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Remembering Frederick Matthew Brown

Mapperley Colliery Manager Late 1920 / Early ‘30s

Stanley Colliery Home Guards in the 1914-1918 war. In the picture are C.O. F. M. Brown (then manager), Instructor Smith, C. Robinson (under manager), Mr. Severn (seated extreme left), who subsequently became manager of Simon Pit, Mapperley. It will be recalled that Mr. Severn disappeared in this pit and no trace was ever found. In civilian clothes and wearing cap on right is Bob Stone, ex-Ilkeston United goalkeeper and well-known local preacher. He died one or two years ago. Second from right, seated, is Mr. T. Clough, now chairman of the Ilkeston Building Society. Next to him (third from right) is Mr. Hartley, who was engine-wright. Photograph kindly lent by Mrs. W. Bloor, of Stanley.


I received a very interesting email in February 2017 from Peter and Sue Hagon in which Peter explains that his grandfather was Mr. F.M.Brown and he was Colliery Manager late 1920/early ‘30s. He had a beautiful and very impressive scroll, hand-painted by J.Eaton and dated 8th August 1930. This basically expresses the appreciation of the miners for the way his grandfather treated and looked after the men and has 18 signatories. Peter and Sue very kindly donated the scroll to Mapperley History Project which we intend to reframe and hang where it can be viewed for many years to come.


Below is some of the information we have about Frederick.

He was born in Ilkeston on 30th May 1871. In 1913 at age 42 he became Colliery Manager for the Mapperley Colliery Company, West Hallam.

  • 1919 he was a Freemason at Rutland Lodge, Ilkeston
  • 1930 he was a Governor of Scargill School
  • 1931 age 60 he was a Board member, manager and agent of Mapperley Company Limited
  • 1932 he became a Member of the Board of Management of Ilkeston Hospital
  • 1933 He was Vice-Chairman and ex-president of Derby Chamber of Commerce
  • 1934 Governor Director/Messrs F B Cameron & Co Ltd, coal factors and merchants of London
  • 1935 age 64 Director – Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Associated Colliers Ltd
  • 1935 President/Midland Counties Institute of Engineers.
  • 1937  Magistrate

Frederick Matthew Brown of Beaumont, West Hallam, died on 24th February 1938 and was buried in ‘Colliery Managers Row’ St. Wilfrid’s Church, West Hallam

A brass Memorial Plaque can be seen at St Wilfrid’s Church:-

24 FEBRUARY 1938

An Obituary was shown in The Ilkeston Advertiser, Friday 4th March 1938
A summary is shown below

Frederick Matthew Brown

Obituary Transcription

The Ilkeston Advertiser, Friday 4th March 1938

Large Attendance at Funeral




The local coalfield had lost one of its most popular and familiar figures by the death of Mr. Frederick Matthew Brown, a director, and the general manager and the agent of Mapperley Colliery Company, Ilkeston, which occurred at his home, Beaumont, West Hallam, on Thursday of last week.

A native of Ilkeston, he had been associated with the coal mining industry all his business life, and for 40 years had served the Mapperley Colliery Company in one capacity or another.  Eight years ago he was elected to the board of directors and appointed general manager and agent.

To mark that occasion the employees, by whom he was held in the highest esteem, presented him with an illuminated address and a canteen of cutlery, the address being framed in old oak taken out of the colliery.  It was signed by 18 employees whose total length of service with the company was 477 years.

In accepting the gifts, Mr Brown made a reply that was characteristic of the man “My promotion will not make any difference to my principles.  I know the difficulties the men experience and I am always anxious to help them.”

Mr. Brown was a man of many activities.  A keen Churchman, he did much work for the local church.  He was a whole-hearted supporter of Ilkeston Hospital and the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, being a member of the board of management of the first named institution.  All charitable and social organisations had his sympathy.

Mr. Brown was a governor of Ilkeston County Secondary School. He was also a governor of Scargill School, West Hallam.

He was prominently identified with the Derby Chamber of Commerce, of which he was vice-chairman and a past president.  He was to have addressed the members of that body on Thursday night, the day of his death.

Mr. Brown, who was 67 years of age, was appointed a magistrate twelve months ago.  His varied interests and activities also included those of governor director of Messrs. F.B. Cameron & Co. Ltd., coal factors and merchants of London, and a director of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Associated Collieries Ltd.

In 1936 he was President of the Midland Counties Institute of Engineers.  His knowledge of all matters appertaining to coal and collieries was extensive, and his interest in every kind of problem relating to the industry deep and all-embracing.

Mr. Brown was also a prominent Freemason.

For many years Mr. Brown was prominently identified with the Church of Christ in Burns Street, Ilkeston but for some years past he had been a regular attender and generous supporter of St. Wilfred’s Church, West Hallam.

By a wide circle of friends of all ranks and conditions the death of Mr Brown will be deeply deplored, especially by the employees of Mapperley Colliery Co. Ltd. with whom he was justly popular.

Mr. Brown had been twice married.  He leaves a widow and an adopted daughter, Mrs. L. F. Hagon, who resides in London.


The funeral took place on Saturday at West Hallam.  The village was in mourning, the blinds of the houses en-route from “Beaumont” to the Parish Church at West Hallam being drawn.  Many industrial concerns and public bodies with which Mr. Brown had been connected were represented at the funeral.

Eight employees of the Mapperley Collieries were bearers.  The cortege, from residence to the church, was headed by the Mapperley Colliery Co. Ambulance Corps, of which the deceased was president, and members of the staffs, officials and workmen, followed.

A service at St Wilfred’s Church, West Hallam, and the internment followed in the adjoining burial ground, the rector, the Rev. W. Ratcliff, officiating.  Also assisting in the services were the Rev. Linsan Graves (Vicar of Ilkeston), Rev. J Pleming (Vicar of Mapperley), Rev. A. H. Stacey (Vicar of Horlsey Woodhouse), and the Rev. C. J. Snowdon (Vicar of Stanley).

On the front of the service sheet was the passage “He dealt justly and loved mercy, and walked humbly with God.”  The opening hymn was “O God our help in ages past,” followed by the singing of the Psalm “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly.”  The Rev. C. J. Snowden read the Lesson, which was followed by prayers, and the service concluded with the hymn “The King of Love my Shepherd is.”

An address was given by the Rev. W. Ratcliff based on the passage quoted above.  He said if he stood in the pulpit all the afternoon he could not say any more than that.  He like them was mourning the loss of a very dear friend.  The Rector referred to Mr. Brown as a public servant and also as a loyal son of Christ and His Church.  He never allowed his public duties to come before his loyalty to his Christ.

Sunday by Sunday Frederick Matthew Brown had come to this Parish Church, a living witness to all who had worked with him that there was that one safeguard and that one foundation which had been the sheet anchor of his soul that was his Bible and his Christ.  Would to God there were more public men like Frederick Matthew Brown.  He died as he lived, a Christian gentleman.

The committal service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. W. Ratcliff following which the Masonic brethren filed past and dropped sprays of acacia into the grave.

There were nearly 200 floral tributes.

Wording taken from the Scroll presented to Frederick Matthew Brown by:-

The officials and workmen of the Colliery Co. Ltd, desirous of marking the appointment of him as general manager, the completion of 32 years service with the firm, and his election to a seat on the Board of Directors.

Mapperley and Stanley Collieries
Near Derby
8th August 1930

To Frederick M Brown Esq
We the undersigned on behalf of the Workmen and Members of the Staff of Mapperley and Stanley Collieries, desire to mark the appointment of You as Agent, Principal General Manager, and a Director of the Company, and the Thirty Second of your association with it by offering to you this work of our esteem and our appreciation.

You are well known to all of us by your careful, constant and conscientious attention to the interests of all, by your fairness of dealing, by your close attention to the welfare of the Company and of all connected with it, and by fair, level and kindly exercise of judgment and by your honesty of purpose.

We Desire to honour and to thank you and to express the hope that your good relations with all of us may long continue.

Alfred Mee
Fredk Annable
Jim Flint
Joseph Hartly
H E Summerscales
R Clough
W H Gilchrist
C? Robinson
Aaron Butler

M Eyre
A E Davies
H S Tomlinson
Thomas Clough
H Gregory?
B Gregory
Arthur Annable
W Brewer Daykin
Stephen Weston

This Scroll is the work of J Eaton - 8:VIII:1930

Go  More details can be found in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 1930

Go  See also Swimming and Slipper Baths at Stanley Colliery, West Hallam Station

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