From: Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 04 May 1914, page 6
“THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER. (PUBLISHED DAILY.) PROGRESSION, OUR RIGHTS AND OUR RESOURCES. BENDIGO, MONDAY, MAY 4, 1914. SATURDAY NIGHT’S DISASTER.
On Saturday night at about 10 o’clock the most terrible accident ever recorded in the history of Bendigo mining occurred at the Great Extended Hustler’s mine, when seven miners were launched into eternity with appalling suddenness. Occurring at so late an hour, and its nature and extent being for some time wrapped in obscurity, the news of the fatality did not become generally known till yesterday morning had advanced, and the first intimation many persons received was when the intelligence was conveyed to hushed audiences in some of the churches.
As usual, vague rumors as to the extent and nature of the accident got abroad, but it soon became definitely known that seven miners had perished as the result of an explosion, not, as is usually the case, at the working face, but in a crosscut and level, by reason of the ignition of a large quantity of explosive material which was stored in the crosscut at a place set apart for it, in accordance with the regulations.
The force of an explosion of this character has often been exemplified. A well-known instance in the history of Bendigo mining is the dynamite explosion which occurred in 1881 at the enginehouse of the New Chum Consolidated mine. The building was wrecked, and seven men were injured, one of them—the enginedriver—succumbing a few days later. On Saturday night the explosion was confined to the crosscut and adjacent workings, and the position of the bodies of the men, and the nature of their injuries are sufficient to show that the men were killed instantaneously.
Four bodies were found in the crosscut and three in the level. The fumes descended into the lower levels, and for a time placed the lives of other miners in jeopardy. Owing to the injury to the shaft, and the necessity to proceed cautiously, some hours elapsed before these men were raised to the surface, after which efforts were made to recover the bodies of the seven miners who had met their death.
How the accident actually occurred will never be known, and explanations can only be surmised. The holes had been drilled in the workings, which are some distance from the crosscut, the machines had been removed, and preparations were apparently in progress for charging the holes. How far this operation had advanced may be explained at the inquest, but the actual cause of the explosion will remain a mystery. If it was through any blunder or carelessness, the man responsible has perished with his companions, and if it was brought about by any unexpected occurrence, its nature is not ascertainable. The explosion itself has removed every clue.
The one dreadful fact remains—that seven men who were looking forward to a respite from work during the day of rest, have been suddenly cut off, and many families have been plunged into mourning. The accident has cast quite a gloom over the city. The most poignant grief will naturally be felt by relatives and friends of the dead miners, but the public generally will be profoundly shocked by what is little short of a calamity, especially when it is borne in mind that practically everything has been done to prevent accidents in our mines that human ingenuity can suggest.
How much provision the deceased miners have made for those dependent on them may be shown in a day or two, but this dire event surely emphasises the necessity for every miner becoming a member of the Miners’ Association or some organisation which provides for him in sickness or in case of accident, and for his relatives in the event of death. We have always contended that this is one of the first duties of every miner, on account of the perils which beset his path from the time he leaves the surface till he returns.
Already movements have been started for the relief of those who may be plunged into distress by Saturday night’s explosion, and it is certain that the public of Bendigo will respond liberally to the appeals which are being made. We can only add that it is with profound sorrow we place the details of this terrible accident before our readers, and in doing so we desire to express our deep sympathy with all who have been called upon to suffer bereavement.
*please note: paragraphs have been added for ease and speed of reading.
September 2020), memorial page for William Ryan (1888–2 May 1914), Find a Grave Memorial no. 159241478, citing Axedale General Cemetery, Axedale, Greater Bendigo City, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by Tony (contributor 47889408) .
From: The Advocate Melbourne, Thursday 09 March 1933, page 33
MR. MATHEW McGRATH. On Sunday, February 5, at his residence. Redesdale, the death took place, of Mr. Mathew McGrath. Mr. Mc-Grath, who had been in failing health for the last ten months, was the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McGrath, of Kimbolton where he was born 52 years ago. He carried on contracting work for the Mclvor and Strathfieldsaye shires for many years and was noted for his painstaking care and practical knowledge. For some time he was clerk of works for the Country Roads Board, and gave every satisfaction. He was also clerk of works for the Maryborough Shire at the time he became ill. During the last few years he partnered Mr. T. Long, of Knowsley, in many contracting works. The late Mr. McGrath was highly respected throughout the district, and made many firm friends wherever he went. He was attended during his illness by the Rev. Fr. O’Dee, of Heathcote, who administered the last rites of the Church, and also by Rev. Fr. Murphy. His remains were taken to the Church of St. Laurence, Redesdale, where Mass was offered up by the Rev. Fr. Murphy for the repose of his soul. The late Mr. McGrath was a very devout Catholic. He leaves a sorrowing wife, three sons, and four daughters, one son having predeceased him thirteen years ago, to mourn the sad loss of a loving and devoted husband and father. He also leaves two brothers and two sisters, a brother and sister having predeceased him many years ago. The funeral to Axedale Cemetery was largely attended, there being over sixty motors following the cortege. The polished cedar casket was carried to the grave by Cr. J. Long and Messrs. M. Sheedy, T. Long and B. Caelli. The pall-bearers were Messrs. J. Mangan, T. Mangan, J. Tranter. J. Madden, F. Madden, and M. McAuliffe. Rev. P. O’Sullivan, Bendigo, officiated at the graveside, and Messrs. Fizelle and Mulqueen had charge of the funeral arrangements. The following councillors were present: Cr. J. Long, McIvor Shire; S. Doak and F. Orr. Strathfieldsaye Shire; and J. O Sullivan and P.McNiff, of Metcalfe Shire. R.I.P.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MATHEW McGRATH DIED FEB 5TH 1933 AGED 52 ALSO HIS BELOVED WIFE MARY DIED AUG 6TH 1957 AGED 70
from: The Bendigo Advertiser (Vic: 1855-1918) Tuesday, 13 November 1900, page 2
BURNING FATALITY A fatal case of burning, which is surrounded by more than usually distressing features occurred yesterday morning. About a fortnight back, the wife of Mr. Thomas Banfield, a farmer, residing at Mosquito Creek, came into Bendigo, so as to receive professional attention during her accouchment. Mrs. Banfield left her daughter, Margaret, a child about two years old, in charge of her mother, Mrs. O’Donoghue, who lives at Emu Creek. Yesterday morning, while Mrs. O’Donoghue, was getting a bucket of water from a dam, some little distance from her house, she heard screams and on hurrying back, met her little grandaughter, enveloped in flames near the doorway. The child’s uncle, a young man who was engaged in the paddock, was also attracted by the screams, and he too hurried to the spot and succeeded in extinguishing the flames. The unfortunate child was badly burned from head to foot and young O’Donoghue drove in with the little patient, with all possible speed to Dr. Murphy’s surgery, but she expired while the doctor was examining her. The body was then removed to the Town Hall Hotel. The matter was reported to the police and a magisterial enquiry will be held this morning. A broom, the end of which ws burned, was subsequently found in the house and it is surmised that the child while playing with it, put it in the fireplace, and has ignited her clothes. Mrs. Banfield is in such a weak state that it is not deemed advisable to inform her of the tragic end that has befallen her daughter.
An old and highly respected resident of Axedale, Mrs. Bridget Banfield, passed away at her residence on August 7. after an illness of three days. The deceased lady was a native of Axe Creek, and was 74 years of age. She spent all her life in the district, the last 40 years at Mosquito Creek, where she carried on farming pursuits successfully. Sympathy is extended to her children, Mr. Frank and Misses Irene and Molly Banfield, in their loss of a devoted mother. Her husband, Thomas Banfield, predeceased her by 13 years. The funeral to the Axedale Cemetery was largely attended by town and country friends and relatives. The coffin was carried to the grave by her nephews, Messrs. J. O’Donoghue, M Browne, J. and B. Cummins. The pallbearers were Cr. S. Doak, Messrs. P. Shanahan, W. Carney, T. Godfrey, J. Godfrey, and T. Mangan. The Rev. Fr. P. O’Connor, assisted by the Rev. Fr. Vosti, officiated at the graveside. R.I.P.
MEMORY OF THOMAS BANFIELD DIED NOV. 14 1922 AGED 53 AND HIS INFANT DAUGHTER MARGARET ALSO HIS WIFE BRIDGET BANFIELD DIED AUG. 7 1935 AGED 74
Axedale Catholic Cemetery, Axedale, City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria, Australia