Accidents and Disasters

The lists of names on these pages were compiled by the authors from a combination of the following sources - reports of the Inspectors of Mines, contemporary newspaper articles, FAI indexes and death certificates.  Between 1852 and 1914, these are primarily sourced from the Annual Reports of the Inspector of Mines, with addition details from our own research.  Pre-1852 and post-1914, the lists of accidents have been compiled primarily from newspaper articles.  The lists on this site are far from complete, particularly for the years before 1852 and after 1914 but we are continually working to update these through our own research.  Please check the lists carefully as many accidents are given under the date of accident, not death, or the date is recorded incorrectly.

We aim to commemorate as many of those who lost their lives in mining accidents in Scotland as possible.  We welcome submissions of deaths not already recorded on the site - please use our submission form.

If you are looking for information on a Fife miner, we would highly recommend you also visit the excellent Fife Pits and Memorial Book.  

Fatal Accidents

Pre-1840
1860187018801890 19001910192019301940
1840-1851
186118711881189119011911192119311941
18521862187218821892190219121922*19321942
18531863187318831893190319131923*19331943
18541864187418841894190419141924*19341944
1855186518751885189519051915
192519351945 -1949
1856186618761886189619061916
192619361950 - 1954
1857186718771887189719071917
19271937
1955 - 1959
1858186818781888189819081918
192819381960 onwards
1859186918791889189919091919
19291939


* Inspectors reports to be transcribed.  Please complete a request form for details

Notes on Sources for Fatal Accident Lists

Pre-1852

Before 1852 there are no official lists of accidents or deaths.  Statutory registration of deaths did not start until 1855, so locating deaths during this period is difficult.  Main sources used here are newspaper articles and Old Parish Records.  For Fife, the Fife Family History Society pre-1855 death CD was used.  This CD uses a number of parish record and newspaper sources and is highly recommended for those researching in Fife

1852-1914

The Reports of the Inspectors of Mines were published annually from 1852 and form the basis for our indices for these years.  The reports contain appendices which list names of those killed in accidents. Additional details for some accidents are found in the main body of the reports.  A typical page from the appendix of a report is shown below:

    Click on image to view larger image.

These lists also contain names of deaths not listed in the Inspectors reports, identified from newspapers and other sources.

Post-1914

After 1914 the Inspectors reports do not gives names of those killed or injured in accidents, apart from the years 1922-1924.  Details from these years can be requested here.  We have compiled the information from a limited number of other years for the inspectors reports (currently 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929 and 1932) and included with the index for the relevant year.  The information for all other years is compiled from newspaper reports, indexes of FAI, death certificates and other sources.  Please note that from 1942 onwards we do not routinely put newspaper articles or other detailed information on the site. 

We are currently adding further names obtained from the registers of Fatal Accident Inquiries held at the National Archives of Scotland.  These registers contain all sudden and accidental deaths in Scotland, not just those by mining so this is an extensive task.  The books do not list the dates of accidents, only the date of the inquiry.  Therefore some accidents are listed by year only with month and day unknown as it is not feasible to purchase certificates to confirm the exact date of all fatalities.  Currently information is being loaded for selected years between 1918 and 1942

Notes of extent of coverage post-1914

Before we obtained access to the registers of FAI, identification from newspapers and other sources was estimated based on a sample of 16 years between the years 1915 and 1938 for which we know the total Scottish fatalities as recorded by the official statistics of the Inspector of Mines.  At that time the site contained approximately 74% of fatalities during those years (1738 of 2342 fatalities). For years where we have utilised the FAI registers (e.g. 1919, 1920, 1925), identification is almost 100%. Since we also include deaths by natural causes while at work, the total number of deaths may exceed those included in the official statistics.

Work is ongoing to extend coverage from the registers of FAI and other sources.

Non-Fatal Accidents & Prosecutions- Inspector's Reports

For some years, the Inspector's reports published names of miners involved in non-fatal accident, or prosecutions.  These are gradually being transcribed and added to the site.  Please note the lists are transcribed in the original format used by the inspectors but will be added to the general alphabetical indexes to aid searching.

Disasters and Major Accidents

NB The above is not a comprehensive list of major accidents and disasters in Scottish pits - just the ones covered on this site.

Name Indexes - Non-fatal accidents and miscellaneous

***IMPORTANT UPDATE ***

These indexes are no longer being updated.  Please use the custom Google search to locate non-fatal accidents.

The below indexes were set up as simple surname indexes for people listed on the site, including those involved in non-fatal accidents and rescuers but excluding known fatal accidents (see above). In general we did not include names of miner inspectors and owners in these indexes. Please note some of those listed in these indexes may have died as a result of the accident but we have not yet looked for a death certificate to confirm this.

Names ANames FNames KNames ONames T
Names BNames GNames L
Names PNames U, V
Names CNames HNames MNames QNames W
Names DNames INames Mc/MacNames RNames X,Y,Z
Names ENames JNames NNames S