Family History: Michael Kelly (1883-1927)

Michael Kelly was born in Pendleton, England in 1883. He was the 8th child of John Kelly and Eliza Donohue who had both come from Ireland and settled in Salford. Michael met Mary Ellen Gettings, a local Salford lass, and they married in 1910. The couple went on to have 4 sons and 1 daughter together, however their sons died over a ten-year period, leaving their daughter Norah Elsie as an only child. Tragedy struck the young family again in 1923, when Mary died, leaving Michael a widow and 7 year old Elsie, without her mother. Michael and his brother John raised his daughter.

Mining was the main source of employment in Salford in the late 1800s and Agecroft Colliery, owned by Messrs. Andrew Knowles and Sons Ltd. was Michael’s employer. Agecroft originally opened in 1844 and closed for the first time in 1932. When he was 16, Michael was as a ‘Wagoner’ in the coal pit and later became a coal hewer. The main job of the hewer was to loosen the rocks and minerals and extract coal. On 25th October 1927, Michael was filling in for the regular haulage worker when a haulage rope struck him, lacerating his leg. The City Reporter[1] stated, Samuel Price, a mine fireman, was walking along 5 East level, when he heard a shout and at once ran in the direction of the sound. He came across an injured Michael and promptly bandaged the wound. Michael stayed and worked the remainder of the shift but his leg was considerably swollen and painful by the time he returned home. The injury was reported to Colliery officials and Michael attended Salford Royal Hospital for the following week. The leg became increasingly infected to the point where Michael could no longer walk. A doctor was called on November 10 and ordered Michael’s removal to the infirmary. He remained there until 24 November 1927, when he died of Septicemia.

[1] The City Reporter, Saturday, December 8, 1927.

 

Agecroft Colliery Miners. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfk8OHqhcJk

Agecroft Colliery Miners. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfk8OHqhcJk