Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1920 & 29

Ralph Newbegin (Killed at work) (1870 - 1929)

Ralph Newbegin was employed at Manchester Dry Docks as a Ship's Plater, when fell down a ship's hold and received fatal injuries.


The Salford City Reporter of Friday 15th March 1929 records, "Falling seventy feet down the hold of a ship at the dry docks at Salford Docks on Wednesday (6th March), Ralph Newbegin, aged 58, of Robertson Street, Salford, fractured his skull and died in Manchester Royal Infirmary the same evening. Several men who were working near the scene of the accident said that they were engaged in moving iron plates by means of a crane at the time. After they had deposited them on one side of the ship, they found that Newbegin, who had been standing on the partly covered hold, was missing. After a search they discovered him lying at the bottom of the hold. He was unconscious and was brought to the deck with great difficulty owing to the depth of the hold".


The Inquest into Ralph's death was held on Friday 8th March 1929 by Manchester City Coroner Mr R.W. Sturridge. The report gave Ralph's age as 57 and that he had fallen thirty feet! Mary Newbegin, the widow, said that her husband had been employed at the Dry Docks as a Ship's Plater for ten years. He left for work at 7 o'clock as usual in the best of health. He had never had fits or had fainted.


Arthur Williamson told the Inquest that he was working with the deceased on N0.5 hatch of the SS Median. There were two other men there and they were engaged in pulling an iron plate over the hatch to get it on the top deck. The plate measured approx 27 feet by three and a half feet. He did not see what happened to the deceased who was superintending the work and had not got hold of the plate which was lying on the hatch. They were waiting for him to give the order when there was a bump sound at the bottom of the hold and looking down, he saw the deceased at the bottom. He immediately went for the ambulance and the other two went to help Ralph.


John Tracey, who was also working with the deceased said he did not see what happened. The first he knew was when somebody shouted. He went down the hold and found Ralph lying on his right side, unconscious. The lighting of the deck was quite good, so he didn't think that Ralph could have tripped over anything.


John Charles Jones, an Ambulance man employed by the Dry Dock Company said he was called to the SS Median and found Ralph Newbegin being hoisted up from the hold. He was unconscious. The witness accompanied Ralph to Manchester Royal Infirmary.


The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death and the Cororner added that Newbegin had evidently taken a step backwards while he was not thinking and so had fallen down the hold.


The funeral of Ralph Newbegin was held on Wednesday 20th March at Weaste Cemetery. He was buried in J plot of the Dissenters portion and Rev. W. Leeming conducted the committal service.