Lothians Accidents 1901-1914

This section contains newspaper reports on selected accidents in the Lothians between 1901 and 1914 inclusive. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for reports by the Inspector of Mines and accidents in other areas.

11 January 1901

Fatal Pit Accident at West Calder - Yesterday morning at pit accident occurred in Messrs Young's Oil Company's No 32 Mine whereby a miner named Richard Sneddon, 32 years of age, lost his life, and another miner, Thomas Boyce, was slightly injured. It appears that Sneddon had been firing a number of shots at one time, and something happened which prevented him getting away before the first shot went off. Boyce heard the shot go off, and pluckily went in to try and help Sneddon, who had got the full fore of the shot. When Boyce went in, a second shot went off, and he had a narrow escape with his life,being injured about the leg. Sneddon had been killed on the spot. Deceased was a married man and leaves a wife and family. [Herald 12 January 1901]

21 January 1901

Serious Pit Accident near Musselburgh - A serious accident occurred yesterday afternoon at the Old Pit, Wallyford, near Musselburgh, the property of the Edinburgh Colliery Company. The accident was caused by the sides of the pit, in which seven men were working, collapsing. The men, who were employed as pit sinkers, had been working six o'clock in the morning, being engaged to widen the shaft. Shortly after the breakfast hour, when the men had resumed work on the scaffold about 50 fathoms down, one of their number named James Tool, who is a Musselburgh contractor, heard some sounds above where they were working, and cried out to the men to jump into the kettle to be drawn to the surface. The men did so, but a large stone knocked three of them, named William Hamilton, Patrick Hooligan and John Regan, out of the kettle. The first named two were flung to the bottom of the shaft, some seven fathoms, but Tool managed to pull John Regan into the kettle. The men were then hoisted to the surface, but on the way they received considerable injuries from falling stones and earth. William Regan who is unmarried, and James Connolly were conveyed by an ambulance waggon to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Both men are severely injured about the head, body and limbs. John Tool, John Regan, a brother of William Regan, and James Power were not so much injured and were conveyed home after receiving medical attention. The bodies of William Hamilton, who leaves a wife and two children, and Patrick Hooligan, unmarried, have not been recovered, and there is not the least hope of their being alive. It is believed that about 50 tons of material was precipitated on the unfortunate workmen. Hamilton was well known locally being a prominent member of the Musselburgh Liberal Association. [Herald January 22 1901]

The Fatal Pit Accident Near Musselburgh - The bodies of Wm. Hamilton and Patrick Hollighan, who both resided in Musselburgh, and who were buried in the debris in the recent accident at Wallyford Pit, were recovered yesterday morning. [Herald 26 January 1901]

16 April 1901

Linlithgow - Miner Killed - On Tuesday afternoon a miner named Magnus Dickson was fatally injured in No 1 mine belonging to Messrs James Ross and Co., Philpstoun Oilworks. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 20 April 1901]

20 May 1901

Mining Fatality at Armadale - While John McCabe, 13, a miners drawer, residing in Mount Pleasant, Armadale, was filling a hutch of coal at the face in No 1 Southrigg Colliery, a large stone, weighing about 30cwt., fell upon him from the roof, and crushed him to the pavement; death being instantaneous. [Herald May 21 1901]

25 June 1901

Fatal Mining Accident at West Calder - An accident took place at Westfield Limestone Pit at Bellquarry yesterday morning by which a miner named James Watson, aged 27 years, lost his life. A shot had been fired and loosened a large amount of material in the roof, and when Watson returned to his place, it came away, and, falling on him, crushed him to death. [Herald June 26 1901]

1 September 1901

Sunday Concert At Fisherrow - Musselburgh and Fisherrow Trades Band, under the leadership of Mr Thomas Moore, and St Peter's Episcopal Church Choir, under the leadership of Mr John Laing, performed a programme of sacred music on Fisherrow Links on Sunday afternoon, for the benefit of the widows and children of George Peacock and Thomas Morris, the two miners who were killed a fortnight ago. .There was a large gathering of townsfolk, presided over by Rev. Thomas Hannan, St. Peter's, who gave a short address. [Scotsman 16 September 1901]

29 August & 11 September 1901

Fatal Accident Inquiries In Edinburgh - Sheriff Rutherford and a jury conducted three inquiries in Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry Act. ......The next inquiry was with reference to the circumstances attending the death of a boy named David Scott Telford, who was engaged steering a train of bogies, containing shale, on a haulage cable from Cobbinshaw shale mine to Tarbrax Oil Works, when ha fell over one of the bogies and was almost instantaneously killed. The accident occurred shortly before eight o'clock on the morning of the 11th inst. One of the witnesses spoke to hearing a noise on the railway about half a mile from the shale mine, as if of the hutches going off the rails. On looking round, he saw the body of the deceased thrown out from under the hutches, the first three apparently having passed over it. His Lordship alluded to the practice which prevailed of running the bogie in front of the hutches, observing that up till a year ago the bogie had been at the rear of the hutches. It was for the jury to consider whether this was an insecure or a dangerous way of working. The jury however, did not think it necessary to add anything to their formal verdict. The last inquiry had reference to the death of James Haddow, miner, who was killed while working in Oakbank shale pit on the 29th August, Deceased was stemming a shot when it unexpectedly exploded. He was so badly burned that his injuries proved fatal. [Scotsman 27 September 1901]

1 March 1902

West Calder – Masonic Funeral – On Wednesday last, the remains of Robert Sneddon, contractor, who was fatally injured in No 32 mine, Limefield, were laid in their last resting place in West Calder Cemetery. There was a large turnout of the brethren of the Thistle Lodge, No 270, of which Sneddon was a member, and his remains were buried with Masonic honours. The general public also turned out in large numbers and altogether it was one of the largest funerals seen in the district for many a day. Much sympathy is felt for the widow and family in their sad bereavement. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 15 March 1902]

7 March 1902

Tranent Miner Killed - Last evening, when two night shift men, named Bradley and Wilson, at Bankton Colliery, Tranent, were, as they supposed, caging a hutch to be wound to the pithead, the cage had not been placed, and the hutch went over, dragging Wilson with it to the lower seam. Wilson was killed, and Bradley escaped by catching hold of a buntin. Deceased was about 60 years of age. He leaves a widow and family. [Edinburgh Evening News 8 March 1902]

17 March 1902

Miner Killed At Niddrie - A Polish miner was killed in No. 11 pit of the Niddrie and Benhar Coal Company (Limited),. Niddrie, yesterday by a fall from the roof. The man lodged in Newcraighall village, and leaves a widow and family in his native country. [Scotsman 18 March 1902]

2 May 1902

Bathgate – Fatal Accident – An accident having unusually sad consequences occurred in Riddochhill Pit, the property of Gavin Paul & Sons on Friday, which resulted in the death of Thomas M'Lauchlin, aged 44 years, residing at Paulville. The accident, as is frequently the case, was caused by a “fall.” A boy, a son of M'Lauchlin's, who worked with his father, made a futile attempt to darg his father out of the way of danger but was too late. The deceased leaves a widow and ten of a family, fewof whom are able to partially maintain themselves. M'Lauchlin came to Bathgate from Niddrie in January of this year. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 10 May 1902]

10 July 1902

Pumpherston Miner Killed - A young man named Hill Thompson, residing at Pumpherston, Mid-Calder, succumbed yesterday to severe internal injuries received in No. 5 mine of the Pumpherston Oil Company, Ltd., caused through a large piece of shale falling on him while at work. [Edinburgh Evening News 12 July 1902]

1 August 1902

Explosion in a Pumpherston Pit- Two Men Fatally Injured - An explosion of firedamp occurred yesterday morning in No. 4 Pumpherston pit, Mid-Calder,by which three men - Walter Wallace, James Reid, East Calder, Robert Wood, oversman, Pumpherston - were seriously injured by burning. The men were conveyed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where it was found that Wallace's injuries were the most serious, he being very badly burned about the face, head, and arms. Reid and Wallace died in the early evening from the effects of their injuries. The former leaves a widow and six children, while the latter was unmarried. [Scotsman 2 August 1902]

Explosion of Gas In A Mine - Two Lives Lost - Last Friday morning, about 8 o'clock, what has now transpired to be the saddest accident which has occurred in the district for years back happened at Pumpherston No 4 Mine, whereby three men, James Reid, married, East Calder; Walter Wallace, single, East Calder; and Robt. Wood, single, oversman, Pumpherston, were shockingly burned by an explosion of fire-damp. In the case of two of the men, James Reid and Wallace, their injuries proved fatal, both dying on Friday afternoon. When it became known at the mine head that an explosion had occurred messengers were dispatched for medical aid and ambulance appliances, which were soon on the spot. When the men were brought to the surface it was seen from the first that of the three Wallace was in a critical condition. He was dispatched first in a cab to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. In the case of Reid and Wood some slight hope was entertained, Reid being able to speak with those attending him. After they had received every attention available on the spot they, too, were conveyed in a cab to Edinburgh. After admission to the Infirmary the hope that Reid and Wood would pull through was strengthened, Reid being still able to converse with those around him. As the day advanced, however, a change was apparent, he having fallen into a stupor from which he never rallied, and about 5 o'clock he passed away. Wallace lingered on during the day but never regained consciousness. He died just about the same time as Reid. On Saturday night the bodies of the unfortunate men were brought to their respective homes in East Calder, and on Monday the funeral was carried out, followed by a large number of mourners. It is estimated that above 200 were present. The funeral of the lad Wallace was first, after which that of James Reid came next. The deceased, who was a Free Gardener, was buried with lodge honours. The members of the lodge carried him to the cemetery, where a ceremony was held at the grave by Rev Wm. Gardner, B.D., Kirknewton East Church, chaplain of the lodge. Very great sympathy is felt for the friends and relatives of the deceased men both in East Calder and in the surrounding district, both being well known. James Reid leaves a widow and seven of a family, the youngest of whom is three months old. Wallace resided with his father and mother, and was their chief support. We are glad to learn Wood is as well as can be expected. [West Lothian Courier 8 August 1902]

NB Robert Hardie Wood died 13 August 1902 in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

6 August 1902

Naked Lamp In A West Lothian Mine. Neil Hart, miners' drawer, Blackburn, was brought before the Sheriff at Linlithgow on a charge of laving on 6th August last, while employed in Cousland Mine, Livingstone, entered with a naked lamp, a place where he was not absolutely required by duty to be at the time, and in consequence or which an explosion occurred. Accused pleaded guilty, stating that he had only been a short time in the pit, and did not know that he was doing wrong. No one had told him not to go into the place. The Fiscal explained that the accused had gone into this upset with a naked lamp before it had been examined, and the result was a very serious explosion, by which Hart was severely burned. Sheriff Jamieson said that, seeing the accused had suffered so much from the explosion, he thought the ends of justice would be met by an admonition. [Edinburgh Evening News 25 October 1902]

11 September 1902

Accident At Hermand Oil Works - An accident took place this forenoon at the new Hermand Oil Works, West Calder, whereby a shale miner named Smith was seriously injured. Smith was employed in the mine when a fall took place, and he sustained severe injuries. He was conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary [Edinburgh Evening News 11 September 1902]

2 October 1902

Bo’ness Miner Killed – A fatal accident occurred in No 6 Pit, belonging to the Bridgeness Coal Company, this morning. Richard Pettigrew, miner, as proceeding to the face to start work, when the brushing gave way, and he was buried in a big fall of blaze and small coal. Pettigrew’s drawer passed over the debris a few minutes later, all unconscious of the accident. The roadway was cleared up and Pettigrew’s body found. His back was broken and he was fearfully crushed. Death must have been instantaneous. The body was conveyed to deceased’s home in Hamilton Street, Grangepans. Deceased was aged 38 and leaves a young family of five. [Edinburgh Evening News 2 October 1902]

20 October 1902

PIT DISASTER AT FAULDHOUSE: FOUR LIVES LOST- Late last night, fire broke out in Fallahill Pit, Fauldhouse, belonging to the United Collieries, and three men, named Pettigrew, Russell, and Patrick, and a lad named Cook, were suffocated. There are two pits adjacent, and different seams are worked from one shaft.

Some ten men were employed below when the fire broke out. There is a communication passage between the two bottoms, and along this passage steam pipes are led to a pumping engine, situated at one of the bottoms. It.is conjectured that the fire originated in this quarter, as a man in charge of the pumping engine had occasion to traverse it to render assistance to Patrick, who also had charge of a steam pump. On his attempting to return to his post, dense volumes of smoke barred his way. He again went to Patrick and informed him that something was wrong, and the two proceeded to the bottom. Gillon says he tried to persuade Patrick to get up the pit but the latter elected to stay, and went where he thought the air would be better.

Some men working at the face in the Colinshiels coal felt there was something wrong, and proceeded to investigate. The smoke was thick and their lights went out, leaving them in the dark. Three men, Brown, Gordon, and Cook reached the bottom and groped their way to the cage. The question was asked if all were right, and an affirmative answer being given, the signal was given to lift. The cage was not lifted at the first signal, and the bell was again rung.

When the cage reached the hill there were only two men, Gordon and Brown, their drawer Cook, being missing. The two men were assisted from the cage, but on learning that the lad was not with them, they wanted to go back, but were prevented, as it was evident they would be going into a death trap. Preparations were immediately set about for turning the direction of the air current. On this being done, and when it was possible, rescuers went down the pit, and Cook was found on the plates at the bottom. Patrick was further away, and Russell and Pettigrew still further from the bottom.

Pettigrew was 44 years of age, and married Russell was 33 years of age, married, with six of a family. Patrick also was married, and of years old. This is the most serious mining accident that has taken place in Fauldhouse for over thirty years. It is considered a very safe mining district, there being no fire damp. There is a large amount of water in all the workings, and when the alarm was given no one could understand how a pit in this locality could possibly take fire. When it was visited this morning smoke was issuing in clouds from the shaft. It is not known how the fire originated.

A SURVIVOR'S STATEMENT. Frank Brown, one of the survivors, says he went to his work about two o'clock in the afternoon, and everything went on all right until between nine and ten o'clock. Then they noticed smoke coming to them at the face, but at first they thought it was from shots which they heard fired. The smoke became so disagreeable that they left the face, and proceeded to the main coal bottom. Arrived there, they signalled to the surface for the cage, but got no response. They then made their way to a place where they thought they could get fresh air, but it was just as bad there. Going back to the bottom, they again signalled to the hill, and got the cage. Brown and Gordon groped their way to the cage, and inquired of Cook if he was all right, and the lad answered "Yes." Gordon then signalled to lift, which was immediately done. Arriving at the hill, the two men were assisted from the cage in a dazed condition, and were grieved to learn that their drawer was not with them, as they believed him to be. Brown and Gordon have recovered a little from the heat and shock, but are greatly disheartened at the fate of their mates. [Edinburgh Evening News 21 October 1902]

THE FAULDHOUSE PIT DISASTER. The fire in Fallahill Pit, Fauldhouse, has now been overcome, and as no serious damage to the pumping machinery is feared, the colliery is expected to resume in the course of a few days. The funerals of the victims are arranged for Thursday. Brown and Gordon, who narrowly escaped with their lives, and were severely scorched and injured by the hot smoke, are progressing favourably. [Edinburgh Evening News 22 October 1902]

1 December 1902

Allegations Against West Lothian Doctors - At Linlithgow to-day, a public inquiry was held, before Sheriff Macleod and a jury as to the death of Robert Hoggan, miner, who was fatally injured at No. 2 Cousland Mine, Seafield Works, belonging to the Pumpherston Oil Company, on 1st inst. While deceased was punching some loose shale from the roof of his working place a large piece of shale fell upon him, breaking his left leg and inflicting other injuries, from which he died on the way to the Royal Infirmary. In his evidence, Mr Renwick Cowan, manager, replying to Mr M'Laren, H.M. Inspector of Mines, said the accident occurred between twelve and one o’clock at night. He heard of it between one and two in the morning, and on going to the pit he sent to Bathgate for the deceased man's doctor. The doctor, however, did not arrive till nine o’clock. The man had lost a lot of blood, but he (Mr Cowan) who had had an ambulance training rendered first aid. Another works doctor was sent for, but he refused to come, the messenger said, as he was not the deceased's medical attendant. The manager then sent for two Mid-Calder doctors, and they also refused to come, the messenger said. As a matter of fact, at least three doctors refused to come. The deceased paid for Dr Simpson, Bathgate, and he arrived eight hours after the accident. Mr M'Laren asked the Sheriff to pardon him for bringing this matter up, but he could not help thinking that this poor man died through that terrible curse in this country - professional etiquette. He did not blame the poor man, but the doctors. The Sheriff said the feeling which Mr M'Laren had given expression to was a very proper one but there was one thing above all others that they had in a Court of Justice to be careful of and it was not to condemn a man unheard. The doctors might be right or they might be wrong, but it would not do to condemn them in their absence. Mr Cowan stated that it was afterwards ascertained that Dr Simpson had been engaged in another case, and when he returned his servant neglected to inform him of this accident. A formal verdict was returned, the Sheriff remarking that he did not think the jury could say whether the doctors had done anything wrong until they had heard their own statements. A juryman thought the doctors and messenger who went for them might have been present at the inquiry. The Sheriff said he rather thought that was outwith the scope of the inquiry, but no doubt if the parents thought the doctors had not done their duty there were other courses open to them. [Edinburgh Evening News 23 December 1902]

22 & 24 December 1902

Mining Fatalities At Linlithgow - An accident of a rather serious character has happened to a miner named Barnes in one of the mines connected with the Philpstoun Oilworks, Linlithgow. It appears that Barnes had been firing some shots, and one of these had gone off before he had time to get out of the way, with the result that he was knocked down and very seriously injured. By an effort he succeeded in ringing a bell and attracted the attention of some men of the night shift, by whom assistance was rendered. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate one of his legs. Barnes subsequently succumbed to his injuries. John Kirk, miner, who met with an accident on Monday in No. 5 Victoria Coal Pit, Fauldhouse, belonging to the United Collieries, Limited, has also died of his injuries. [Edinburgh Evening News 26 December 1902]

27 February 1903

Mining Fatality At Northrigg- Robert M'Alpine (40), oversman, was killed yesterday in No. Pit Northrigg, near Whitburn, belonging to the United Collieries Company. M'Alpine was coming up in the cage alone, when it struck the top of the shaft, knocking out the muzzle, with the result that the case dropped to the bottom of the lower lead. M'Alpine was killed instantaneously. [Scotsman 28 February 1903]

10 March 1903

Fatal Accident At Pumpherston - A miner named James Brunton, employed with the Pumpherston Oil Company (Limited), met his death through an accident in one of the mines yesterday. Brunton was engaged in blasting, when a shot unexpectedly went off and killed him. He leaves a wife and young family. [Scotsman 13 March 1903]

26 May 1903

Fatal Accident At Arniston Collieries - By a fall of material from the roof of the Emily mine of the Arniston Coal Company yesterday afternoon, a collier named James Potts, about twenty-eight years of age, was fatally injured. Potts, who belongs to Newton Grange, was unmarried. [Scotsman 27 May 1903]

1 June 1903

Runaway Workmen’s Train - Yesterday a party of about 50 shale miners, who are employed at Messrs Young's Oil Company's Glendevon Pit, had an alarming experience while being conveyed thence by train from Niddrie Works. The carriages containing the men were being pushed in front of the engine, several waggons of ashes being attached to the other end of the engine. About half-way towards the pit the line has a sharp decline, and on reaching this point it was found that the engine had not been coupled to the carriages. The latter ran down the decline rapidly, the engine driver trying to keep pace with them and get coupled on, but failing. Some of the miners jumped from the carriages, and received bruises, the worst being William Hannigan, a Niddry man, whose right shoulder was dislocated. The runaway part of the train at the points took the wrong way, and dashed into a number of waggons. Fortunately, however, the carriages kept the line, and beyond receiving a considerable shock, the remainder of the men escaped without serious injury. The miners decided not to go to work, and a deputation was appointed to wait upon the manager to ask that in future steps be taken to prevent a like occurrence. [Evening Telegraph 2 June 1903]

29 February 1904

Broxburn Miner Killed - A miner named William Anderson, who resided at Ashbank Cottages, Broxburn, was killed this morning in Cousland Mine, near Seafield, belonging to the Pumpherston Oil Company, in which mine he had gone to work only last week. It is said that the body was terribly disfigured. Deceased leaves a widow and two children. [Edinburgh Evening News 29 February 1904]

17 March 1905

Niddrie Pit Fatality - Yesterday, a young miner, named John M'Philip, one of the chief supports of his mother, who is a widow, residing in Newcraighall, was killed instantly by a fall of coal in his working place at the face in one of the pits of the Niddrie and Benhar Coal Company. [Scotsman 18 March 1905]

29 November 1906

Fatal Accidents Inquiry in Edinburgh - Under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry (Scotland) Act., 1895, and the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1906, Sheriff Gardner Millar and a jury held an inquiry in Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday into the circumstances attending three recent fatalities. The cases were those of James Robertson Aitken, who resided at Jubilee Row, Hunterfield, and who was a miner in Arniston Colliery, where he was fatally injured on 29th November through the connecting rod of two hutches breaking, with the result that hutches laden with coal ran off the rails, and struck deceased..... Formal verdicts were returned in all cases. [Scotsman 13 December 1906]

29 January 1907

Explosion In A West Lothian Mine – Three Men Killed – By an explosion of gas three miners, named Alexander Fleming, David Lindsay, and —— Donnelly , were killed in No. 5 shale mine, belonging to James Ross & Co. Philpstoun Oil Works, yesterday afternoon. As a result also of the explosion , a part of the roof of the roadway fell in and a clearance of the rubbish had to be effected before the men could be reached. This involved considerable delay, and on the obstacle being penetrated the three men were found to be dead. Dr Thom, Linlithgow, who had been summoned, by telegram, hastened to the mine, which he descended . He found that the men had died from asphyxia, probably due to the after effects of the explosion. The body of Lindsay was not extricated until about five o'clock. It is not yet known how the explosion occurred. The three men were all unmarried, and about 20 years of age. The mine is situated near Ecclesmachan and between four and five miles from Linlithgow. Needless to say, the sad calamity has caused a profound sensation in the Philpstoun district, where the men resided. [Scotsman 30 January 1907]

September 1907

Fatal Accidents Inquiry in Edinburgh - In accordance with the Fatal Accidents Inquiry  (Scotland ) Act 1895, and the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1906, Sheriff Gardner Millar and a jury conducted inquiries in Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday into several recent fatalities. The cases were those of William Maxwell, a mining contractor in the employment of Arniston Coal Company (Limited), who resided at 70 Victoria Terrace, Gorebridge, and who was fatally injured by being drawn into a coal-cutting machine on 23d September; James Minors, a miner's drawer, in the employment of the Niddrie and Benhar Coa1 Company (Limited) who resided at Beggs Buildings, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh, and who was killed in a pit on 30th September by a large stone falling from the roof upon him; William Harper, a mining contractor in the employment of the Lothian coal Company (Limited), Bonnyrigg, who resided at 65 Dundas Street, Bonnyrigg, and who was killed on 12th September while working in the Polton Colliery by a quantity of coal falling upon him; .......In all cases a formal verdict was returned. [Scotsman 31 October 1907]

27 August 1908

BO'NESS PIT FATALITY - James Marshall, a Bo'ness pit fireman, residing at Muirhouses, died yesterday as the result injuries received on Saturday. He had been inspecting working places in the Carriden coal pit preparatory to the dayshift resuming, when he accidentally kicked over his safety lamp. When he endeavoured to relight it a terrific explosion occurred, and he was terribly burned about the face, arms, and back, but with great fortitude scrambled out and walked home unassisted. [Dundee Courier 1 September 1908]

29 August 1908

A fatal accident occurred on Saturday at the Niddrie Pit, owned by the Niddrie and Benhar Coal Company. Two men engaged in getting ready a steam pipe were overcome by the intense heat and one of them, Thomas Banks, was suffocated on the spot, while the other Thomas Keary, became unconscious and, falling to the bottom of the shaft, was killed. Several hours passed before the bodies were discovered as no other miners were working in the vicinity at the time. Both victims leave widows and children. [The Times 1 September 1908]

19 December 1908

Miner Killed At Gorebridge – A miner named Alexander Hutchison, 24, who resided at Lingerwood, Newtongrange, was killed on Saturday by a fall of coal from the roof of the Emily Pit, belonging to the Arniston Coal Company, Ltd, Gorebridge. [Scotsman 21 December 1908]

25 December 1908

Pit Accident At Loanhead - A serious accident occurred at a Loanhead pit yesterday morning. A carriage on the incline went over a young man named Matthew Hutchison, residing at Gilmerton, and employed by the Shotts Iron Company, and he was knocked to the bottom, about 160 ft. His legs were broken, and he also sustained injuries to the spine and head. He was taken to the Edinburgh Infirmary. [Scotsman 26 December 1908]

15 February 1909

Pit Accident At Bo'ness - Two Miners Killed - A pit accident occurred yesterday forenoon in No. 1 Snab pit, belonging to the Kinneil Coal Company (Limited), Bo'ness, by which two miners were crushed to death and other two were injured. The company possesses in all three pits - viz., Furnaceyard, which is the new pit, and Nos. 1 and 2 Snab pits. Owing to a scarcity of empty waggons, due to the dispute with the North British Railway Company about demurrage charges, work was suspended for the whole day in the two larger pits, and operations, were confined to No. 1 pit. The day shift consisted of over 100 men. At eleven o'clock work was stopped by a break down in the pumping machinery. The pit bottom was as a consequence flooded to a depth of eighteen inches. Several batches of men had already been safely convoyed to the surface. About noon a party of five men were driven forward, in a hutch, to avoid the water, which was knee deep, and were accommodated in the upper deck of a cage which had been lowered by the engineman to a level clear of the water. Richard Fitzpatrick and John Grant, who had come from the northern section of the pit, stood together in one division of the upper portion of the cage and John Kirkwood, Owen Finnigan, and a boy named William Kyles occupied the other division. Immediately they joined the cage they heard a rumbling noise in the shaft and distinctly felt the rope vibrate. This suggested to them that something was wrong, but before they could jump off an avalanche of rubbish crashed through the covering of the cage crushing Grant and Fitzpatrick, who fell into the water. They were picked up in a few minutes, but in both cases; life was extinct. Kirkwood, in his anxiety to save the boy Kyles, delayed jumping and received severe injuries to his head shoulder, and ribs. Kyles and Finnigan escaped with slight bruises. [Scotsman 16 February 1909]

24 February 1909

Fatal Accident Near Broxburn - Yesterday forenoon an elderly man, named Robert Smellie, a mining oversman, in the employment of Young's Oil Company (Limited), was killed in Hopetoun Mine, near Broxburn. Smellie was engaged taking measurements on the dook brae, when several hutches further up the incline lost their hold of the wire rope, and Smellie, being unable to get out of their way was shockingly injured, death being instantaneous. [Scotsman 25 February 1909]

11 October 1909

Pit Sinker Killed At Newcraighall - Yesterday morning a young-married man named Boyd, a pit-sinker, engaged at the new shaft of Newcraighall Colliery of the Niddry and Benhar Coal Company, fell from the "kettle" down the shaft, and was so badly injured that death was practically instantaneous. Boyd belonged to Polmont. [Scotsman 12 October 1909]

28 March 1910

Fatal Colliery Accident In Scotland - Mr. Alexander Wilkie Graham was killed yesterday at the Lothian colliery of Niddrie, owned by the Niddrie and Benhar Colliery Company. While engaged in the cage he overbalanced himself and fell to the bottom of the pit, a distance of 64 fathoms. [Times 31 March 1910]

6 October 1910

Fall of Coal At Prestongrange Pit – Miner Killed – Two Injured - A heavy fall of coal occurred about noon yesterday at the extremity of the Jewel seam working's of the Prestongrange Pit of the Summerlee and Mossend Company at Prestongrange, and three Musselburgh miners were entombed, ultimately bring ultimately extricated with great difficulty. The Colliery manager, Mr John Halliday, at once telephoned for medical assistance. Dr Horsburgh, Musselburgh, and Dr H. M'Naughton (locum for Dr M'Ewan, Prestonpans) were early forward, and an ambulance was held in readiness at the pithead. The rescue party was led by Mr Halliday, who had the assistance of Mr John Masterton, His Majesty's Inspector of Mines, who happened to be at the colliery on other business when the accident occurred . The three men caught by the fall were:-

Robert Macfarlane (married), residing at 35 High Street, Musselburgh;
Samuel Campbell (married), 92 Market Street, Musselburgh; and
Thomas Gorman,, a young unmarried man, living at 3 Mitchell Street; Musselburgh.

None of them was completely buried, and all retained consciousness, and were able to converse as the rescue work proceeded. A pit inspector who was behind the fall was able to get out another way. With all speed consistent with safety the rescue work was conducted, and at 2.30 Macfarlane was brought to the bank. His injuries, as ascertained by the medical men on the pithead, were a crushed hand and an injured back. He was lifted on an ambulance, and taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. News of the accident spread, and brought a large crowd of men and women to the neighbourhood of the colliery, and throughout the afternoon intense excitement prevailed . The two doctors went down the pit, to be ready to render first aid to the men. It was not till after half-past five o'clock that Campbell was got clear. He was found doubled up with his chest resting upon his knees, and it was ascertained that he had suffered severely from shock. Dr Horsburgh came up in the cage with him, and had him placed on an ambulance for the Infirmary. A relay of horses was thoughtfully provided at Musselburgh. It was ascertained that Gorman had his legs pinned down by a large lump of rook. He kept up bravely, and at seven o'clock the mass was cleared off him, and he was brought up to the surface. Both his legs were broken. He was placed on the ambulance, and taken to Edinburgh, the medical men accompanying him up the shaft. The greatest care was bestowed on the injured men by the officials, who worked without respite, for seven hours, and also by the medical men. Gorman died in the Infirmary early this morning. He was about twenty-five years of age. [Scotsman 7 October 1910]

22 April 1911

Niddry Miner Killed - On Saturday morning a miner named Robert Young was admitted to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, from Niddry Collieries, suffering from severe injuries to his back. He died during the afternoon. Young, who was forty-eight years of age, lived at 8 St Leonard's Hill, Edinburgh. [Scotsman 24 April 1911]

5 June 1911

Musselburgh Pit Worker Killed - A youth of sixteen named James Craig, 21 Bush Street, Fisherrow, Musselburgh, was killed yesterday while at work on the pithead of the Wallyford colliery of the Edinburgh Collieries Company (Limited.) The accident which caused the death was not witnessed by anyone, but from a gash in his head, which must have caused instantaneous death, it is most probable that-he was struck by a portion of the elevating apparatus, with which his duties were connected. [Scotsman 6 June 1911]

24 June 1912

Arniston Miner Killed - While blasting coal yesterday afternoon in the Emily Pit of the Arniston Coal Company, Gorebridge, a miner named John Kirk received injuries that caused his death shortly afterwards. Kirk and his neighbour, Charles Russel, had set four boreholes with an explosive, and, after lighting the fuse, were running for cover when their lamps went out. After travelling a certain length both men assumed they were in safety, but in the darkness they had miscalculated the distance as in the ensuing explosion Kirk received fatal injuries, while Russel escaped with slight bruises. Kirk, who resided in Victoria Street, Arniston, was twenty-one years of age, married, and leaves a wife and child. [Scotsman 25 June 1912]

21 September 1912

Gilmerton Miner Killed - A distressing accident occurred on Saturday in No. 13 pit of the Niddrie and Benhar Coal Company, whereby Alexander Walker, Brum Street. Gilmerton, lost his life. The deceased was employed along with his son at the coal face when he was struck by a fall from the roof, which dislocated his neck, death occurring in a couple of minutes. Walker was sixty-four years of ago, and was well-known and much respected in Gilmerton, where he had lived all his days. [Scotsman 23 September 1912]

6 January 1913

Mining Fatality At Broxburn – A shale miner named Patrick Shields(39) died at his house at Broxburn yesterday as the result of injuries received on Monday while at work in the Cawburn Mine, belonging to Broxburn Oil Company (Limited.) Shields had been using a pinch at the shale face, and the breaking of a piece of shale caused the pinch to jerk up suddenly, serious internal injuries resulting from the blow. [Scotsman 8 January 1913]

8 January 1913

Mid-Lothian Colliery Official Killed - Yesterday evening, Mr J. Walker, consulting engineer for the Edinburgh Collieries Company (Limited), met with an accident which proved fatal about two hours later. Mr Walker, along with Mr Mungall, was examining a ram midway down the shaft of No. 2 pit, Wallyford, when, taken unawares, he was crushed against the scaffolding. Removed speedily to the engine-house at the pit-head, he received medical attention. Musselburgh ambulance waggon was summoned to convey him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but he died on the way. Mr Walker, who had been only a few weeks attached to Wallyford colliery, having come from Fife, resided at Mayvillebank, Levenhall, Musselburgh. He leaves a widow and family. [Scotsman 9 January 1913]

3 April 1913

Musselburgh Pitman's Death - While at work at, No. 3 Pit, Wallyford colliery, of the Edinburgh Collieries Company (Limited), near Musselburgh, yesterday, Robert Watson, a pithead labourer, met with a fatal accident. He was engaged serving empty hutches on to the cage, and had delivered two. The cage was descending, when another hutch struck him on the back and knocked him forward in such a way that he was caught between the cage and the shaft, his body jamming the cage. The body was examined by Dr Scott who declared that death must have been instantaneous. Watson was twenty-two years of age, and resided at 14 Beach Lane Square, Fisherrow, Musselburgh. [Scotsman 4 April1913]

16 May 1913

Broxburn Miner Killed - Yesterday morning a shale miner, named Charles M’Queen, who resided at Church Street, Broxburn was killed in Glendevon Mine, Winchburgh, belonging to Young's Paraffin Light and mineral Oil Company Limited. M’Queen was struck on the head by a large .stone which came away from the roof, and was killed instantly. He leaves a widow and several children. [Scotsman 16 May 1913]

6 June 1913

Fatal Mining Accident at West Calder - Chas. Girdwood, miner, residing at West Calder, met his death on Friday night as the result of an accident in Burdiehouse Limestone Pit, West Calder. The roof of the workings is 25 feet high, and Girdwood was caught under a fall from the roof, receiving serious injuries. The workmen rendered first-aid, until the arrival of the doctor. Girdwood died in the ambulance waggon while being conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He leaves a widow and six children. [Scotsman 9 June 1913]

17 June 1913

Fatal Accident at Preston Grange - Yesterday morning, while a number of men were clearing up a roof fall in one of the workings at Preston Grange pit, there was a further fall, with serious results. A man named Clark residing at the Cuthill, Prestonpans, was killed, and two others were seriously injured. Clark was a native of Paisley. [Scotsman 18 June 1913]

17 June & 18 July 1913

East Lothian Colliery fatalities. - At Haddington Sheriff Court yesterday, before Sheriff Macleod and a jury, fatal accident inquiries were held respecting three fatal accidents to miners in the county. These were as follows:- James Clark, pit repairer, Cuthill, Prestonpans, who was killed in No. 1 pit, Morrisonshaven , Prestongrange colliery , on June 17, by being crushed by a fall of rock while he was engaged in clearing away another fall. John Gardner, engineer, Tranent, and John Daniel Aitken, labourer, Portobello Farm, who both were killed in Bankpark colliery, Tranent, by the cage rope breaking and allowing the cage to fall down the shaft into the sump. Evidence showed that the wire rope, which was of twenty-four strands, had one strand broken two days before the accident, but no weakness in the rope had been anticipated therefrom. The break of the rope showed that it had apparently rotted, by rust or otherwise from the inside. Verdicts of accidental death were returned in all the cases. [Scotsman 22 August 1913]

29 August 1913

Accident to a Miner - While working in Oakbank Oil Company's No. 3 Duddingston Mine, Winchburgh, yesterday, a miner named Philip Reilly met with a serious accident. He was on the night shift engaged in "brushing" operations , and about 2.30 in the morning the iron pinch he was using was jerked back by a heavy piece of shale from the roof, and entered the right breast, penetrating the lung. The injured man, after being attended at the mine by Dr Stark, was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 30 August 1913]

15 September 1913

Mining Accident At West Calder - A young man named James Boyd, son of Robert Boyd, residing at Mossend, West Calder, was severely injured in Young's Oil Company's Alderstone shale mine yesterday. Boyd had been pushing a hutch along one of the roads, when he came to a part which is spanned by a bridge. Before he could stop the hutch to get the bridge into position it toppled right over and took him with it. Boyd was thrown over the hutch, and fell down the incline, which is steep. Fortunately for him the hutch jammed, or he would have been killed. When the workmen got him, it was found that his right leg was broken , and he had several severe scalp wounds. [Scotsman 16 September 1913]

26 September 1913

Miner Seriously Injured At Smeaton - A miner named Thomas Dalziel, belonging to Dalkeith, was yesterday severely injured in the Smeaton Collieries of Messrs A. G. Moore & Company (Limited), Glasgow, by a considerable quantity of coal felling him. Dalziel was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was in a precarious state last night. [Scotsman 27 September 1913]

20 December 1913

Fatal Pit Accident at Loanhead - Just before work was stopped at nine o'clock on Saturday night a fatal accident occurred at the Burghlee Pit, Loanhead, belonging to the Shotts Iron Company . A lad named Richard Horn (16), who resided at Straiton, and was employed as a drawer had just finished filling his hutch, preparatory to taking it out to the main road when part of the pit roof, weighing about one and a half ton, fell in, killing him instantaneously. [Scotsman 22 December 1913]

27 April 1914

A Mid Lothian Pit Manager Killed - The death occurred yesterday of Mr Alexander Malcolm, manager at the Loanhead Collieries, belonging to the Shotts Iron and Coal Company (Limited), Mid-Lothian. Mr Malcolm had boon supervising some work connected with the coal screening at the Burghlee Pits, and unfortunately got caught between the loading bank and a number of waggons. He was severely crushed, and died almost immediately. Mr Malcolm was formerly employed at Shotts, and afterwards at Prestongrange, and about a year ago took up duties at Loanhead in connection with the Shotts Company. A native of Lanarkshire, he leaves a widow and five children. He was about forty-five years of age. [Scotsman 28 April 1914]

23 October 1914

TWO MEN KILLED IN SCOTTISH COLLIERY. - Intimation was received at the Lothian Miners' Federation offices, Dalkeith, yesterday morning of a fatality at Prestongrange Colliery on Saturday, when two workers, James Cooper and James Johnstone, lost their lives through a fall roof. [Dundee Courier 26 October 1914]

20 November 1914

Kirkliston Miner Killed - Yesterday afternoon a shale miner, named David Anthony (46), was killed while at work in Ingliston Mine, Kirkliston, West Lothian (belonging to Young's Oil Co., Ltd.). Several tons of shale fell from the roof of the place where Anthony was working, killing him almost instantly. He leaves a wife and four children. [Scotsman 21 November 1914]