Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Thursday 11 June 1908
Darfield Miner’s Suicide. “Healthy as a Fish.”
A dead body which was on Tuesday withdrawn from the canal at Old Mill, Barnsley, was the same night identified as that of Peter Conway, aged 37, of Low Valley, and yesterday an inquest was held by Mr. l. Maitland, coroner.
Deceased’s brother, Thomas Conway, of 9, Hope Street, Low Valley, gave evidence of identification. Up to twelve months ago deceased lodged with witness, but had since lived at Wombwell, having changed his employment at Mitchell Main to Wombwell Main. Witness last saw him alive at Easter.
The Coroner ; Was he a healthy man?—Yes, sir he was as healthy as a fish. (Laughter.)
Detective Danby, of the Barnsley Borough Force stated that he made inquiries Dartield regarding deceased.
A man named Dennis said deceased lived with him up two months ago. He went away without paying for his lodgings, but left his clothing behind . Witness had been unable to ascertain where he had passed the last two months.
William Ward, paper finisher of Bleach Croft, Barnsley, said he was in his garden at half past ten on Tuesday morning, when deceased came by, and coming down the side of the bank, stood looking at a pond. As soon saw witness looking at him he got onto the towing path again and walked away.
Witness thought is conduct peculiar but “’there are so many people passing that one can’t very well go and ask them.”
The Coroner; It might rather dangerous to ask everybody what they were going to do.
When witness heard that deceased was in the water he got a clothes prop and recovered the body though life was then extinct. On the canal bank witness picked up a card belonging to the Darfield Working Men’s Club, three pawn tickets, a silk handkerchief, and a knife.
A verdict of “Suicide” was returned, the jury expressing the view that the evidence did not reveal anything as the state of the man’s mind.