Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1900 & 09

Thomas Dimilow (Killed at work) (1890 - 1909)

Thomas Dimilow was employed by Messrs George Leek and Sons, Iron and Brass Founders of Hope Street, Salford, and was killed, along with three others, when a lifting operation at work failed. He was only 19 years of age.


Thomas was born in 1890, possibly in Frodsham, Cheshire. Not a lot is known about his early life, but his gravestone at Weaste Cemetery shows that his mother's name was Isabella Dimilow, died 23rd January 1928 (i.e. born 1862). The only record for Isabella Dimilow is in the 1911 census (i.e. two years after Thomas was killed). This shows that the Dimilow family lived at 33, Crookell Street, Ordsall Lane, Salford. Isabella (born 1863 in Liverpool) was aged 48. Her husband was Samuel Dimilow, aged 44, (born 1867 at Frodsham, Cheshire) who was a Clay Labourer. Their children were: William aged 19 (born 1892 in Frodsham) who was an Iron and Steel Presser; Joseph aged 17, (born 1894 at Frodsham) who was an End Pegger; Samuel, aged 15, (born 1896 in Frodsham) who was in Glass Blowing; James aged 8, (born 1903 in Salford); and Fred aged 6, (born 1905 in Salford). However, there is a 1901 record for Thomas aged 10, Joseph aged 9 and Samuel aged 5 in Salford Union Workhouse!


The accident that killed Thomas occurred on Monday evening 20th September 1909 at Messrs George Leek and Sons, Iron and Brass Founders, Hope Street, Salford. Seven men were engaged in a lifting operation of a moulding box partly full of sand, weighing approximately 5 tons. The purpose was to get it ready to accept molton metal so as to make a large casting. The lifting device involved a block and chain, which incorporated a hook. The men were in position to turn over the moulding box, when the hook broke and the box came crashing down upon four men.


After some difficulty, the moulding box was raised and the four men were dragged out. They were all frightfully mangled. John Hayes Dutton was killed outright, Robert Catlow died after a few minutes, and Thomas Dimilow and James Henry Leek (son of the owner), who were only just breathing, were taken to Salford Royal Hospital, where they died shortly afterwards.


An Inquest was held on 23rd September at Pendleton Town Hall, where Thomas's father was one of the witnesses. The broken hook was on show. The hook had a hole drilled through it, which had been hidden by a collar. It was suggested that this was an old type of hook used about 50 years ago, but still in use. The obvious problem with this type of hook was that the hole weakened the hook and the collar hid the hole when inspected. Company owner Mr George Leek and his son Harold Leek, gave evidence to the effect that the lifting tackle had been inspected 12 months previously, but no records were available. It had been made in 1900 by a firm that had no longer existed. The tackle had been used every day for the last nine years. Verdict, Accidental death.


The Funeral of Thomas Dimilow took place on 25th September. The cortege of hearse and four carriages went directly from his home nearby the factory, to Weaste Cemetery where he was interred in grave number M/DISS/216. The inscription on the coffin read "Thomas Dimilow, died September 20th 1909, aged 19 years."