He was the 5th of 10 children born to Samuel Mottram and Elizabeth Sarah Gourley. Bad luck touched the Mottram family early with two of Samuel's sister dying of diptheria at a young age. Two more children would also die before their parents.
|Mottram Family circa 1904|
Back: Mary, Samuel snr, Samuel jnr, Jack, Fred
Front: Eve, David, Henry, Elizabeth & Madeline
|Brother and sister - Sam & Mary Mottram - they married siblings Lillian & Ambrose Walker|
At midnight on 26th Feburary 1818, Samuel and his mate Joseph Tinker started work in 21 shoot at the Duke and Main Leads Consols mine at Betley, where Samuel had been working for about 18 months. All was going well until about 3.30am when they heard a cracking noise, followed by a slight fall of earth. Concerned for their safety, they ran for a safety cut in the drive. Joseph was in the lead and as he arrived in the cut, he heard a second fall of earth and an immediate call for help from Samuel. He tried to help his mate but it was impossible due to the sand and gravel so he immediately went for assistance.
Five men, including Joseph, worked solidly for over 3 hours trying to find Samuel, who was not responding to any calls. Eventually Samuel was located at nearly 7am. He had been covered with 3-4 foot of sand, gravel and rocks but unfortunately he was past saving. Although he had a few abrasions which occurred after death, the cause of his demise was ruled as asphyxia.
|The Argus - Thursday 28th February 1918|
In an unfortunate twist of fate, it was found that although 10-12 tonnes of sand and gravel had fallen, the area where the men were originally working remained clear. If Samuel and Joseph had remained at the back of the drive they would both have been safe.