Family of Rainham man who died from asbestos exposure appeal for help with investigation

PUBLISHED: 07:01 24 November 2016

Former Tate & Lyle factory worker William Wyatt died of an asbestos-related cancer

Former Tate & Lyle factory worker William Wyatt died of an asbestos-related cancer

Clare Rice

A grieving family are appealing to former colleagues of a much-loved man to help with an investigation into asbestos exposure.

Bill Wyatt, of Ingrebourne Road, Rainham, worked at the Tate & Lyle factory in Silvertown, North Woolwich, between 1957 and 1993.

Following a fall at his home, the former yard gang member, boilerman and tinsmith was admitted to hospital on Saturday, March 19.

Describing the ordeal, his son Malcolm said: “It was only when he was in hospital that I found out from the doctor that dad had a form of cancer caused by asbestos.

“They told me it was in his lungs and had spread. Two weeks later he was gone.”

After an inquest into his death this month, Walthamstow coroner Nadia Persaud ruled that Mr Wyatt died as a result of industrial disease.

The family are now seeking compensation from Tate & Lyle.

“We were married for 62 years,” said widow Dorothy.

“Bill used to deal with all aspects of paperwork and our finances because of my poor vision. He maintained our house and garden beautifully.

“Even though he was so ill, he never complained and he did not want me to be worried about his health.”

During his career Mr Wyatt had to remove asbestos lagging from heated pipes, boilers and air ducts, causing asbestos dust to become airborne.

He also worked as a mechanic replacing the asbestos brake linings on company vehicles before succumbing to asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Isobel Lovett, industrial disease specialist at personal injury solicitors Hodge Jones and Allen, said: “Through no fault of his own, Mr Wyatt died of a terminal condition, which could have been prevented.

The family hope former colleagues can provide information about working conditions.

Tate & Lyle declined to comment.

Anyone who may be able to help, is asked to email Ms Lovett at Hodge Jones and Allen at or phone on 020 7874 8502.

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