Dumfriesshire Accidents

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

20 December 1823

On the morning of Saturday the 20th ult., John Collins, labourer in Sanquhar, having gone to one of the coal pits in the neighbourhood of Dumfries for a creel of coals, by some unaccountable fatality missed his footing while on the verge of the pit mouth, and fell headlong into it. One of the workmen began to descend, immediately afterwards, and upon reaching the bottom found Collins quite dead. His head in particular was cut and bruised in a shocking manner, and there were some severe contusions on several parts of his body. The pit was only about six fathoms deep. [Caledonian Mercury 3 January 1824]

17 December 1844

Hawick - Shocking Accident - A melancholy accident occurred on Tuesday week at Rowanburn, one of the Duke of Buccleuch's coalpits, Canonbie. The particulars are briefly as follow:- John Scott , hind at Deanburnhaugh, on the estate of Hoscoat, having occasion to go to the coals, he was accompanied for the first time by his son, a lad about fifteen years of age. On reaching the pit, a little before daybreak , the young lad leaped from the cart, and being cold , it is supposed he was making for a fire which was blazing a little distance from where the carts halted, and not being aware that the mouth of the pit intervened, he ran headlong into the fearful chasm. Some persons who observed the direction the youth was going, called out to take care, but it was too late, he was already on the verge of the abyss , and his motion was too quick to be suddenly restrained; another instant , and he was a mangled corpse. The feelings of the parent who was thus so awfully deprived of a beloved son, may be conceived, but cannot be described. - Kelso Chronicle [Scotsman 21 December 1844]

14 December 1854

Fatal Accident - On Thursday last, two colliers, named Walter Black and George M'Lellan, brothers-in-law, went to work at Gateside coal-pit, parish of Kirkconnell. They were engaged in preparing to send a hutch down by the cage, and in doing so Black had apparently overbalanced himself and fallen down the pit. M'Lellan did not see him fall until he was just disappearing down the pit-mouth, and no other person was present. M'Lellan immediately descended, and, as might have been expected, the pit being 232. feet deep, found the dead body of his brother-in-law, lying at the bottom. The unfortunate man has left a family of ten children, five of whom are very young. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 20 December 1854]

14 May 1855

Fatal Accident at Gateside Colliery, near Sanquhar - On the forenoon of the 14th instant, whilst Robert Shankland, collier, Wellstrand, was at work below ground, a large stone in the roof of the seam became detached, occasioning a heavy rush of earth upon his person, whereby he sustained such severe injuries in the back and spine that he died on the following day. He was married, and has left three children. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 May 1855]

30 August 1872

Fatal Accident - On Friday last a fatal accident occurred at Bankend, near Kirkconnel. A new chimney was being built, and had reached a height of forty feet ; two bricklayers were at work on the top, when one of them thought the chimney had swayed from the perpendicular, and descended to examine it. The other workman also came down. They, along with William Cowan, engineman, examined the chimney, and all were of opinion there was no doubt to its stability. Cowan left to attend to the engine fires. In a few minutes the chimney fell over on the top of the boiler shed, and Cowan was struck by the falling bricks, and covered by the debris. When got out, life was extinct. It is supposed that the accident occurred from a defect in the foundation, which consisted of planks laid on the natural soil ; on the south side the earth had been less firm than on the north side, and had subsided, causing the chimney to topple over. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 4 September 1872]

17 December 1874

Fatal Accident at a Coal Pit - On Thursday, John Dargavel, a collier, residing in Sanquhar, was at work in Gateside Coal Pit, Dumfries, when a large stone fell from the roof upon him and killed him. [Edinburgh Evening News 19 December 1874]

11 February 1878

Fatal Colliery Accident -On Monday, Archibald Crichton, collier, residing at Crawick Mill, was at work at Bankhead pit, where a portion of the roof, nearly 10 feet square by 2 1/2 thick, fell upon him. Two other men were at work a short distance and heard the fall. On Crichton being extricated, life was extinct, the pick which he had been working with had been driven into the brain. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 13 February 1878]

19 August 1882

Fatal Pit Accident Near Sanquhar – A painful accident occurred in Bankhead Colliery near Sanquhar, on Saturday last, resulting in the death of a young man named Robert Love. About 9 o’clock in the morning, while Love was engaged in one of the workings, a huge mass of stone fell from the roof and almost completely buried him beneath it. It was several hours before the stone could be broken and the young man extricated. He was conveyed to his home in Sanquhar, where medical assistance was obtained, and it was then found that he was terribly bruised in the lower part of the body, his back bone, a number of his ribs, and both knee joints being broken. He expired shortly afterwards. Deceased was 25 years of age. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 August 1882]

13 February 1893

Fatal Pit Accident Near Sanquhar - On Monday last Robert Glover Duff, age 32, was engaged about noon in working an engine used at Gateside new pit for drawing water, when the cage was over wound. Duff observing that he had lost control of his engine rushed from the engine-house in a state of panic, and on emerging into the open air the cage, which meanwhile had gone over the pulleys, in falling struck him a crushing blow on the head, killing him instantaneously. Intelligence of the sad occurrence was promptly conveyed to his relatives, and the news quickly spreading caused a painful sensation in the public mind, which was intensified by the arrival shortly thereafter of the body in a cart. Deceased belonged to a family who have been long engaged in the joiner trade in Sanquhar and are much respected. Both for his young widow and his relations the greatest sympathy is felt. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 15 February 1893]

21 August 1897

Fatal Accident At Sanquhar – Archibald Wilson, a fireman engaged at Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar, was instantaneously killed on Saturday by a fall of stone from the roof of the pit. [Scotsman 23 August 1897]

Pit Fatality Near Sanquhar - An unfortunate accident resulting in the death of Archibald Wilson, fireman, occurred on Saturday morning in the Gateside pit. About half-past nine Alexander Morrison, a miner residing at Kirkconnel Village, was engaged in Gateside pit removing props from a wrought out seam and which had been drawn down early that morning. Seven props were left standing in the seam to hold up the roof till those that had been got out were removed. Wilson, who was employed by Mr M’Connel to look out for gas or fire, came along at that point and commenced to knock out one of the seven remaining props with a mash hammer. No sooner had he knocked out the prop than a stone of large dimensions fell from the roof on the top of Wilson, crushing him to the ground and partly burying him. Alexander Morrison saw the accident and called to his father, George Morrison, who was working close at hand. They attempted to lift the stone off Wilson, but were unsuccessful. They then procured the assistance of several others, who were working in another seam. But before they could extricate him they had to take the pavement from underneath the stone. Wilson was then dead. His body was removed to the pithead, and was conveyed to his house at Windyedge. Dr. Jackson, Sanquhar, who examined the body, pronounced death to be due to dislocation of the neck and breakage of the spinal cord. Deceased was forty years of age, and leaves a widow and one child, with whom much sympathy is felt in their sad bereavement. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 25 August 1897]

22 April 1898

Fatal Pit Accident - A young lad named Alexander Stitt, aged 15, was at work in Gateside coal-pit, near Sanquhar, yesterday afternoon, when a fall of stone from the roof occurred, and the poor fellow was crushed to death. Another miner named Samuel Graham had a narrow escape, part of the stone falling on his leg. Graham is, however, we are glad to learn, not so seriously injured as was at first feared. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 April 1898]

Sanquhar - Fatal Pit Accident – An accident took place yesterday afternoon in Gateside coal pit, near Sanquhar, which was unfortunately attended by fatal results. A lad named AIexander Stitt, aged 16 years, who was working beside his father, was sent to another part of pit, where a miner named Samuel Graham was employed, for a supply of spikes. Whilst there a huge mass of stone, weighing two tons or more, fell from the roof and imprisoned the pair. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting a sufficient quantity of the fall removed, but when this was at last accomplished it was found that Stitt was so frightfully crushed that death must have been instantaneous. On the other hand, Graham had a marvellous escape, for when extricated it was seen that his injuries were confined to bruises, and he was able to walk home with but little assistance. [Glasgow Herald 23 April 1898]

18 August 1899

Coal Pit Fatality at Kirkconnel - A sad accident occurred at Fauldhead Coal Pit, Kirkconnel, on Friday, which resulted in the death of James Bone, one of the colliers employed by Mr James M’Connel, Burnfoot. About four o'clock that afternoon Bone was working along with a companion, James Jackson, when the latter went to the bottom of the pit with a hutch of coal. On returning after about twenty minutes absence he found his unfortunate companion lying face downwards with a large stone which had fallen from the roof on his head. He raised the alarm, and the stone was removed, when Bone was found to be dead, the heavy block, which was estimated to weigh ten or twelve cwts., having caused severe injuries to his head. Dr Jackson, Sanquhar, on being called in, found that death was due to compound fracture of the skull. The body was removed to the house of the victim's mother, with whom he resided in Kirkconnel. Deceased, who was unmarried, was thirty years of age, and has several brothers also in the employment of Mr M’Connel. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 August 1899]

22 February 1902

Fatality at Kirkconnel - A sad fatality occurred on Saturday morning at Fauldhead Pit, Kirkconnel. James Milligan, a miner, 28 years of age, who lived in Kirkconnel Village, was engaged working in the morning in the creepie seam, when suddenly a large piece of rock, estimated to weigh from ten to fifteen hundrerweights, fell on top of him and crushed him to the ground. The occurrence was noticed by David Shankland and James Anderson, who were working near at hand, and they called for help. A screw jack was obtained with all haste, and the body, which was frightfully mutilated, was released from below the stone. A doctor was sent for, but death must have been instantaneous, and the body was removed to deceased's home in Kirkconnel. The sad affair cast a gloom over the village, deceased being well liked. He leaves a widow and one child, for whom much sympathy is felt. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 26 February 1902]

24 May 1904

Cricketer Killed In Explosion - Robert Love, the well-known Dumfriesshire bowler, lost his life on Tuesday by an explosion at Mr J. J. McConnel's coal pit, at Gateside, near Sanquhar. Three charges were ignited, but only two went off. Mr Love was going see what had gone wrong when the explosion occurred. He was buried under the debris, and his body was found only after two hours' hard work, life being then extinct. His brother was killed in a similar manner short time ago. [Hull Daily Mail 25 May 1904]

Colliery Fatality at Sanquhar - Yesterday morning a sad colliery accident occurred at Gateside Pit, Sanquhar, whereby a collier named Robert E. Love was instantaneously killed. During a blasting operation two shots had been kindled and one had gone off safely. The other was supposed not to have ignited, and Love was returning to kindle it, when it exploded. The debris completely buried him, and his body was only recovered after an hour and a half clearing. Deceased, who was 32 years of age, was very highly respected in the district. He was a keen bowler, and held the position of hon. treasurer to the local club for several years. He was also treasurer to the Independent Order of Rechabites. Much sympathy is felt with the members of his family, and especially his widowed mother, as this is the second son she has lost in similar circumstances. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 25 May 1904]

The well-known Dumfriesshire bowler, Love, was yesterday killed by explosion the Sanquhar coal-pit. [Gloucester Citizen 25 May 1904]

NB Angus Love died 6 April 1889 age 21

6 July 1907

Fatality In Sanquhar Colliery - An accident, unhappily attended with fatal results, occurred at Gateside coal pit, Sanquhar on Saturday morning, when Archibald Telfer, a miner, residing in Castle Street, Sanquhar, lost his life. Telfer was one of a squad of men engaged at an underground working known as Johnstone’s mine. His duty consisted of helping others at a windlass used in drawing up the loaded hutches and lowering empty ones; and also conveying the loaded hutches from the windlass to the electric haulage and returning with the empties. About half past ten in the morning he was going with some loaded hutches to the electric haulage, while the others of the squad were proceeding down the incline to fill the empty hutches. They had not been long there when they heard a noise of empty hutches rushing down the incline; and on going up to see what was wrong, they found Telfer lying between the rails and partly below an empty hutch, his head in front of it and his right foot resting on the hind axle. He was severely injured about the head, breathing slowly, and was unable to speak. Arrangements were made for his removal to the surface, but before these could be carried out he died. The body was examined by Dr. Rodger, who certified death to be due to fracture of the skull.

The accident was not witnessed by anyone: but it is conjectured that the unfortunate man must have been overtaken by an empty hutch and pitched by it against the roof of the working.

The incident caused a painful sensation in the district, and the greatest sympathy is expressed towards his bereaved relatives. Deceased was 32 years of age, and was well-known and respected in the district. He is survived by a widow and one child. The funeral took place yesterday and was the most largely attended which has been seen in the district for a number of years, the pit being closed early to allow the members to attend. The members of the Free Gardeners’ Lodge, of which deceased was a member, turned out to the number of 40. An impressive service was conducted at the grave by the Rev. James Wood, parish minister. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 10 July 1907]

19 July 1913

Fatal accident at Kirkconnel - An accident occurred in Kirkconnel Collieries on Saturday at No. 4 Pit, when William Wright, miner (30), of Kellobank, was fatally injured, and another miner, Samuel Lock, received a slight hurt. The men were working together, and had fixed two shots. One shot went off, and, thinking the other had not been ignited, they went into the face. The shot went immediately off, and Wright was killed instantaneously. [Scotsman 21 July 1913]

10 June 1915

Fatal Colliery Explosion At Kirkconnel – A serious explosion of gas occurred in the Bankhead section of No 3 Fauld Head Colliery, Kirkconnel yesterday forenoon, whereby one miner - Duncan Brodie, aged 36 - was killed and another man - William Campbell Blair, aged 24 - was seriously burned. Another miner - William Grierson - was also burned about the face and arms, but his condition is not serious. Fortunately the other men in the section managed to make good their escape by way of the return air course. Brodie and Blair were natives of Lugar, and had been working in Kirkconnel a considerable time. [Scotsman 11 June 1915]

Kirkconnel Explosion – Funeral of the Victims - The remains of the two victims of the Kirkconnel Colliery explosion - Duncan Brodie and William Campbell Blair – were interred in Auchinleck Cemetery on Saturday. The bodies were conveyed to their respective homes in Lugar; Brodie on Thursday night, and Blair on Friday night. The funeral procession was an exceedingly large one and representative of all classes of the Lugar, Cumnock, and Auchinleck districts, where they were well known and held in high respect. As the cortege wended its way through Cumnock, many expressions of deep sympathy were shown, and at Auchinleck the mourners were augmented by large numbers of miners and others. A most impressive service was conducted at the grave. The Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries were represented by Mr Wallace and Mr J. A. Harris; and Mr Wilson, manager, and Mr Wilcox, under manager of Fauldhead Colliery, were also present. A large number of Kirkconnel men also travelled to Auchinleck to pay their last respects to their late comrades. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 16 June 1915]

6 September 1915

Pit Fatality At Kirkconnel - Miner's Tragic Death - On Monday afternoon a fatal accident occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, whereby Mr David Shankland, who resided at 40 Main Street, lost his life through a fall of stone from the roof. The accident occurred in the long wall section known as Neil's Dook, where Shankland was employed as wall or prop man, whose duties were to examine the roof of the working places and put up props where they are required. The accident occurred in the place worked by Andrew M’Minn, St Conal's Square. Mr M’Minn says he was working at his coal face along with James Wilson and his own son about 2.30 pm. They were filling coals into a hutch, the coal having been cut by a coal cutting machine. They had just concluded their day's work when Shankland came along the "face" to where they were working. Pointing to some coals which were lying at the face, Shankland said “I could get a hutch of coals there." M’Minn went forward to the coals referred to, and was in the act of filling them into a hutch when a stone weighing about 10 cwts. fell from the roof and knocked him down. The edge of the stone struck M’Minn slightly on the right shoulder, and his right foot was held fast under it. He struggled to get it clear, and at the same time he heard Shankland cry "Quick, quick." On rising M’Minn saw them was something seriously wrong with Shankland. With the help of Wilson and his own son, he tried to lift the stone off the top of the unfortunate man, but failed to do so. They got the assistance of more workmen and levered the stone up and got Shankland out, but it was then found that he was dead. The body was conveyed to the pithead, and then to his home in Main Street. Dr Dunlop was sent for, and saw the body after it had been conveyed home. The sad occurrence caused a gloom over the village, where deceased was well-known and held in high respect. The afternoon shift did not descend the pit out of respect for their unfortunate comrade. Deceased was 52 years of age, and was one of the old residents of Kirkconnel. He was vice-president of the local quoiting club, and was a prominent figure at all the local tournaments and matches. He was an adept at the penny pitching game, and carried off many prizes. He leaves a widow and ten of a family, several of whom are grown-up. Two of his sons are presently fighting with the colours. These are Private Robert Shankland 5th K.O.S.B., in the Dardanelles, and Private John Shankland, 6th K.O.S.B., in France. The sympathy of the locality goes out to the bereaved widow and family. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 8 September 1915]

22 February 1916

Fatal Colliery Accident at Sanquhar - Yesterday afternoon James Harris, miner, 132 High Street, Sanquhar, was killed in Gateside colliery, Sanquhar, the property of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries. He was engaged drawing chocks in a long wall section when a large stone fell from the roof, crushing him to the ground. Death was instantaneous.  He leaves a widow and five children. [Scotsman 23 February 1916]

23 April 1917

Serious Pit Accident – One Miner Killed, Two Injured - A serious accident involving the death of Henry Kenny (23) and serious injuries to William Stevenson (28) and John Comerford (16), all miners resident in Kirkconnel, occurred late on Monday night in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery. The men were engaged in a section of the pit where a stone mine is being driven, and the accident was caused by the untimely explosion of a charge of gelignite. A hole had been drilled in the rock, and a shot placed in it, but the shot failed to fire after two attempts had been made. The men were then instructed to drill another hole parallel with the first, and about twelve inches apart, and it was while this operation was in progress that the explosion occurred. Kenny was killed outright and Stevenson was severely injured about the face and chest, and Comerford was also badly hurt. The two injured men were conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary by motor ambulance, and on inquiry at the institution last night it was learned that Stevenson's condition was critical, and that Comerford was as well as could be expected. Kenny was married less than a year ago. He belongs to Airdrie district, and came to Kirkconnel about five months ago. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 25 April 1917]

Kirkconnel Pit Accident - The remains of Henry Kenny, the young man who was killed in Fauldhead Pit on Monday, were interred in Kirkconnel new cemetery on Thursday, and the company of mourners was the largest seen in Kirkconnel for many years. Much sympathy is felt for the relatives of deceased. He was in France for about eighteen months, and was gassed at Loos. William Stevenson, who has died from the effects of the accident, was 28 year of age, and leaves a widow and three young children. His remains were conveyed to Airdrie on Thursday, and will be interred there today with Masonic honours. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 28 April 1917]

29 November 1917

Colliery Fatality At Kirkconnel – Miner Succumbs To Injuries - On Wednesday forenoon an unfortunate accident occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, whereby two miners were injured. William Paterson (38), who resides at 2 Marne Street, Kellobank, was so seriously hurt that he had to be removed to Dumfries Infirmary, where he died next morning. He sustained internal injuries, a compound fracture of one leg, and a simple fracture of the other, besides injuries to his arms and back. The other man, John M’Creadie (19), who resides with Mr Wm. Wilson, 25 Riverside Terrace, had a miraculous escape. He was bruised about the face, arms, and chest, but was able to proceed to his home. The accident occurred in a section known as Magaragle's Dook. This is worked on what is termed a "cuddy brae." The drawers take their loaded hutches down the incline fastened to a wire rope, and this is balanced by a hutch loaded with stones coming up the opposite side. Each drawer accompanies his hutch. Paterson had been going down with his hutch in the usual way when another drawer brought out a hutch and left it on the braehead to await his turn to go down. A third drawer, John M’Creadie, brought out a hutch, and his came in contact with the one that was sitting, knocking it over the brae. M’Creadie held on to his hutch, and afterwards left it and caught hold of the one in front as he knew Paterson was not clear at the foot. He gallantly held on, trying to stop it; but his own hutch also came on and knocked him down and went over the top of him. Meanwhile the other hutch rushed on, and it appears that it came into violent contact with Paterson, who when found was jammed between the hutch and the coal wall. On being extricated it was found that he was seriously injured, as above stated. He was promptly taken to the surface, and Dr Edgar ordered his removal to Dumfries Infirmary. But as already stated his injuries have proved fatal. He leaves a widow and small family, to whom the sympathy of the community goes out. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 5 December 1917]

28 December 1917

Sanquhar Pit Tragedy –Crawick Mill Miner’s Lonely Death - A sensation was caused in the quiet mining village of Crawick Mill on Friday night when it became known that a well-known and highly respected villager in the person of Mr. William Stewart, Jubilee Buildings, had not returned from his work as a miner in Gateside Pit. He was one of the miners who descended the pit at nine o’clock in the forenoon, and who generally return home about six in the evening. When he did not return as usual his relatives became alarmed, and ultimately proceeded to the pit to make enquiries regarding him. A messenger was at once despatched by the manager to his working place, which is situated in the part known as the Tower Section, a considerable distance from the pit bottom. On reaching his place they were horrified to find his lifeless body lying at the “face”. Apparently he had been lying holing the coal, probably to prepare a shot for the morrow, when a piece of coal, weighing fully a hundredweight, had fallen on the top of his head and dislocated his neck. Death must have been instantaneous. None of those working in the near vicinity to him knew of the tragic occurrence, and no cries for assistance were head. He was working “single” as his mate has been unwell for some time. His body was removed to the surface, and afterwards to his home. News of the sad occurrence was not known among the Sanquhar men until Saturday morning, and those who reached the pit before 6am., when informed of the sad event, decided not to go to work. They proceeded home and all those who were met on the road turned also out of respect for their dead comrade. Deceased, who was a native of Crawick Mill, was about 48 years of age and unmarried. He had been a miner for about 25 years. This is the only accident of a serious nature that has occurred at Gateside Pit during 1917, and, coming just on the eve of the New Year holidays, it has cast quite a gloom over the whole district. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 2 January 1918]

5 July 1919

Fatal Mining accident at Sanquhar - By the full of a stone from the roof in the Tower Mine of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries, John M'Quot lost his life on Saturday, and J. Elliot and G. Robertson were injured. M'Quot was 21 years of age, and was married only a week ago. He served in the Army for four years. [Scotsman 8 July 1919]

2 March 1920

Sanquhar Miner Suffocated - William Murray, miner, who resided at Chawick Mill village, met his death yesterday from suffocation. He was working in the Tower Mine of the Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries (Ltd.), and was overcome by the fumes from a round of shots which had been fired. He leaves a widow and four young children. [Scotsman 3 March 1920]

7 September 1920

Accident At Kirkconnel Pit – Miner Fatally Injured - A sad mining fatality occurred in No. 3 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, yesterday morning, whereby a young miner, Matthew Lindsay, aged 23, son of and residing with Mr John Lindsay, Kingsway Street, Kellobank, lost his life. He and his father were working a coal place, and about 8am the father was engaged boring a hole for the purpose of blasting. Deceased was in the act of filling a hutch with coals a few feet distant from the face where his father was working. Suddenly, and without giving any warning, a large stone fell from the roof and struck him on the head, fracturing his skull. The father at once raised the alarm, and Jas. Baillie and a miner named Hill, who were working in the next place, at once ran to his assistance, and removed the stone. They spoke to him, but received no reply, he was conveyed with all haste to the pithead in an unconscious condition. He was examined by Dr Edgar, and afterwards conveyed home. He passed away at 11.30, three and a half hours after the accident without regaining consciousness. The sad occurrence created a painful sensation in the village. Deceased was a youth of an unassuming and quiet disposition, and was held in high esteem in the village. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 8 September 1920]

25 April 1921

Kirkconnel Miner Killed - William Gallacher (18) who resided with his parents in Back Street, Kirkconnel, was killed while engaged digging coal at an outcrop in East Side Glen. A large stone, estimated at 5 cwts., fell on the top of him and dislocated his neck. [Scotsman 26 April 1921] 

6 October 1922

Fatal Accident Inquiries - Cause of Miner's Death - Kirkconnel Railway Fatality - Sheriff Campion and a jury held an inquiry in the Sheriff Court House, Dumfries, on Thursday, into the circumstances attending the death of John Grant Brown, miner, 32 Riverside Terrace, Kellobank, Kirkconnel, who died as the result of an accident in the course of his employment on 2nd October. The following jury was empanelled: Andrew B. Morton, 53 Queen Street, Dumfries; Mrs Margaret M’Creadie, 57 St Michael Street; Frank Tipping, 75 Queen Street; Thomas G. Walker, 99 Queen Street; Mrs Helen Lockerbie, 6 Glebe Street; Mrs Mary J. Swan, Castledykes; and Robert W. M’Minn, 18 Brooke Street. The inquiry was conducted by Mr R. Y. Mackay, procurator fiscal, and there were also present Mr J. Masterton, Inspector of Mines, and Mr J. Borland, of the Ayrshire Coal Owners’ Association, representing the Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries, Ltd. The evidence showed that when the accident occurred deceased was employed in the section known as Graham's Level, Young's Dook, No. 1 Pit, Fauldhead Colliery, when a piece of stone weighing about eight cwts. fell from the roof and struck the deceased. Brown sustained serious injuries, and was removed to the Dumfries Infirmary, where he died on 6th October, the cause of death being fracture of the skull with secondary internal haemorrhage causing pressure on the vital centres of the brain. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence, and the foreman added that the jury were of opinion that no blame was attached to anyone. [Dumfries & Galloway Standard 4 November 1922]

4 August 1923

Fatal Colliery Accident – Kirkconnel Miner Killed - A distressing accident, which resulted in the death of a miner, occurred in the Tower Mine, Kirkconnel, during the early hours of Saturday morning. The unfortunate man was Neil Cairns, who was 35 years of age, and resided at No. 1 Kelloholm. He was working on the night shift, and was employed as a gummer with one of the coal-cutting machines. The machine was operating and had passed a roadhead when deceased went to bring some timber. As he was returning a large stone weighing over two tons slipped from his side, and crushed him to the ground. Deceased was a steady workman, and was held in the highest esteem in the district. Of a quiet and obliging nature, he was much thought of both by his employers and his fellow-workers. The tragic occurrence coming at an early hour in the morning created considerable anxiety in the district, and the men on the day shift on learning of the fatality refrained from going to work, and wended their way back home. Deceased leaves a widow and one child, to whom the sympathy of the community is extended in their sad and sudden bereavement. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 8 August 1923]

16 October 1923

Miners Severely Burned at Sanquhar - Yesterday three miners, Peter Haddow (32), Thomas Crichton (18), and Robert Scott (15), all residing in Sanquhar, sustained severe injuries in the Connelbush section of Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar, through the ignition of blasting powder. They were in the act of repairing a wrecked rake of empty hutches, when it appears that either one of their lamps or a spark had ignited some powder, which caused it to explode. Haddow and Crichton were badly burned about the body, arms, and head. All three were conveyed to Dumfries Royal Infirmary. The powder which ignited was in sealed cans, but it is stated that probably one of them had been squeezed or burst by the wreck of the hutches. [Scotsman 17 October 1923]

NB Thomas Crichton, age 18, died 18th October 1923 in Dumfries Infirmary.

6 November 1923

Fatality At Kirkconnel Pit - Yesterday forenoon a distressing accident, which ended fatally, occurred in the Bankhead section of No. 3 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel. The unfortunate man was Walter Niven, shot-firer, who resides at New Buildings, Main Street. He was employed as shot-firer in this particular section, and he was in the act of preparing a shot for blasting coal when a stone came away from the roof and fell on top of him, crushing him to the pavement. Willing assistance was given by the miners employed in the vicinity of the accident, and he was conveyed to the surface with all possible care and speed. On examination by Dr T. Bowman Edgar it was found that his injuries were of a serious character, his pelvis being fractured. He was conveyed to Dumfries Royal Infirmary by the colliery motor ambulance, Dr Edgar accompanying him. Niven passed away shortly after being admitted to the Infirmary. Deceased was a capable workman, was of a quiet and unassuming disposition, and was highly respected. He was well known in bowling circles, being a noted exponent on the green and on the carpet. He was 52 years of age, was unmarried, and had resided in Kirkconnel for upwards of 12 years, having come with other members of his family from the Douglas district of Lanarkshire. His remains were brought back to Kirkconnel yesterday afternoon, and the funeral will take place tomorrow (Thursday) to Kirkconnel cemetery. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 7 November 1923]

4 February 1924

Killed by a Falling Tree.—David Lorimer, a workman employed by the Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries (Ltd.), was yesterday engaged cutting down a tree in the Pit Glen, Gateside, when part of it broke away, and, striking the man, killed him almost instantaneously. Lorimer was 44 years of age, and resided at Crawick Mill Village. He leaves a widow and eight of a family. [Scotsman 5 February 1924]

7 March 1924

Kirkconnel Miner’s Death - Sheriff’s Inquiry at Dumfries - Sheriff Campion and a jury held an inquiry in the Sheriff Court House, Dumfries, on Wednesday into the circumstances attending the death of Robert Wilson, miner, 24, Kelloholm, Kirkconnel, who died as the result of an accident when following his employment. The following jury was empanelled: Thomas Boyd, Netherwood Bank, Dumfries; Miss Mary Steel, Kenmore House, Glencaple; Matthew Wilson, Nessbank, Greenbrae Loan, Dumfries; Mrs Sarah Kelly, Royal Oak, Noblehill, Dumfries; John William Waller, 49 Lockerbie Road, Dumfries; Mrs. Agnes McMillan, Eastfield View, Dumfries; William Young, Westfield House, Eastfield Road, Dumfries. The inquiry was conducted by Mr. R. Y. Mackay, procurator fiscal, and there were also present Mr J. Borland of the Ayrshire Coal Owners Association, representing the Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries, Ltd.; Mr D. Robertson, miners’ agent, representing the Miners’ Union, and Major Hudspath, Inspector of Mines. The evidence showed that about nine o'clock on the morning of 27th December last, the deceased, a lad of seventeen years of age, was working along with his brother John, clearing away coal at the coal face in Kirkland Dook, in the north mine section of No. 3 Pit of Fauldhead Colliery. The roof at that part was soft through the working of water, and additional propping being required, John Wilson left the coal face to get the necessary props. When he was on the way to the road end, where the timber was, a stone weighing about 15 cwts broke away from the roof and fell upon Robert Wilson, pinning him to the ground. He was extricated and removed to the surface, where he was attended to by Dr Edgar, who advised his removal to the Dumfries Infirmary, where he died on 7th March, death being due to fracture of the pelvis, rupture of the bladder, and rupture of the urethra. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 22 March 1924]

12 April 1924

Kirkconnel Mining Fatalities - Two Men Killed at Fauldhead Pit - A most distressing accident occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, Kirkconnel, about midnight on Friday, resulting in two miners losing their lives - one Thomas Tarvit, 50 years of age, who resided at the Model Lodging-house, being killed outright, and the other, John Mains, about 60 years of age, who resided at the Hostel, Kellobank, dying in Dumfries Royal Infirmary on Sunday as a result of the injuries he had received. The sad occurrence took place at the time of changing shifts, when the two deceased miners and another man, John Mackay, were proceeding to their work, being on the night shift. Mackay and Tarvit were engaged as brushers, and Mains was going in the same direction to attend to a pump. Having a considerable distance to travel, they got an empty hutch, which Mackay pushed, while the other two got inside for the purpose of getting wheeled in. It appears that on reaching an incline sprags, or what are termed “snibbles”, were put into the wheels for the purpose of keeping the hutch under control. Apparently these either broke or fell out, as the hutch gained speed and soon got out of control, but Mackay gallantly held on until unfortunately, his head struck the roof and his cap and lamp fell off his head. The hutch then gathered momentum and ran away at an alarming rate, until it reached a point where a level road branches off. It dashed off the rails, and when assistance reached the unfortunate occupants it, was found that Tarvit had received a severe knock on the head and was beyond human aid. Mains was alive, but had unfortunately sustained a severe blow on the temple. He was ultimately conveyed to Dumfries Royal Infirmary, where he died on Sunday. The tragic occurrence caused great sorrow over the whole mining district, as both men had come and gone about Kirkconnel for many years, and, being good workmen, were always assured of employment. Just before proceeding to work, Tarvit intimated that this would be his last shift for some time, as he intended going off on one of his periodical wanderings. He was in the habit of spending a part of each year working on farms in Galloway. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 16 April 1924]

18 June 1925

Shot-Firing Accident at Kirkconnel - Yesterday afternoon, James Brown, Riverside , Kirkconnel, was seriously injured while engaged at the coal face in Fauldhead Colliery. He had charged a shot, which, apparently, hung fire, and after waiting some time he returned to the face, when the charge went off. He received the full force of the explosion, and suffered terrible injuries. His left hand was blown off, and his face and head were seriously injured. His condition is critical. [Scotsman 19 June 1925]

James Brown died 20 June 1925 in Dumfries Infirmary

16 April 1926 & 2 May 1926

Kirkconnel Pit Accidents - Miner Dies From Injuries - During the weekend an alarming series of accidents occurred in the Fauldhead Collieries of the Sanquhar and Kirkconnel Collieries. On Monday night Robert Redmond, 42 years of age, who resides in Kingsway, Kellobank, was working on the afternoon shift, and was in the act of preparing a blasting shot in his working place in Young's Dook No. 1 Pit, when for some unaccountable reason the shot went off, and he received the force of it about the head and body. He was severely injured about the face, and was conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary, after receiving first aid treatment. Charles M’Intosh, a young miner who resided at the Model lodging-house in Back Street, was injured on Thursday night, and died from his injuries in Dumfries Infirmary on Friday. Deceased, who was a native of Paisley, had left the coal face with a loaded hutch of coals, and was delayed on the way out. Unfortunately another loaded hutch crashed into M’Intosh, who was jammed between the two hutches and sustained a fractured spine. His remains were conveyed to his home in Paisley. On Saturday William Sloane, miner, who resides in St Conal's Square, was injured by a fall from the roof, his left hand being crushed, and it was found necessary to amputate two fingers. John Laird, miner, Kirkland Cottage, who is employed in No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, was attaching a hutch to a haulage when the wire rope broke and the clutch rebounded, with the result that Laird sustained a fractured arm. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 21 April 1926]

Note Robert Redmond died 2 May 1926 in Western Infirmary, Glasgow

30 August 1927

Young Miner Killed at Kirkconnel - A distressing accident occurred in Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, yesterday, whereby Andrew Burns, aged 19, who resided at Eliock Place, Kellobank, lost his life. He was employed as an underground haulage man, and while his haulage was in motion he got caught by the rope, was whirled round the drum, and sustained a fractured skull, besides terrible body injuries. He died on the way to the surface. [Scotsman 31 August 1927]

17 November 1927

Sanquhar Colliery Accident - An alarming accident occurred yesterday afternoon at a new drift which had just been completed to ventilate a section of Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar. The drift is exceptionally steep, and the entrance is close to Crawick Mill village. Four men were working down that incline, and the colliery manager, Mr M'Naughton was along with them. Suddenly a hutch loaded with bricks dashed down on top of the men without warning, and Jas. M'Arthur, who resides at Crawick Mill, received the full force of the impact. He was conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary, suffering from a fractured skull, and is in a critical condition. The manager was also injured but not so seriously, and the others, who had a fortunate escape, suffer from shock. [Scotsman 18 November 1927]

The Sanquhar Mining Accident - James M'Arthur (47), one of the injured men in the accident at Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar, on Thursday afternoon, has died in Dumfries Infirmary. Mr Macnaughton, the manager, is more seriously injured than was at first thought. James Parks, the builder, sustained a severe bruise on the left breast, and only one man of the four escaped serious injury—viz. Robert Graham, builder. The men were engaged building an arch in a newly constructed air shaft which dips to the extent of three feet in four, and they were struck by a loaded hutch. [Scotsman 19 November 1927]

10 December 1927

Mining Fatality at Kirkconnel – In No 3 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, on Saturday, Peter Earle (50), a widower, who resided at Kingsway, was killed instantaneously. Deceased was engaged in repair work when, without warning, a stone weighing almost three tons fell from the roof and crushed him. The stone was one known among miners as "potlids," much dreaded because of their deceptive ring when being tested. In the same colliery Adam Lorimer, Kellsbank, was crushed between a rake of hutches and sustained injuries on the legs. Charles Wilson, minor, Kelloholm, also sustained injuries to his hand. All those accidents occurred about the same time, but in different parts of the colliery. [Scotsman 12 December 1927]

29 August 1928

Kirkconnel Colliery Fatality - Workman Killed While Blasting - A distressing fatality occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, Kirkconnel, during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Daniel M’Avoy, a repairer, lost his life under tragic circumstances. Along with a companion, he was engaged in pavement brushing, and had drilled two holes for blasting operations. The two men charged the holes, and went off to a safe distance until the charges had exploded. Apparently one of the shots did not explode and believing the ignition had failed, M’Avoy returned to the place. When he got forward the charge exploded, and he sustained such terrible injuries on the head and body that death was practically instantaneous. The accident occurred about 1 am. Deceased, who was a widower, was 40 years of age, and resided at the Colliery Hostel in Kellobank. He was a genial and lovable fellow, and was held in high esteem by his workmates. News of the fatality spread throughout the town during the early morning, and there were many evidences of deep regret. As a mark of sympathy all deceased's hostel companions refrained from going to work on Wednesday. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 1 September 1928]

15 November 1928

Miner Electrocuted - Fatality at Fauldhead Pit - A most distressing accident occurred in Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, at a late hour on Thursday night, resulting in the death of a young miner, John Henry Hawkinson, age 23 years, who resided with his grandmother at 17 Nithside Terrace. He was engaged on the afternoon shift, and was working in a section known as Neil’s Dirk. He was conveying a hutch loaded with coal from the coal face to the haulage lye, when the hutch came into contact with an electric cable. Hawkinson was pushing the hutch from behind, and he received a sufficient charge of electricity to cause his death. When his mates discovered his plight, means were immediately taken to secure his release, and Dr Edgar was summoned. With all possible speed the doctor descended the pit shaft, and worked with might and main to save the unfortunate lad, but all efforts were futile. Deceased was a lad who was held in high esteem in Kirkconnel, and the tragic occurrence created a profound sensation in the district. The young man’s parents reside in Barrow-in-Furness. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 17 November 1928]

16 May 1929

Kirkconnel Pit Fatality - Miner Killed by Fall of Stone - It is with much regret, that we have to record the occurrence of a distressing accident at Kirkconnel on Thursday night, when a miner named John Smith lost his life while following his employment at No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery. The deceased man was about forty years of age and resided in M’Connel Street, Kellobank. He was killed by a fall of stone from the roof of the pit. Smith and his mate, Robert M’Gregor, who resides in Main Street, were working in what is known as a “stooping section” of the colliery. They had cleared the coal out, and were in the act of drawing the wood and the rails from the place, when there was a heavy surge in the roof. Both men rushed for safety, but unfortunately Smith was caught and crushed by a stone weighing several tons. M’Gregor had a very lucky escape. His unfortunate companion almost touched his shoulder as he fell crushed by the stone. The work of trying to recover the deceased man's body was carried on for five hours before it was successful. Lifting jacks were useless in trying to shift the stone, and finally blasting shots had to be used to tunnel a way to where the body was lying. The deceased leaves a wife and a large family. He was very much respected by his fellow employees, and the sad accident cast a gloom in the village. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 18 May 1929]

17 October 1929

Miner Killed At Sanquhar - A distressing fatality, occurred in the Connelbush section of Gateside colliery, Sanquhar, yesterday, resulting in the death of James Boyd, aged 45, a miner, who resided at Kelloholm, Kirkconnel . He was engaged along with another miner, James Carnochan, in filling a hutch at the coal face, when without warning, a fall of stone came away from the roof. Boyd received the full force of the fall on his head, and sustained terrible injuries from which he died immediately. Fortunately, Carnochan escaped without injury. [Scotsman 18 October 1929]

21 February 1930

A most distressing accident occurred in Fauldhead No. 1 Colliery, Kirkconnel, at a late hour on Friday night, whereby Thomas Nicol, a coal miner, sustained terrible injuries, from which he died about an hour and a half later. Deceased, who was 49 years of age, and resided at 25 Nithside Terrace, was was working on the afternoon shift. He had completed his shift, and left his “place" to proceed homewards. Shortly afterwards, while other workmen were on their way home, they found him lying on the side of the haulage road suffering from severe injuries. It appears that he had got into contact somehow with a train of loaded hutches, which were proceeding on their way to the "Wembley'' mine, which carried them right to the surface. The unfortunate man was conveyed to the pithead, and was attended by Dr T. Bowman Edgar. He suffered from broken ribs and a fractured spine, and was severely crushed all over. There was no hope for his recovery, and he died at the pithead about eleven, o'clock, fully an hour after the accident occurred. The tragic happening created widespread regret in the district, and much sympathy is felt for his bereaved family. He was a widower, and leaves four of a family, three girls and a boy. Two of the former are in situations, and the other, aged 16, kept house for her father. The boy is aged 10 years. His remains were laid to rest in Kirkconnel New Cemetery on Monday afternoon, and the cortege included a very large body of his workmates. The Rev. Forbes Charleson conducted a most impressive service, both at the house of deceased and at the graveside. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 26 February 1930]

5 April 1930

Crushed By Stone – Two Miners Killed At Kirkconnel After Giving Warning - In the early hours of Saturday two men, David Little (49), residing at 22 Colliery Buildings, Kirkconnel , and Charles Wood (40), of 8 M'Connel Street, Kelloholm, met a terrible death through being crushed by a gigantic rock which fell without any warning on top of them. Two pit surveyors who stood alongside the unfortunate men a few seconds before the tragedy occurred had a miraculous escape from the same fate. The two miners were working on night shift, and were engaged in "brushing " the roof of a main haulage road in number 3 pit, Fauldhouse Collieries , Kirkconnel, when they noticed a huge stone which appeared to them to be in danger of falling. While they were making an examination two surveyors came along the road. The miners called the latter's attention to the rock and advised them not to pass under it, but rather to take a side passage which would lead them back on to the main road on the other side of the stone some 20 yards ahead. The surveyors, fortunately, took the advice and thereby escaped the terrible fate which overtook the very men who had given them the warning. As they emerged from this side passage a moment or so after leaving Little and Wood they were struck dumb with horror to observe that the rock about which they had been warned had actually fallen. It had made no noise in doing so, and the unfortunate men were lying beneath it, having been killed instantaneously. It was obvious from their positions that they had been in the act of propping up the stone with wooden poles when the accident occurred. Both were terribly mutilated, as the weight of the rock was estimated at over three tons, and measured some 14 feet in length. Directly the surveyors realised what had happened, they raised the alarm, and men came hurrying from their work nearby, among them being the mate of the dead miners who had gone to the "road end" to ascertain the time. It was with great difficulty that Little and Wood were extricated, and it was obvious to their fellow workers that they had been killed outright. Their bodies were carried to the ambulance room in the colliery offices, and later taken to their respective homes. . Both men were married, and leave widows and families. [Scotsman 7 April 1930]

2 September 1930

Sanquhar Miner Injured - Robert Lorimer (aged 21), a miner, residing in Crawick village, sustained serious head injuries in Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar, yesterday afternoon. He was engaged near the coal face when a large stone weighing 15 cwts. broke away from the roof, and part of it struck him on the head and arms. He was conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary, and his condition was last night stated to be serious [Scotsman 3 September 1930]

NB Robert Lorimer died 2 September 1930 in Dumfries Infirmary

24 December 1930

Robert Hyslop, who met his death under tragic circumstances in Fauldhead Colliery, was laid to rest in Kirkconnel New Churchyard on Saturday afternoon. There was a very large body of mourners present, including hundreds of his fellow-workman, and the entire village mourned the loss of a respected citizen. He was a well-known figure in Kirkconnel, and took an active part in the sporting life of the place. He was a member of committee of the Athletic Games, and also a member of Kello Rovers' committee. Of a pleasant and obliging disposition, he was held in the highest esteem by everybody. Only 33 years of age, he leaves a widow and four young children to mourn his loss, and to them the sympathy of the entire district is extended in their tragic bereavement. Hyslop, who had been working an electric boring machine in No. 3 Fauldhead Colliery, on Wednesday received a heavy electric charge. For over five hours Dr Edgar and the ambulance men applied artificial respiration, but their efforts proved unavailing. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 27 December 1930]

27 July 1931

Kirkconnel Colliery Fatality - Yesterday afternoon a distressing fatality occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, whereby Robert Stewart, aged 60 who resided in Main Street, was killed by a fall of stone from the roof. He was engaged as a repairer, and was working on the haulage road in the Laggery Mine, when the stone came away, and. striking him on thei head, crushed him against a loaded hutch. Death was instantaneous. After the accident the miners ceased work for the day. [Scotsman 28 July 1931]

10 November 1931

Miner Crushed By The Pit Cage - When the miners in Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel , were about to ascend the pit yesterday afternoon, a painful sensation was created in the pit-bottom when a rake of hutches came rushing in, having run away. A man named Cunningham miner,Kellaholm, was among the crowd, and he dashed under the shaft. A cage was descending at the time conveying sixteen men for the afternoon shift, and Cunningham was caught. Someone touched the bell in a frantic effort to stop the cage. Its speed slackened, but it gripped him, and when extricated it was discovered that he was alive, having had a miraculous escape. Hopes are entertained of his recovery. [Scotsman 11 November 1931]

2 May 1932

Fatal Pit Accident At Kirkconnel - A distressing fatality occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery. Kirkconnel, yesterday afternoon, when James Duncan, miner, 28 years of age, who resided at Kellobank, ,was killed at the coal face. He was loading a hutch with coal when, without warning, a stone fell from the roof, struck him on the head, and killed him instantaneously. Duncan is survived by a widow and five young children. [Scotsman 3 May 1932]

5 October 1932

Fatal Colliery Accident At Kirkconnel - While engaged producing coal in Fauldhead Colliery , Kirkconnel, yesterday, Charles Ferguson (53), who resided at Kingsway, was struck on the head by a falling stone and killed instantaneously. He was a prominent junior footballer. His brother William plays half-back for Chelsea; another brother is the left winger of Ayr United, and another brother, James, formerly played for Chelsea and Queen's Park Rangers. [Scotsman 6 October 1932]

26 November 1932

Kirkconnel Miner Dies In Pit - Joseph Stitt, a well-known Kirkconnel resident, met his death under tragic circumstances in Fauldhead Colliery on Saturday. He was engaged at the coal face with his workmate, William Kyle, and the latter had occasion to go to the lye to secure an empty hutch. On returning he found Stitt lying prostrate on tho ground, and on examination discovered that he was dead. Death was later pronounced to be due to- heart failure. Deceased leaves a widow and four young children. [Scotsman 28 November 1932]

25 December 1932

Kirkconnel Colliery Fatality - Young Man Killed on Christmas Night - A most distressing fatality occurred in No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, Kirkconnel, on Sunday night, whereby a young miner, Hugh Goudie, aged 23 years, who resided with his parents at 15 Riverside Terrace, Kellobank, was killed by a large stone weighing about three tons which fell from the roof. The fatality is all the more distressing, coming at a time when people in general were enjoying and celebrating the Christmas festival. The unfortunate youth was employed in a coal-cutting machine squad, which operates the conveyers or pan runs in the section known as Young's Dook. This party descended the shaft at eight o'clock on Sunday night, and had just started their work when the accident occurred. Their duties consisted of cutting coal for the night shift to fill, and Goudie had proceeded to the end of the run and had just set the jigger working. This was jammed to the roof with two props or supports. It is supposed that one of these supports slipped or gave way, causing the stone to fall. The accident was discovered by the machineman, David Roy, who had proceeded to the end of the run, probably to ascertain what was delaying Goudie. He discovered the fall, but saw no sign of his comrade. The alarm was given, and soon men were working in feverish haste to secure the release of the unfortunate man. This was accomplished after some time and considerable labour, but he was dead. Death must have been instantaneous considering the nature of his injuries. News spread quickly throughout the village, and, instead of going to bed, the people gathered together in groups within the colliery grounds and elsewhere in the village anxiously awaiting the news, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Their worst fears were realised, and after midnight the body was reverently conveyed to his home in the colliery ambulance. Long after that hour people could be seen hanging about discussing the latest village tragedy. Hugh Goudie was a splendid type of young manhood, and his sudden call is regretted by all sections of the community. He attended the communion service in Kirkconnel Parish Church on Sunday forenoon, and was to have been best man at a brother's wedding on Friday evening. He was one of a large family, and was a great help to his parents. His father has been off work for several years through a colliery accident, and may not be able to resume again. Out of respect for their comrade the miners did not go to work on Monday, and the pits were accordingly idle. The funeral takes place to Kirkconnel Cemetery this afternoon. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 28 December 1932]

25 July 1934

Fatal Colliery Accident - Young Kirkconnel Miner Killed - No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, Kirkconnel, was the scene of a fatal accident on Wednesday afternoon, when a young miner, Michael Carrol, aged 21 years, lost his life under distressing circumstances. He was employed on the afternoon shift, and had just started his work when the accident happened. The morning shifts at the collieries were idle on Wednesday, but the back shift was working, and the men descended the pit at two o'clock. Carrol was engaged at the coal in a long-wall section known as Young's Dook, and when the squad reached the section they sat down for a few minutes' rest before separating to take up their duties in their respective working places. Carrol and his mate, Robert Livingstone, who resides at Kellobank, had just commenced work, and were in the act of filling their first hutch of coals when a fall from the roof occurred. They received no warning, and, unfortunately for Carrol, he received the full force of the fall. Livingstone, who was at the other side of the working place, was saved by the hutch breaking the force of the fall. The alarm was given, and men rushed from the other places to assist in clearing away the debris to extricate the unfortunate youth. This was accomplished with all possible speed, but the lad was dead, and from the nature of his injuries it was evident that death had been instantaneous. News of the accident spread quickly throughout the village, and the miners could be seen in groups anxiously awaiting the news. When the worst became known, manifestations of profound sorrow were evidenced on all sides, and the utmost sympathy was shown to the bereaved family. The deceased youth resided with his parents in Anderson Street, Kelloholm. The eldest of a large family, he was extremely popular with all classes of the community. He was an enthusiastic cyclist, and figured prominently in local juvenile football circles. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 28 July 1934]

25 September 1934

Kirkconnel Pit Fatality - While engaged at the coal face at No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, yesterday afternoon, James Dargavel (50), who resided at Kirkconnel, was buried by a fall of stone which broke away without warning. He sustained severe internal injuries, and after receiving medical attention, was conveyed to Dumfries Royal Infirmary in a critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries about 8 o'clock last night. [Scotsman 26 September 1934]

Court Appreciation of Effort To Save Miner - At the close of a fatal accident inquiry at Dumfries yesterday, before Sheriff Johnston and a jury, into the death of James Dargavel, a miner, of 82 Main Street, Kirkconnel, who was killed by a fall of stone in the pit at Kirkconnel, Mr David Robertson, miners' agent, expressed to the jury the appreciation of the community of the efforts of David Menzies, Eliock Place, Sanquhar, and J. P. Kyle, of 24 St Conal's Square, Kirkconnel, who tried to save Dargavel's life. The jury returned a formal verdict, expressed their appreciation of the efforts made by the two men, and requested that the jury fees should be handed to them as a token of appreciation. [Scotsman 11 October 1934]

11 April 1935

Kirkconnel Miners Idle Through Misunderstanding - The whole of the morning shift of miners employed at Fauldhead Collieries, Kirkconnel , were idle yesterday in unusual circumstances. Nearly eight hundred men are employed, and they proceeded to their work as usual, but when they were congregated at the pithead a story got abroad that a fatality had occurred during the night, It was seen that something was amiss, and the old mining custom of every man ceasing work when a comrade is fatally injured is still recognised. The men accordingly left the colliery and returned to their homes, only to learn afterwards that while a young miner had been injured nothing of a serious nature had occurred. This lad, John Gilchrist (21), Nithside Cottages, sustained body bruises through a steel prop falling on him. The loss of the day's output seriously handicapped the management, because the demand for coal is exceptionally good. The loss was partially recovered by many men going out on the afternoon shift. [Scotsman 12 April 1935]

28 May 1935

Fatality At A Sanquhar Colliery - James Elliot; aged 37, who resided at Anderson Street, Kelloholm, was killed in an accident at Gateside Pit, Sanquhar, yesterday. He was employed as an engineer at the pit, and was repairing the dross elevator. The chain which carries the dross buckets slipped and crashed into the dross hole, taking Elliot with it. His neck was fractured, and death was instantaneous. He leaves a widow and two young children. [Scotsman 29 May 1935]

11 June 1935

Kirkconnel Miner Killed - Robert Allan, a young haulageman, employed at Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, died yesterday in tragic circumstances. He was on the haulage road by himself, and was jammed between a rake of hutches and a standing tree. On being discovered, it was found that his neck was broken, and he died before reaching the surface. He was 22 years of age,and unmarried. All the men in the colliery ceased work after the accident. [Scotsman 12 June 1935]

18 June 1935

Kirkconnel Miner Killed - While engaged on repair work in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, yesterday, Henry M'Ghee, aged 33, who resided at New Street was fatally injured by a fall of stone. His neck was broken, and he sustained other body injuries. This is the second fatal accident in Fauldhead Colliery within a week, and the employees followed their usual custom of returning home as a token of respect for their unfortunate comrade. [Scotsman 19 June 1935]

8 October 1935

Kirkconnel Colliery Fatality - James Walker (25), who resided at 7 Polveoch Terrace, Kirkconnel, was fatally injured by a fall of stone in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel. Walker had left his working place to take a meal, and on returning for his coat was crushed by a large stone. He sustained severe injuries, and died an hour after being admitted to Dumfries Infirmary. [Scotsman 9 October 1935]

11 October 1935

Fatal Accident in Sanquhar Pit - Alan Macfadzean, aged 33, was killed by a roof fall in the Whitehill Section of Gateside pit, Sanquhar, yesterday. He had fired his last shot for the day and was returning to the face to fill his last hutch of coal when a stone fell and struck him. Death was instantaneous. He leaves a widow and three young children. [Scotsman 12 October 1935]

6 March 1936

Miner's Fatal Seizure - James Gray (62), who resided at 6 Riverside Terrace, Kirkconnel, had a seizure at Fauldhead Colliery yesterday morning, and died at his home later in the day. Deceased, a well-known figure in Kirkconnel, was one of the founders of the Trade Union movement in the district He was a former member of the old Kirkconnel Parish Council and of the Kirkconnel School Management Committee. [Scotsman 7 March 1936]

23 June 1936

Kirkconnel Miner Killed - Peter Black (17), miner, who resided with his parents at 3 New Buildings, Kirkconnel, was fatally injured by a fall of stone from the roof at No. 3 Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, last night. Along with Robert Queen, a workmate. Black was employed in the Kello Mine section of the pit, working on the haulage. He left his workmate to go along the haulage road, and when he failed to return. Queen went in search of him and discovered him lying on the main haulage road underneath a large stone. He at once summoned assistance, but it was found that the youth was dead. [Scotsman 24 June 1936]

31 August 1936

Pit Fatality At Kirkconnel - Thomas Parker (69), who resided at 67 Kingsway, Kellobank, near Sanquhar, was instantaneously killed in Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, yesterday afternoon, by a large stone which fell from the roof of the roadway where he was at work. Deceased is survived by his widow and a grown-up family of six. He served during the war with the 6th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers, and was awarded the Military Medal. He was well known in Junior football circles, being attached to Kello Rovers. [Scotsman 1 September 1936]

19 June 1937

At Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar on Saturday forenoon, John Thirlwell, aged 26, who resided at Church Road, Sanquhar, was fatally injured by a fall of stone. He was working in Whitehill section of the colliery, at the coalface, and a large stone fell from the roof and knocked him to the ground. His neck was broken, and he died within a few minutes. The men employed at the colliery are to remain idle to-day as a mark of respect to their late comrade. [Scotsman 21 June 1937]

12 January 1938

Kirkconnel Miners' Escape - Cut off by Fall of Coal ; Rescued After Six Hours Work - Two Kirkconnel miners had an alarming experience yesterday morning, when a large fall of roof blocked the roadway in the pit, and they were entombed for six hours. The men - William Brown, Main Street, and John M'Dowall, Elliock Place - were doing repair work in Cairnmine section of Fauldhead Colliery when the roof of the main roadway collapsed a few yards behind them, cutting off their escape. The other men working in the section went to their assistance, but were unaware how the trapped men had fared. The fall was nearly 15 feet high, and it was found necessary to cut a passage through solid coal to reach the men. The wall of coal was not thick, but the work was dangerous owing to the state of the roof. After six hours work the men were reached and extricated from their perilous position, safe and uninjured, but badly shaken. [Scotsman 13 January 1938]

1 March 1938

Narrow Escape - George Hill (18), residing at 89 Main Street, Kirkconnel, had a narrow escape from death when he was pinned underneath a cage weighing five tons in Fauldhead Colliery, Kirkconnel, last night. He was engaging in loading and unloading hutches at the pit bottom, and was pushing away an empty hutch when he made to cross underneath the descending cage, which knocked him to the ground. The pit bottomer immediately belled the cage up, and the lad was released. A doctor summoned, rendered medical aid before the lad was removed to the Dumfries Infirmary, suffering from severe internal bruises. [Scotsman 2 March 1938]

18 May 1938

Kirkconnel Colliery Fatality - Charles Wood, aged 52 years, who resided at Kingsway, Kirkconnel, was fatally injured in an accident in No. 1 Fauldhead Colliery yesterday. He was struck by a large stone which fell from the roof, and he sustained a fractured neck. Death was instantaneous. He is survived by his widow and ,a grown up family. [Scotsman 19 May 1938]

20 May 1939

Colliery Fatality - Man Killed At Gateside Pit - Gateside Pit, Sanquhar, was the scene of a distressing fatality on Saturday, the victim being a young miner, James Hunter, aged 31 years, who resided at Howie’s Road. The unfortunate man was a practical miner, and came of a well-known Sanquhar family of colliers, several generations of his forbears having been employed in the Sanquhar pits. Hunter was working in the Burnfoot section of the pit and was just finishing his shift for the day when the accident occurred. His mate, William Thomas, had gone to the lye with the last hutch, and Hunter remained behind to put up some props at the coal face. When he was doing so a stone fell from the roof and knocked him to the ground. He sustained a fractured spine and death was practically instantaneous. He was discovered by his mate, who returned to the “face” to see what was detaining him. The alarm was raised and workmen in the section rushed to the place, but he was beyond human aid. Deceased was well-known and greatly esteemed. He was one of the leading lights in the Sanquhar Dramatic Society and was a good singer. He was married but leaves no family. The sympathy of the entire neighbourhood is extended to his widow in her tragic bereavement. In accordance with custom the men employed at Gateside Pit remained idle on Monday as a token of respect to their late fellow workman. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 24 May 1939]

25 August 1941

Miner Fatally Injured - John Douglas, miner, Castle Street, Sanquhar, was severely injured by a heavy fall of stone in Gateside Colliery, Sanquhar, yesterday. He was conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary, and he died a few hours after admission. He was 40 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children. [Scotsman 26 August 1941]

16 September 1942

MINER KILLED - While engaged at the coal face in No. 3 Fallhead Colliery, Kirkconnel yesterday, Martin Moguin (29), miner who resided at M’Connell Street, Kelloholm, was fatally injured by a fall of stones. He had almost completed his shift when the stone broke away, and he was buried in the debris. [Scotsman 17 September 1942]

8 October 1942

Kirkconnel Miner Dies From Injuries - Seriously injured through a blasting mishap in Section 29 of No 1 Fauldhead Colliery on Thursday forenoon, Robert Clelland, miner, who resided at Kingsway, Kellobank, died in Dumfries Infirmary early yesterday morning. He was engaged driving a mine and while the cause of the mishap is unknown because he was alone at the face when the accident occurred, it is established that he was preparing to blast. He received serious injuries about the head arms and legs, and after receiving medical attention from Dr Edgar, he was conveyed to Dumfries Infirmary, where he passed away. Robert Clelland, who was over fifty years of age, was well known among a wide circle of friends in Kirkconnel, and much sympathy is extended to his bereaved family. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 10 October 1942]

29 March 1948

On Monday night, while at his work on the afternoon shift in the section of No. 1 Fauldhead Pit, known as Neil's Dook, a young man, John Wightman, aged 23 years, who resided with his parents at 75 Kingsway, was accidentally killed. He was in the act of conveying material to the coal face, and in the act of doing so apparently contacted an electric cable. Dr Bowman Edgar, who descended the pit to attend to him found life extinct. As a mark of respect, in accordance with custom, the men employed at Fauldhead Colliery were idle yesterday. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 31 March 1948]

23 May 1953

Miner Fatally Injured – Accident At Fauldhead Colliery - A 25 year old miner, Thomas Bennie, 6 Birkburn Road, died in Dumfries Infirmary on Saturday morning as the result of injuries received in an accident at Fauldhead Colliery, on Friday afternoon. John Furlow, aged 36, of Birkburn Road; Andrew M’Cluskie (29) of Guffock Road, and Gilbert Clark (31) of Birkburn Road, were also involved in the accident, and Furlow’s condition is still serious. The accident occurred in Bankhead Stooping section of No. 3 colliery just before the completion of the day shift. Furlow was drawing timber after a "lift" had been finished, when he was hit by a stone which fell from the roof. Bennie, who was working with Furlow, got assistance from M’Cluskie and Clark, and they were trying to release their injured workmate when another fall occurred and they were pinned to the ground. Other workmen were quickly on the scene and succeeded in getting the men clear. Medical attention was given underground by Dr Bruce, who was accompanied by officials. The injured men had to be carried a distance of about one and a half miles underground, and Dr Bowman Edgar was waiting on the surface. The men were removed by ambulance to Dumfries Infirmary. Bennie sustained a fracture of the skull and internal injuries. Furlow had multiple injuries. M’Cluskie, severe bruises, and Clark, badly bruised knee. Bennie's death caused much regret in the district where he was well-known and highly respected. [Dumfries and Galloway Standard 27 May 1953]

See also entry on Heroism Awards page