tried at great personal risk to rescue the buried men. The buried men were not brought out alive. For their bravery they were awarded the King Edward Medal at Buckingham Palace and became known locally as ‘Jacksdale’s Famous Five.’ Their names were also entered in the Carnegie Roll of Honour and each received an honorary certificate and an award of £10.

 In 1918 Herbert married Ida Hill, a Jacksdale girl and their son Kenneth was born in 1919.

Tragically, some years later Herbert himself was killed in a roof fall at Pye Hill Colliery in 1937, aged only 48 years. The following is an account from the Ripley & Heanor News, 24th September 1937.

‘Jacksdale Deputy Killed – Fall Of Roof. 

When the tragic news was conveyed to the inhabitants of Jacksdale and district that Mr Herbert Ball Haddon, aged 48, of …… Main Road, Jacksdale, had lost his life as a result of an accident in Pye Hill Colliery, belonging to Messrs. James Oakes and Co. (Riddings Collieries), on Friday morning last, quite a gloom was cast over the locality and much sympathy was felt for the widow and her son Kenneth.
Mr. Haddon, who was a native of Brinsley, was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. James Haddon. He joined up during the Great War and saw service in the Machine Gun Corps. He had been employed under Messrs. Oakes and Co. for many years. In addition to his employment he found time to devote himself to other duties, amongst them being secretary and a member of the famous Pye Hill and District Male Voice Choir, treasurer of Jacksdale Cricket Club and a former player (wicket keeper), assistant secretary of Pye Hill, Jacksdale, and Westwood Working Men’s Club, a member of Jacksdale Ambulance Association, Jacksdale and District Branch of the British Legion, of the Rescue Brigade attached to Pye Hill Colliery, and was formerly a member of Westwood St. Mary’s Church Choir.

Inquest –  The inquest took place on Monday, when Amos Swann, conveyor hand, of Broad Lane, New Brinsley, stated that he was helping to lower the empties down to the loader and then went up to the thirties gate. Traunter, a haulage hand, told witness that a lump of dirt had fallen at the thirties, and asked him to find Haddon and report. Witness was about to knock a piece off to keep the road clear when he saw Haddon’s feet underneath the stone, which had fallen between the timber. There was no indication of any weight that morning. The height of the place was 5ft. 6in., and it was considered a safe place to work in. Witness was 30 yards away and did not hear the fall. Samuel Traunter, haulage hand, of Edward Avenue, Jacksdale, told the Coroner that he left the scene of the accident to put lockers on the back end of the train, and was away about 20 minutes. When he returned he noticed a fall had taken place. Traunter added that Haddon was extricated in 10 minutes. He was dead when they got him out, having sustained injuries principally to the face.
William Ward, deputy, Jubilee Hill, Pye Bridge, stated that the place was considered quite safe. After the accident it was examined, and the fall exposed a break which had not been visible previously. It was quite possible that the stone would drop suddenly. In witness’s opinion, Haddon was either measuring a length of timber, or suspected something in the roof and was examining it. Haddon was a capable man.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.” Estimates of the weight of the fall varied in evidence from 30 cwt. to three tons. Sympathy was expressed with the bereaved family on behalf of the colliery.

Funeral – The remains were laid to rest on Tuesday in Westwood St. Mary’s Churchyard, the service being conducted by the Vicar of Selston (Rev. H. W. Schofield, M.A.), assisted by Capt. G. C. Gardner, C.A.  There were many manifestations of regret, and hundreds of sympathisers were present. En route from the house all blinds were drawn. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack, and a guard of honour was formed extending from the Church steps to the Churchyard.’

Herbert is buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s Churchyard.

Herbert & Ida’s son Kenneth went on to serve in WW2, he carried on the family’s great cricketing tradition and long association with Pye Hill Male Voice Choir.