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Another Victim of Barnburgh Pit Disaster – Death Toll Now Six

August 1957

South Yorkshire Times August 10, 1957

Death Toll Now Six
Another Victim of Barnburgh Pit Disaster

With the death of 36 years old Richard Corbridge, on Saturday night, the Barnburgh colliery disaster fatality role has risen to six.

Brother’s sacrifice

But behind the latest death lies the unselfish story of a younger brother who spent 14 days in the next bed following a skin grafting operation in an attempt to save Richard, and of the devoted care of the staff at Wharncliffe hospital, Sheffield.

Walter Corbridge (34), return to his home, 40 South Drive, Bolton on Tuesday afternoon with his wife and relatives.

He was admitted to ‘C’ Ward, Wharncliffe hospital, on Wednesday, July 24 as a voluntary skin donor. He is also Barnburgh miner, but he was away from work ill at the time of the accident. Walter hoped to save his brother’s life by the operation.

The day following Walter’s admittance skin was grafted from his legs. Subsequently doctors and nursing staff spent hours of patient care watching over Richard progress. But the efforts of both Walter and hospital staff were not enough.

Six extremely critical cases were admitted to Wharncliffe hospital, five of them have now died.

At his home on Tuesday, Walter said what a poor reward this was for the work the staff had done.

“Sometimes the staff would work 16 or 18 hours a day. They never left my brother. I remember one sister going on at 9 o’clock in the morning, and she didn’t come off until 10 pm.” he said.

Hospital Praised

Walter did not seem particular worries about his own condition, but could not say enough for the good work of the hospital staff.

Both Walter and Richard were continuously and consistently at Barnburgh colliery.

Walter started in 1945, went to Yorkshire Main for a time, and then returned to Barnburgh Main about four years ago. Richard had been in mining slightly longer. He had previously worked at Yorkshire Main.

On Tuesday Walter relaxed in a comfortable chair while Mrs Corbridge made him feel at home by making a cup of tea. Throughout Walter’s stay in hospital his wife visited him every evening

Walter was expect to leave the hospital on Wednesday, but on Tuesday he was sufficiently fit to leave.