The Grove Pit Disaster that took the lives of fourteen men on October 1st, 1930 left deep scars on the Brownhills and Norton communities – and the funeral and memorial service for the men taken by the accident was a huge public event that drew massive crowds.
It occurred to me recently that there’s a lot we don’t really know about this most tragic of public memorial services. Since four of the victims are interred elsewhere (James Malloy buried at Hammerwich, John Whittacker buried Walsall Wood, Alfie Boden buried St James Norton Canes and John Holland buried Pelsall parish church, thanks to reader Emma Smith), I’m not sure if the funeral was truly for all of the victims or not.
I’ve been aware that there were postcard images of the memorial event in circulation, as was the way of the time, but never seen good quality versions. Thankfully, due to the generosity of local historian Bill Mayo and the hard work of David Evans, I can share the following high quality scans of the Grove Memorial Service in Brownhills.
We think the image with the terraces is Church Road. Can anyone confirm or disprove that please?
I’d be interested if readers could add anything they know about the memorial service, after having spent so much time on the disaster itself and the repercussions, it seems strange we’ve never covered this aspect of such an awful event.
Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.