Daughter of Wakefield miner appeals for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer

The daughter of a former Wakefield miner who died from asbestos-related cancer is appealing to her dad’s workmates to help establish how he fell ill with the disease that claimed his life.
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Harry Davies, from South Kirkby, died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously. He was 79.

Following the death of dad-of-three Harry, his daughter Kelly Davies, 40, instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and whether his exposure could be linked to his work history.

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Kelly has now joined her legal team in appealing to any of her dad’s former colleagues to come forward with information on the conditions he would have faced during his employment.

Former miner Harry Davies died from asbestos-related cancer.Former miner Harry Davies died from asbestos-related cancer.
Former miner Harry Davies died from asbestos-related cancer.

They are looking to trace anyone who worked with Harry while employed by the former National Coal Board.

Kelly said: “When we found out dad’s diagnosis, we were shocked and upset. Mesothelioma wasn’t a condition any of us knew much about so we had a lot of questions around what it meant for the future.

“To see him deteriorate was devastating, especially knowing there was nothing we could do to stop it.

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“It’s been more than two-and-a-half years since we lost dad but we still think about him every single day. Life’s never been the same, and we know he would have wanted to know how he came to develop the illness.

“We’re now determined to get the answers for dad to help honour his memory. If anyone who remembers working with him could come forward, we would really appreciate it.”

Harry worked at Bentley Colliery in Doncaster and Gascoigne Woods Colliery in Sherburn-in-Elmet near Selby.

He also worked at Cementation Mining Limited in Doncaster.

Hannah Robinson, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Kelly, said: “Harry’s death from mesothelioma continues to have a profound impact on his loved ones, particularly Kelly who understandably remains upset by the loss of her dad.

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“It’s also a stark reminder of the terrible legacy left behind by asbestos, often in heavy industry, with the effects of the substance becoming apparent many years after initial contact has occurred.

“While nothing will bring Harry back, we’re supporting Kelly in obtaining the answers she deserves to honour her dad’s memory.

"We would therefore be grateful to hear from anyone who worked with Harry. Any detail could prove vital to our investigation.”

Harry worked for the National Coal Board from the 1960s to the early 1970s. It’ believed he was a miner, and later became a supervisor.

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From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Harry was employed by Cementation Mining Limited which was linked to Bentley Colliery.

Around late 2019, Harry, who enjoyed fishing and walking, began to suffer from tiredness and shortness of breath.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His condition deteriorated and he died in July 2021.

At the time of his death, Harry was a widower after his wife Lilian died in 1996.

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The couple had three daughters – Kelly, Jane who sadly died in 2017 aged 49, and Belinda, 52. They also had six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Anyone with information that may assist with this investigation can contact Hannah Robinson at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6842 or by e-mail at [email protected].