Beath Accidents 1901 to 1914
This section contains newspaper reports on selected accidents in this area. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for details of Inspector of Mines reports and other accidents covered on the site.
18 April 1901
Fatal Accident In Fife Pit - William Beveridge (50), a miner, residing Toll Row, Donibristle, was badly injured about the head and shoulders yesterday while employed the Marion Pit, Donibristle Colliery, by piece of coal weighing two cwts falling upon him. He was conveyed to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital, where he died this morning from the effects of the injuries. [Evening Telegraph 19 April 1901]
30 April 1901
FATAL PIT ACCIDENT. - An accident occurred yesterday in the Fife Coal Company's No. 1 pit, Lumphinnans, by which Walter Brown, miner, aged thirty-four years, was killed. A fall of stone had taken place from the roof, and Brown had been buried. [Scotsman 1 May 1901]
24 May 1901
In No 11 Pit Lassodie, belonging to Thomas Spowart & Co, an accident happened, by which a man named William Taylor was killed, and William Anderson was injured. The men were brushers and had gone to a working place to do road repairing. A large stone suddenly gave way from the roof and, falling on Taylor, he was killed on the spot. Anderson was struck by the edge of the stone, and was injured about the back. Taylor who was 27 years of age was married. [Herald May 25 1901]
24 May 1901
Last night a peculiar accident occurred in the Aitken Pit, at Kelty Colliery belonging to the Fife Coal Company. A man named James Gray, residing at Nasmyth Place, Kelty, got on the cage with other men at the bottom of the shaft. About mid shaft Gray was overtaken by a fit, and, falling out of the cage, went headlong down the shaft and was killed. Deceased was married and is survived by a widow and two children [Herald May 25 1901]
16 August 1901
Fife Pit Fatality - James Japp, sixty-five years of age, pit inspector, Springhill, Crossgates, met with his death yesterday afternoon, while employed in the five-feet seam of the Kirkford pit, worked by the Fife Coal Company. A stone fell upon him from the roof, killing him instantaneously. [Scotsman 17 August 1901]
14 October 1901
Fatal Accident At Fife Pit - Wm. Wallace, waggon shunter, was fatally injured while employed at one of the pits at Hill of Beath Colliery yesterday. Wallace had slipped while in the act of shunting and the vehicle passed over both of his legs and left the metals. Wallace was conveyed to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital, and succumbed to his injuries on being admitted. [Evening Telegraph 15 October 1901]
11 March 1902
Fatal Result of An Accident - The accident which occurred to James Keddie on 21st October last has had a fatal issue. While Keddie was employed in the Lindsay Pit, a mass of stone came away from the roof, and he was knocked down and severely bruised about the legs. His spinal cord was also injured, and it was from this serious hurt that he died in the Dunfermline Cottage Hospital on Tuesday. [Dunfermline Journal 15 March 1902]
12 March 1902
A Hanger-On Killed - On Wednesday forenoon John Park (58), a hanger-on, residing at 35 Foulford Place and employed in the Five foot Seam of Kirkford Pit, was jammed between a race of loaded hutches being let down the wheelbrae and an empty hutch standing at the bottom of the brae. It is understood that Park was a little hard of hearing and might not have heard the approaching hutches. After the accident he was conveyed home and attended to by Dr Craig, but he died the same evening. His injuries were principally internal. [Dunfermline Journal 15 March 1902]
17 May 1902
Fatal Pit Accident – Kelty Miner Killed - James Izatt (36), a miner, residing at Nasmyth Place, Kelty, was fatally injured in the five-foot seam of the Aitken Pit at Kelty, on Saturday, by a quantity of stone falling from the roof. Izatt was about to proceed to prop the roof, when a big stone gave way and fell on him. [Evening Telegraph 19 May 1902]
22 May 1902
A miner named John Mullan, resident at Cowdenbeath, has died in Dunfermline Hospital from the effects of injuries sustained in the Dora Pit, Lochgelly Colliery. [Evening Telegraph 31 May 1902]
20 October 1902
Fife Miner Killed - A young miner named Robert Izatt, residing at Lumphinnans, died this morning from the effects of injuries received in North Lumphinnans pit. Izatt was struck on the head by a piece of stone which fell from the roof, and sustained a fracture of the skull. Deceased was 17 years of age. [Edinburgh Evening News 30 October 1902]
31 December 1902
Peculiar Pit Fatalities In Fife - Some interesting evidence was adduced in the Dunfermline Sheriff Court yesterday in public inquiries which were held regarding two fatal pit accidents: The death of James Ditchburn, jun., miner, Dunfermline. was proved to have been caused by his stepping on to a cage while it was leaving the bottom of No. 2 Dalbeath pit on 31st December , and being dragged up part of the shaft, against which he was squeezed. Ditchburn and his father arrived at the pit bottom to find that there was no bottomer there, and after a short interval the son, who had previously acted as bottomer, gave some signals. Signals were afterwards given from the pithead, but they were not intended as replies to those from below, although they were accepted by the Ditchburns as such. The signalman explained that when he got the signal three from the bottom, which meant that men wanted to be drawn up, the bottomer, who was then at the surface, called to him to bring the cage from the lower scaffold to the top scaffold, and not to "chap" to the men below until he went down. The bottomer next signalled two, which, was for lowering the cage from the upper scaffold. The cage was allowed to go a few inches too far down, and the bottomer "chapped" one with the hammer, which meant to raise the cage a bit This was done, and the bottomer then belled two for going down. As soon as witness got this signal he got a signal from the bottom to raise men. He never answered any of the signals from the bottom. The bottomer in his evidence said that his instructions were to take down material when it was required, and he was doing so at the time the accident occurred; but the colliery manager denied that that fell within the bottomer's duties, and attention was called to a rule which provides that the bottomer shall not leave his post at the pit bottom until all the workers of his shift shall have ascended the shaft. Two of the witnesses were warned that they did not require to answer questions which might incriminate them. In each case a formal verdict was returned by the jury. [Scotsman 20 January 1903]
4 May 1903
Fife Miner Killed - John Wood, a Cowdenbeath miner, was yesterday run over by a race of waggons at Kirkford Pit, and killed on the spot. [Edinburgh Evening News 5 May 1903]
7 August 1903
Fatal Pit Accident In Fife - Yesterday afternoon William Scott, drawer, Kelty, was fatally injured in No. 2 Pit, Blairadam Colliery. His father, Thomas Scott, had his hand injured at the same time. Deceased was between 15 and 16 years of age. [Scotsman 8 August 1903]
15 September 1903
Fife Miner Killed – James McCabe, miner, Back Caravan Row, Lochore, met with his death in the Wallsend seam of the Aitken Pit, Kelty Colliery. He was working at the coal face when a large stone fell from the roof upon him. The man expired before the stone had been removed. He was 45 years of age. [Edinburgh Evening News 16 September 1903]
8 September 1904
Fatal Accident At A Kelty Pit - An accident occurred yesterday morning in the Fife Coal Company's Aitken pit, Kelty, by which Andrew Rumgay, miner, Moodie Street, Dunfermline, was killed and two other men were injured. In consequence of a stone pillar moving, the roof fell in, and Rumgay was buried among the rubbish, living only a short time after he was extricated. [Scotsman 9 September 1904]
16 September 1904
COLLIERY FATALITY AT COWDENBEATH. - Alexander Currie, a labourer, of no fixed residence, aged about fifty years, died in the Dunfermline Cottage Hospital yesterday from the effects of an accident which had occurred early in the morning at the Fife Coal Company's Foulford pit. On a waggon being shunted cries of distress were heard, and it was then discovered that the waggon was resting on Currie's legs in a lye. [Scotsman 17 September 1904]
31 March 1905
Pit Fatality in Fife - A fatality occurred in No Pit, Lassodie Colliery (belonging to Messrs Thomas Spowart & Co) yesterday. While at work at the coal face, two brothers, James & Alexander Izatt, were struck by a fall of stone from the roof. The younger of the two, Alexander, was killed instantaneously. The other, on being extricated, was found to have both legs broken, and he was removed to the Dunfermline & West Fife Hospital [Scotsman 1 Apr 1905]
8 January 1906
Fatal Accident – Patrick Dignan, brusher, 26 years of age and residing at Stenhouse Street, met with a fatal accident on Monday, while at work in No 11 pit, Lumphinnans. He was engaged at the time stowing the waste and to enable him to use his shovel more freely he knocked out a prop. An extensive and sudden fall of the roof took place and Dignan was entombed. His neighbour who was working at the roadhead escaped and ran for help. The fall took place about 11pm and willing hands were soon started to clear away the fall. It took them till 4am to get the deceased's body, and when found life was quite extinct. [Dunfermline Journal 13 January 1906]
8 January 1906
Lassodie – Fatal Accident At No 10 Pit. - An accident attended by fatal consequences, occurred to William Terris, miner, 12 Old Rows, Lassodie, while working in the No 10 Pit on Monday. It appears that a stone fell upon him form the roof without any warning and several of his ribs were broken. The unfortunate man was removed to Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital, where everything was done that could be done for the alleviation of his sufferings. He never rallied however, and passed away on Thursday afternoon. [Dunfermline Journal 13 January 1906]
Fatal Pit Accident in Fife - William Ferris, miner, Lassodie, died in Dunfermline & West Fife Hospital yesterday afternoon from the effects of injuries which he received in No. 10 pit Lassodie Colliery on Wednesday. He had been holing at the face, when a prop was accidentally knocked out, and a fall took place, by which his ribs were crushed in upon his lungs.[Scotsman 12 Jan 1906]
NB- Names should be William Terris
27 April 1906
Alarming occurrence At A Fife Colliery - Two Men & About A Dozen Pit Ponies Suffocated - The western district of Fife, where many mining fatalities have occurred within recent years, was again yesterday the scene of a calamity, by which two men lost their lives and from eight to a dozen pit ponies perished. About eight years ago the Fife Coal Company completed the sinking of a large pit in the Earl of Zetland's estate of Lumphinnans , situated about midway between Kelty and Cowdenbeath. The pit was connected with the company's No. 1 pit, lying behind the village of Lumphinnans and tea ventilating arrangements were such that the shaft of the new pit, called No. l l, but locally known as “The Peewit,” was the upcast, while No. 1 was reserved for downcast purposes. As far back as the oldest Fife miner can recall, there has always been trouble with fire in the parrot or Lochgelly splint seam, which is the second coal measure from the surface throughout the county. There have been individual instances from time to time of men having been overcome by what was at first called "stifle," now known is the scientific world as carbon monoxide, but more familiarly termed, whitedamp. It was not, however, until the serious outbreak occurred at the Fife Coal Company's colliery at Hill of Beath in 1897 that the dangers of the noxious gas were fully realised in the county, the lives of seven men being lost on that occasion. Difficulty has occasionally been caused at Lumphinnans colliery by the presence of gas from burning coal and it seems to have been aggravated recently. The shaft of No. 1 pit is being "ripped," with a view to its enlargement, a development of the underground workings, and a consequent increase of the output being contemplated. Owing to the coal having caught fire, part of the Lochgelly seam in No. 1pit had to be built off from the remainder of the workings, but the "stoppings," as they are called by the miners, were proving defective. So much was this so that on Thursday night two sets of six men each were told off to effect repairs at the walls dividing the section from other parts of the workings. Gas was found to be issuing from various fissures in quantities of less or more serious import. At one point, however, the situation was discovered to be really alarming. Probably due to a crush, of the strata, one of the “stoppings” had entirely collapsed, with the result that the pent-up gas was penetrating into the west section of the seam in No. 11 pit and beyond it. Six of the men who had been detailed for the special duty were out with the poisoned zone, but the six others were enveloped in it. Realising by the physical effects which were soon made apparent upon them that they were in danger, the men beat as hasty a retreat as the circumstances permitted, and joined the remainder of the party.
By this time the whitedamp had found its way to the openings into the west section of the five-feet seam, which lies at a depth of 209 fathoms or 45 fathoms below the Lochgelly splint - and an alarm was at once raised through the workings. In all about 120 men were below ground, about thirty of them being employed in the five-feet roads. By those engaged in other sections no inconvenience was experienced, but some of the five-feet men suffered from the effects of passing through the gas-laden area, as was evident upon them even at a late part of the day.
It was so far fortunate that only two men were engaged in the west section of the Lochgelly splint seam. They appear either to have been unable to realise their peril, or to be able to effect their escape for they fell victims to the inrush of the treacherous whitedamp. At first it was supposed that three men were here engaged at a point about half a mile from No. 11 pit bottom, but it was ascertained that the third man had not made his appearance when the night shift started at ten o'clock. The names of the two men were Alex Black, Lumphinnans, and Thomas Searry or Sherry, Kirkford. The former, who was well known in the district, was a married man about forty years of age, with a family of four or five, while the latter was unmarried and lived in lodgings.
No "brushing" is required in the parrot seam which is about twelve feet thick, and the men had been engaged in ordinary pit repairs. Had it been possible to warn them of their danger, they might have travelled down the brae on which they were working and reached the purer atmosphere of the pit bottom. No one, however could venture in - for it probably meant death - and the men are supposed to have fallen where they stood and slumbered peacefully away.
Among the first to be apprised of the alarming occurrence was Mr Henry Rowan, the general manager of the company's western pits, who resides in the Kirkford district, and before day light had well dawned nearly all the colliery managers in the locality were upon the scene, including Mr John Gray, Lumphinnans colliery; Mr David Bevidge, Aitken; Mr John Allan, Mary; Mr David Farquhar. Kirkford; Mr James Holmes Cowdenbeath; Mr William Riddell. Hill of Beath; Mr George Christie, Blairenbathie; Mr James Curlie, Blairadam. Another early arrival was Mr Robert .M'Laren, His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Mines for the Eastern Distract of Scotland, who, after examining the plans of the workings, lost no time in donning pit clothes and descending No. 11 shaft. Mr John Weir, the general secretary of the Fife and Kinross Miners' Association, was also on the ground.
It was not necessary to call for volunteers to form rescue parties. There were only too many men eager to face the perils of the situation in the hope, faint though it was of rescuing Black and Searry. Several efforts were made to enter the parrot seam, but all attempts proved futile. On every occasion the men were beaten back by the deadly atmosphere. The expedient of carrying canaries, which was adopted with some success at Hill of Beath, was resorted to. No sooner were the birds taken into the seam than they dropped from their perches to the bottom of their cages, thus clearly indicating the danger which existed of proceeding further. Some of the rescuers were so persistent in their effort that they were overcome and required assistance. Prominent among those who displayed heroism were Robert Law and John Sheddon , both of whom distinguished themselves at the Hill of Beath and Donibristle disasters , and were presented with gold watches from the “Daily Telegraph” fund and £100 from Mr Andrew Carnegie. It was soon made apparent that under the prevailing conditions it would be impossible to reach Black and Searry. Accordingly it was determined to reverse the air course. This proved to be a difficult task, involving a large expenditure of labour and a great loss of time. Willing hands were, however, speedily at work, some men removing "stoppings" here and others erecting partitions there. The operations were concluded about midday, and hope after hope was raised that the half-mile of roadway which had to be traversed would be penetrated to its full extent. The whitedamp had, however, to be driven back yard by yard, even inch by inch, and at the time of writing the bodies had not been reached.
As has already been indicated, the noxious vapour was not confined to the parrot seam. It permeated part of the five-feet seam, in which about sixteen ponies were stabled. Thomas Bennett. night ostler, had gone to attend them, and before he had been many minutes in the stalls he observed them dropping one after another “curling up,” he said, “like whelks.” Apparently he was not apprehensive of danger to himself, for he remained beside his charge until he fell down in a stupor, and had to be dragged to a place of safety, where he remained unconscious for half an hour. It was at first reported that all the sixteen ponies had succumbed, but later inquiries proved that some of them, on being taken to the pit bottom, had revived. The lowest computation of the dead animals is eight, but the number may be a dozen.
Dr Young, Cowdenbeath, was in attendance during a great part of the day in the expectation that he might be able to render assistance. None of those who had descended the shaft became so affected that they asked medical treatment, although it was distinctly noticeable that Mr Gray. the manager, was suffering severely from his underground experience. [Scotsman 28 April 1906]
The Fire At A Fife Colliery - It was not until after one o'clock on Saturday morning that the first of the bodies of the two men who were overcome by white damp in the Fife Coal Company's No. 11 pit, Lumphinnans, about twenty-four hours before, was discovered. It proved to be that of George Searry, the young unmarried man, who lived in lodgings at Kirkford. In the work of reversing the air current, unexpected difficulties were encountered, these being due to the pit being connected with so many other workings extending over a distance of between three and four miles from Hill of Beath on the west to Kelty on the north-east. Large numbers of men volunteered their services as rescuers, and the difficulty was not to induce them to face the danger of the situation, but to restrain them from incurring the penalty of coming into contact with the poisonous gas. Searry's body was found where the men were supposed to have been working - fully half a mile from the bottom of the parrot seam of No. 11 pit. The appearance was that of a peaceful death. At this time the carbon monoxide had not been driven back, but the rescuers succeeded in dragging the body from the poisoned zone, and it was ultimately conveyed to the surface, and taken in the Cowdenbeath ambulance waggon to Kirkford. It was not known that Alexander Black, Lumphinnans, had been working along with Searry, but no trace of him could be found. He was an experienced-pit worker, and it was at one time thought that on an indication of danger being given he had run to a place of safety. Search was made direct ahead as fast as the white damp was driven forward, but he could not be found. Ultimately a side road off the main brae was penetrated, and here Black was discovered at eight o'clock - just about twenty-five yards from the spot at which his comrade had been struck down. The ambulance waggon conveyed the body to Lumphinnans. Attention was subsequently directed to the recovery of the dead ponies, which were ascertained to number eleven. The first of the prostrate forms was brought to the surface at about midday, and one by one they were hurled to the redd bing at the north end of the pithead. The work of restoration was carried on in the pit on Saturday and yesterday, and it was expected that the majority of the miners, about 700 in all, would be able to resume work today. [Scotsman 30 April 1906]
19 May 1906
Fife Pit Engineman Killed - While Alexander Bremner, pit engineman, Main Street, Lumphinnans, was engaged on Saturday at the Fife Coal Company's No. l pit, Lumphinnans, in putting a strand on a crab engine rope, the pinion wheel of the engine broke, and parts of it struck him on various parts of the body, causing such severe injuries that he died in the afternoon in Dunfermline and West fife Hospital. [Scotsman 21 May 1906]
28 August 1906
Fife Pit Fatality - Robert Hoey, brusher (60), residing at The Kilns, Lassodie, was killed yesterday by a fall from the roof in Messrs Thomas Spowart & Company's No 4 Pit, Lassodie Colliery. [Scotsman 29 Aug 1906]
25 January 1907
Fife Pit Fatality - An accident occurred yesterday in the Fife Coal Company's No. 11 pit, Lumphinnans Colliery, by which George Duff (28), a miner, who resided in Main Street, Lumphinnans, was killed, The accident was due to a fall of stone from the roof. [Scotsman 26 January 1907]
15 March 1907
Fatal Pit Accident At Kelty – Yesterday a labourer named James M’Neil, who is believed to belong to Tranent, was fatally injured at the pithead of the Aitken pit, Kelty. The man had been working amongst some propping timber, when a large quantity fell upon him, killing him instantaneously. [Dunfermline Journal 16 March 1907]
13 February 1908
Three Men Killed - Notwithstanding the many warnings that been been given and the increased vigilance which is being observed, accident after accident occurs and disaster follows disaster at the coal pits in the western district of Fife. Only ten days ago there was chronicled an explosion of fire-damp in the Fife Coal Company's Mary pit, Lochore, by which one man was killed on the spot and two others afterwards died. In one of the same Company's pits, about two miles to the west, another serious mishap occurred yesterday, resulting, in what must have been the instantaneous death of three men.
The scene of the latest lamentable occurrence was the No. 2 pit, Blairadam Colliery, situated to the north of the village of Kelty, and practically on the border-line of the counties of Fife and Kinross. The colliery, which consists of two pits - No. l and No. 2 - was resuscitated a little more than twenty years ago by the Blairadam Coal Company, and late in 1901 or early in 1902 the property was acquired by the Fife Coal Company, who hold a lease of the minerals from Sir Charles Adam of Blairadam. Hitherto the pits have been remarkably free from accidents of a serious nature, and the cause of yesterday's disaster is a mystery to all the practical men who have examined the place at which it occurred, as well as to those who were previously employed in it. The roof, which is of freestone, is said to have been the hardest material of the kind that could be encountered - it being almost impervious to an ordinary working tool. Yet a long stretch of it fell with startling suddenness, and enveloped the three men and entirely covered an electrical coal-cutting machine at which they were engaged.
Ordinarily, about two dozen men are employed on the night shift, which begins at ten o'clock, but as the pit had been thrown idle on the Wednesday, only six descended the shaft at the usual hour. Of these, the victims of the roof-fall, were:-
Joseph M'Callum (50), machineman, Black Road, Kelty;married, with three children.
Daniel Cairney (31), assistant machineman, Pleasance Row, Kelty; married, with two children; and
Robert Park (24), assistant machineman, 10 Adam's Terrace, Kelty. married, with one child.
No one has been left to tell the tale of what actually happened. The three other men who were in the pit were Peter M'Cluskie, pit inspector , and Patrick Brogan and Michael Wilkinson, brushers. Brogan and Wilkinson had been quite near the working face at which "the iron man" was operating in the Dunfermline splint seam at about four o' clock yesterday morning and a few minutes afterwards Brogan's suspicions were aroused by what he thought was a heavy fall, the sound of which reverberated along the workings to the level road where he and Wilkinson then were. M'Cluskie being summoned from another part of the pit, the three proceeded along the section. Everything was then in darkness at the spot, but by the aid of their own head lamps they discovered that not only had the coal-cutting machine been silenced, but that M'Callum, Cairney and Park were apparently past human aid. At least twelve yards of the roof which was about three feet thick, and was four feet three inches from the pavement had fallen. Beyond the fallen material nothing was visible but the head and upper part of the body of Cairney. By this time life was extinct, the appearance of the face and neck indicating that suffocation had been a contributory cause of death.
The work of relieving the bodies proved to be of a herculean nature. It was only by the appearance of an ambulance waggon that men who were preparing to begin work on yesterday's fore shift realised that something untoward had occurred. Soon the bad news spread, and long before the ordinary starting time a score of men had been lowered, all eager to render assistance So circumscribed was the area . however, that only two could work with advantage at a time. By means of levering, the body of Cairney, which was near the edge of the fall, was extricated. As indicating the hardness of the strata, the stone had come down in almost a solid block, and it was only by the driving of innumerable wedges by relay after relay of men as each couple became exhausted that the huge mass was broken up and removed to the outer portion of the roadway, that the mangled remains of M'Callum and Park were reached. As in the case of Cairney, these men had also been asphyxiated, although the other injuries were sufficient in themselves to have caused death.
It was after nine o'clock before the last body was placed on a stretcher and conveyed to the pit bottom. The ends were removed from two hutches, on which the corpses were raised to the surface, a height of only twenty-five fathoms. Employed in connection with the two pits, which have a daily combined output of 500 tons were nearly 300 men, and such was the painful feeling that was created that everyone was idle yesterday, and a gloom prevailed in the district, in which a large number of fatalities have occurred within recent years.
Mr James Curley, the manager of the colliery, was early upon the scene; and Mr Henry Rowan, Cowdenbeath, general manager of the Fife Coal Company's western pits, and Mr Charles Augustus Carlow, Leven, assistant managing director, promptly responded to telephonic summonses. Mr Robert M'Laren, His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Mines for the Eastern District of Scotland, arrived by an early train from Edinburgh. By all four a careful examination was made, and the three survivors were closely interrogated as to what they knew of the circumstances preceding the accident. Little, however, could be told. It seems that after he heard the noise of the fall Brogan was able to discern the click of the coal-cutter, indicating that the electric current had not been cut off at the moment, but by the time he and M'Cluskie and Wilkinson reached the fatal spot everything was still. Mr McLaren had to leave in the forenoon in order to make inquiries regarding the accident at Dalmeny the previous night. In the course of the day he sent a telegram to the Home Secretary, apprising him of the disaster.
No theory can be advanced as to the cause of the roof fall. No movement of the strata appears to have been observed, and a sudden surge is the only explanation that has been offered. The roof was sufficiently propped the distance between each prop or pillar being not more than five feet. The timber was twisted and broken, and in many places splintered to matchwood. [Scotsman 14 February 1908]
28 August 1908
Accident At No 9 Pit – John Condie, a young miner residing at Moss-side Row, was admitted to the Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital on Friday morning suffering from serious injuries sustained earlier in the day at No 9 Pit Cowdenbeath. He was engaged in his usual work, when a fall from the roof occurred. He was struck by the falling material, and after being conveyed to the pithead, he was medically attended. Thereafter he was conveyed to the Hospital, and there it was ascertained the he was suffering from injuries to the spine and internally. His condition was considered grave. On inquiry at the Hospital last night it was learned that Condie was in much the same condition as he was when taken in. [Dunfermline Journal 29 August 1908]
3 November 1908
Miner Killed At Cowdenbeath – Robert Paton (18), was yesterday fatally injured in the 14 feet seam, No 9 pit, Cowdenbeath, belonging to the Fife Coal Company. Paton was employed as a hanger-on, and a chain having snapped on the wheelbrae, an empty hutch ran back upon him. He died before he could be brought to the pithead. [Scotsman 4 November 1908]
Fife Pit Accident Appeal - Fife Coal Co. (Ltd) v. H. Paton - In the Sheriff Court at Dunfermline, Robert Paton, miner, West Broad Street, Cowdenbeath, sued the Fife Coal Company, Leven, for £500 damages for the death of his son, Robert Paton, jun., who was killed on 3rd November 1908 when in the employment of the defenders at their No. 9 pit, Cowdenbeath, through being struck by a runaway hutch consequent upon a link breaking in the chain by which the brae was run. The action was tried by the Sheriff-Substitute and a jury, with the result that the pursuer was awarded £165 damages. The jury found (1) that the breaking of the link was due to a defect in the machinery or plant used in the pit; (2) that if there was such a defect, it arose from or had not been discovered or remedied owing to the negligence of the defenders' oversman in failing to inspect properly the chain; and (3) that the fatal accident was not contributed to by the negligence or the deceased. Against this judgement the defenders appealed. Their contention was that the verdict was contrary to the evidence in respect (a) that the evidence was insufficient to establish that any defect in the link arose from or had not been discovered or remedied owing to the negligence of the oversman in failing to inspect the chain properly; and (b) that it was established that the pursuer's son contributed to the accident by his own negligence. The Division, without calling upon counsel for the respondent, refused the appeal, with expenses. The Lord Justice-Clerk said that so far as the proof went it seemed to show that the link was defective upon the morning before the accident happened. In what way it got the wrench which finally broke the chain it was impossible to say, but he could not hold that the jury were necessarily wrong in the view they took that the link produced in Court must have been in a defective state when the accident occurred. The other ground of appeal was to the effect that the evidence disclosed a case of contributory negligence upon the part of the boy. What actually happened that morning so far as the boy was concerned nobody could say, but in his Lordship's opinion the jury were perfectly entitled to come to the conclusion that there was no contributory negligence upon the part of the deceased. [Scotsman 23 October 1909]
12 December 1908
Man Electrocuted In A Fife Pit - A pit brusher named Peter Beveridge (34), residing at 7 Gardiner 's Land, Dunfermline, was electrocuted on Saturday afternoon in the Aitken pit, Kelty, belonging to the Fife Coal Company. Beveridge was at work in the Dunfermline splint seam when his body came in contact with a " live " electric wire, and he was killed instantaneously. [Scotsman 14 December 1908]
20 May 1909
Death of Fife Colliery Manager – From effects of injuries sustained at his work Mr James Gavin, colliery manager, Cowdenbeath, has died in Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital. About a month ago, Mr Gavin, who was manager of the Fife Coal Company's No 10 and No 7 Pits, had been assisting an engine driver on one of the lyes when the locomotive unexpectedly started. He leapt off, breaking his leg. Amputation was followed by several operations. Deceased was a native of Hamilton, his father having been for a long time the respected manager of Udston Colliery. Mr Gavin was married to a daughter of Mr Thomas Finnie, Allanshaw Lodge, and a widow and three young children mourn his loss. The greatest sympathy will be extended to his parents who reside in Clydesdale Street, and the other relatives, at the sad and unexpected blow which has befallen them. [Hamilton Advertiser June 26 1909]
3 August 1909
Man Killed In Fife Pit - Through a roof burst and a fall of stone, Thomas Anderson, a young miner, residing at Kelty, was yesterday forenoon instantaneously killed in one of Messrs Thomas Spowart & Co.'s pits, Lassodie Colliery.[Scotsman 4 Aug 1909]
10, 13 September, 5 October 1909
Fife Pit Accidents – How Miners Met Their Death - Inquiries at Dunfermline – Sheriff Shennan and a jury conducted fatal accident inquiries in the Dunfermline Sheriff Court to-day. John Thomson, pit fireman, Terrace, Kelty, met his death in the Benarty Pit, Kelty, by being run over by a race of hutches. In the evidence, it was stated that the accident was unseen, but a suggestion was that the deceased had been riding on a coupling between two hutches. Another theory was that he was standing on the "dook," when he was caught by one of the hutches. One witness stated that he heard the hutches run off, and the cry of a man. Thomson was alive when found, and while he did not say anything about the accident he spoke about his wife and bairns. It was the practice of firemen to ride on empty hutches but not on a loaded one. Thomson was rescued with some difficulty, due to the fact that a part of the roof had collapsed. Daniel M'Murray, miner, Kirkford Street, Cowdenbeath, was injured in the No. 11 Pit, Lumphinnans, by coal bursting from the face and striking him. It was stated that the fall weighed 9 cwts., and props were found at the place, but his appearance showed that the deceased had at the time been holing. It was thought at first that the deceased was suffering from a slight concussion and blackened eyes, but ultimately a fracture at the base of the skull was discovered, and meningitis supervened. The accident occurred the 4th August, and the deceased died the 10th September. James Marshall, shunter, Morayfield, Cowdenbeath, was killed in the No. 11 Pit. Donibristle on 5th October by being run over by a waggon. The evidence was to the effect that Marshall was engaged in shunting, and, after seeing to the points, went to the waggon furthest from the engine in order to get on the buffer. The waggon had only proceeded about ten yards, when the engine driver in looking back saw Marshall's body lying on the rails. The front wheel of the second waggon was at the time lying on him. Marshall was quite dead. It was supposed that the deceased had slipped in trying to get on to the buffer. Open verdicts were returned in each case. [Evening Telegraph 14 October 1909]
12 October 1909
Sudden Death of Cowdenbeath Man – The death occurred suddenly yesterday of Mr James Cairns, Morayfield, Cowdenbeath, while at work in No. XI. Pit, Lumphinnans. Recently Mr Cairns got one of his hands bruised. On Saturday he was going about as usual with his hand improving, as he thought. On Sunday, however, it got worse, and he was removed to the Royal Infirmary where he died early yesterday morning from lockjaw. Cairns was about 30 years of age and leaves a widow and two of a family. [Dundee Courier 13 October 1909]
10 October & 26 October 1909
West Fife Accidents Inquired Into At Dunfermline - Inquiries were conducted at Dunfermline Sheriff Court yesterday before Sheriff Shennan and a jury regarding three fatal accidents. ……. Connection Between Accident And Death - Daniel Nisbet, roadsman, Albert Row, Halbeath, was injured in the Dalbeath Pit, Hill of Beath, on 4th June, and died on 10th October. He was jammed between an empty hutch and the side of the building. He complained about his ribs and legs, but was able to walk to the pit bottom. The evidence of Dr Bell, Dunfermline, was to the effect that the deceased was operated upon for strangulated hernia, but he expired owing to the condition of his lung. The injury he received caused one of his ribs to be driven into the lung, and from the time of his accident until his death he had incessant coughing, which had accelerated the hernia. His opinion was that there was a connection between the accident and death. A Shocking Death - David Pottie, coal-washer engineman, Halbeath, was injured on 26th October at the Aitken Pit, Kelty, and died later in the Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital. P. C. Reid stated that the deceased gave him a statement to the effect that he was oiling the machinery of the coal washer, when his vest was caught, and he was dragged round the shaft. He had been in the habit of oiling the machinery when it was motion. David Dawson, surface foreman, admitted that the deceased had previously oiled the machinery while it was in motion without being checked. The verdict was accordance with the evidence. [Dundee Courier 17 December 1909]
17 May 1911
Miner Killed In Little Raith Colliery – Thomas Love, brusher, Cowdenbeath, was accidentally killed yesterday by being struck by a fall from the roof in the jewel section of the Dora Pit, Little Raith Colliery. He leaves a widow and two children. [Scotsman 18 May 1911]
26 August, 1912
Fatal Accident In Fife - The death took place yesterday morning of Thomas Drummond, New Rows, Lassodie, who had been employed as an attendant at a coal washer at Messrs Thos. Spowart & Co.'s Lassodie Colliery. Drummond had been near machinery, by which part of his clothing was caught, and he was dragged round the shafting. His neck and spine were injured, and several of his ribs were fractured. [Scotsman 29 August 1912]
27 February 1913
Fatal Accident In A Fife Pit. - An accident occurred yesterday in the Fife Coal Company's No. 1 pit, Lassodie Mill colliery, by which one man was killed and another seriously injured. Henry Gray, 19 Miller's Buildings, Kelty, and Robert Burns, 25 Miller's Buildings, had been engaged in driving a heading in the Glassee seam, when water suddenly burst upon them from a lodgement . With such force did the water rush in that both workers were carried a considerable distance along the pony road. Assistance was readily available, but by that time Gray was dead. He was 50 feet from the face. Death was due to suffocation. Burns was further along the roadway, and was suffering from severe injuries, nearly the whole of his clothing having been torn from his body. [Scotsman 28 February 1913]
Fife Miner Killed - Yesterday morning a miner named Henry Gray (31), who resided at Kelty lost his life in the Glassie seam of No. 1 pit, Lassodie Mill colliery, by a burst in of water. He had been driving a heading, when the burst took place and carried him fifty yards from the face. Death was supposed to have been due to suffocation. His companion, named Burns was found further away from the burst, his clothes being torn off his body, and his injuries necessitated his removal to the District Hospital. The men had been working with a bore in front as a safeguard. Deceased leaves a widow and child. [Scotsman 28 February 1913]
Fife Jury and a Colliery Accident. - Several inquiries as to the causes of fatal accidents were held at Dunfermline yesterday. One of them related to the death of Henry Gray, miner, Kelty. Gray died in the Fife Coal Company's Lassodie Mill colliery, as the result of injuries sustained by a burst of coal from a working face. The burst, it was stated, was due to an accumulation of water behind the coal. The jury added to their formal verdict a rider to the effect that there ought to have been a bore at the bottom of the face, that the props had not been kept far enough in advance, that a pump was stopped longer than was necessary, and that after the stoppage the matter should have been reported immediately and the men withdrawn from the section. [Scotsman 28 March 1913]
21 May 1913
Thomas Senton (30) of Lowrie's Buildings, Kinross, has been fatally injured at the Lindsay Pit, Kelty. Senton had been engaged working a coal cutting machine.
Fife Pit Accident - Thomas Fenton, coal cutter driver, residing in Kinross, died while being conveyed to Dunfermline Hospital at a late hour on Wednesday evening from injuries received in the Lindsay pit, Kelty. A fall took place from the roof and landed onto the coal cutter. While Fenton was in the act of removing the debris, the machine went in motion, with the result that one of his legs was caught and he was drawn into the machine, by which he was badly mangled. [Glasgow Herald 23 May 1913 - 2 separate articles in same edition]
29 May 1913
Man Killed At Moss-side - Moss-side Colliery, which has been free from fatal accidents for the past ten years was the scene of the disaster on Thursday morning, the victim being James Kelly, 25 years of age, son of Thomas Kelly, pit fireman, N**thfield, Perth Road, Cowdenbeath.
The accident took place in the Fourteen Feet Seam. The unfortunate man, who was working with his brother, was filling a hutch of coals when he was struck by a fall of about two tons, the fall completely burying him. Death was instantaneous, his head being very badly injured. The fall which was caused by a hidden lipe, came away without warning. [Dunfermline Journal 31 May 1913]
17 June 1913
Pony Driver Killed. - John Blair (17), a pony driver, who resided at 121 Main Street, Lumphinnans, was fatally injured in No. 1 pit, Lumphinnans colliery, yesterday. A fellow-worker found Blair lying between two hutches of a race he was bringing out from the "face," and on examination it was found that death had been due to severe internal injuries. [Scotsman 18 June 1913]
8 September 1913
Fatal Result of a Fife Pit Accident - Thomas Blackstock (54) was injured on Monday forenoon on a lye at the Fife Coal Company's Donibristle colliery. While engaged as a bricklayers' labourer, he was crossing the lye when he was knocked down and run over by a coal train. His left leg was cut off at the knee, and he sustained other serious injuries. He has since died in the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital. [Scotsman 11 September 1913]
8 April 1914
Fatal Pit Accident at Kelty – James M'Hale, 19, son of Peter M'Hale, 44 Croal Place, Kelty, was instantaneously killed yesterday by being struck on the head with a stone from the roof in the Aitken Pit, Kelty. [Scotsman 9 April 1914]
7 November 1914
Fatal Result of a Fife Pit Accident - John Kilgour (24) pit banksman, Arthur Place, Cowdenbeath has died from the effects of injuries which he received while employed at Donibristle Colliery. Kilgour, who walked with the assistance of a crutch, fell into an excavation at the pithead and sustained head and body injuries, which at first were not regarded as serious. [Scotsman 3 December 1914]