Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine


Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane


South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.

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1868 ALFRED BLYTON 1930's approx

A Presentation from Rosalie Walkington Grandchild

Julie Coggan, Great Grandchild

Freda Phillips, Grand daughter

Pam Beavan Niece of Freda


Alfred Blyton courtesy of Rosalie Walkington


Hi my name is Rosalie Walkington and as I am getting on in years  I want my children and grandchildren to see what prices were paid by their ancestors to feed their families and to keep others who were better heeled warm! I want them to be proud of their line. I hope you can help.


The above email from Rosalie also carried a request and that was to help find out more about her Granddad, Alfred Blyton whom she never knew.


Recently in 2007 I received the following email

Hi John
I note with interest your article about Alfred Blyton who died young in a mining accident. He was indeed my Great Grandfather my Grandmother being Lilian (Minnie) I am not sure if this is the same one though. I have a copy of his birth certificate he was born on route from Rawl Pindi India to England his Father being Henry Blyton Soldier (From Newark Notts ) and mother Mary Roberts. It could be a different Alfred but I know he married his cousin Annie Blyton and they had 3 daughters Lillian (Minnie) Rose and Margaret (Maggie) and he died in a mining accident at a young age. I gathered the information from my father and its seems a coincidence. I would be interested in your thoughts.
Many Thanks Julie Coggan


Julie then sent further emails with information that confirms this was the same Alfred Blyton.


The Blyton's had quite an history so we will go back to 1870 where we find the Blyton family living in Dorset.

Henry Blyton  met his wife Mary Roberts who was born in Stratton Dorset, the couple had their first child James L. H. Blyton born in 1970 at Weymouth Dorset.

Henry who was serving as a Sergeant with the Nottingham Militia [ The Miltia were part of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment ] found himself being posted to India by 1875, taking along his family.

[ In Ethiopia, King Theodore was behaving in a high-handed manner towards British consular officials and had imprisoned other British subjects for no apparent crimes. Such treatment was not acceptable in the Victorian era and accordingly the 45th was included in an expeditionary force sent from India in 1868 to ‘explain’ this to King Theodore. Theodore, allegedly drunk at the time, attacked and was repulsed by the British force with a loss of 700 killed and 1200 wounded, whilst the British casualties numbered only 16 wounded. The King capitulated and released his European captives and the Sherwood Foresters returned to India. In 1872 they were moved to Burma, returning again to India in 1875 and went back to England in 1878]


There were two more additions to the family during their time at India, George Blyton born in 1875, and Alfred who according to his birth certificate  was born on route from Rawl Pindi India.

Returning to England Henry was posted back to Nottinghamshire and in 1881 the family were listed as:

Henry BLYTON Head M Male 39 Newark, Nottingham, England Sergt Notts Militia
Mary BLYTON Wife M Female 30 Stratton, Dorset, England
James L.H. BLYTON Son Male 11 Weymouth, Dorset, England Scholar
 George E. BLYTON   Son      Male   6   India   Scholar    
 Alfred BLYTON   Son      Male   4   India   Scholar    
 Fredrick E. BLYTON   Son      Male   8 m   Newark, Nottingham, England       
 William CHEETHAM   Boarder   U   Male   20   Nottingham, Nottingham, England   Militia    
 Herbert TUTIN   Boarder   U   Male   18   Nottingham, Nottingham, England   Militia    
 Tom MARRISON   Boarder   U   Male   20   Blyth, Nottingham, England   Militia    
 Benjamen LANDS   Boarder   U   Male   18   Snienton, Nottingham, England   Militia    

  Dwelling   8 Lyon Hill
  Census Place Newark Upon Trent, Nottingham, England
  Public Records Office Reference   RG11 Piece / Folio   3375 / 34 Page Number   19


By 1886 Henry and his family had moved to Balderton Nottinghamshire where daughter Elizabeth was born. Somewhere between 1886 and 1888 the family moved yet again this time to Wigan Lancashire, after Henry presumably was discharged from the forces. Rose Blyton was born at Wigan in 1888. Moving to nearby Ince by 1892 where Flora Blyton was born.


In 1899 we find that Alfred John Blyton had now married his cousin Mary and they had one child Lilian Minnie Blyton, who are listed in 1901 as:


Alf John Blyton 24 Rawal Pinder India British Subject Lancaster Ince Collier In Coal Mine
Annie  Blyton 29 Newark Notts Lancaster Ince 

Lilian Minne Blyton 2 Ince Lancashire Lancaster Ince 


Whilst the rest of the family are listed as:

Henry  Blyton 60 Newark Notts Lancaster Ince Furness Tenter Underground

Mary  Blyton 51 Stratton Dorset Lancaster Ince  

Elizabeth  Blyton 15 Balderton Notts Lancaster Ince Pit Brow On Belts Surface
Flora  Blyton 9 Ince Lanc Lancaster Ince 
Rose  Blyton 13 Wigan Lanc Lancaster Ince.

Fred Ernest Blyton 21 Newark Notts Lancaster Ince Collier In Coal Mine
Walter  Blyton 17 Newark Notts Lancaster Ince Collier In Coal Mine

living at 478 Warrington Road Ince Lancashire



George Edw Blyton 26 India British Subject Lancaster Hindley Coal Miner Hewer

Sarah  Blyton 32 Northshire Yardley Hastings Lancaster Hindley

George Hy Blyton 2 Lancs Ince Lancaster Hindley

living at 55, Bentley Street Hindley Lancs


Looking at the above in 1901 we can see the family are now well and truly making a living from coal mining, with Elizabeth working as a Pit Brow Lass.


With the advent of the First World War Alfred Blyton enlisted, by this time he had two more daughters at home who were Rose, and Maggie. At some stage after the war prior to 1926 Alfred moved to Dalton South Yorkshire and took up residence at number 45 Dalton Lane, where he was joined by his daughter Minnie and son in law Jess Marshall.

Minnie and Jess had the following children:

William born 1926, Jack, Norman, and sister Jessie.

Sadly their Granddad Alfred was not to be in their lives very long, at some time during the 1930's he was badly injured in an accident at Silverwood, he was rescued and taken to hospital but died from his injuries. A service was held at Dalton Church and Alfred John Blyton born in India was laid to rest in Dalton cemetery.


Pam Beavan writes:

I can confirm that he was injured  at Silverwood colliery about 1933, however he was taken to Rotherham hospital but unfortunately died a week later as result of his injuries. My aunt (formally Freda  Phillips) was his grand daughter and can remember her mother's daily visits to the hospital and attending the funeral. He is buried in the church at Dalton. The lady who gave you this information is Rosalie Walkington ( my aunt's cousin) and she is more than happy for it to be corrected. The two have now been in touch and spoken on the telephone and caught up on all sorts of family history - all thank to you and this site!




Alfred in Hospital with friends.Excerpt from TALES OF MY GRANDDAD by Rosalie Walkington
My Granddad [ Alfred Blyton ] died a long time before I was born but Grandma would tell me stories of him on a night to settle me to sleep. Apparently after a long shift at the mine Granddad would like nothing better than to collect his fishing gear together and take himself off for a couple of hours. The usual catch seems to have been eels which he would bring home and fry up in my Grandma’s best frying pan, for his supper. Maggots were the instruments used to catch this delicacy and Granddad kept them unbeknown to my Grandma under the bottom shelf of the back pantry. Unbeknown that is, until she put a pan under the same shelf knocking off the lid of the box they were kept in. Granddad was unable to go fishing for a while, and the incident did not come to light until one morning when on opening the pantry door grandma was greeted by a huge number of buzzing bluebottles, the maggots having pupated and then hatched! After that Granddads fishing equipment were banned from the premises and consigned to his shed at the allotment.

He must have been a keen gardener because his fork and spade passed down to me after my mother died, and although the handles were replaced several times I continued to use them right up to 5 years ago when they just wore out, which is a lot of years. I still haven’t been able to find replacements half as good as they were. I believe that he also kept racing pigeons but I am not sure.


Alfred Blytons empty grave photo courtesy of Rosalie Walkington.


The Girl on the left is Margaret Blyton, The one on the Right is Lilian Minnie Blyton and the small girl is Rose.


Back then of course there was no welfare or much help for widows, other than what family and friends gave, When asked how they managed they would often reply "Ya managed cos ya ad ta" and manage they did.


Through the passing years Alfred's widow passed down stories to his Grandchildren, and those grandchildren will no doubt pass on those stories to their children












Copyright Rosalie Walkington, Julie Coggan, Freda Phillips, Pam Beavan


Additional research, text and page formatting John Doxey



Many thanks to Rosalie , Julie, Freda, and Pam for sharing their  family history.

To Rosalies children , " This page is for you "




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