Updated 26 May 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 580


Alfred Ambrose McIntyre and
Gertrude Rose McIntyre (nee Brooke Kinder) c1918.

Photo taken:
Source:Kevin Marples

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Alfred and Gertrude McINTYRE.

Kevin Marples writes
Please find attached the only photo I have pre-1920 of my grandfather and grandmother - Alfred McIntyre and Gertrude Brooks taken at their wedding in Wirksworth on 15 June 1918. Alfred was born in Matlock on 21 April 1897 one of 8 siblings of Ambrose and Sarah McIntyre.

During his childhood he was a boy scout in Matlock and worked for a short time at F.H Drabble & Sons bleach works in Tansley near Matlock. In 1913 Alfred enlisted in the Territorial Army joining the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment. During the Great War he was in France from February 1915 and served in the trenches on the Western Front. He was wounded at Fonquevilliers near the Gommecourt Salient on 13 Dec 1916 but survived the War.

After the War Alfred returned to Wirksworth and went to live with Gertrude up The Dale. Like so many men in the area he went to work in the local stone quarries and was employed as a steam crane driver responsble for hauling the heavy blocks of limestone from the quarry face before sending them to be worked and dressed in the finishing sheds. They had two daughters - Gertrude May b. 12 July 1918 and Elizabeth Mary (my mother) b. 4 Feb 1929.

Alfred was also a devout Methodist and was an active member at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in The Dale both on the committees as well as being in the choir and teaching at Sunday School. On 21 June 1932 Alfred was killed in the Wirksworth quarries when the steam crane he was operating collapsed on him. He was a very popular man in the community as the media reports on the tributes paid to him and the numbers of people who attended his funeral testify.

Gertrude was born on 11 Oct 1894, the daughter of George Henry and Hannah Brookes. She worked at Masson Mill near Matlock Bath before she married Alfred and then worked in the mills at Wirksworth. Following the death of Alfred in 1932 she supported her two daughters alone (no easy task) before marrying Fred Petts on 7 April 1943. Gertrude lived until she was 83 and died at my home in Derby on 31 Jan 1978.

See a more detailed McINTYRE pedigree and also 1901 Census

    Sarah Ambrose 1896 Ann McINTYRE=====v=====JOHNSON 1954 | | |--------|-------|-----|-----|----|--------|----|-------| | | | | | | | | 1897 1900 1903 1905 1906 1907 1910 1911 Alfred John Mary Alexander Lillian Ada Arthur Annie Ambrose Edward Jane Ambrose | | 1894 Alfred Gertrude Ambrose 1918 Rose 1943 Fred McINTYRE=====v=====BROOKS-KINDER=====v=====PETTS 1932 | 1978 | |----|----| | | 1918 1929 Gertrude Elizabeth May Mary

    Derbyshire Times, Saturday, June 25, 1932

    Quarryman killed by Crane

    An Ill-Fated Wirksworth Family

    This picture shows the collapsed Crane,
    which killed A.McIntyre, Wirksworth

    Mr Alfred Ambrose McIntyre (35), Wirksworth, was killed while at work in Hopton Wood Quarry, Via Gellia, belonging to Hopton Wood Stone Firms, Ltd, on Tuesday.
    He was a steam crane driver and had gone to relieve Mr Mark Brewell, who a few days before had met with an accident on his way to work. About 11 am there was a crane mishap and McIntyre was killed instantly.
    William Wetton (31), Gorsey Bank, Wirksworth, deceased's brother-in-law, was killed about 12 months ago when a box hanging from the same crane knocked him from the quarry face.
    Jack McIntyre, brother of Alfred McIntyre, lives at Greenhill with a broken back sustained in a quarry accident some four or five years ago.
    Mr Alfred McIntyre joined the Matlock Terretorials in 1914 and served four years in France, where he received a certificate for efficiency as a crane driver. He was organist at Wirksworth P.M. Church. His mother and father live at Dale Street, Wirksworth


    The inquest, held at Wirksworth Cottage Hospital on Wednesday by the District Coroner (Mr S.Taylor), was attended by H M Inspector of Mines (Mr Hall), Mr W Foster, Nottingham, representing the Hopton Wood Stone Firms Ltd, and Mr John Cooper, the National Union of General Workers.
    Ambrose McIntyre, The Dale, Wirksworth, labourer, father of the deceased, gave evidence of identification.
    Leonard Spencer, a trammer, employed by the Hopton Wood Stone Firms, residing at Bolehill, said he spoke to McIntyre about 10.15 am, and gave him a cigarette. He left the crane to tip a wagon, and he then saw the jib falling. He looked but could see nothing for steam. He tried to turn the steam off, but it was impossible.
    Ernest Wheeldon, engine driver, employed at the quarry, and residing at Hillside, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, said he arrived immediately after the accident. McIntyre was lying in a huddled position with his head near the crane boiler door. His left foot was fast, and he did not appear to be alive. He (witness) extricated him with assistance, and the body was removed to the mortuary.
    William Ashmore, Cromford, deputy engineer at the quarry, said McIntyre worked on a crane which had a straight support in the centre, two "guys" and a jib. It was erected five years ago and it was then second hand. The crane was examined every morning and the top was inspected twice a week.
    Witness last examined the top of the crane on Friday and it was due to be examined again on the day of the accident. It was perfect on Friday.


    The cause of the accident was a clean break of the "strap" - it had snapped off like a carrot. The "strap" was five inches wide and two and a half inches thick and there was a hole in the centre.
    Answering Mr Hall, witness said the strap had never been taken off the crane to his knowledge. The crane was designed to lift five tons, and the load on it at the time of the accident was about two tons, 10 cwts. There was no reason for any extra strain about this time.
    In reply to Mr Cooper, witness said if the strap gave way the crane collapsed. The strap was supposed to last the lifetime of the crane.
    The strap, added the witness, was fully up to its work. The cause of the accident was the crystalisation of the strap, and there was no way of detecting it.
    The Coroner: Supposing that piece had been taken off, could it have been detected?'
    Witness: No, sir. It was inside.
    Answering Mr Harrison (forman of the jury), witness said there was a bolt hole at the exact point where the strap snapped.
    Mr Hall told the Coroner that in some important instances annealing was necessary every six months in order to stop crystalisation, but he could not say whether this regulation applied to cranes.


    Henry Slack, quarryman, New road, Middleton, said he was working in the bottom of the quarry beneath the crane. He saw the crane hauling up a box of about two tons of stone, and the jib was not extended very far. He saw the whole crane moving, and he shouted "The crane's tumbling over". The load had been raised about 40 feet when the crane crashed over.
    George Charles Giles, The Laurels, Middleton, manager of the quarry, said he had never heard of annealing crane straps. There would be more danger in taking down and putting up cranes for annealing purposes then there was of an accident of that sort. He had never heard of one before.
    Dr E D Broster said that the deceased's neck was broken. There were other injuries, but no burning. Death would be practically instantaneous.
    The Coroner said the accident was undoubtedly due to cristalisation in the steel strap, a flaw that was invisible and could only be cured by annealing.
    The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death".
    Mr Foster said that he was particularly requested to say that the Hopton Firms deplored the loss of a workman who bore a very high character.
    Mr Cooper associated himself with this expression, and said that was, unfortunately, the third case which had come before his Union from that family.

John Edward McIntyre
From the High Peak News dated 28 Jan 1925
Accident at Hopton Wood Stone Quarry, Wirksworth
'Mr John McIntyre, a quarryman at the Hopton Wood quarries of the Hopton Wood Stone Firms Ltd met with a serious accident on Wednesday morning last. Mr McIntyre was quarrying stone at the face of the rock when a piece of stone he liberated struck him heavily in the back and almost knocked him off the ledge on which he was working about 30 feet from the bottom of the quarry. He was rescued from his precarious position by his fellow-workmen and after first aid was conveyed to the Cottage Hospital Wirksworth. On making enquiries later we (the newspaper) were informed that Mr McIntyre's condition is regarded as critical.'

A report in the Derby Daily Express dated 29 Jan 1925 reported,
'The condition of Mr Jack McIntyre of The Dale Wirksworth who was admitted to the Derby Royal Infirmary on Thursday suffering from a broken back is reported to be unchanged.'

Jack McIntyre's wheelchair is on the Prince's left.

During the visit of Prince Edward VIII at Hopton Wood Stone quarry Wirksworth of particular interest was the production of headstones by the company for the Imperial War Graves Commission. Over a six year period the company produced 10,000 headstones using a specially constructed pantograph machine which could be operated by unskilled and disabled people alike. An extract from the account on the Royal Visit being covered by the
High Peak News on 21 Feb 1928 reads
'Sympathy With Ex-Soldier
The Prince had a chat with Mr J McIntyre, an employee of the firm who sustained injuries to his spine as the result of an accident at the Hopton Wood quarries several years ago. His Royal Highness expressed sympathy with McIntyre, remarking that it was most unfortunate that he should have served throughout the War without a scratch and then met with an accident of this nature'.

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