Images of Industry

Pocket Watch

Date: circa 1913

Media: metal

Size: 52 x 75 x 16 mm

Acquired: 2002; Gift

Accession Number: 2002.175

Worn by William Edward Beck, killed in explosion at Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, 14 October 1913.

The task of identifying hundreds of bodies, often badly burnt or otherwise mutilated, was very difficult.  Men and boys had often to be identified by clothing or personal possessions. William Edward Beck came to south Wales from Broadway in Somerset to look for work sometime before 1900.  Mr Beck's body could only be identified by this watch, a dent in the back was caused either by the explosion or by a fall of ground caused by a burning roof support, he was 43 years old when he died and lived at 45 Springfield Terrace, Nelson.  He was apparently found near to his cousin and both are now buried in Ystrad Mynach churchyard.

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