Leeds nostalgia: ‘Tragic teen killed in horseplay 70 years ago was my relative’

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Our two Retro columns on Monday and Tuesday, which principally focus on events 70 and 100 years ago, continue to generate feedback from readers.

On Tuesday last week, we ran the tragic tale of a boy of 14, Denis Samuel Clay, who was accidentally killed when a work colleague threw an iron bar at someone else but hit him instead. We were then contacted by Michael Clay, who told us that Denis was his father, John’s (1929-1974), younger brother.

Michael, 59, said: “I had one article about the incident but I was very interested to read the Evening Post one, in particular about how my grandparents forgave the man who threw the bar. Denis was an innocent bystander.”

As reported previously, Denis was working at Allerton Bywater colliery when he was killed - the man who threw the bar was committed to the Assizes.

Michael, who also worked at Allerton Bywater Colliery from 1975-1986 said Denis was buried in an unmarked grave in Allerton Bywater Church yard, adding: “He was originally missed off the miners memorial created for those killed at the pit but I managed to get him included at the last minute.”