Beath Accidents - up to 1900

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.

30 July 1830

Kinross - On Thursday morning week, as the operatives at Keltie Colliery, in this neighbourhood, were at their usual occupation underground, the air, which had for several days been impregnated, became suddenly, surcharged with sulphurous vapour; eight or nine of them were seized with stupor and insensibility. After being relieved from their dark, dreary, and dangerous abode, and exposed to the atmospheric air, they were violently attacked with convulsions. Unfortunately, in the hurry which ensued in getting them all above ground, one young woman fell out of the bucket, a height of forty feet. Her body was dreadfully mangled, and she survived only a short time. [Caledonian Mercury 7 August 1830]

22 December 1852

Fatal Accident - Thomas Wishart, miner, about 20 years of age, met with his death at No 9 Pit, Fordell Colliery, on Wednesday, the 22d inst., under the following circumstances: The pit is wrought by an engine, but the frame at the mouth of the pit having given way, about 50 men being engaged in the pit at the time, a windlass had to be erected, in order to raise them out; and as the men came up in cagefuls, each took his turn at the windlass. Wishart had wrought at the windlass till he had assisted to bring up three cagefuls, and after being relieved, the pit being in two divisions, he inadvertently tumbled into the one opposite the division on which the windlass was erected, and fell to the bottom, a depth of 20 fathoms, and was killed on the spot. [Dunfermline Journal 31 December 1852]

20 May 1853

Coal Pit Accident - At the Cowdenbeath coal pit on Saturday week, a man named Michael Doran, whose duty was to put the tubs upon the cages at the pit bottom, and to fasten them with a catch, and then to ring a bell at the pithead, which is done by means of a wire that runs from the pithead to the bottom (the ringing of the bell is to let the men in charge of the engine know when to put it in motion), was in the act of putting the tub into the cage, when, by some accident or other, the tub got off the rails, which occasioned delay. The engineer thinking the bell had rung, put the engine in motion, and lifted the cage before the hutch was properly fastened. The hutch fell out of the cage upon Doran, and cut and crushed him severely. He has since been attended by the company's doctor, and is thought to be dangerously hurt. [Dunfermline Journal 27 May 1853]

30 June 1853

Deplorable Accident - On Thursday, the 30th June, as three miners named Downie Hunter, James Hunter and Robert Hunter, were descending one of the Cowdenbeath pits, when the part of the machinery called the pirn, connecting the rope to the tumbling shaft of the engine, gave way, thus depriving the engine-driver of all control over the descending tub, the three men were precipitated to the bottom of the pit, a depth of 45 fathoms. On being got out, Downie expired almost instantaneously. His uncle James lingered till ten o'clock the same night, when death terminated his sufferings, and Robert had a leg and arm broken, and otherwise severely injured, but is now in the fair way of recovery. [Dunfermline Journal 29 July 1853]

29 November 1853

Colliery accident - 5 lives lost - A dreadful accident occurred on Tuesday morning at Cowdenbeath Colliery, near Dunfermline - five men having been precipitated to the bottom of the shaft, a depth of 36 fathoms. Three of the number were killed on the spot, a 4th died on Wednesday morning, and the recovery of the 5th is perfectly hopeless. The accident occurred in consequence of the breaking of the rope, and though the cage was on the patent safety principle, the spring seems to have been out of order, as it seems never to have caught the guides. Two of the sufferers have left families. [Herald 3rd December 1853]

The late colliery accident at Dunfermline - The investigation into the Cowdenbeath accident has resulted, it is said, in a discovery that the rope had been cut. This, however, seems to be disbelieved by the public as far as any malicious cutting is concerned, and we observe placards posted calling a meeting of the colliers of Fife to be held at Crossgates on Monday first, to consider the best means for preventing a repetition of these fearful accidents. [Scotsman 24 December 1853]

20 September 1858

Fatal Accident - On the morning of Monday last, the inhabitants of this place were greatly excited by a rumour that an accident had happened in one of the pits of Little Raith Colliery. The rumour, we are sorry to say, was shortly afterwards confirmed by the arrival of a cart with the corpse of a miner named George White, followed by a solemn procession of his fellow workmen. The manner in which the deceased met his death is left to mere conjecture, as no person was near him at the time; but it is supposed that the chain attached to a tub in running down an incline, at the foot of which the unfortunate man had been working, gave way, and the tub being precipitated to the bottom, came in contact with the poor man and caused his death. He has left a wife and two sons to mourn his loss, but happily the sons are able to provide for themselves. [Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser 24 September 1858]

3 June 1860

Dunfermline - Accident at Lassodie Colliery - On Saturday afternoon a serious accident happened to a man named Paterson, a carter at Lassodie Colliery. Having loaded a truck with coal, he was taking out the drag, when his foot slipping, his legs fell before the truck, which passed over them, inflicting injuries which compelled the amputation of one of the limbs. [Scotsman 29 May 1860]

Fatal Termination of the Accident at Lassodie Colliery - The man named Paterson, who was hurt at Lassodie last week by an accidental fall before the waggons, died on Sunday night. [Scotsman 6 Jun 1860]

10 May 1862

Disastrous Coal Pit Accident at Hill of Beath - A melancholy accident occurred at Hill of Beath Colliery on Saturday morning, in a pit in the process of being sunk there, by which one man was killed and others more or less injured. Two men named respectively William Hamilton age 29 and Gavin Hamilton age 25, sinkers, were employed in the pit, about 8 o'clock, in guiding down the shafts a quantity of pipes, which were being lowered from the surface, for the purpose, it is said, of getting a few more lengths of pipe attached to the top. The two men were standing on a “bunting”, a beam of wood, about 4 inches square, crossing the shaft. When within a short distance of this “bunting” some of the bindings of the pipes gave way, and the heap crashed down the pit, carrying off the beam on which the men were standing with other debris. William Hamilton seized hold of one of the sidebars of the shaft, by which he held until rescued from the top, but his brother, less fortunate, was borne down by the falling mass to the pit bottom, into 30 fathoms of water. David Adams, the son of Mr Ord Adams, the proprietor, was also employed in the shaft at the time, but escaped by the exercise of the same presence of mind that saved William Hamilton. The two survivors were at once relived from their perilous position by the men at the pithead, and the drag was applied, if possible to recover the body of Gavin Hamilton, but without success – it is supposed that his body has been buried under the pipes and rubbish. The fastenings were made by the men themselves, and so confident were they of the security that when, about 10 minutes before the accident occurred, they were enjoined by the proprietor Mr Adams, “That if they had any fear of danger they should come up the pit” they replied “That there was no fear,” and gave the signal to the man at the pithead to lower away. William Hamilton was bruised about the head, right leg and back, but cannot tell how he received the injuries. One of the men at the pithead was slightly injured by the jerking of the crane, caused by the parting of the bindings, and consequent relaxing of the strain on the ropes. [Dunfermline Press – in Herald May 15 1862]

9 June 1862

Fatal Accident - Another of those fatal and melancholy accidents which are so common, occurred at Raith Colliery here, on the morning of Monday last. William Campbell, miner, and his son John Campbell, a boy about 13 years of age, were just commencing work when a piece of coal fell from the roof and struck the boy on the head, whereby he was so much injured that he expired while being conveyed home. [Dunfermline Press 11 June 1862]

4 August 1862

Fatal Accident - On Monday a miner named Henderson, working at Cowdenbeath colliery, was killed almost instantaneously by the fall of a stone in the place where he was working. [Fife Herald - 7 August 1862]

13 April 1863

Fatal Accident - On Wednesday last, a man named Adamson, employed at the Bankhead of No. 3 Pit, Lassodie Colliery, after coupling several waggons to the train, was in the act of jumping on the engine, when he missed his footing, and fell between the loading bank and engine. He sustained severe injuries about the abdomen and spine, which resulted in death on Monday. [Dunfermline Press - Wednesday 15 April 1863]

NB Name was John Addison

29 May 1866

Lassodie - Coal Pit Accident - At No 2 coal-pit, Lassodie on Tuesday, while James Houston, James M’Kinlay and James Terrace, were descending the shaft of the pit to their work, a stone about 2 cwts fell out of the side, and falling amongst them, injured them severely, in consequence of which Terrace died that night, and the other two are in a very precarious state. [Dunfermline Saturday Press 2 June 1866]

7 February 1868

Fatal Coal Pit Accident – On Friday morning an accident of a very melancholy and serious nature, resulting in the death of a man named Robert Campbell, occurred in the Hill of Beath Coal Pit, belonging to Mr Ord Adams. Campbell is a young man, and resided in Crossgates. He was engaged as a crusher, and at the time of the accident was alone with other three men, working in a seam of the said pit. About one o’clock in the morning the men were blasting, and, in order to remove a stone, a shot was fired. But as the shot seemed to fail in removing the stone, which was about two tons in weight, Campbell went and knocked it from underneath, when the stone suddenly gave way and fell above him with great force. As there were only other three men besides Campbell working in that seam of the pit at the time of the accident, and there being no communication with the men in the other seams, little assistance could be rendered in order to remove the unfortunate man from his dreadful position. With the least possible delay, and with the utmost willingness, the men obtained props, rents, and pinches, and endeavoured to ease the stone to get the unfortunate man from beneath it. In this, however, they failed, but from the sight obtained on the partial raising of the ponderous stone, they observed that Campbell was dead. Singular enough, too, there was no gigman at the pithead, and to the signals which were made by means of the hammers no response was made. All their attempts to obtain assistance were unavailing, and not until about five o clock in the morning was aid procured. At that time a man who was working in a neighbouring pit heard the sound of the hammers upon which he immediately ran to the pit, and having learned the cause of the alarm went and procured the regular gigman. The lifeless body of Campbell was then removed. In the morning the rest of the men came to their work, but having learned the serious nature of the accident they returned home, and no work was done in the pit all day. Much sympathy exists in the neighbourhood for the relatives of the deceased. It surely is not much to the credit of the proprietor that no gigman is stationed at the pithead while men are at work during the night. Strong dissatisfaction is entertained by the miners on account of this, and it is to be hoped that the matter will be investigated. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 10 February 1868]

14 May 1868

Fatal Pit Accident – On Thursday morning, a man named William Brown was killed in one of the pits belonging to the Lumphinnans Iron Company. Brown, who wrought at the “face,” was in the act of throwing out some coal, when the head-piece gave way, and fell upon him. When extricated, it was discovered that he was dead. It seems he had neglected to prop up his place satisfactorily. The unfortunate man leaves a wife and family. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 16 May 1868]

7 June 1869

Dunfermline - Fatal Pit Accident - On Monday forenoon, while a young boy, 14 years of age, named Beveridge, a drawer, was engaged at his ordinary work in No. 7 Pit, Lumphinnans Colliery, a stone fell from the roof, which struck him on the head and so severely injured him that he died almost immediately. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 9 June 1869]

8 September 1869

Fatal Pit Accident - An accident of a fatal nature occurred to a miner, named Alexander Hunter, in No. 2 pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, on Wednesday last. He was seated, waiting until the road was cleared of rubbish to let him get on with his work, when a stone fell from the roof and struck him on the back. The stone in falling also struck another man standing by on the arm, and knocked the bonnet off his head. Hunter was immediately taken home, when medical assistance was procured, but he never rallied, and died about twelve hours after receiving the stroke. He was a middle aged man, and has a grown up family. Dr. Dewar and Mungall made a post mortem examination of the body. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 13 September 1869]

9 February 1870

Pit Accident - On Wednesday morning two pit borers, named Joseph Dawson and Archibald Hodge, met with an accident in No. 2 Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery. They had been boring on Tuesday, and used all endeavours to fire the mine after charging it, but it would not explode. On Wednesday similar means were used, when the friction of the working caused a sudden explosion, which shattered Dawson’ left hand so severely that some of his fingers had to be amputated, and his right eye was much cut. Hodge was but slightly injured, and was able to be at his work the next day. Dr Mungall of Foulford was in attendance, and rendered them all assistance. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 12 February 1870]

22 September 1870

Death From A Pit Accident – A miner name Robert Watters who was much hurt on the 8th September last from the falling of a portion of the roof of No 2 Pit Cowdenbeath died on Thursday from the injuries he then received. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 24 September 1870]

17 March 1871

Dunfermline - Pit Accidents - An accident occurred yesterday morning in the underground workings of the Munster Pit, Hill of Beath colliery, Dunfermline whereby John Hunter, a brusher, was killed, and another brusher, named John Kyle , was severely bruised and injured. The two men were brushing the pit when a large quantity of stones and rubbish fell from the roof upon them. The men were immediately taken to their homes, but Hunter never rallied. - Another serious accident took place in the Burnside Pit, belonging to the Halbeath Company, to a miner named Bernard Clark. He was in the act of pushing his empty hutch into the facing when a large portion of the brushing fell and struck him severely upon the head. He was at once taken home, when it was found that his skull was fractured. Little hope is entertained of his recovery. [Scotsman 18 March 1871]

23 August 1872

Dunfermline - Serious Accident - Last night a lad named Alexander Houston, while engaged in a pit at Lassodie Colliery near Dunfermline, was caught by a hutch while it was being let down an incline, and thereby sustained injuries of such a serious nature that he was not expected to live through the night. [Scotsman 24 August 1872]

23 January 1873

Markinch – Fatal Accident - Robert Crichton, a joiner, belonging to Coaltown of Balgonie, Markinch, met with a serious accident in the engine-house of a coal pit at Cowdenbeath on Thursday, and was so severely injured that he died on Friday. Crichton has left a widow and family. [The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder 28 January 1873]

Fatal Accident to an Inhabitant - On Thursday last week, Robert Crichton, a native of this village, and a joiner to trade, when working in a window in an engine-house at Cowdenbeath Colliery, was seriously injured by falling from a considerable distance. His spine was broken and his jawbone fractured. Medical assistance was speedily procured for him, but he gradually sank, and died on Friday. He was forty-seven years of age, married, and the father of a grown-up family. His corpse arrived here on Friday. He was of a quiet disposition, and was respected. [Fife Herald 30 January 1873]

28 April 1873

Coal Pit Accident - On Monday last, a rather serious accident occurred at No.1 Coal Pit, Kelty Colliery. James Terris, miner, residing at Kelty, was employed at the coal-face, when a lump of coal, weighing about 6 cwt., loosened and fell, and before he had time to get out of the way, the bulk of the falling mass fell on his left thigh, and bruised him very severely. Dr Mungall was soon in attendance, and dressed the wound. [Dunfermline Journal 3 May 1873]

8 August 1873

Young Man Killed at a Fifeshire Colliery - At Hill of Beath Colliery on Friday forenoon, Henry Bowers, a young lad, 18 years of age, while engaged coupling some waggons together on a branch line of railway, was caught between two buffers, and instantly killed. He had only begun work on Friday morning for the first time, and the employment was strange to him. The buffers jammed him between the back and the heart. [Dundee Courier 12 August 1873]

3 September 1873

Horrible Pit Accident At Cowdenbeath - Between ten and eleven o’clock on Wednesday night, James Allan, miner, on being relieved from his shift, was coming up in the cage from the bottom of one of the Cowdenbeath pits, when something caught hold of his coat, which startled him, and he stumbled and fell from the cage to the bottom, a distance of 50 fathoms. On being picked up he was found to be quite dead. Allan was 26 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children. [The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder 5 September 1873]

19 November 1873

Fatal Pit Accident - An accident, which had a fatal result, has happened at a new pit which is to be worked by the Fife Coal Company at Kelty. Two men, named Thomas Dishington and John Sinclair, who were employed in sinking operations, had just laid the train for blasting a piece of rock, and were being drawn up the shaft in the "kettle," when Dishington came into violent contact with a batten of wood, and was precipitated to the bottom. Sinclair lost his balance, and would have fallen out also, were it not that he seized hold of the water pipe, and gave a loud cry, which caught the ears of the engineman, who instantly stopped the ascent of the "kettle." Dishington was alive when reached, but he expired on being brought to the top of the shaft. The deceased was about 50 years of age. [Falkirk Herald 22 November 1873]

6 May 1874

Fatal Accident - On Thursday last, Duncan Morgan, drawer, in the underground workings of the Engine Coal Pit, Hill of Beath Colliery, while waiting for an empty hutch at the coal face, was struck by a large stone of about 3 cwt., which fell from the roof. He was knocked flat on his face on the pit-floor, and some stones lying there made a deep out in his forehead. He died on Tuesday. [Glasgow Herald 14 May 1874]

28 November 1874

Man Killed at Dunfermline - On Saturday, John Morris, a pony driver, was killed instantaneously in the Engine Pit, Hill of Beath Colliery, near Dunfermline. He was proceeding with a number of empty hutches from the bottom of the shaft to the working face, when the pony suddenly drew the hutch on which he was sitting into contact with a prop, which gave way and brought down a lump of " blue," underneath which the unfortunate man was crushed" He was unmarried. [Edinburgh Evening News 30 November 1874]

16 September 1875

While a miner named John Allan was employed yesterday in a pit at Lassodie Colliery near Dunfermline, a mass of coal came down upon him from the "face", inflicting serious injury [Scotsman 17 September 1875]

13 January 1876

Yesterday the body of a young man named Thomas Page was found at the bottom of the shaft of the Dora Pit, Raith, belonging to the Lochgelly Iron and Coal Company. [Edinburgh Evening News 14 January 1876]

26 September 1876

Fatal Pit Accident – Yesterday morning (writes our Lochgelly correspondent) a man named Thomas Erskine met his death in a very sudden manner, while engaged at his usual occupation at one of the coal pits belonging to the Cowdenbeath Coal Company. The unfortunate man had been working at the face when a large mass of coal fell upon him, crushing his head so severely as to cause almost instant death. Deceased, who belonged to Lochgelly, was about 45 years of age. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 27 September 1876]

14 March 1877

Fatal Pit Accident -Two Men Killed - A sad accident occurred yesterday at No. 7 coal pit, Lumphinnans, near Lochgelly, Fifeshire, by which two men named Clark, father and son, lost their lives. The unfortunate men had been working at the coal face, when a large mass of coal fell upon them from the roof, the father being killed on the spot and the son only surviving a short time after being removed. Both men leave families to mourn them. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 15 March 1877]

14 April 1877

Fatal Pit Accident In Fifeshire - On Saturday morning an accident occurred at one of the pits belonging to the Cowdenbeath Coal Company, by which a man named George Sinclair lost his life. Deceased had been employed as a brusher, and was repairing one of the roadways, when the roof gave way and fell upon him. The unfortunate man was about 25 years of age, and leaves a wife and one child. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 16 April 1877]

2 October 1877

Dunfermline - Fatal Accident - Last night James McBirnie met his death by falling down from the five foot seam to the lower bottom of No. 9 Pit, Lassodie Colliery, Dunfermline. He had incautiously left the "gates" to the former open. The deceased was 50 years of age. [Scotsman 3 Oct 1877]

19 November 1878

Kelty - Miner Killed - Ebenezer Forrester, a miner. originally belonging to Kettlebridge, and employed as a brusher in No. 1 Pit, Kelty, belonging to the Fife Coal Company (Limited), has died from the effects of an accident received while at work. On removing a prop a large portion of the roof gave way and fell upon him, crushing him in a frightful manner. On being extricated he was immediately taken to the surface, but only survived a few minutes. He was about 38 years of age, and leaves a widow and six of a family. On Saturday night a subscription was taken up for the behalf of the widow and orphans. The assistant inspector visited the pit during Saturday. [Fife Herald 28 November 1878]

2 March 1881

Fatal Pit Accident - On Wednesday forenoon an accident happened at one of the pits belonging to the Lumphinnans Coal Company by which a youth named John Bowman, about fifteen years of age, lost his life. He had been engaged filling a hutch at the coal face, when a large quantity of rubbish fell upon him from the roof, and before he could be extricated life was found to be extinct. [The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder 4 March 1881]

12 September 1881

Dunfermline – Fatal Accident - James Allan, miner, Cowdenbeath, was engaged on Monday in building a wall between two pits at Cowdenbeath Colliery, when part of the wall suddenly gave way and crushed him so severely that he died yesterday. [Scotsman 14 September 1881]

2 November 1882

Dunfermline – Miner Killed – At an early hour yesterday morning, while Andrew M'Gill, a brusher, was engaged in taking down some stones from the roof of No 3 Pit of Cowdenbeath Collieries, a large quantity of material gave way, and buried him underneath. When extricated he was found to be dead. M'Gill was about 50 years of age, and is survived by a wife and grown up family. [Scotsman 3 November 1882]

9 March 1883

FEARFUL FALL DOWN A COAL PIT IN FIFESHIRE - On Saturday afternoon John Philps, a pit sinker, met his death at Kelty, near Dunfermline, in a fearful manner. He was engaged with two others in sinking operations in the shaft of the "Lindsay" Pit, Kelty Colliery, when he lost his balance while standing on the edge of the "Kettle," and fell to the bottom of the shaft, a depth of 78 feet. He was instantaneously killed, his body having been frightfully mangled. The deceased was fifty years of age, and has left a widow and one child. [Dundee Courier 12 March 1883]

15 August 1883

Colliery Accident in Fife – 3 Men Killed & Four Seriously Injured - Dunfermline Wednesday Night – This afternoon one of the most serious colliery accidents which have occurred in Fifeshire for many years took place at the Dora Pit, Little Raith Colliery, belonging to the Lochgelly Iron Company, and situated six miles to the east of Dunfermline. It appears that the engineman, James Guthrie, stopped winding coal, according to custom, at two o'clock to admit of the miners being brought to the surface. About 150 men were in the mine, and all went well until the raising of the last cage but one, when a terrible accident occurred. On the cage were seven persons- viz, Thomas Adams (51) and his three sons, Thomas 20, James 16 and John 14; David Paterson 32; Robert Hunter, 41 and his son William 17. Before reaching the landing stage it was apparent that the cage was being wound at more than usual speed. The unfortunate men passed the landing stage shouting to the engineman to stop, and before they had time to attempt to get off they were tossed over the pulley wheels, and the cage fell. The result was that James Adams and his brother John were thrown on to a "bing of blaes'' eighty feet distant from the pit mouth, the former being killed on the spot, while the latter was very seriously injured about the head and spine. David Paterson, who was unmarried, was pitched on to the roof of the enginehouse, and afterwards fell to the ground, only surviving his injuries about five minutes. William Hunter was found in the cage, which had stuck fast in the roof, and although taken out alive, he had barely been carried home when he succumbed. The other men were got near the scene of the accident, all more or less seriously injured. Of the remaining four, Robert Hunter was found to be in the most critical condition, and there is no hope whatever of his recovery. Dr Steele and his assistant from Lochgelly, and Dr Nasmyth, Cowdenbeath, were soon on the ground, and rendered what assistance they could. Mr Landale, managing partner of the Company, and Inspector Hunter, of the Fifeshire constabulary, also visited the pit, and in the course of the night Guthrie, the engineman, was arrested and conveyed to Kirkcaldy. The cause of the accident is believed to be overwinding, as the indicator shows that the “drum” had taken one and a half turn more than usual. The winding apparatus was in thoroughgoing condition. Thomas Adams, who is less injured than the rest, was able in the course of the evening to give an account of the winding up the shaft. He stated that during the 40 years he had been engaged in the pits he had never been brought to the bank at such a rapid rate. Guthrie is twenty-five years of age, and has always been considered a good workman. The accident created a great sensation in the village and thousands of miners visited the spot before darkness had set in [Scotsman 16 August 1883]

The Late Colliery Accident at Cowdenbeath  - On Wednesday evening Thomas Adams, miner, Cowdenbeath, who was injured in the colliery accident at Little Raith Colliery on the 15th ult., died from the effects of his injuries. This is now the fourth death. Adams was 51 years of age, and has left a widow and a grown-up family. One of Adams' sons was killed at the time of the accident and other two injured, but the latter are now in the way of recovery. [Scotsman 7 September 1883]

26 January 1884

Dunfermline – Fatal Accident in a Coal Pit – On Saturday forenoon, while John Simpson, miner, residing in Cowdenbeath, was engaged working on a incline in No 7 pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, a hutch suddenly came upon him, and knocking him down ran over him. The injuries he received were of so severe a nature that he only survived an hour. Simpson was 32 years of age and unmarried. [Scotsman 29 January 1884]

13 August 1884

Cowdenbeath Pit Accidents - Two accidents occurred yesterday in No. 3 pit Cowdenbeath Colliery whereby a man was in each case somewhat seriously injured. By the first accident Peter Gelletly got his left leg broken, and was otherwise bruised, by the fall of a large stone from the roof ; while by the second accident James Henderson was severely injured by a fall of coal from the face, which struck him on the back as he was retreating from the danger. [14 Aug 1884]

18 September 1884

SERIOUS PIT ACCIDENT NEAR DUNFERMLINE - Last night an accident of a very serious nature happened at the Lindsay Pit, Kelty Colliery. Two men named Christopher Mach and George Burnett were engaged in deepening a shaft, and on laying the fuse for the purpose of blasting out a piece of rock they took their places in the "kettle" and gave the signal to the engineman at the top of the shaft to pull them up. The engineman, however, did not respond to the call quick enough, and the blast went off before they began to ascend. The result was that the debris burst all around them. Mach was thrown right out of the "kettle," and fell downward a depth of 15 feet, sustaining severe injuries, his body being almost crushed. Burnett was also struck on the head by a lump of rock, and was badly hurt. Otherwise both men were got to the bank as quickly as possible, and the aid of the colliery doctor was obtained. By latest accounts Mach lies in a highly precarious condition. [The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder 19 September 1884]

23 December 1884

Serious Pit Accident.— On Tuesday afternoon Robert Hunter, while working in No. 7 pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, met with a very serious accident. He was hewing at the face when an immense lump of stone fell from the roof and crushed his body fearfully, his spine being fractured. The latest accounts as to his state leave little hope of his recovery. He is 27 years of age, and married. [The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder 26 December 1884]

28 April 1885

Fatal Accident At A Fifeshire Colliery - Yesterday morning, while two men named John Cormack and Robert Birrell were working in the engine pit Hill of Beath colliery, a large quantity of coal gave way, and before Cormack could escape he was buried under the mass. Birrell was cut about the head and other parts of his body ; but before Cormack was extricated life was extinct. Deceased was 33 years of age, and leaves a widow and four children. [Scotsman 29 April 1885]

26 May 1885

Fatal Accident in a Fifeshire Colliery - James Inglis, a miner, was crushed to death yesterday morning while employed in No. 7 Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, near Dunfermline. It appears that the unfortunate man had been digging coals in a stooping position, when a large quantity of the material suddenly gave way and buried him underneath. Death was instantaneous. Inglis was 28 years of age and was married, and leaves a wife and three children. [Dundee Courier 27 May 1885]

8 September 1885

Pit Accidents at Dunfermline - Two other serious accidents have happened in the "Lindsay" Pit, Kelty Colliery, near Dunfermline. While William Bell was working at the "face" a lump of blae (about a ton weight) fell on him from the roof, the result being that his spine, head, and hands were seriously injured. James Spence, while extricating a chain which got fixed in a pulley at the "wheel brae," in the same pit, was caught by a hutch which broke away from the train and ran down the brae with great velocity. He was run over by the hutch, and sustained such injuries (chiefly internal) that little hope of his recovery is entertained. [Dundee Courier 8 September 1885]

2 February 1886

Singular Accident Near Dunfermline - An accident of a singular nature was reported at Dunfermline yesterday to have occurred on Saturday night in the neighbourhood of Lassodie colliery, about 4 miles from the town. It seems that a young man named Andrew Vickers, a miner, and his sweetheart, had left Lassodie early in the evening for the purpose of attending a dancing assemble at a neighbouring village and when passing through a field the earth suddenly subsided, and they were precipitated into a disused mine to a depth of about 30 feet. The cries of the unfortunate couple were heard by some people who happened to be in the neighbourhood, and by the aid of ropes they were rescued from their peculiar position. It was found, however, that they had both received somewhat serious injuries. [Scotsman 3 Feb 1886]

1 July 1886

At Donibristle Colliery on Thursday night a lad, sixteen years of age, named John Gray, was fatally injured while employed in one of the pits. A quantity of coal suddenly gave way, and fell upon Gray, the result being that the unfortunate lad sustained such injuries that he died shortly after his removal. [Dundee Courier 3 July 1886]

10 March 1887

It was reported at Dunfermline yesterday that a "hanger on" at Hill of Beath Colliery, James Beveridge, aged 14, was crushed to death on Thursday by a fall of coal from the roof. [Dundee Courier 12 March 1887]

31 August 1887

Fatal Pit Accident At Cowdenbeath - James Hunter, a miner, was killed in No. 1 Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, on Wednesday afternoon. He had been engaged at the bottom of a wheel brae, when a chain used in connection with the lowering and raising of hutches snapped, and a loaded hutch which ran down the brae struck him with such force that he died in about an hour afterwards. [Scotsman 2 September 1887]

9 November 1887

PECULIAR FATAL ACCIDENT IN A FIFE MINE - On Wednesday night John Fyfe, miner, residing in Cowdenbeath, was crushed to death in the Dora Pit under most peculiar circumstances. It appears that Fyfe had been ascending the shaft in a cage with his father-in-law, and when about midway up the shaft the poor fellow seems to have become faint, and falling forward, he was crushed between the cage and the fittings of the pit. On reaching the surface it was found that Fyfe was dead. [Dundee Courier 11 November 1887]

28 February 1888

Man Killed At A Fife Colliery - Thomas Adamson, labourer, seventy years of age, was killed at the Raith colliery, Fifeshire, yesterday. The deceased had been walking across a siding in connection with the Dora pit, where shunting operations were being conducted, when he was knocked down, and the wheels of several wagons passed over his body, causing almost immediate death. [Scotsman 29 February 1888]

12 December 1888

Fatal Accident In A Cowdenbeath Coal Pit - A serious accident occurred yesterday in No. 1 Foulford Pit, Cowdenbeath colliery, whereby one man was killed and another was seriously injured. It appears that while a number of miners were working at the face a large mass of coal weighing about two tons fell from the roof. Thomas Scotland, one of the men, was buried among the fallen material, and so severe were the injuries he sustained that he died in a few minutes after he was extricated. George Davidson, a brother-in-law of Scotland, was struck on the head and face by the coal, and was badly hurt. Scotland leaves a widow and two children. [Scotsman 13 December 1888]

23 April 1889

At Dunfermline, on Tuesday evening, Thomas Marr, a brusher, was crushed to death by a fall of stones. [Glasgow Herald 25 April 1889]

15 August 1889

Dunfermline – Pit Bottomer Killed - Yesterday morning John Ross Kay, a pit bottomer, was found dead at the bottom of a pit at Hill of Beath Colliery, his head having been struck by a cage. [Glasgow Herald 17 August 1889]

16 January 1890

Miner Killed In A Fife Pit - Peter Arnot, a miner, twenty-eight years of age, was killed while employed in No. 3 pit, Kelty, on Thursday afternoon. He had been working at the "face," when a large stone fell from the roof, crushing him so severely about the head that death was almost instantaneous. [Scotsman 18 January 1890]

4 March 1890

Fatal Pit Accident.— While Thomas Stenhouse (48), miner, Oakfield, and Robert Penman, miner, Kelty, near Dunfermline, were on Tuesday afternoon working in the Lindsay Pit, Kelty, a quantity of stone came away, causing the death of the former, and seriously injuring the latter. [Dundee Courier 6 March 1890]

9 August 1890

Fatal Pit Accident In Fife - Robert Stewart, a miner, was killed on Saturday by an accident which occurred in the Dalbeath pit of the Fife Coal Company's colliery at Hill of Beath. A large mass of stone weighing about a ton fell from the roof, and part of the material struck Stewart, who was working at the face, causing injuries so severe that he died in about an hour after being brought to the surface. The deceased, who came from the west country, and had only begun work at Hill of Beath last week, was about thirty years of age and unmarried. [Scotsman 11 August 1890]

26 May 1891

Dunfermline – Fatal Accident – James Venters, a miner, residing in Cowdenbeath, was fatally injured in the Dora pit, near Cowdenbeath on Tuesday. Venters had been engaged at the coal face when a large quantity of stone suddenly gave way and fell upon him. Deceased was 39 years of age and was married. [Glasgow Herald 28 May 1891]

2 July 1891

Miner crushed to death at Raith – When work was about to be suspended in the Lady Pit, Raith Colliery, on Thursday afternoon, several tons of stone fell from the roof of the underground workings. Peter Thomson, a miner, was buried among the stones and crushed to death. [Scotsman 4 July 1891]

Cowdenbeath - Fatal Accident - On Thursday a miner named Peter Thomson met with his death in the Raith Colliery. The unfortunate man was engaged at the coal face, and was about to finish his day's labour, when a portion of the roof gave way, which fell on him, killing him instantaneously. Thomson leaves a widow and nine of a family, and much sympathy is expressed for them in their sad bereavement. [Dunfermline Journal 4 July 1891]

24 May 1892

George Hunter, residing at Hill o' Beath, Dunfermline, was received into the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary yesterday suffering from severe injuries to his spine. It appears that while he was working in a mine the previous day a stone fell from the roof and struck him on the back. [Scotsman 25 May 1892]

NB George Hunter died on 28 October 1895 as a result of these injuries

6 October 1892

Fatal Accident – Early on Thursday morning, David Noble, a brusher, lost his life in No 3 Pit of the Cowdenbeath Collieries. It appears that the unfortunate man was in front of a loaded hutch, which he was unable to control. The vehicle knocked him down and crushed him so severely that death ensued in a few minutes after he was brought home. The deceased was over 60 years of age, was a widower, and leaves a grown-up family. [Dunfermline Journal 8 October 1892]

21 November 1893

Fatal Pit Accident – John Nicol (35), a brusher in the employment of the Fife Coal Company, was seriously injured on Tuesday morning by a quantity of stones falling upon him while working in one of the Hill of Beath pits. Nicol died in the course of the evening. Deceased resided in the village of Crossgates. [Scotsman 23 November 1893]

8 May 1894

Three Pit Sinkers Killed in Fife – A sad accident resulting in the loss of three lives occurred yesterday at a pit being sunk for the Fife Coal Company at Kelty Colliery, about nine miles north-east of Dunfermline. The sinking of the pit, which is called the Aitken, and will when finished be one of the largest in Scotland, was begun about a year ago. The shaft will be fully 200 fathoms deep, and a depth of forty fathoms has already been reached. A staff of between 20 and 30 sinkers are at present employed in three shifts by Messrs Irvine Brothers, the Ayrshire pit-sinking contractors. From six o'clock yesterday morning to half past ten o'clock eight men were engaged at the bottom of the shaft in blasting and removing the rubbish. Four of the men had been drawn to the surface, and the remaining four, who had lit the fuses for two shots of gelatine, were being taken up on the kettle. When about ten fathoms from the bottom, one of the men pushed out one of his hands and touched what is called the bunting, which serves as supports for the sides of the shaft. The result was that the kettle was swung violently from one side to the other of the shaft, which is 27 feet by 11 feet wide. The man at the opposite side lost his hold of the kettle, and another swing caused a second man to fall, to be followed shortly afterwards by a third. By this time the engineman had observed by the rope that something was wrong, and he stopped the engine. The fourth man, however, signalled to him to continue winding, and the kettle was brought to the surface. The three men who fell were Charles Clark, belonging to Leven; David Graham, belonging to Kilsyth; and Thomas Wood, residing at Oakfield, Fifeshire. The fourth man, who escaped, is named Martin Slattery, and resides at Oakfield. All the men who fell off the kettle were married, their ages ranging from 25 to 40 years, while Slattery was unmarried. While the kettle was hanging in the shaft, one of the shots went off, and by the time the kettle reached the top the four others had also gone off. The colliery manager, Slattery, and others, descended the shaft, and found the bodies of Clark, Graham and Wood lying at the bottom. Graham was still in life, but died before he could be raised, and the others were dead before they could be reached. Whether the men were killed by the fall or by the explosion is not known, but the other sinkers are of the opinion that death must have resulted from the effects of the fall; and this is to some extent borne out by the fact that very little of the blaes was found upon the bodies. Martin Slattery, the survivor, states that when he saw one after another of his comrades dropping off the kettle he became “mesmerised” and did not know what to do. He, however, clung with both hands to the kettle, and when he heard the first shot go off, just as the last man fell, he pulled the bell-rope, which indicated to the pithead to resume winding. All the bodies were to some extent mutilated, but not sufficient to render them beyond recognition. [Scotsman 9 May 1894]

26 December 1894

Fatal Colliery Accident In Fife - Yesterday a girl named Mary Murray (15), daughter of a miner residing at Cowdenbeath, was run down by a pug engine at No. 9 Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, and killed on the spot. A second girl was knocked over, but escaped with a badly injured arm. The girls had been engaged carrying props, and had crossed the siding. [Dundee Courier 27 December 1894]

10 February 1895

Fatal Accident at a Fife Colliery - An accident of a peculiar nature, supposed to be the result of the storm, occurred late on Sunday night at Donibristle colliery. James Bowman, sixty-five years of age, who was employed as an underground engineman at No. 12 pit, was being lowered, when the cage, it is supposed, stuck in the slides, and a length of slack rope was given out. The impediment in the slide wore off, and the cage, thus freed, was precipitated down the shaft, snapping the rope as if it had been cut by a knife. The cage was found at the bottom of the pit, which is 80 fathoms deep, and its condition is described as being like a concertina. Bowman was inside, his body being in a terribly mangled condition. [Scotsman 12 February 1895]

19 June 1895

Fatal Accident at a Fife Colliery – The second mining fatality which has occurred this week in Fife took place yesterday at Cowdenbeath Colliery. William Beveridge, pit repairer, Fulford Street, Cowdenbeath, was repairing an air course in No 7 pit, when a number of large stones fell from the roof and knocked him down. Severe internal injuries were inflicted, from the effects of which the man died within 2 hours. The deceased was 38 years of age. [Scotsman 20 June 1895]

7 August 1895

Fatal Pit Accident At Kelty - The first fatality which has wearied in the West of Fife since the. recent Act came into operation took place yesterday afternoon at Kelty colliery. John Sneddon (14), a hanger-on, was at the bottom of a wheelbrae in No. 3 pit, when he was instantaneously killed by an empty hutch coming down the brae and dashing against him. One of the chains working the hutches had, it appeared, snapped. [Scotsman 8 August 1895]

10 January 1896

Pit Accident In Fife - Another serious accident occurred yesterday afternoon at the Fife Coal Company's Lindsay Pit, Kelty Colliery, by which one man was killed and two were injured. Three miners - Andrew Cowan, John Cowan, and William Hodge - had finished work for the day, and were resting at the face previous to going to the pit bottom to be raised to the surface, when a large quantity of blaes fell from the roof. All the men seem to have been struck, and Andrew Cowan was buried among the rubbish. Some time elapsed before he could be extricated, and it was then found that he was dead. The deceased, who was 33 years of age, was married, and leaves a widow and five children. His brother John sustained a severe shock to the system, and William Hodge was injured about the head and one of his arms. [Scotsman 11 January 1896]

6 April 1896

Fatal Pit Accident – Another fatality attending the sinking of the Fife Coal Company's Aitken pit at Kelty occurred yesterday. A shift of sinkers were being lowered when one of their number, Owen M'Aleer, lost his hold of the kettle, and fell to the bottom of the shaft. On the kettle being fully lowered M'Aleer was dead, his body being in a mangled condition. [Scotsman 7 April 1896]

22 January 1897

TERRIBLE ACCIDENT AT A FIFE MINE - TWO MEN FALL 75 FATHOMS - This morning an accident occurred at the Dora Pit, Little Raith Colliery, belonging to the Lochgelly Iron and Coal Company (Limited), by which James Graham and Hugh Thomson, a miner and an oversman, residing in Thistle Street, Cowdenbeath, lost their lives. Work has been partially suspended in the lower workings of the Dora Pit for some time, the coal being taken out by another shaft, and the two men were being lowered for the purpose of removing machinery and fittings in the abandoned workings. At a point about 75 fathoms from the bottom of the shaft the rope snapped, end Graham and Thomson were precipitated to the bottom. On the men descending in the second cage, number one was found a total wreck, and the lifeless bodies of Graham and Thomson were discovered in the vicinity of the cage holes at the bottom. In both cases the injuries were such as to indicate that death must have been instantaneous. A later telegram says- Graham was an engineer, and Thomson an engineman. Both men were married and leave widows and families. The poor men fell a distance of 75 fathoms, and they were found in the cage in the bottom of the shaft, the cage being crushed up like a concertina. [Edinburgh Evening News 22 January 1897]

6 May 1897

Shocking Accident - Yesterday morning, at Little Raith Colliery, Fifeshire, Robert M'Cauchey 22 years of age a saw miller, was working at a sawmill when he fell in front of the circular saw, which completely severed his head from his body. [Morning Post 7 May 1897]

A Labourer's Terrible Death - An inquiry was held under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry Act in Dunfermline Sheriff Court yesterday relative to the death of Robert M'Aughey, sawmiller's labourer, West Broad Street, Cowdenbeath. It appeared from the evidence that deceased had been employed at the sawmill at the Lady Pit, Little Raith Colliery, wrought by the Lochgelly Iron and Coal Company. On the 6th inst. he was working in the shed along with a sawmiller named Andrew Main, and his duty was to throw the pit props out of the door of the shed as they were cut to the required length. The door hung on horizontal hinges, and when it was opened two props were usually placed underneath to keep it up. On the date in question one of the supports was removed by deceased in order to give him more room to work. A little later one of the props he was throwing out of the door came in contact with the remaining support. The door at once came down and knocked M'Aughey against the circular saw, which was then in motion. The poor fellow's head was nearly severed from his body. Sheriff Gillespie suggested a verdict briefly setting forth the circumstance under which M'Aughey met his death, but the jury desired to add that in future the door should be slung from the top in order to prevent a similar accident. The verdict was accordingly framed in this form. [Dundee Courier 25 May 1897]

6 August 1897

FIFE PITHEAD WORKER KILLED - Jane Paterson, a pithead worker, resident with a widowed mother at High Street, Cowdenbeath, was fatally injured at a siding at the Marion Pit, Donibristle Colliery, yesterday. Paterson had been crossing the railway, and was knocked down by a "race" of waggons, sustaining such injuries that she died on her admittance to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital. Deceased was 23 years of age. [Edinburgh Evening News 7 August 1897]

22 November 1897

Fatal Colliery Accident - Patrick Condron, a labourer, about sixty-five years of ago, was fatally injured at Lassodie colliery on Monday night. After finishing his work he had gone for his jacket, which was hanging on the buffer of a waggon. Another waggon was at this time shunted back upon him, and he was crushed between two buffers, with the result that he died almost immediately. [Scotsman 24 November 1897]

15 February 1898

FATAL ACCIDENT AT DONIBRISTLE COLLIERY - George Mitchell (19), a miner, residing at Arthur Place, Cowdenbeath, died this morning from the effects of injuries sustained by a piece of coal falling upon him while employed in No. 12 Pit, Donibristle Colliery. The coal had burst the props and fallen from the roof. [Edinburgh Evening News 23 February 1898]

10 May 1898

FATAL PIT ACCIDENT IN FIFE - William Burdon (14), ponydriver, son of Alex. Burdon, miner, Thistle Street, Cowdenbeath, met with his death yesterday in the underground workings of the Lady Pit, Little Raith Colliery. It is supposed that that he had been riding down an incline on the first of a race of hutches when he fell off and was run over, being killed on the spot. [Dundee Courier 11 May 1898]

27 September 1898

Fatal Pit Accident – Joseph Hunter, jun., miner, Lassodie, met with an accident in No 11 Pit, Lassodie Colliery, on Tuesday, which has since proved fatal. He had fired a shot, and thinking it had not taken full effect, he applied a pinch to the coal, with the result that a large mass fell upon him. The deceased, who was 36 years of age, leaves a widow and 5 children [Scotsman 29 September 1898].

21 February 1900

Fife Miner Killed - David Muir, 56 years of age, miner, 73 James Place. Dunfermline, met with his death yesterday in the underground workings of the Engine Pit Hill of Beath Colliery, Fife Coal Company, Ltd. Muir was working at the coalface when a large stone fell from the roof upon him, and caused instantaneous death. Deceased was married, and leaves a widow and grown-up family. [Dundee Courier 22 February 1900]

26 March 1900

Important To Miners – Culpable Homicide Charge in Fife – Pit Inspector Acquitted - Before Sheriff Gillespie and a jury at Dunfermline yesterday Robt. Gillis , pit Inspector School Row, Crossgates, was tried on a charge of culpable homicide arising out of a blasting fatality at the Kirkford Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery, belonging to the Fife Coal Company, in March last. The libel set forth that while accused was acting as fireman or pit inspector at the Kirkford Pit he discovered firedamp or other impure air, and allowed two men, Daniel M'Guire and Michael Rowley, to enter their working place before he had dispelled the firedamp. The result was that an explosion occurred by which Rowley was so severely burned that he died shortly afterwards. The jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty. [Dundee Courier 26 June 1900]

18 December 1900

BURIED IN A COAL PIT - George Meldrum, a, young miner, residing at Hill of Beath, met with a serious accident in the underground workings of No. 1 Dalbeath Pit, Hill of Beath Colliery, Fife Coal Company, on Tuesday. While he was on his home from his working face about ten tons of blaes fell from the roof completely burying him. His father who was walking a short distance behind, observed the accident, and had his son extricated without delay. The injured lad was quite unconscious, and remained that condition until the following morning. Dr Nasmyth, Crossgates who attended the lad, found that he had been severely bruised about the head, body, and arms. [Dundee Courier 21 December 1900]