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Vancouver Coal Company

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths.   They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.

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4/ had been working that day the same as usual. There was nothing different from usual that I am aware of.

To Mr. James Young – I am acquainted with the roadway past the “engine house” to the number two shaft. There were three doors through which you had to go from the engine house to the shaft – one – on the number one level – and two above the level on the incline I am not [illegible] acquainted with the drift running from the engine [illegible] room to the number two shaft. The direction of the blast appeared to me to come up the return airway behind the cabin.

Taken upon oath and acknowledged

this 25th day of May in the

year of our Lord one thousand

eight hundred and eighty-seven

before me

W. Wymand Walkem


James Malcolm – miner Nanaimo being duly sworn saith – I am a miner – and worked in the number three level south off the “new slope” I remember the third of May last – I was working in the corner of a cross cut – the morning shift was from 6 a.m. to 2 P.M. I came up at 2 P.M. There were two men working near me inside or further in the level. I had then been working in the pit three months. I have been working as a miner five years. There was plenty of air in the place when I was working that day. I never came across any gas down there nor have I experienced any. I have heard of the presence of gas in the roof once in a while. I have not heard of any gas being in the shafts. The new slope was very dry

BC Archives, GR-0431 Box 4 File 3 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Inquisitions / inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.

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