Scottish Mining Website


Fatal Accidents in Mines in Scotland 1897

Notes - The information in this page is mainly compiled from appendices to the reports of the Inspector of Mines and Collieries. Additional details from the main body of the report are given where available. Many accidents are not listed in these reports and additional names have been added from newspaper reports and other sources - information not sourced from the mine inspectors reports is indicated by a shaded gray background.

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Information from Appendix to Inspectors Report - Accidents occurring in 1896 but reported in 1897
Extra details
YearMonthDayName of CollieryWhere situatedOwner or CompanyFirst NameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryCause of accident and remarks
1896July20DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal CoJamesMitchellPony driver18Miscellaneous underground – By trams and tubsRun over by his horse rake. Died 7th February 1897.   
1896September11Cleland No 3 PitLanarkWm Dixon LtdJohnWilson, jr.Miner27Falls of sideFall of coal. Injured on September 11th 1896, and died on June 11th 1897.   
1896November12Bannockburn No 1StirlingAlloa Coal CoJamesWelshBrusher28Falls of roofFall of roof on road while sitting waiting for a shot to go off. November 12th 1896 ; died March 24th 1897.   

Information from Appendix to Inspectors Report
Extra details
YearMonthDayName of CollieryWhere situatedOwner or CompanyFirst NameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryCause of accident and remarks
1897January2NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdWalterScottEngineman69On surface – By machineryCrushed by condenser beam.  
1897January3MossbandLanarkLinridge Coal CoAlex.LochheadEngineman36On surface – By machineryAppears to have allowed pumping engine to stop, and was caught by flywheel while attempting to start it. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897January6Limefield (Oil shale)EdinburghYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdJamesRobertsonMiner40Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesTwo shots charged with gunpowder were prepared, one above the other; one shot was thought to have missed, and deceased and his neighbour returning too soon the second or top shot exploded on them.  
1897January7Foxley No 2LanarkJ Dunn & StephenJamesNelsonPump attendant19In shafts – whilst ascending or descending by machineryWhile descending the shaft, the cage stuck, then dropping away, the muzzle broke and the cage fell to the bottom.

From Main body of report: The first fatal accident occurred at Foxley No. 2 Pit. Owing to a crush on the strata the slides in portions of the rise side of the shaft were too close, and the cage had a difficulty in passing. The workmen were not allowed to ride in this cage, and on the night of the accident workmen were repairing the shaft. Contrary to the instructions, the deceased was being lowered to the bottom in the rise cage, when the cage appears to have stuck fast and then dropped away, breaking the muzzle connecting it to the rope and falling to the bottom of the shaft.
1897January7RossLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdThomasDaveyMiner53Falls of roofDeceased and his son were taking a 6 feet cut off the side of a stoop to form a new road, the old drift having closed. He was sitting holing at the face when a large stone fell from the roof, killing him almost instantly.  
1897January12Ayr, Enterkine No 9 PitAyrGeorge Taylor & CoWm.LittleBrusher21Falls of roofFall of roof at brushing while removing props previous to blasting.  
1897January14Broxburn (Oil shale)LinlithgowBroxburn Oil Co LtdJosephEllisMiner30Falls of sidesDeceased was mending the holing of shale, in which two shots had just been fired, when it fell over on him; the shale was not spragged.  
1897January15MotherwellLanarkJohn Watson LtdJamesRobbMiner53Falls of roofFall of roof stone in a stooping place. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897January18Common No 14AyrWm Baird & Co LtdFrancesO'NeilPony driver16Miscellaneous underground – By trams and tubsFound dead below a race of hutches which he was bringing out along a level.  
1897January20GoatfootAyrBrand & CoSamuelFinnikamMiner24Falls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1897January22Little RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdHughThomsonEngineman28In shafts – ropes and chains breakingThe winding rope broke while deceased were descending the shaft. The rope was made of steel wires and was 1 1/8inch diameter, and had been in use since August 1894. The shaft is 100 fathoms deep, and the rope broke 20 fathoms from cage. The shaft was warm from the presence of steam pipes. Tests made after the accident gave a breaking strain of 21 tons, but torsional test showed that the quality of the wire had much deteriorated. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1897January28MerrytonLanarkMerryton Coal CoAlex.HigginsonMiner41Falls of roofDeceased was driving a road through some stoops formed about 25 years ago, the drifts surrounding which had all closed. He had taken down a quantity of coal and was cleaning the roof to set timber, when it suddenly burst in, swinging the adjacent props, and completely burying him.  
1897January31Orbiston No 3LanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdThos.McGillBrusher27Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesWhile charging a shot with frozen gelignite, the charge went off, killing them.

From Main body of report: The first fatal accident happened at Orbiston Colliery, and apparently was caused by forcing frozen gelignite into a shot hole. By it two men lost their lives, the fireman and a brusher. It was during a time of frost, and the gelignite had been taken out of the magazine shortly before being used, and without any attempt having been made to thaw it. The brusher was evidently forcing four cartridges alongside of one another into the shot hole with a copper tipped wooden stemmer, when the whole charge of about 1 lb. of gelignite exploded.
Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
OwenHeronNight fireman48
1897February3Barrwood No 2StirlingWm Baird & Co LtdDavidRennieBrusher22Falls of roofFall of roof on road while passing beneath it.  
1897February3PrestongrangeHaddingtonSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdJohnVardonMiner40Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesDeceased was engaged making a cage-seat, and a hole for a shot was bored to a depth of 3 feet. The charge was to consist of seven cartridges of gelignite, and while he was inserting the fourth an explosion occurred. The cartridges, which apparently were frozen, were being pushed back with the wooden handle of a ''mash."  
1897February5Glenbuck, Davie PitAyrCairntable Gas Coal Co LtdHenryMcIntyreMiner25Falls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1897 February 7 Devon Clackmannan Alloa Coal Co James Mitchell See entry under 20 July 1896 in section at top of page
1897February8HillLanarkJames GemmellJamesMcConvilleMiner37Falls of roofDeceased was sitting holing at the face of a longwall level, when the roof suddenly burst away from a keen parting, closing the face from the dip side of level to the nearest branch, a distance of about 20 yards. He was killed instantaneously.  
1897February10SouthriggLanarkA M GrahamWalterBrownPony driver15Miscellaneous underground – By trams and tubsCrushed between his rake and full hutch standing in the lye at shaft.  
1897February 13Westfield (Whinstone) DumbartonA & J Faill Jn.McLaughland Quarryman32 In quarriesWhile lighting the fuses of a 75lb. charge of gunpowder with a match the shot went off. Apparently when the charge was poured into the hole a train of gunpowder had been left in an open joint, and the red hot head of the match fell upon it  
1897February20Hill of BeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdThomasWalkerMiner65Falls of roofAn extensive fall of blaes took place at face of deceased's longwall working, and buried him.  
1897February22Dalmeny (Oil shale)LinlithgowDalmeny Oil Co LtdWm. P.PrenticeManager35Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesTwo seams of oil shale were separated by a few feet of blaes. A miner engaged in making a road from a place in the upper seam to a place in the lower seam, fired a shot in the pavement in the upper seam which blew through into the lower seam and struck the deceased, who was examining the workings at the time.  
1897February25CroftheadLinlithgowPeter ThorntonGeorgeSmeatonCoal picker14On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased left his place at the "shaker" and went to the siding, and by some means unknown fell in front of a loaded moving waggon.  
1897March1Carfin No 7LanarkWm Dixon LtdAllanMcKinstryDrawer24Falls of roofFall of roof at working face by the fall breaking the crowns. Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1897March2ParkheadLanarkGlasgow Iron & Steel Co LtdWm.PaulLocomotive engine driver66On Surface – On railways and tramwaysCollision on branch railway with Caledonian Railway locomotive, caused by both drivers neglecting their instructions.

From Main body of report: One fatal accident was caused by a collision on a branch railway between some waggons drawn by the colliery locomotive and a locomotive belonging to the railway company. Both drivers failed to comply with the regulations, and the colliery locomotive driver lost his life.
1897March6Deans (Oil shale)LinlithgowPumpherston Oil Co LtdJamesWallaceMiner57Falls of sidesDeceased was finishing the holing when a part of the shale fell away from a clay back, which was unseen.  
1897March8Common No 6AyrWm Baird & Co LtdJohnBlackMiner23Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesPremature ignition of a shot, which went off while he was lighting the squib.  
1897March12Bothwell ParkLanarkWm Baird & Co LtdJohnHallBrusher48Explosions of fire damp or coal dustThe fireman fired a shot of carbonite in an accumulation of fire-damp, and the sparks from the tape fuse lighted the gas. Other four men were injured.

From Main body of report: The first fatal explosion took place in Bothwell Park Colliery, and by it one man lost his life and four men were injured. It appears that the night fireman inspected the road in which the explosion happened, and subsequently recorded in the report-book the finding of gas at the "brushing" face. The deceased brusher was sent to prepare a shot in the "brushing face," which he did, and charged the shot-hole with 1/4lb. of carbonite. using a tape fuse four or five feet long. The fireman thereafter lit the fuse, and when he and the brusher were retiring to a place of safety the explosion took place, burning them and other three men who were repairing the road about 50 yards distant from the shot-hole. That the explosion was caused by the fuse and not by the charge of carbonite was proved by the shot having gone off after the explosion. The fireman afterwards admitted that he lit the fuse while there was an accumulation of fire-damp at the face of the "brushing," and for his reckless conduct in disregarding the regulations he was prosecuted, but as he himself had been severely injured he was allowed to get off with a small fine. Safety lamps alone are used in the colliery.
1897March12East RoughriggStirlingR ForresterJamesJenkinsMiner25Falls of roofDeceased worked in a longwall slope road. His attention was called to a "lype" which lay parallel to one side of his road, and a prop was set under the lip of the brushing. Finding that the prop was in his way when holing, he removed it, and some time thereafter the stone which it had been supporting fell upon him, killing him almost instantly. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897March17FallahillLinlithgowPeter ThorntonWm.McKnightShunter31On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was between two loaded waggons to couple them, when they became buffer locked through the points being wrongly set, and he was fatally crushed.  
1897March18Kirkwood No 2LanarkKirkwood Coal CoJohnHolmesAssistant hanger-on50In shafts – falling into shaft from surfaceFell down shaft from surface by pushing a full hutch into open shaft, expecting the cage to have been there.

From Main body of report: The second fatal accident occurred at Kirkwood Colliery during the night when the winding engine was being used to raise hutches of coal filled off the bing from the ground level up to the pithead. Although a man was appointed to attend to the gate fencing the entrance to the shaft at the ground level, and was instructed not to keep the gate open when the cage was not there, he failed to comply with the instructions and left the gate open while the cage was at the pithead. The result was that the deceased, evidently thinking that the cage was at the ground level, pushed a loaded hutch into the open shaft and fell after it.
Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1897March19EarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdJamesWyperMiner13Falls of sidesDeceased, who had only been employed underground for ten days, worked with his father and two brothers. He was struck by a piece of falling coal, and sustained compound fractures of right leg above and below the knee. He subsequently succumbed to "exhaustion, the result of delayed union of fractures."  
1897March21FoulshieldsLinlithgowLoganlea Coal Co LtdJohnLivingstonePump attendant40In shafts – falling from part way downDeceased went down the shaft to attend to the pumps, and by some means fell into the ''sump," and while struggling in the water the water-chest came down on him and he was drowned.  
1897March22Drongan CastleAyrWm Black & SonsWm.HuggartBrusher40Falls of roofFall of roof on road while repairing it.  
1897March22PrestongrangeHaddingtonSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoGeorgeGoodwinManager45Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesDeceased was riding down a dook on a bogie behind an empty descending rake, when four empty tubs ran away from the top of the dook and overtook him.  
1897 March 24 Bannockburn No 1 Stirling Alloa Coal Co James Welsh See entry under 12 November 1896 in section at top of page
1897March24Burnt BroomLanarkDunn BrothersJohnCraigClerk19On Surface – On railways and tramwaysCaught by a waggon while spragging it.  
1897March24Kirkhill No 2 PitLanarkKirkhill Coal CoGilbertPatersonMiner49Falls of sideFall of coal and "falling."  
1897March24SkellytonLanarkLarkhall and Fairholm Collieries Co LtdWilliamLindsayBottomer18In shafts – falling from part way downDeceased pushed a loaded hutch into the shaft at a mid-working when the cage was not there. The gate at the mid-working was connected with an indicator in the engine-house as required by Special Rules,  
1897March26DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal CoJohnNicolMiner45Miscellaneous underground – irruptions of waterRupture of door or valve in a dam. See report
1897March29BalquhatstoneStirlingJohn Nimmo & Son LtdAlex.McMillanMiner52Falls of roofDeceased worked with his son in a longwall place which was stripping a downthrow. While near the fault shovelling out coal, a stone, estimated to weigh about a ton, dropped from between two lypes and killed him instantly. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897April3Ochiltree (Oil shale)LinlithgowLinlithgow Oil Co LtdHughLawBrakesman15Miscellaneous underground – By machineryFell on to drum of self-acting incline which he was braking. Newspaper report - Lothian pages
1897April6LoanheadEdinburghShotts Iron Co LtdEdwardMcManusMiner24Falls of sidesDeceased was stooping in a seam having a dip of 45°. While holing near centre of stoop, a block of coal came away from a foul cleavage plane, and fell upon him, fracturing his skull.  
1897April6Tannochside No 1LanarkCalderbank Steel & Coal Co LtdThos.RussellMiner58Falls of roofFall of roof at stoops. Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1897April12Blantyre No 1LanarkWm Dixon LtdHughDonellyWaggon shifter31On Surface – On railways and tramwaysRun down by N. B. Railway engine while engaged waggon shifting.  
1897April14CadzowLanarkCadzow Coal CoRobertAndersonStableman68On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was crossing the sidings from the stables when he was run down by a train of empty waggons.  
1897April 15New Cove (Sandstone) DumfriesNew Cove Quarries LimitedWm. McLeanQuarryman 21In quarries While a stone was being swung round by a steam crane it fell upon him. He failed to keep clear as required by the regulations  
1897April22North Motherwell No 3LanarkMerry & Cunninghame LtdJamesWallerMiner22Falls of roofFall of roof at cousie head. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897April24WoodendLinlithgowColtness Iron Co LtdHenryMcNeilMiner46Falls of roofDeceased had contracted to take out a strip of coal between two adjacent goaves. He was setting props to secure the roof, when a large stone fell at his side and crushed him against the coal face; and before anything could be done to extricate him, he was completely buried by a second fall of about five tons. His skull was fractured and his spine injured. He died on the following day.  
1897April26Lanemark No 1, AftonAyrLanemark Coal Co LtdThos.GracieMiner22Falls of roofFall of roof at stoops.  
1897April27Ladyha'AyrWm Baird & Co LtdEdwardMcMechanAssistant pit-headman60On Surface – On railways and tramwaysRun over by waggons in a tunnel.  
1897April27LoanheadEdinburghShotts Iron Co LtdDanielPotterBrakesman38Miscellaneous underground – By machineryDeceased came in contact with the drum while it was revolving, and thrown over against the frame, whereby he was crushed.  
1897April30BathvilleLanarkJames Wood LtdWilliamGormanDrawer19Miscellaneous underground – sundriesDeceased was running in-bye along his drawing road, after taking breakfast, and is supposed to have fallen. Death was supposed to have resulted from syncope, produced by shock.  
1897April30Pumpherston (Oil shale)EdinburghPumpherston Oil Co LtdGeorgeScottMiner18Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesDeceased appears to have been charging or stemming a shot, and using a steel pinch or lever as a stemmer. The charge exploded, killing him on the spot, and seriously injuring a fellow workman.  
1897May6Little RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdRobt.McGaughyWood sawyer23On surface – By machineryWhile deceased was engaged sawing prop wood at a steam circular saw, a door swung to and threw him against the saw while it was in motion, and his jugular vein was cut. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1897May7Broxburn (Oil shale)LinlithgowBroxburn Oil Co LtdJamesMcNeeMiner50Falls of roofDeceased was driving a 12-feet place in the "Curly" seam, about 6 feet above the stooped waste of the "Broxburn" seam. The fireman detected a break in the roof which he considered to be dangerous, and requested him to set a prop to it. Deceased demurred, but as the fireman insisted, he agreed. While he was setting the prop, the roof suddenly gave way, killing him instantly.  
1897May7WallyfordEdinburghDeans & MooreRobertGordonPony driver18Falls of roofDeceased was taking a set of empty tubs inbye along a level road, when a fall of roof took place at a point where the road was barred and poled, the distance between the poling and the roof being about 3 feet. A large flat stone broke one pole, displaced some others, and fell upon deceased, killing him instantly.  
1897May13DarngavilLanarkDarngavil Coal Co LtdJamesWhiteRepairer53Explosions of fire damp or coal dustDeceased men and others, including the undermanager, were engaged in the pit on an idle day endeavouring to connect two places, in one of which there was firedamp : after endeavouring unsuccessfully to expel the firedamp by "waffing" and running a hutch backward and forward, it was agreed to fire a charge of gunpowder near the gas to "break it up," and while doing this an explosion took place.

From Main body of report: The explosion at Darngavil Colliery was caused by an act of rashness and disregard of the provisions of the Coal Mines Act on the part of the undermanager, for which no excuse can be offered, except that the pit being off work no person was exposed to risk except those engaged in removing the gas. A suggestion to "break up" the gas by firing a charge of gunpowder appears to have been made by one of the deceased men, who had seen a similar operation performed in the bottom of a sinking pit, and was agreed to by the undermanager who nearly lost his life in the explosion that followed. The under-manager was fined £5 for a breach of General Rule 12 (g) of the Coal Mines Act.
Newspaper report - new Monkland pages
1897May22AlloaClackmannanAlloa Coal CoWilliamLeslieScreenman75On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysRun over by waggons which were being shunted at screens.  
1897May27Oakbank (Oil shale)EdinburghOakbank Oil Co LtdJohnCallenderMiner14Falls of sidesDeceased, who worked with his father, had just commenced his shift. He was "backening out" shale brought down by a shot fired on the previous day, when a large piece of midstone fell from the face, causing injuries which terminated fatally on the following day.  
1897May28MuiravonsideStirlingJames Nimmo & Co LtdFrancisLamondLabourer35On Surface – MiscellaneousDeceased and another were on the top of a pithead frame fixing a pulley-block with which to raise the stays, when it fell.  
1897June2Farme No 3LanarkFarme Coal Co LtdJamesWinningNight gaffer37Falls of roofFall of roof on main haulage road while repairing it.  
1897June4BlairadamFifeBlairadam Coal Co LtdWilliamLoweMiner20Falls of roofA fall of the rock roof took place at face of deceased's longwall working.  
1897June10MurdostounLanarkJohn McAndrew & CoJamesMartinMiner22Falls of roofDeceased was holing his coal in the rise side of his place, when the roof suddenly fell.  
1897 June 11 Cleland No 3 Pit Lanark Wm Dixon Ltd John Wilson, jr. See entry under 11 September 1896 in section on top of this page
1897June11DalbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdThomasDuncanMiner51Falls of sidesDeceased was holing the coal in his long wall face, when a quantity came over on him from between two sprags.  
1897June16MerrytonLanarkMerryton Coal CoRobertDickMiner45Falls of roofWhile engaged with others drawing props from part where stoop had been extracted, a stone fell from the roof on deceased.  
1897June16WestriggLanarkJames Wood LtdMatthewSomervilleLabourer21In shafts – falling into shaft from surfaceDeceased was engaged running tubs filled with ashes from boiler furnaces to the shaft, and putting them on the cage at bottom scaffold, from whence they were raised to the top scaffold and emptied on the dirt bing ; he inadvertently opened the gate and pushed a tub into shaft when cage was not there, and was precipitated to the bottom. Newspaper report - Lothian pages
1897June17Bonnyton No 8AyrGilmour, Anderson & CoDavidStorrieMiner36Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper Report - Ayrshire pages
1897June21North Motherwell No 1LanarkMerry & Cunninghame LtdRichardMenziesMiner43Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897June23Auchenharvie No 1 PitAyrGlengarnock Iron & Steel Co LtdWm.HamiltonMiner24Falls of sideFall of stone from the side of a dook.  
1897June23Banknock, Livingstone PitStirlingJohn Young & CoWm.OvenandOversman35Falls of roofFall of roof on main road while redding a previous fall. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897June24CowdenbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdJosephSharpMiner51Falls of sidesDeceased was holing the coal when it came over on him.  
1897July3Dalmeny (Oil shale)LinlithgowDalmeny Oil Co LtdWm.WilliamsonOncostman26Explosions of fire damp or coal dustDeceased and another oncostman went through a fence into an abandoned rising road to get rails, when gas was kindled by their naked lights.

From Main body of report: The explosion at Dalmeny Oil Shale Mine was caused by an accumulation of fire-damp in an abandoned exploring place, being ignited by one of the open lights of two oncostmen, who had entered it for the purpose of lifting rails. The place was fenced off and known to contain gas, and it appeared that the existence of gas in it was known to the oncostmen, who should not have entered the place until authorised by the fireman, but, as in a conversation with the undermanager and fireman the place had been mentioned, amongst others, as containing rails, they may have thought themselves justified in going into it.
1897July6WhitehillEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJamesBrownMiner42Falls of roofDeceased and another were driving a 12-feet place through a stoop. They had taken out the coal for a distance of about 5 feet in advance of the lip of the brushing, under which they had set two props. In taking down their last cut of coal, they had relieved a lype. Deceased was filling some coal into a tub, when a quantity of blaes fell upon him, crushing him so severely that he died on the following day.  
1897July7EddlewoodLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnMcLauchlanLabourer25On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was cleaning weeds off the engine road between the screening sheds, when he was run down by a tank locomotive, which passed over both of his legs. He succumbed to his injuries on the following day.  
1897July7LochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdChas.FitzsimmonsOiler60Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesWhile attending to his duties on an endless rope haulage road a rake of full hutches became detached from the rope, and ran back to deceased and crushed him.  
1897July9NeilslandLanarkJohn Watson LtdJamesRichardsonRoadsman20Falls of roofDeceased and some others were drawing the props in a road which had been cut off, deceased being in charge. While knocking out a prop, a large flat stone suddenly fell from the roof, its edge striking him, and causing injuries to which he succumbed on the following day.  
1897July31CowdenbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdDavidWestwoodMiner48Falls of sidesFall of coal at face of heading.  
1897July31StrutherLanarkStruther Coal CoWilliamRussellMiner28Falls of roofDeceased was engaged wedging down coal, when the roof suddenly fell and buried him and his neighbour. The stone fell away from a lype unseen,and the baring of the coal left it inadequately supported.  
1897August1ShottsLanarkShotts Iron Co LtdAndrewDuncanJoiner40In shafts – whilst ascending or descending by machineryNew wheels were being put in at shaft bottom for haulage and deceased was engaged at the frames; he had occasion to ascend the shaft to get some parts connected with the frames, and while being raised he by some means unknown fell off the cage. Newspaper report - Shotts pages
1897August4ClydeLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdJohnRowanRoadsman56Falls of roofDeceased was engaged alone doing some repairs on a disused horse road, and while so engaged the roof fell and pinned him to the ground. He was discovered alive about fifteen hours afterwards. A fireman passed near to the place while he was under the stone, but did not hear his cries for help.  
1897August4HallsideLanarkJas Dunlop & Co LtdGavinMarshallMiner17Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897August5Glenboig (Fireclay)LanarkGlenboig Union Fireclay Co LtdFrankArmstrongDriver25Falls of roofDeceased was proceeding down the horse dook, leading his horse, when the roof which was a brick arch gave way, and fell on him.  
1897August6DonibristleFifeDonibristle Colliery CoJanePatersonPithead worker23On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysRun over by waggons on the colliery siding. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1897August7Portland No 8AyrWm Baird & Co LtdJamesScobieMiner53Falls of roofFall of roof and coal.  
1897August11WemyssFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdSamuelMcNeishSinker28Falls of sidesDeceased was drilling a shot hole at the face of a crossent mine when a large stone suddenly fell upon him, killing him almost instantly. The stone had probably been shaken by some shots fired about four hours previously, although deceased's fellow workmen failed to see any indication of danger.  
1897August12Garturk, Bank No 1LanarkWm Dixon LtdJamesThom, junMiner17Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897August17Neilston No 3 MineStirlingJames Wood LtdJohnMonachanDrawer17Miscellaneous underground – By ropes and chains breakingBy the breaking of a rope on a "cuddie-brae," the "cuddie" ran away and struck deceased.  
1897August18Common No 6AyrWm Baird & Co LtdJamesBrownMiner45Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesAfter lighting the match of a shot and retiring round a corner, he looked back to see if the match was burning, when the shot went off, and he was struck by a stone.  
1897August18Herbertshire No 3StirlingRobt Addie & Sons Collieries LtdFrancesDonachieDrawer16Miscellaneous underground – By trams and tubsA drawer allowed his hutch to run away on an incline, and it struck deceased at the foot. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897August21Sanquhar, Gateside PitDumfriesJ I McConnellArchd.WilsonFireman40Falls of roofFall of roof while drawing props at the stooping. Newspaper report - Dumfriesshire pages
1897August26Blantyre No 3LanarkWm Dixon LtdThos.McDonaldMiner27Falls of roofFall of roof at working place at stoops. Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1897 August 31 Limerigg Stirling John Nimmo & Son Ltd Allan Farmer Drawer 18 Falls of roof Deceased was filling a hutch at a point in an old road where a new place was broken off, when the roof above where the coal had been extracted fell over on to him.  
1897September3BroomhouseLanarkHaughhead Coal Co LtdEdwardCameronDrawer17Miscellaneous underground – By ropes and chains breakingWhile walking up the dook, worked by an endless rope, the rope broke, and he was run over by a full hutch. Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1897September3ClackmannanClackmannanClackmannan Coal CoDavidMuirBrusher34Falls of roofDeceased and another were brushing a slope road head. Deceased knocked out the props which supported the brushing, and thereafter tapped it; and, although it was cut along the centre by a longwall break, considered it to be safe, and was passing out underneath it when it fell upon him, inflicting injuries which resulted fatally two hours later. Deceased might readily have got out by passing along the longwall face to the nearest branch road.  
1897September4DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal CoDavidAndersonDrawer22Falls of sidesDeceased had gone inbye to a working place for a tub, and while the miners were completing the loading of it, he began to shear the coal. A large block came away suddenly from a foul cleavage plane and rolled over him, fracturing his pelvis. The miner had sounded the coal immediately before, and believed it to be safe.  
1897September8FairholmLanarkLarkhall and Fairholm Collieries Co LtdJohnHodgeBrusher26Falls of roofDeceased and some others were brushing a slope road. He was setting brushing trees when a large stone suddenly fell upon him causing injuries to which he succumbed two days after.  
1897September 9Dunmore (Sandstone) StirlingBaird & Stevenson MichaelCusick Labourer45 In quarriesFound with his neck broken at the foot of a heap of debris, having apparently fallen over.  
1897September11AuchlochanLanarkW C S CunninghamWilliamBarrieFireman60Falls of roofDeceased and two others were brushing a short piece of a main road which had become too low. He had driven a wedge into the brushing and stepped back a few feet to lift a crowbar, when a quantity of fireclay slipped off the roadside and fell upon his legs, breaking them in several places. He succumbed to his injuries 5 days later.  
1897September20Viewpark No 1LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdJosephCurrieMiner29Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1897September28Bothwell Castle No 3LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdJamesMcGregorBrusher26Falls of roofFall of roof at brushing face. Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1897September29Dechmont No 1LanarkDechmont Colliery Co LtdAndrewMillarChain runner25Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesCrushed against the roof while riding up dook on front of "race." Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1897September29Drumpeller, Nos 3 and 4 PitsLanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoBernardRodgersFireman60Explosions of fire damp or coal dustWhile making his morning inspection with a naked light, he ignited an accumulation of fire-damp.

From Main body of report: The second fatal explosion happened in Nos. 3 and 4 pits, Drumpeller, and was caused by an old fireman, 60 years of age, making his morning inspection with his naked light. While looking for gas in this manner he found it, and paid the penalty of his rashness with his life.
Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1897October5CowdenbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdJamesBrydenPony driver13Miscellaneous underground – By trams and tubsDeceased had apparently been standing up in a tub of an empty rake while rake was proceeding in-bye, and his head had come into contact with the roof gearing, whereby he was thrown back among the tubs and crushed.  
1897October5Fairlie Colliery, Windyedge PitAyrW C S CuninghameJohnFultonMiner43Falls of sideFall of coal while holing. Due to want of sprags.  
1897October11Newliston (Oil shale)LinlithgowYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdJohnWalkerDrawer19Explosions of fire damp or coal dustDeceased and another were driving a slope road up through some stoops near to the outcrop. While the latter was charging a shot, the former went up an adjoining upset for a private purpose, and ignited some gas with his naked light. The upset had been inspected by the fireman about eight hours previously, and reported clear; and his chalk mark was subsequently found in it.

From Main body of report: The explosion at Newliston Oil Shale Mine was due to the ignition of fire-damp by the open light of a drawer, who had gone into an old place for a private purpose.
1897October16MerrytonLanarkMerryton Coal CoJohnSmithMiner55Falls of roofDeceased were driving a place alongside a stoop when a large stone fell on them. Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1897October18Garturk, Bank pitLanarkWm Dixon LtdJohnMcLarenMiner50Falls of roofFall of roof at working face while holing.  
1897October19Ballochmyle Nos 5 & 4AyrWm. Walker HoodRobertCreeOverman47In shafts – falling from part way downWhile descending the shaft, a fall of roof took place at the mouth of an air-drift at the ground level, and the falling stones crashed through the cage cover. The two deceased and another man fell out of the cage, while a fourth, who remained in the cage, was injured.

From Main body of report: The third fatal accident happened at Ballochmyle Colliery, and by it the overman and a miner were killed, and the fireman and another miner were injured. The downcast shaft is 10 feet in diameter and lined from top to bottom with 10 inch brickwork. At the ground level there is a drift extending from the shaft to the open air outside the pithead retaining wall. The roof of this drift was composed of timbering, and the space between the timbering and the plates on the pithead, a height of 12 feet, was filled with stones and debris. While the cage containing the 4 men was being lowered, the timbering above the drift gave way close to the shaft, and the result was that the debris poured down the shaft, broke the cage cover and knocked out three of the occupants who fell to the bottom of the shaft.
1897October20Hamilton PalaceLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdJohnMcGroartyMiner18Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesWhile travelling out to pit-bottom, he was run over by an empty hutch on the haulage road. Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1897October22Walkinshaw No 2RenfrewMerry & Cunninghame LtdJohnRennieDrawer15In shafts – whilst ascending or descending by machineryWhile descending the shaft with other seven persons, he fell out of the cage.

From Main body of report: The fourth fatal accident was caused by the deceased falling out of the cage in some unexplained manner while being lowered in the shaft along with other seven persons.
1897October25ReddingStirlingJames Nimmo & Co LtdJamesRitchieBrusher33Falls of roofDeceased and his neighbour were engaged building the stones blasted down from brushing, and while doing so the roof fell and crushed his head on a part of the building. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897October26EarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnMilesPithead worker49On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysCrushed between an empty and half-loaded waggon at the screens. Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1897October28FoulshieldsLinlithgowLoganlea Coal Co LtdJohnBarronsBottomer55In shafts – falling from part way downDeceased pushed a loaded hutch into the shaft at a mid-working when the cage was not there. The gate at the mid-working was connected with an indicator in the engine-house as required by Special Rules, but the Rules appear to have been disregarded as to the working of the gate as it was kept open constantly.  
1897October29ShieldhallStirlingCarron CoJohnThomsonMiner63Falls of roofWhile proceeding inbye with an empty tub, and when near his working place the roof suddenly fell, part striking the tub and part striking deceased. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897November11CowdenbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdArchibaldPenmanLabourer35On surface – By machineryDeceased was engaged with others in putting a belt on a pulley in connection with a coal washing machine, and in returning he passed through another belt and, stumbling, he was caught and drawn into the pulley.  
1897November13Pollock Lochinch PitRenfrewWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdThos.UrieFurnaceman45On Surface – MiscellaneousCollapse of a brick retaining wall.

From Main body of report: The only fatal accident which did not happen on a railway was caused by the collapse of a brick wall in front of a range of boilers, the wall having been unable to withstand the pressure of the dross heaped up behind it.
1897November15Kames No 1AyrWm Baird & Co LtdJohnBlythRoadsman55Falls of roofFall of roof on horse road while repairing it.  
1897November15NiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdAlexanderMilneMiner25Falls of sidesFall of coal at face. Deceased lay for some hours before he was relieved.  
1897 November 16 Grangemouth Stirling Grangemouth Coal Co Ltd Alex. Marshall Accident was included in 1898 report - see section on 1898 page
1897November22LassodieFifeThos. Spowart & Co LtdPatrickCondronLabourer65On Surface – On railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased had finished his work for the day, and went to lift the jacket of another workman from off the drawbar hook of a waggon, when locomotive engine pushed another waggon up, and fatally crushed him. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1897November23PolquhairnAyrPolquhairn Coal CoAndrewStuartMiner17Falls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1897November24Portland Nos 6 and 7AyrWm Baird & Co LtdGilbertAirdWaggon trimmer13On Surface – On railways and tramwaysCrushed between top of waggon and scree.  
1897November 28Blochairn (Sandstone) LanarkRalph P. Meiklem RobertBrooks Pump attendant21 In quarriesWhile walking along the brink of the quarry he fell over it. It was not fenced as required by the regulations

From Main Body of Report: With reference to the fatal accident in Blochairn, the deceased was walking along the unfenced brink of the quarry in the dark to go and visit a pump placed in the quarry. It is supposed that the wind blew out his lamp, or that he stumbled and fell over to the bottom: a distance of 50 feet. The manager was prosecuted for failing to fence the top of the quarry as required by the special rules. He pled guilty to the charge and was dismissed with an admonition.
1897November30GreenfieldLanarkA RussellJosephChapmanMiner50Falls of roofDeceased was engaged taking down coal, when the roof suddenly fell upon him. The stone was relieved when the coal was taken off.  
1897December8Barrwood No 2StirlingWm Baird & Co LtdDavidMarshallBrusher41Falls of roofFall of roof at roadhead while brushing the pavement. Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1897December10HartwoodhillLanarkShotts Iron Co LtdJohnGrahamFireman39Falls of roofDeceased entered a longwall place for the purpose of making his second inspection for the day. He crawled under the brushing, and had just reached the face when a large stone suddenly fell upon him, killing him instantly.  
1897December11HareshawLanarkHareshaw Coal CoJamesGillilinMiner28Miscellaneous underground – sundriesDeceased had the fingers of his right hand slightly injured by his loaded tub roofing ; blood poisoning set in, and he died three weeks thereafter.  
1897December13LoganleaEdinburghLoganlea Coal Co LtdAlexanderBrownBencher14Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesDeceased was riding up an engine dook in front of a set of loaded tubs. He fell or was knocked off, and received injuries which resulted fatally about an hour after. He had not received permission to ride, and was warned against it by some fellow-workmen who saw him leave the landing.  
1897December13NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdWilliamCampbellRepairer22Falls of roofDeceased and others were repairing a dook road when a stone fell from the roof on him.  
1897December17Cumbernauld (Fireclay mine)DumbartonGlenboig Union Fireclay Co LtdJamesBlairMiner37Falls of sideFall of fireclay at working face.  
1897December18WemyssFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdGeorgeLaingMiner56Falls of sidesDeceased was proceeding up the rise side of his place to take off his holed coal, when it fell on him.  
1897December21FordellFifeFordell TrusteesJamesBurtWheeler51Miscellaneous underground – On inclined and engine planesTwo loaded tubs were run from the top of a cut chain brae, and when down a short distance they stopped ; in order to restart them deceased began to "pump" the rope, and when they moved off suddenly the rope left the wheel and, breaking the frame, got entirely free of the wheel, the tubs on the brae consequently ran away dragging the rope with them, and deceased was struck with the rope as it passed down.  
1897December27GlencraigFifeWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdJohnGliddenBottomer37In shafts – falling from part way downDeceased pushed a loaded hutch into the shaft at a mid-working when the cage was not there. The gate at the mid-working had been connected with an indicator in the engine-house as required by Special Rules, but the wire forming the connection had broken during the previous shift and had not been repaired.  
1897 December 27 Home Farm     James Wilson     natural causes
(Not listed) 
Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper report - Dalserf pages
1897December28Dechmont No 1LanarkDechmont Colliery Co LtdJohnMathiesonMiner40Falls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1897December30BridgenessLinlithgowBridgeness Coal CoGeorgeSneddonContractor38Miscellaneous underground – By explosivesA brushing shot was prepared in the pavement and charged with gunpowder. Deceased inadvertently lighted the gunpowder train ofthe squib instead of the wick, and the shot exploded on him before he got out of harm's way.  


Last Updated 28th May 2012