At approx 11a.m. on Monday, 26th April 1915, an explosion occurred at Brayton Domain No. 4 Pit which injured eight miners seven of whom subsequently died of the severe burns they received. The miners were:

  • Robert Lightfoot, aged 20, of 36 Harriston, Aspatria (died Wednesday, 28 April 1915)
  • Henry Wilkinson, aged 32, of 71, Lawson Street, Aspatria (died Thursday, 29 April 1915)
  • Thomas Birney, aged 64, of 16 Harriston, Aspatria (died Sunday, 2 May 1915)
  • Thomas Herbert Little, aged 29, of 8 Springkell, Aspatria (died Monday, 3 April 1915)
  • Paul Rayson, aged 25, of 36 Harriston, Aspatria (died Monday, 3 May 1915)
  • James Wilkinson, aged 59, of 71 Lawson Street, Aspatria (died Friday, 21 May 1915)
  • Joseph Rumney, aged 51, of 108 Harriston (died 5 June 1915) – Occupation: Colliery Deputy and Shot Firer.
  • Thomas Harris (survived)

Contemporary Reports:

The Carlisle Journal, Friday, April 30, 1915

The Carlisle Journal, Tuesday, May 4, 1915

The Carlisle Journal, Friday, May 7, 1915

The Carlisle Journal, Tuesday, May 25, 1915

The Colliery Guardian, June 25, 1915

The Carlisle Journal, Friday, April 30, 1915:


Of the eight men injured in the colliery explosion at No. 4 Pit, Brayton, on Monday, two have succumbed to their injuries. R. Lightfoot, aged 20, residing at Harriston with his mother, died early on Wednesday morning; and Henry Wilkinson, single, aged about 29, residing with his parents in Lawson Street, died yesterday morning about eight o’clock. The latter was a prominent bowler, being a member of the Brandraw Bowling Club, and latterly with the Harriston Club. He was also at one time a member of St. Kentigern’s Parish Church Choir. Both men were well known and highly respected.


Yesterday afternoon Mr. Atter, Coroner for West Cumberland, opened the inquest in the Reading Room, Harriston, on the body of Lightfoot. Mr. A. Sharp (miners’ agent) appeared for the relatives.

The mother of the deceased gave evidence of identification, and the inquiry was adjourned till Tuesday week at 11-30 in the Market Hall, Aspatria to permit the attendance of his Majesty’s Inspector of Mines.

The jury and Coroner then proceeded to the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Aspatria, where the inquest on the body of Wilkinson was opened, and after evidence of identification was given by his brother the inquiry was adjourned.

Police-sergeant Todhunter stated at the inquest that Rumney was rather better; that Harris was fairly well; that Birney, Rayson, and Little were in a critical condition; and that Wilkinson was doing nicely.

The Coroner expressed the hope that there would be no more deaths.