Bernard Mulvey 1928-1931

Bernard Mulvey was born in Newmains, Lanarkshire in 1928.  His mother, Mary Cooper was my maternal grandmother’s half sister.

My mother told me a story about her aunt’s son dying in a tragic accident. The story goes that the family lived in tenement accommodation with no running water. Mary was in the communal area doing some chores and needed hot water. Back in those days the washing was done in a communal space. Mary collected a bucket of boiling water from the wash house and returned to the back court.


Little Bernard was playing on his tricycle and pedalled towards the bucket. Unable to stop in time he went over the handle bars and into the bucket.

The story stuck with me and I wanted to find out what happened to Bernard. The following documents show that little Bernard died on 24 April 1931. The cause of death was scalds and shock.  He died in hospital at 11pm some hours after the accident.  The record shows that his father, Thomas was with him when he died. I can only assume that Mary would have been there too.

The circumstances of Bernard’s death must surely have shaken the family and the whole community.  It certainly led to a further tragic event. If you look at the death register you will see that the second name on the page is also Bernard Mulvey. He was young Bernard’s grandfather. On the day of the toddler’s death his grandfather suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died 3 days later. I don’t know if Bernard Snr witnessed the accident or if he was present at the hospital but whatever the case it would seem that the shock of it was too much for him.

I found this tiny article relating to his death which was published in the Wishaw Press.

10 thoughts on “Bernard Mulvey 1928-1931

  1. Hi,
    my grandfather was called Bernard mulvey and his parents where Mary Cooper and Thomas Mulvey. My grandads grandfather was also called Bernard mulvey who died in 1931 and they all lived in larnarkshire.

    This story makes me wonder if this could have been my grandads older brother who they named both Bernard.?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sean
      Nice to hear from you. This Bernard would indeed be your grandfather’s brother. It is such a terrible story.
      Bernard’s mother and my maternal grandmother were half sisters. Sarah Helferty was their mother. I actually recognise your name from Ancestry DNA so that would confirm the connection. I’m happy to share information on the family.


      • Hi Paula

        Thanks for your reply.

        Its been great looking on your site and reading the stories. Edward Cooper and Sarah Helferty I only recently discovered since doing my ancestry DNA test so its been great reading your posts.

        Its such a sad story about young Bernard. Its not one I’ve heard before and must have been such a terrible time for the family. I need to ask my nan if she ever remembers my grandad mention this story to see what she knows.

        I would be very interested to see your tree and what information you have .

        Many thanks


        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Marie. Mary Cooper was my granny’s half sister. Their mother was Sarah Helferty. When Sarah and Edward Cooper married my granny was a year old. Edward had 3 children from his first marriage. Sarah and Edward had 3 children together.


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