Woman Fell On Fire


North Road

Dorothy May Briggs, born in 1919 in Rotherham, is my third cousin, once removed and daughter of George Thomas Briggs and Doris Roberts.

In 1943, in Rotherham, Dorothy married Walter Ironmonger and together they issued three children.

Below are details from an inquest held shortly after Dorothy’s tragic death.


Woman fell on fire

The day after suffering an epileptic fit and falling on the fire at her home, a Rotherham woman died at the Rotherham Hospital, Doncaster Gate, the Rotherham Borough Coroner heard on Thursday week.

Mr. C. L. Blenkinsop recorded a verdict of death by misadventure on Dorothy May Ironmonger (46), of 127, North Road, Rotherham, who died on December 18th. Dr. A. Usher (pathologist), said that the deceased had suffered severe burning to her face and the right side of her neck. Death was due to acute pulmonary oedema, due to severe burns to the face. In reply to the Coroner, he said it was not unusual for a person who went into a deep epileptic fit to become unconscious and feel no pain.

Mr. Walter Ironmonger said his wife had been an epileptic all her life, and when she suffered a bad attack she would throw herself about, and could be unconscious for about 30 minutes. On December 17th, he left home with his married daughter to to go shopping, leaving his wife and young daughter at home. His wife was sitting by the fire.

Doncaster Gate Hospital, Rotherham - 19.08.07 (4)

Rotherham Hospital

“When I returned, I was told my wife had had an accident and had been taken to hospital with severe burns. After the accident, my daughter told me that while she and her mother were sitting in the living room, she had noticed her mother’s mouth twitching, as it usually did before an attack. She said she went to fetch her grandmother, but she was out, and when she returned she saw her mother had fallen on the fire, and she ran to fetch a neighbour,” added Mr. Ironmonger.

Leonard George Briggs


Holy Trinity Church, Dalton

Leonard George Briggs, born in Rotherham, is my fourth cousin and son of George T. Briggs and Phyllis Brunt. Below is a newspaper article(s) published shortly after his death.



Neighbours of a 19-years old Rotherham youth, who died of cancer on Monday have started a collection for a project at the Dalton Parish Church Youth Club, an organisation which the youth, Leonard George Briggs, of 143, Herringthorpe Valley Road, East Herringthorpe, Rotherham, always supported.

The collection, which will probably be used to help to purchase a Land Rover for the youth club, was first intended to buy flowers for Leonard’s funeral yesterday, but his mother, Mrs. Phyllis Briggs, decided that the money would be far better spent buying something of lasting use to the youth club.

Doncaster Gate Hospital, Rotherham - 19.08.07 (4)

Rotherham Hospital

Mrs. Briggs told “The Advertiser” this week: “When the collection was first started among the neighbours, it was intended to buy a wreath for Leonard’s funeral, but after having a word with the Rev. Peter Challen, we decided that the money would be of far more use if it was put towards some youth project. As my son took a great deal of interest in the Dalton Parish Youth Club, it was thought that this would be the best place for the money”

Leonard, who died at his home, had been an Able Seaman with the Royal Navy, and developed cancer while abroad. In January of this year, he was discharged from the Royal Navy Hospital, Portsmouth, where he had been receiving treatment, and was admitted to the Rotherham Hospital, Doncaster Gate. In February, he was allowed home, but after a short time was taken to the Sheffield Royal Infirmary.


After two weeks, Leonard was once again allowed home, where he spent most of his time practising for the driving test which he had hoped to take next year: “We never told him the nature of his illness as we did not want to worry him unduly. In fact, right to the end he was very happy and had even made plans for a camping holiday in Scotland next year”.

East Herringthorpe Cemetery, Rotherham - 29.12.15

Rotherham Crematorium

Leonard received an honourable discharge from the Navy in September, along with a report of his excellent character and the Borneo Star for fighting in Vietnam and Singapore.

He was educated at the High Greave Primary School and Spurley Hey Secondary School. He was also a member of the Eastwood View Working Men’s Club. He leaves his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters.

Cremation took place at Rotherham yesterday, following a service at the Dalton Parish Church, conducted by the Rev. P. Challen.

BRIGGS. – Leonard George, aged 19 years: ex-Royal Navy, eldest son of George and Phyllis Briggs (nee Brunt), and beloved brother of Lynn, Gerald, Carol and David; passed peacefully away after much suffering, December 12th.

Reunited with Grandma and Aunty Dot.

Beautiful memories woven in gold. This is the memory we tenderly hold.

BRIGGS. – Leonard, aged 19 years, passed peacefully away after much suffering, December 12th at home, 134, Valley Road. Beloved nephew of Margaret and Lol, and a beloved grandson of George and the late Dolly.

BRIGGS. – Leonard George, beloved nephew of Nora and George, dear cousin of Steven and Philip.

BRIGGS. – Leonard George.

Never to be forgotten.

Grandad and Grandma Brunt.