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Charles Stone [st.1.9]

Charles Stone was the tenth child of William Stone & Ann Simcox born May 6th 1840 at Moore St, West Bromwich, & christened June 28th, 1840 at Christ Church, West Browmich, Staffs.

In 1841 Charles was the youngest of 9 children living with their parents in West Bromwich.

In 1851 Charles was still living at home at Guns Lane, West Bromwich, along with his older brother John.  Both boys were already working as forge boys at ages 10 and 12 respectively.

Charles was the only child living at home with his mother & retired father at Guns Lane in 1861.  Charles was described as a mill forgeman.

Charles married Matilda Louisa Berriman on Mary 25th, 1863 at St Martin’s Pepper Box, Tipton, Staffs.  Charles was aged 23 & a bundler, & Matilda was 18 & a servant.  Matilda was born c1845, the daughter of Benjamin Berriman, a carriage maker.  Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas Wilkes & Matilda Walton.

On March 1st, 1864 a terrible disaster occurred at the ironworks of Mr Thomas Johnson, Church Lane, Hall End near West Bromwich where Charles worked.  A large boiler connected to a number of furnaces blew up & spread death & destruction throughout the works.  Charles that afternoon was at work in the rolling mill, busy tying up bundles of iron, when brick work from the explosion crashed through the building where he was working burying him under a mass of iron & debris.  His brother Joseph, who also worked in the same building, had just left his furnace a few minutes earlier escaping the collapse.  Joseph rushed back into the ruins & carried his brother’s body out, collapsing with fright.  At least 11 men including Charles were killed & many more horrifically injured & scalded.  The owners were convicted of manslaughter by the jury, due to neglect & lack of maintenance of the boiler.



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