Kennox Colliery, 30 May 1943

3 men asphyxiated after inrush of water:

  • William Davidson Clark, 58, coal miner (hewer)
  • William Victor Clark, 23, coal miner (drawer)
  • John Newbigging Reid, 21, coal miner (drawer)

TRAPPED BY INRUSH OF WATER - Efforts to Rescue Scottish Miners - Up to a late hour last night rescuers had failed to find any trace of three miners who were trapped in the flooded No. 7 mine at Kennox Colliery, Douglas, Lanarkshire on Sunday. Twelve men were at work when there was a sudden inrush of water. Nine escaped to the surface. The trapped men are - William Clark (60), his 22-year-old son, Victor, and John Read (21), all of whom live in the village of Glespin. In the hope that the men may be trapped in one of the higher workings clear of the water, several rescue attempts were made, and pumping operations were commenced without delay. The pumps are continuously employed, and every effort is being made to reduce the water level. [Scotsman 2 June 1943]

Entombed Scottish Miners Face Ninth Day - There was still hope at Kennox Colliery, Glespin, Lanarkshire, to-day, when rescue brigades started the ninth day of their all-out bid to reach the three men who were entombed when water invaded the mine. Pumping is proceeding continuously, and mine officials, as well as comrades of the trapped men have joined in the rescue work. Twelve men were at work in the section on May 30 when water broke in. Nine got clear by the escape roads, but William Clark (60), his son Victor (23), and his nephew John Reid (21) were trapped. Asked if there was still hope of reaching them, an official at the mine said to day, “We are always hoping." [Evening Telegraph 7 June 1943]

SEARCH FOR ENTOMBED MINERS - Work was continued yesterday by rescue squads at Kennox Colliery, Glespin, Lanarkshire, where three men were trapped in the pit workings by a break-in of water at the end of last month. Up to the end of last week it was thought that there might be a possibility of the men being safe in a pocket of air, but these hopes have not yet been realised. Rescuers at the pit, it was stated last night, had another night’s work ahead, indicating that the entombed men should be reached some time to-day. The men are William Clark (60), his son Victor (23), and his nephew, John Reid (21). They were working in a party of twelve when the water broke in. The nine others succeeded in getting clear by the escape roads. [Scotsman 8 June 1943]

Trapped Miners May Be Reached Today - Although the three miners entombed for ten days at Kennox Colliery, Douglas, Lanarkshire, had not been reached last night, there are hopes that they may be found alive to-day. The air is said to be good and the flood water drinkable. Officials point out that miners trapped for a similar period at Redding Colliery (Stirling) more than 20 years ago were rescued. [Scotsman 9 June 1943]

ENTOMBED SCOTS MINERS - Hopes of Rescue To-day - Late last night the fate of the three miners entombed at Kennox Colliery, Douglas, Lanarkshire, since May 30 was still uncertain. Experts have calculated that the men’s oxygen supply would hold out for 11 days. To-day is the 11th day and as engineers race against time, officials are confident of a rescue by noon at the latest. Hopes of reaching the men yesterday were dashed by a pumping breakdown. Up to that time, water was being pumped out at the rate of 1400 gallons a minute, and it was estimated that three quarters of the 20 million gallons which had flooded the mine had been pumped Exhausted men toiled for between six and seven hours to repair the fault last night. The entombed men are William Clark(60), his son Victor (23), and his nephew John Reid (21). [Scotsman 10 June 1943]

ENTOMBED MEN - Rescue Retarded by Pumping Hitch - WORKERS’ DIFFICULTIES - Rescue parties, with hot blankets, brandy, and other supplies ready, were last night waiting for zero hour in what may be the last chance to bring out alive the three men who for it days have been entombed in a flooded working of the Kennox Mine at Douglas, Lanarkshire. Experts calculated that the oxygen in the mine atmosphere should last until last night, but there is no indication whether the men are alive or dead. The rescuers had hoped to enter the mine late in the afternoon, but last night the pumps, which had been making headway during the day against the infiltrating water, were still at work. The mine pumps, uncovered and repaired, were used to augment the flow. The rescue workers encountered difficulties last night when their hopes were highest of reaching the air lock in which it is believed the three men took refuge. It was noticed that the water level was remaining stationary. Up to that point the level of the water had been falling at the rate of more than one foot every hour as the pumps poured out 1800 gallons a minute. The pumps were continuing at this pressure, but were not gaining on the flood water. A mining official stated that it was feared there was another great feeder. Officials made an inspection of the banks of a nearby stream. Mr A H. Steel, the Chief Mines Inspector for Scotland, and Mr H. H Wilson, Senior Mines Inspector for Western Scotland, after an examination of the water level, conferred with the colliery management and officials of the Miners’ Union to consider rearrangement of the pumping machinery to secure a greater output. “We suffered a setback, and are greatly disappointed.” said a miners’ official. No developments could be expected before to-day. He expressed his belief that the entombed men were still alive. The rescue party have been working 20 out of 24 hours in their efforts to reach the men. Three brothers of John Reid the youngest of the entombed men, were at the pithead last night, but left on hearing news of the pumping hitch. [Scotsman 11 June 1943]

SCOTS PIT RESCUE ABANDONED - BLACK DAMP NEAR ENTOMBED MEN - Late last night the search for the three miners who had been entombed in Kennox Colliery, Douglas, Lanarkshire, since May 30 had to be abandoned owing to a concentration of black damp. It is now presumed they were suffocated. Before the search was given up rescuers, forcing their way through stone barricades and flood, themselves escaped death by inches when the roof collapsed. Equipped with special breathing apparatus, a rescue party entered the flooded working shortly after two in the afternoon. [Dundee Courier 12 June 1943]

Bodies of Entombed Miners Found - Nearly three weeks after they were entombed in a flooded mine working at the Kennox Colliery, Douglas, Lanarkshire, the bodies of three miners were recovered yesterday. The men—William Clark his son, William Victor Clark (23), and his nephew John Reid (21), all Glespin, were cut off by floods in the mine on May 30. After thirteen days of continuous efforts hopes of rescuing them had to be abandoned because of a roof fall. The Coatbridge rescue brigade found their bodies in the higher working's. It is believed that the men were killed by black damp. [Aberdeen Journal 21 June 1943]