Valleyfield 28th October 1939
35 men were killed at Valleyfield Colliery, Fife on 28th October 1939 when shot firing caused an explosion of fire damp.
Above: Valleyfield Disaster Memorial
"Erected in memory of all who lost their lives as a result of an ignition of firedamp and coaldust in the Diamond section of Valleyfield Pit on October 28th 1939 at about 4am
Above: Memorial on site of colliery
Archibald Anderson, 46, brusher, 44 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
David Baillie, 35, brusher, The Ness, Torryburn
Alexander Banks, 65, transport, 6 East Ave, Blairhall (died in hospital)
John Brown, 23, brusher, 8 Bowmont St, Low Valleyfield
David Cairns, 35, brusher, 39 Preston St, High Valleyfield
Thomas Campbell, 56, brusher, Main St, Newmills
Alexander Christie, 61, supervisor, Culross
Thomas Clark, 47, brusher, 34 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
William Devlin, 37, machineman, 12 Woodhead St, High Valleyfield
Arthur Doohan, 39, brusher, Burn St, High Valleyfield
Duncan Ewing, 27, brusher, 22 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield
Aubrey Gauld, 34, brusher, Mid Row, Hill of Beath
Peter Gilliard, 23, brusher, 39 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
Edward Glass, 27, transport, 14 Dundonald Ter., Low Valleyfield
David Hogg, 49, packer, Hawthorn Cottage, Carnock
James Irvine, 37, packer, West End, Low Valleyfield
Bert Keegan, 52 brusher, 61 Woodside St, High Valleyfield
Thomas Kerr, 58, 36 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield (died in hospital)
Thomas Kerr jun, 26, fireman, 36 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
Robert Lang, 23, engineer, 6 Preston Cres, High Valleyfield
Alexander Lawrie, 31, brusher, 147 Baldridge Burn, Dunfermline
Edmund Link, 24, transport, Braeside Cottage, Low Valleyfield
James McFadzean, 28, transport, 33 Preston Cres, High Valleyfield
Robert McFarlane, 41, repairer, Main St Newmills
John McIntyre, 22, electrician, 21 Preston Cres, High Valleyfield
Peter Martin, 42, brusher, 5 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
Colin Morrison, 51, fireman, 18 Woodhead St, High Valleyfield
Michael Murray, 33, brusher, Burn St, High Valleyfield
Robert Nicholson, 32, brusher, North Rd, Saline
Alexander Paterson, 32, brusher, 19 Abbey Cres, High Valleyfield
William Ramage, 52, brusher, Blairwood Ter, Oakley
James Spowart jun, 29, machineman, Tinian Cres, Newmills
Michael Tinney, 35, transport, 3 Woodhead St, High Valleyfield
Henry Toal, 29, machineman, 26 Preston Cres, High Valleyfield
Robert Wright, 48, brusher, 1 Dunmarle St, High Valleyfield
Help For Dependants of Pit Victims - Fife Disaster Relief Fund to be Opened - 35 Killed : 14 Bodies Not Yet Recovered - While the task of recovering the bodies of the victims of the pit disaster at Valleyfield Colliery, in Fifeshire, was proceeding, arrangements were being made to open a Relief Fund for the dependants of the 35 men who lost their lives on Saturday. Representatives of the miners' organisations yesterday saw the Earl of Elgin, Lord Lieutenant of the County, who will take a leading part in organising the Fund. Appeals will be broadcast throughout Great Britain, and local funds will probably be set afoot by Lord Provosts and other civic heads. It is estimated that, including widows and orphans about 150 persons will have to be provided for. A rescue worker who had visited some of the afflicted homes told a representative of The Scotsman last night that one need only go into some of them to realise the distress which the fatality had caused. 'In many of the houses five and six children have been left fatherless," he said. "Naturally they are poor homes, and some are run on the very borderline of subsistence."
Inquiry To Be Held - An explosion of firedamp is believed to have been the cause of the disaster, which occurred shortly before four o'clock on Saturday morning. It is one of the worst in the history of Scottish mining, and probably the most serious which has ever happened in Fife. Government inspectors and officials of the Fife Coal Company, owners of the pit, which is about five miles west of Dunfermline, carried out preliminary investigations over the weekend, and an official inquiry will soon be held. The Procurator-Fiscal of the County was on the scene of the tragedy yesterday and on Saturday. The Sheriff will order the inquiry, which will be held in Dunfermline. Pending this, there can be no detailed explanation of the accident, but in an official statement issued early on Saturday the Company announced with regret that "an explosion of firedamp occurred at Valleyfield Colliery at 4 a.m. this morning." Later in the day, Mr C. Augustus Carlow, the managing director, said to a representative of The Scotsman: "This was a gassy pit, but every appliance that modern science can devise has been applied to this pit to the utmost possible extent. The air was measured yesterday, and so much air was passing that the men were inconvenienced by the wind."
Clearing The Debris - Up to a late hour last night 14 of the bodies had still to be recovered, and work is going on continuously. Last night Mr Abe Moffat, the area inspector, said that it would be two days before all the bodies could be brought to the surface. "A tremendous amount of work is being carried out," he declared, "and it is necessary that the question of ventilation and the building up of doors and walls and stoppings which have been blown down should be attended to. As soon as this has been done, it will be possible to get into the area where the explosion originated and to ascertain its origin."
There have been crowds at the colliery since the accident happened, and yesterday the workers and watchers saw lorry-loads of large air tubes being delivered. These were taken below and will be used in restoring ventilation. Most of the gas has now disappeared but there is a vast amount of debris still to be removed.
A further four bodies were brought to the surface yesterday, and the pitiful scenes of the previous day were re-enacted. The bodies were placed in coffins and removed to the bereaved homes in the neighbouring villages.
No arrangements have yet been made for the burial of the victims, but relations will meet officials of the miners' organisations this morning and it is possible that the funerals of the 35 men will take place at the same time.
About 650 miners have been temporarily thrown out of employment as a result of the accident and it may be a week before the whole mine can be made safe, so that work can start again.
Heroism Of Rescuers - Two sections of the pit, which lies on the shores of the Firth of Forth between Torry and Culross, were involved in the explosion. All the men working in what is known as the Diamond section, where it actually occurred, lost their lives. Those in the Culross section, about half a mile away, were in serious danger. Fumes and the impact, which was felt even at that distance overcame most of the men before they could reach safety. It was only through the heroism of their comrades and the speedy arrival of rescue squads that their lives were saved. About 20 men were injured, but most of them were allowed home. Two are still in hospital, seriously ill.
One of the first to descend the pit was Mr Robert Aitchison, the colliery manager. Along With Mr C. C. Reid, he led a party towards the scene of the explosion. Canaries which they carried, however, succumbed to the fumes before they had made much progress. Despite the conditions, four men from the Culross section were rescued from the havoc and confusion.
Men Killed Instantly - Some idea of the terrible effects which the gas must have had was given to a representative of The Scotsman last night by a member of one of the rescue parties. He is an official of a miners' association, and throughout yesterday and Saturday was down the pit assisting in the recovery of the bodies. "I have been in a few accidents," he said, 'and know what gas is. Your first feeling is one of thumping palpatation in the heart. Then your legs become weak, and you feel as if you must sleep. You cannot be bothered with anything else. All you want to do is to stay where you are." He explained that this was what must have happened after the explosion. The men who had not been instantly killed by the shattering upheaval must have died only a few minutes later from the effects of the gas. "Some of them we came across," he said, "were lying on their side with their hands beneath their face, just as if they had got down to sleep."
From the pit bottom to the actual coal face where the explosion occurred, he pointed out, was about a mile. So bad had been the impact, however, that the efforts of the rescue squads were severely hampered 'The place was like a shambles," he said. Twisted girders and rails, big falls of rock, and tubs and machinery smashed to smithereens."
Heroes Of The Disaster - Heroes of the disaster were four of the men who were working in the Culross section about half a mile away, at the time of the explosion. They managed to get through to safety and return to rescue sixteen companions.
The rescue party was organised by George Crichton, who told the story to a representative of The Scotsman who saw him at his home in the old village of Culross on Saturday. He was lying in bed recovering from the effects of his ordeal.
"There were about 20 of us working in the Culross section when it happened," he said "There was an awful inrush of air as the result of the explosion. The fire did not get our length - it was spent before it came our way - but the force of the explosion tumbled hutches over and scattered everything about so that our passage out was blocked. We all made for the bottom, where there was a 'phone. There was pandemonium, with people trying to pass each other and get a message through. It was stey and slippery, and where the fumes were thickest men were dropping all around me. Four of us - Neil Armour, John M'Farlane, James Walker, and myself - managed to win through. We 'phoned to the bottom, and got word that there was help on the road. I organised a party to go back to the men in the deuk. There were about 16 men lying unconscious where the fumes were thickest. We "oxtered" them one by one to safety. and after reassuring each of them, went back for another. The stretcher parties then carried them up the steep incline to the bottom, from which they were taken up to the pithead.
Saved By Jet Of Water - I think it was a little bit of luck that some of the men survived. A small stream of water was coming from a pipe at one place and it was playing on two of them. They could speak to each other, but they could not move; and I think their lives were saved by that jet of water. Others managed to get near the pump where there was a little more air and we found one man with his face up against this and his hands gripping the steel girders alongside. We could hardly get him to let go."
It was about four hours after the accident before Crichton returned home after assisting in the rescue, by which time he was quite exhausted. He is a machineman, and the training that he got at a mine rescue station stood him and his comrades in good stead. One of those who did not manage to get out of the Culross section at first, but whose presence of mind saved the lives of several of his comrades, was a pumpman, David Anderson. He was knocked to the ground when the explosion occurred, and was almost overcome by fumes while trying to make his way to a pump. "I saw exhausted men lying all round." he said, "but I was able to drag myself to the pump where a revolving fan was creating a current of fresh air. I shouted to the men, but was too weak myself to assist them. Seven or eight of them, however, were able to crowd round the fan, where we remained until the rescue party arrived."
"Like An Earthquake" - "It was like an earthquake," said one of the rescuers, David Miller, who lives at 11 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield. He told how he went down with one of the parties about three hours after the explosion.
"Everything seemed to have been blown to pieces," he remarked. "Our first task was to make an air passage so that we could reach the place where the men were lying. Then we came upon the first body. It was one of my own chums. He was on his hands and knees as if he had been crawling. Another man lay with his mouth in a dirty puddle of water as if he had been trying to get a drink when the gas started."
Miller said he spoke to some of the men who had been in the pit at the time. Most of them, when they heard the noise of the explosion coming from the ill-fated Diamond section a quarter of a mile away, thought it was an air raid.
News of the disaster spread quickly in the vicinity, and by the time that dawn was breaking an anxious crowd at first mainly composed of relations of the men working in the pit were gathered at the scene. It was soon known who the victims were, but the crowd only grew in size as the day advanced. When the calls for volunteers for rescue work were made there was always a ready response. Ambulances were early on the scene and the A.R.P. emergency services were also summoned.
The weary vigil was interrupted soon after ten o'clock by the sight of three British 'planes passing overhead. Soon afterwards gunfire was heard. Police blew their whistles, and the crowds were advised to take cover. Many of them, including most of the women and children went to the nearest shelter or returned home, and did not come back.
A visit was paid to the scene of the disaster by Mr John Colville, Secretary of State for Scotland, who had some engagements in Edinburgh earlier in the day. He stayed at the pithead for just over half an hour, talking to officials and rescuers as they came up. Shortly after 5 o'clock he was accompanied to the main entrance of the colliery by the Earl of Elgin, Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Fife; Mr C. Augustus Carlow , managing director of the Fife Colliery Company, and Mr W. Gallacher, M.P. for West Fife. Mr William Watson, M.P., Dunfermline Burghs, was at the colliery yesterday.
Before leaving, Mr Colville, who was obviously deeply moved by the tragedy, expressed his deep sympathy with all those who had been bereaved and his warm admiration for the actions of all concerned - management and rescue parties - in doing everything they possibly could. "The fact that the men are dead" he added, "does not lessen the heroism of the rescuers."
Nineteen of the victims came from the village of High Valleyfield and there were three streets from which more than two of the men came. The homes of seven are in Abbey Crescent, and out of this number, five were married men with families. In one house, father and son were killed. In both Preston Street and Woodhead Street are the homes of four other victims.
Father And Son Dead - There were many family connections between the men who lost their lives. Thomas Kerr, of Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield, was working in the Culross section, and his 27-year-old son, Thomas, was at the coal face where the explosion occurred. The younger man must have been killed instantly, and this news accelerated the death of his father in hospital. "There was no doubt that the shock had this effect," said a local doctor who arranged for Kerr senior to be sent to hospital. 'His injuries were only slight, and not sufficient to cause death. He was quite cheerful and smoking his pipe when we took him to hospital. But the news that his son was dead brought about his own death."
James M'Fadzean (28), a transport worker who was killed in the Diamond section, was a brother-in-law of Henry Tole, who was also killed; while Tole's brother, George is one of the men lying in hospital. Colin Morrison, fireman, another of the victims, was a son-in-law of John Morgan, who is also in hospital. James Sport, who was killed, lost his wife seven years ago when his twin sons were born. Twenty-six of the victims were married, two were widowers, and seven were unmarried.
Among the large crowd of relatives who stood at the pithead throughout Saturday was a young man who had come over from North Queensferry to identify his cousin who had been killed. "I worked here up to two years ago," he told a representative of The Scotsman, "and only a fortnight ago was offered another job. But although I am out of work I'd rather walk the streets than go back to mining."
Mrs Duncan Ewing, 22 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield, widow of one of the victims, gave birth to a son on Saturday afternoon, twelve hours after the disaster.
THE DEAD AND INJURED
The following are the names of those who lost their lives in the disaster:- Archibald Anderson (46), brusher, 4 Abbey Crescent. High Valleyfield.
David Baillie (35), brusher, The Ness Torryburn.
Alexander Banks (46), transport, East Avenue, Blairhall (died in hospital)
John Brown (23), brusher, 8 Bowmont Street. Low Valleyfield.
David Cairns (35), brusher, 39 Preston Street, High Valleyfield.
Thomas Campbell (56), brusher, Main Street, Newmills.
Alexander Christie (61), supervisor, St Mungo, Culross.
Thomas Clark (47), brusher, 34 Abbey Crescent. High Valleyfield.
William Devlin (37), machineman, 12 Woodhead Street, High Valleyfield.
Arthur Doohan (39), brusher, Burn Street, High Valleyfield.
Duncan Ewing (27), brusher, 22 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield. Aubrey Gauld (34), brusher, Mid Row, Hill of Beith [sic].
Peter Gilliard (23), brusher, 39 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield.
Edward Glass (27), transport, 14 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield.
David Hogg (49), packer, Hawthorn Cottage, Carnock.
James Irvine (37), packer, West End, Low Valleyfield.
Bert Keegan (52), brusher, 61 Woodside Street, High Valleyfield.
Thomas Kerr (58), 36 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield (died in hospital.)
Thomas Kerr, jun. (27), fireman, 36 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield.
Robert Lang (23), engineer, 6 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield.
Alexander Lawrie (31), brusher, 147 Baldridge Burn, Dunfermline.
Edmund Link (24), transport, Braeside Cottage. Low Valleyfield.
James M'Fadzean (28), transport, 33 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield.
Robert M'Farlane (41), repairer, Main Street, Newmills.
John M'Intyre (32), electrician, 21 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield
Peter Martin (42), brusher, 5 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield.
Colin Morrison (51), fireman, 18 Woodhead Street. High Valleyfield.
Michael Murray (33), brusher, Burn Street, High Valleyfield.
Robert Nicholson (32), brusher, North Road, Saline.
Alexander Paterson (32), brusher, 19 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield.
William Ramage (52), brusher, Blairwood Terrace, Oakley
James Spowart, jun. (29), machineman Tinian Crescent. Newmills.
Michael Tinney (35), transport. 3 Woodhead Street. High Valleyfield.
Henry Tole (29), machineman, 26 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield
Robert Wright (48), brusher. 1 Dunmarle Street, High Valleyfield.
The following are in Dunfermline Hospital:-
John Morgan, Erskine Brae, Culross.
George Tole, jun., 67 Woodhead Street, High Valleyfield.
Royal Sympathy - Messages of sympathy were received from the King and the Prime Minister, and copies were stuck on a door near the pithead leading into the blacksmith's shop, which was used as a mortuary.
The Royal message, addressed to the Earl of Elgin as Lord-Lieutenant of Fife, read:-
"The Queen and I are deeply grieved to hear of the Valleyfield Colliery disaster. Please convey our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved and keep us informed as to the condition of the injured and the progress of rescue work.—George R.I."
Lord Elgin sent the following telegram to Windsor Castle in reply to the message from His Majesty the King:-
"I have received your Majesty's gracious message relative to Valleyfield Colliery disaster, and have communicated it to all, The Management and the men and women of Valleyfield desire me to convey their thanks to Your Majesty and to the Queen for the encouragement which Your Majesty' s sympathy has given in then great sorrow. Regret to say that the total death roll is 35, and in spite of magnificent efforts of rescue party, no one survives from those workmen in that particular section affected. Two others injured making satisfactory progress in hospital." Management wish me to state that they have been greatly helped by the splendid spirit shown by the men and women of the village."
Mr Chamberlain, in a telegram, said:-
"I have just heard this morning of the heavy loss of life in the explosion at Valleyfield Colliery. I wish to express my profound sympathy with all those so suddenly and tragically bereaved."
A message was also received from Mr Geoffrey Lloyd, the Minister of Mines, conveying his deep sympathy with the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and from the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. [Scotsman 30 October 1939]
Duke of Kent's Talk With Survivor of Fife Pit Disaster - Personal Sympathy for the Bereaved Expressed During Visit to Scene of the Accident - Royal sympathy with the bereaved in the Valleyfield Pit disaster was given personal expression yesterday when H.R.H. the Duke of Kent paid a visit to the colliery, where 35 men lost their lives on Saturday.
There were only a small group of workers in the vicinity when the Duke drove up to the colliery offices, where he was received by Mr C. C. Reid, general manager of the Fife Coal Company, Ltd., and Mr K. H. M'Neil, agent, who has been in charge of the rescue operations.
The Duke talked first with Mr Robert Aitchison, manager of the colliery, and examined plans of the workings in order that he might follow more clearly the manager's detailed account of the circumstances of the disaster.
The Duke appeared to be deeply impressed when he was told how Thomas Kerr (50), 36 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield, although suffering from injuries which proved fatal, telephoned to the pithead for help, saying that something terrible had happened
When the Duke asked if he might speak to any of the men who had been underground when the explosion occurred, Bernard O'Neil (27), brusher, 4 Beaumont Street, Low Valleyfield, was called into the colliery office.
O'Neil, who is still suffering from the effects of after-damp and shock, told the Duke how he and other workers in the Culross Five Foot Section heard the terrific explosion in the Diamond Section, and were themselves overcome by gas when they were about a mile from the pit bottom. He did not remember anything after that until rescuers came and helped him and the contractor, John Penrose, Cairneyhill, into No. 1 pump-house.
'The air in the pump-house," he said "revived us a little, and after that I managed to give assistance to other workmates and helped to get them on stretchers. They were taken to the pit bottom and then to the surface."
O'Neil, who is a married man with one child, a little girl, is a native of Blantyre, and has been employed at Valleyfield Colliery for the last five years.
The Duke of Kent also had a long conversation with H.M. Inspector of Mines, the workmen's inspectors: and with Mr William Drylie, Mr James Potter, and Mr Peter Henderson, officials of the Fife, Clackmannan, and Kinross Miners' Union. In conversation with the local clergymen, the Duke inquired how the villagers were bearing up under the calamity and he especially asked that they be informed how much he sympathised with them.
The Duke personally expressed his sympathy to Mr Edward Tinney, Woodhead Street, High Valleyfield, who lost both a son and a son-in-law in the disaster. Shaking him-by the hand, he told Mr Tinney how deeply he felt for him in his double bereavement.
Alike by the officials, the workers, and the community as a whole, the visit of His Royal Highness was greatly appreciated, and there were many expressions of gratitude for his kindness and his very evident sympathy and concern for the welfare of the womenfolk who have been bereaved.
Arrangements were made yesterday for the public funeral of 13 of the victims, who will be buried this afternoon at Culross Cemetery. In connection with the inauguration of a relief fund for dependants of victims of the disaster, a preliminary meeting was held at Dunfermline yesterday. Among those who attended were the Countess of Elgin, Provost James Hoggan, Dunfermline; Mr C. C. Reid, general manager of the Fife Coal Co., Ltd.; Mr James Cook, general secretary of the Fife, Clackmannan, and Kinross Miners' Union; and Mr R. W. Currie, solicitor, who is to be honorary secretary and treasurer of the fund.
In the course of this week Lord Elgin wilt issue an appeal explanatory' of the proposed fund. [Scotsman 31 October 1939]
Fife Miners Buried - Ten in Culross New Cemetery - Stoical Women - There were touching scenes yesterday at Culross New Cemetery, when the public funeral took place of ten of the victims of the Valleyfield Colliery disaster. The widespread sympathy with the bereaved was shown by the large concourse of mourners and members of the general public, fully 2000 people visiting the cemetery in the course of the afternoon. Altogether twenty of the miners who lost their lives in the calamity were buried yesterday, a number of them being interred privately at other cemeteries and churchyards. All of the men buried at the public funeral in Culross New Cemetery had been resident in High and Low Valleyfield, and there were poignant scenes in the two villages yesterday afternoon as relatives assembled at the homes to convey their condolences. In one street alone, Abbey Crescent, there were no fewer than five funerals, one household having suffered the loss of both father and son. The names of those buried at the public funeral were:- Duncan Ewing, 22 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield; Thomas Clark, 34 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield; John Brown, 8 Beaumont Street, Low Valleyfield; Edmund Link, Braeside Cottage, Low Valleyfield ; Thomas Kerr, sen., and Thomas Kerr, jun., 36 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield; Peter Gilliard, 39 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield; David Cairns, 39 Preston Street, High Valleyfield; Michael Tinney, 4 Woodhead Street, High Valleyfield; and James M'Fadzean, 33 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield.
One Long Cortège - Hundreds of mourners lined the village streets as the separate funerals left the individual homes and converged to form one long cortege. Culross New Cemetery is situated about a mile and a half west of High Valleyfield, and as the cortege proceeded slowly, west-bound traffic on the main Dunfermline-Kincardine road was held up for about an hour. Among the mourners were the Earl of Elgin, Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Fife; Mr C. Augustus Carlow, chairman of the Fife Coal Company; Mr C. C. Reid, general manager of the Company, and officials at Valleyfield Colliery; Mr Ebenezer Edwards, general secretary of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, who had visited the colliery earlier in the day; Mr Andrew B. Clarke, president, and Mr James Barbour, vice-president of the National Union of Scottish Mineworkers; officials of the Fife, Clackmannan, and Kinross Miners' Union, who made the funeral arrangements, and representatives of several other District Miners' Unions throughout Scotland. Officiating clergymen were the Rev. J. M. Gow, Culross Abbey; the Rev. J. Y. Stewart, St Kentigern's Church, Culross; the Rev. T. Donaldson, Airth; Canon Maguire, Father Fahy, St Serf's, Valleyfield, and Father MFarlane, Oakley. Many of the womenfolk steeled themselves to the ordeal of attending at the graveside, but although all showed visible signs of their grief, few broke down completely under the severe strain. First-aid men who were in attendance had to deal with only a few cases of fainting.
The Other Victims - The other victims of the disaster, who were buried yesterday, were:- Robert Wright; 1 Dummarle Street, High Valleyfield; Alex. Paterson, 19 Abbey Crescent, High Valleyfield; Thomas Campbell, Main Street, Newmills; David Baillie, The Ness, Torryburn; Colin Morrison, 18 Woodhead Street, High Valleyfield; Edward Glass, 14 Dundonald Terrace, Low Valleyfield; Alexander Banks, 6 East Avenue, Blairhall; David Hogg, Hawthorn Cottage, Carnock; Wm. Ramage, Blairwood Terrace, Oakley; and Aubrey Gauld, Mid Row, Hill of Beath. Arrangements are being made for a joint memorial service to be held in Culross Abbey on Sunday afternoon. [Scotsman 1 November 1939]
Valleyfield Disaster: More Bodies Recovered - The bodies of two more victims Of the Valleyfield Colliery disaster were recovered yesterday by the rescue squads who have been working continuously throughout the week. The bodies recovered yesterday were those of Arthur Doohan (39), brusher, Burn Street High Valleyfield; and Robert Nicholson (32). brusher, North Road, Saline. There are still twelve bodies entombed in the pit but their recovery is impeded by an extensive fall. [Scotsman 3 November 1939]
Six More Bodies Taken From Valleyfield Colliery - The rescue squads who have been working throughout the week to reach the bodies of victims of the Valleyfield Colliery disaster made considerable headway yesterday. In the afternoon they succeeded in recovering six bodies - Alexander Lawrie, aged 31, brusher, 8 Jigburn Terrace, Dunfermline; Robert M'Farlane, aged 41, repairer, Main Street, Newmills; Alexander Christie, aged 61, supervisor, St Mungo, Culross; Archibald Anderson, aged 46, brusher, 44 Abbey Crescent , High Valleyfield, James Spowart, jun., aged 44, brusher, Tinian Crescent, Newmills; and Henry Toal, aged 29, machineman. 26 Preston Crescent, High Valleyfield. [Scotsman 4 November 1939]