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.

Additional content Mick Carver








Home Page
Site Guide
William Hill
James William Hill
Fred Hartle
Hartle Family
Reginald Gray
Fred Spencer
Medical Team
Fred Kelly
Frederick Kelly Snr.
Warneford Cawthorne
Alfred Blyton
William "Bill" Marshall
Stephen Marshall
William Hitchen
Peter O'Brien
Bruce Wilson
Dave Vicars
R & F Green
Dean Clement
George Clement
James Slater
William Birch
Billy Mills
Larrett Roebuck
Jeff Lovell
The Barlow Family
Ralph Law
Ralph Law  pg2
George Baker
Frank Brown
James Browne
The Doxey Brothers
The Rogers Brothers
James "T. C."Turner and Son
Frank Jones
Keith B. Scholey
Ian "Bidder" Evers
Stan Etchells
Stan Crowther
Newey's of Silverwood
Alexander Dutton
Paddy Burke
Robert Pepper
James Dabbs
Benjamin Bennett
Dave Edwards
The Lawrence Family
William Lawrence
George Mosley
Albert Illsley
William Peers
Walter Ackroyd
Churm Family
George Wilshaw
The Coggins Family
The making of the Mine
History of the Mine
Listing of Miners
The Colliers
Where the Miners of Silverwood came from
Origins of Miners
Work and Leisure
Working Life
Biographies and Tributes

Facts, Stories and Features

Interesting facts
Legends from the Mine
Tales from the Mine
For Researchers
Mining Information
For Your Use
Students Page
Guest Book
Local Villages


"We Give And Take Care"


Medical team photo kindly supplied by Geoff Illsley


Albert Henry Illsley, my father,  worked underground at Silverwood from 1923 until 1946. An accident meant he had to take a pit top job, an ďAmbulance ManĒ. The ambulance room was on the pit side of the colliery by the rail tracks. The building looked like a disused colliery workshop. High ceilings, very poor lighting, bare brick wall. The only furniture I can remember was a desk lit by a small electric lamp and a chair and a small treatment cabinet in the middle of this large room. Not an ideal place to treat injuries.

 I remember this place as Albert Henry used to help train the Silverwood First Aid Team for its completions and individuals for their St Johnís Ambulance examinations. I acted as a patient on practice nights. Above is a photograph of the team showing off their impressive trophy collection. The photograph was taken in the 1950ís after they won the Bancroft Coward Shield. It was equivalent to winning the FA cup!

The only persons I can remember are back row Clarence Kirk? (one of the medical room attendants), Colliery Manager?, Sister Balcon and next to her on the end George Greaves who lived on Vale Road, Thrybergh. Front row 3rd along Mr Bill Foster.
The new Medical Centre was built behind the Baths. What luxury! Tiled surfaces, treatment rooms, recovery rooms, showers and more equipment and dressings than ever before.
Your page mentions Sister Adsett in connection with the 1966 disaster, but Sister Balcon was the first sister when the new Medical Centre was opened. She lived on Doncaster Road, Thrybergh.


Geoff Illsley  Albert Illsley


Albert Illsley and Ivy Carverpictured on their wedding day photo courtesy of Mick CarverAlbert Illsley pictured here on the left on his wedding day to Ivy Carver, worked for many years as part of the Medical Team at Silverwood from 1923 until the early 1970's, he then retired to Blackpool with his wife Ivy.

Pre the building of the Baths Ernest Butler was the first Aid Man at Silverwood.

In a "paddymail disaster" at Silverwood Colliery on 2nd October 1939.. Thomas Thackery was The First Aid man and received a watch and money for his services during the disaster. Thomas Thackery was living at 1 East Crescent Sunnyside at the time
Medical Room Staff 1950's and 60's
Albert Henry Illsley
Eric Palmer
Clarence Kirk
Bill Foster
Sister Bailey
Sister Balcon
Sister Adsett

The workload back then for the Medical team at Silverwood was enormous, with 4,816 Reports treated, 24,954 re-dressings, 117 new cases requiring radiant heat, and 1,265 existing cases receiving radiant heat treatment.
In 1966  Sister Adshead, who was part of the rescue team at Silverwood gained National fame for her part in the Paddy Mail train accident. The following day all the national papers carried her picture on their front pages one caption naming her as "The Angel with the dirty face".

Arthur Churms was the ambulance man at Silverwood.

In  recent emails   Helena Linstead  and Paul Linstead   write:-


Hello there , I hope you don't mind me getting in touch , My father , Charles Linstead worked at Silverwood Pit I know he worked in the First Aid room but not sure of when, and I have to find out the years he was there, I'm not sure which road to go down and I wondered if you could help, or anyone reading this, if they knew dad or worked with him.

Please get in touch with me on this email address  Thank you so much Helena

Charles (wag) to some started from school at Hickelton Main in the late 1930s went on to become a Deputy at Thurcroft and returned to Silverwood to work in the First Aid Room having left the NCB ,to work in the Test house at Tinsley Wire works

Thank you so much Paul

Jacqui Foister writes:-

I would like you to add my grandfather, Percy Davies to your list of people who worked at Silverwood. Percy was born in 1904, we think in Burtonwood, Cheshire, and worked as a farmer before moving to Thrybergh. He worked as a weighman at the Silverwood Colliery, married Annie Pears and they lived at 50 Vale Road, Thrybergh. He was also a St. John Ambulance man, and he must have resuscitated or saved at least one life, as I have here the Resuscitation Certificate from the Royal Humane Society.

He must also have attended to a man down the pit while a doctor amputated the man's leg, as I heard that story many times from his wife, Annie. There was no anaesthetic. My Mum recalls how many people would go to Percy with an injury, for first aid, rather than pay a doctor, and he could well have been a medic of some kind himself if circumstances had been different. As far as being a First Aider, he would not consider himself any better than anyone else and would not want to be heralded as brave or any kind of hero, he only did what he considered any man would do for another, if they could.

He died in 1993.

We do all miss Percy and Annie so much, they don't mec em like that anymore. Jacqui.

Geoffrey Haith started work at Silverwood at the age of 14 in 1941. He worked there all his life working his way up to Deputy and Overman. He was also on the miners rescue team for many years.

There would have been many a Miner thankful of the highly trained Medical Staff at Silverwood, so if you have a story, or know of more members please send them in and lets make this page a well deserved tribute to them.



Prior to the existence of the St. John Ambulance Association in 1877 the treatment of injured Miners was a pretty sorry state of affairs. Local Doctors would be used at a cost, or the Miners treated themselves, and in many cases continued working despite their injuries or medical condition.  Remedies were often natural treatments such as comfrey leaves and bread which were applied to infected areas.
Ten years after the advent of the St Johns Ambulance Association the St. John Ambulance Brigade was brought into existence. This was a major step forward for the well being of injured miners, as the Brigade established divisions within the Mining areas. Training was now available in first aid, nursing divisions were established, and first aid certificates were issued to those who completed the courses.
The Brigade was self supporting so fund raising was a major activity to raise money which would provide the necessary equipment
The Miners would subscribe to the Brigade usually collected on payday by a member of the Brigade. Mine Owners became involved and were obligated under a  Coal Mines Act to introduce rooms where Miners could be treated for their injuries and an ambulance was to be provided should the injured men need to be taken to Hospital. The introduction of  trained First Aid Men was implemented in the mines, and First Aid stations were set up underground.
With the Nationalization of Mining, First Aid was further boosted by the introduction of Area Medical Officers,  Medical Centres with a State Registered Nurse and highly trained First Aid Men.
Teams like the one at Silverwood became well renowned for their expertise, and often for their bravery when underground in a rescue situation, so it is without doubt that the inscription on the medal they often earned is a fitting description of these people.

Click here to visit an excellant site on Mining run by Fionne Taylor
"We Give And Take Care"

Click on the Mines rescue Service emblem to visit a very informative site ►►




Top of Page

Email John Doxey

Click here to sign in and leave your comments All information on this site is correct to the extent of my knowledge, should you spot an error please let me know and that error will be corrected.
All text and pages as formatted and presented on this site Copyright John Doxey, and may not be reproduced without consent
Photos, and information Copyright to Primary Sources where applicable

Site URL.L.