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John Pattinson's Bible

Posted November 6, 2008

Brunner Coalmine Tragedy

Brunnerton was a coalmining town where many Salvationists were miners. On Thursday 26 March 1896 65 men and boys, one as young as 15, entered the Brunner mine for their 7:45am shift.

Recent torrential rain and strong winds had created disastrous flooding. A flooding river had caused gas to build up in an adjacent mine and the gas was forced into the Brunner mine. That morning at 9:30am the mine exploded, killing everyone in the mine. Among those men were six Salvationists from the Brunnerton Corps. They were John Pattinson, John Roberts, Samuel Roberts, David Roberts, Joseph Baxter and James Rowe.

James Rowe was found in the mine holding his Bible in his hands and John Pattinson with his Bible open on his knee. John Pattinsons’ charred Bible was kept and preserved by his family and now resides on display at the Territorial Archives and Museum, Wellington.