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Rugeley 'Bevin Boy' died from industrial disease 70 years later

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

By Newsletter reporter

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INDUSTRIAL disease killed a Rugeley man who spent almost 50 years working in local coal mines, a coroner has said.

Dennis Poole was acknowledged by the Government as a “Bevin Boy”, one of the young men conscripted to work into the coal mines in the 1940s, but started working as a coal miner beforehand, in 1939, when he was just 14, Cannock Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday.

The grandfather worked at Lea Hall, Brereton and Cannock during his coal mining career, before retiring in 1986.

But on January 11 Mr Poole, who spent his final weeks at Hawksyard Priory Nursing Home, was taken to Stafford Hospital suffering shortness of breath. He died three days later, on January 14, from bronchopneumonia and congestive cardiac failure due to emphysema.

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The inquest heard he had suffered from a number of conditions including pneumoconiosis – often associated with the inhalation of coal dust – bronchitis and emphysema.

He also suffered from heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and previously been a pipe smoker, before giving up around 20 years ago.

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