Udston 28th May 1887

On 28th May 1887, at Udston Colliery, Parish of Hamilton, 73 men were killed by a firedamp explosion.

        Udston Disaster Memorial, Hamilton

Names of Dead

  • James Alison, 44, bottomer, Udston Rows, married with 5 children
  • Hugh Auchterlonie, 41, miner, Kirkton, High Blantyre, married with 3 children, stepfather of James Nelson
  • William Bates, 41, miner, East Kilbride, married with 7 children
  • Thomas Berry, 25, miner, Auchentibber, married with family, brother of William
  • William Berry, 22, miner, Auchentibber, Blantyre, unmarried, brother of Thomas
  • Christopher Boyce, 20, miner Auchentibber, unmarried
  • Joseph Boyce, 18, miner, Auchentibber, unmarried
  • William Boyce, 23, miner, Auchentibber, unmarried (3 brothers, also brother-in-laws of James Crichton & William Harrison, cousins of William John Boyce)
  • William Boyce, 23, married 2 children, cousin of Boyce brothers
  • William Brown, 53, miner, Auchentibber, married with 4 children
  • Andrew Buddie, 28, underground fireman, Burnbank, married with family
  • Isaac Cameron, 35, miner, Udston Rows, married, no children, brother-in-law of James Gaw
  • James Cook, 17 miner, Foundry Row, Greenfield, Hamilton, unmarried, son of Richard
  • Richard Cook, 50, miner, Foundry Row, Greenfield, Hamilton, married, father of James & Thomas
  • Thomas Cook, 20, miner, Foundry Row, Greenfield, Hamilton, unmarried, son of Richard
  • John Crewe, 23, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried, brother of Washington
  • Washington Crewe, 25, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried, brother of John
  • David Crichton, 21, miner, Auchentibber, unmarried, brother of James Crichton
  • James Crichton, 31, Daisyknowe, Auchentibber, married with 5 children, brother of David Crichton, brother-in-law of Boyce brothers
  • Joseph Cummings, 28, miner, Loanfoot, Blantyre, unmarried
  • George Davies, 32, miner, Udston Rows, married with child, son-in-law of Andrew Watson
  • Thomas Dennistoun, 17, miner, Turners Buildings, Stonefield, unmarried, brother of William
  • William Dennistoun, 23, miner, Turner's Building, Stonefield, Blantyre, unmarried, brother of Thomas
  • George Dingsdale, 23, miner, Udston Rows, married with child
  • John Dodds, 13, miner,9 Watson St, Burnbank, Hamilton
  • William Drain, 19, miner, Udston Rows, married with child
  • David Fleming, 27, lodging at Udston Rows, native of Strathaven, unmarried
  • James Gaw (or Gauld), 13, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried
  • George Harkness, 30, 42 Gladstone St, Burnbank, married, brother of John
  • John Harkness, 25, miner, 42 Gladstone St, Burnbank, married with child, brother of George
  • William Harrison, 36, miner, Auchentibber, married with 6 children
  • William Hughson or Houston, 44, miner, Udston Rows, recently arrived from Durham
  • James Jarvis, 31, miner, Maxwelltown, East Kilbride, unmarried
  • Edward Jones, miner, 15, Craig Row, Auchentibber
  • James Kane, 14, miner, son of Cornelius Kane, miner, 10 Udston Rows
  • Andrew Lawson, miner, 16, Little Udston, unmarried, eldest son of William
  • William Lawson, 41, miner, Little Udston, married, father of Andrew
  • James Leadbetter, 39, ostler, 15 Barrack St Hamilton, married with 5 children
  • James McCulloch, 14, miner, East Kilbride, son of James McCulloch
  • James McCulloch, 40, miner, East Kilbride, married with 5 children, father of James McCulloch
  • John McDade, 21, miner, Auchentibber, unmarried, brother of Michael
  • Michael McDade, 32, miner Auchentibber, married with 4 children, brother of John
  • John McGinnes, 16, miner, 47 Hill St, Blantyre, unmarried, brother of Peter McGinnes
  • Peter McGinnes, 22, miner, 47 Hill St, Blantyre, unmarried, brother of John McGinnes
  • Francis McGurty, 49, miner , Udston Rows, married, father of James
  • James McGurty, 17, miner, Udston Rows, son of Francis, lived with parents
  • Alexander McLean, 50, Auchentibber, married with 6 children
  • Robert McNiven, 25, miner, High Dykehead, married with family
  • James McTavish,19, oncostman, 23 Ann St, Burnbank, unmarried, lived with parents
  • Gavin Russell Malcolm, 15, miner Auchentibber, unmarried
  • William Murdoch, 26, miner, Udston Rows, married with child
  • James Nelson, 16, Kirkton Blantyre, brother of John, stepson of Hugh Auchterlonie
  • John Nelson, 14, Kirkton Blantyre, brother of James, stepson of Hugh Auchterlonie
  • Joseph Nelson, 22, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried
  • John Navall, 31, Cemetery Walk, Blantyre, married with 5 children
  • Thomas Penman, 20, pony driver, High Dykehead, unmarried- brother of Walter
  • Walter Penman, 22, pony driver, High Dykehead, unmarried - brother of Thomas
  • Michael Quinn, 21, Causeystanes Blantyre, married with child
  • John Reid, 24, miner, 24A Beckford St, Hamilton, married with 2 children
  • James Richmond, 58, miner, Station, High Blantyre, widower with family
  • Daniel Robertson, 15, drawer, Auchentibber
  • Terence Rooney, 55, miner, Auchentibber, unmarried
  • David Shanks, 45, miner, Auchintibber, married with 4 children, father of David Shanks
  • David Shanks, 13, son of David Shanks
  • John Smith, 34, miner, Larkfield, Blantyre, unmarried
  • James Spiers, 38, miner, Old Calderwood, East Kilbride, married with 5 or 6 children
  • Allan Stirling, 22, miner, Earnock Colliery, Parish of Hamilton, unmarried
  • Alexander Torley, 26, fireman, Udston Rows, married with child
  • Felix Torley, 43, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried
  • Andrew Thomas Watson,, 48, bottomer, Udston Rows, married with family, father-in-law of George Davies
  • James Wilson, 40, miner, 50 Udston Rows, married with 7 children
  • John Wilson, 20, miner, Udston Rows, unmarried
  • Walter Winter, 22, drawer, Udston Row, unmarried

Official Reports

Report by Ralph Moore, HM Inspector of Mines - includes list of dead with corresponding map showing location of bodies

Newspaper Reports

Click here to view articles from the Hamilton Advertiser including lists of those rescued and rescuers

Colliery Explosion Near  Glasgow
On Saturday morning an appalling disaster occurred at Udston Colliery near Glasgow. This colliery is situated in the Hamilton district, a neighbourhood in which there are many fiery mines and where the most disastrous explosions that Scotland has experienced have taken place in the past years. It is distant only about a mile from High Blantyre, where, in October 1877, 233 lives were lost underground. Information of the disaster of Saturday reached Glasgow in the forenoon, a brief telegram intimating its occurrence an hour before and expressing a fear that over 100 lives had been lost. Great excitement was naturally occasioned on the receipt of the telegram, for the Udston Colliery belongs to a limited company whose shareholders are largely resident in Glasgow. Later telegrams confirmed the tidings although issue of the explosion was reported to be less lamentable than at first supposed. It has now been ascertained that 69 lives have been sacrificed, but to this sad list additions may yet have to be made.

Udston Colliery occupies an area of about 150 acres; it is worked by two shafts, both piercing the three seams - the Ell, the Main or middle, and the Splint or deepest. The depth of the Ell is 130 fathoms, that of the Main 145 fathoms, and that of the Splint 160 fathoms. No. 2 is a downcast, No 1 an upcast shaft. The Ell coal Is pretty well exhausted, the Main seam is mined over the entire area, and the Splint seam has only recently been opened. In the Splint the coal has been worked by two main levels running to the east and west of the shaft respectively, with a leading to the south of the shaft, and a "dook" in the opposite direction. The workings were conducted on the stoop and room principle. In the east level the stoops have been worked out, and a short time since a beginning was made with the removal of the stoops in the west level. The dook working was entirely conducted by rooms in the solid coal. The ventilation of the Splint seam was in three courses, No 1 went to the heading and supplied air to the east and west sections, and a through current ventilated the dook. Throughout the colliery Scotch gauze safety lamps were used, and open lights were prohibited. Every precaution was taken against explosions. An inspection of the workings was always made before the men went down in the mornings, and this was reported to have been done as usual on Saturday. Between 5 and 6 o'clock the men began work for the day, 40, as far as can be ascertained, going down No 1 pit to the Main seam, 47 proceeding to the Ell seam, and 72 or 73 to the Splint seam.

All went well till about half past 9 o'clock, when the explosion occurred. While the cause of it must remain a subject for future inquiry, there can be no doubt that it was an explosion of fire damp, and that it took place in the Splint seam. Men who were employed in the upper workings described it as having caused a fearful rumbling noise, as if a wad had fallen. It was deafening in intensity and filled the air for a mile or two. Then it was followed by clouds of coal dust; but still the men in the upper workings did not appear to have realised the appalling nature of the disaster. Some of them indeed, who were shut off by doors from the main air course, remained at the workings until apprised of their perilous situation. That the explosion was very startling in its intensity appears from the fact that it was distinctly heard in the workings of Greenfield Colliery, which is a mile distant. This is pretty much all that has transpired with reference to the explosion as experienced by those underground.

On the surface it was made known by a loud report from No 2 pit, accompanied by flames which set fire to the pit-head gearing. The news of the disaster spread rapidly throughout the district, and caused the greatest possible excitement. Men left their work and hurried to the scene to offer their services. Volunteers to descend the pit rapidly came forward and there was no delay in the formation of a rescuing party. When the lamentable character of the explosion became known, information was sent by officials of the company to Mr Ralph Moore, the Government Inspector of Mines. He arrived about 1 o'clock and remained while the efforts at rescue were being made. Intimation was also sent to the directors of the company in Glasgow, but with the exception of Mr Timothy Bost, they were from home. Mr Bost at once proceeded to the scene and remained during the day directing operations.

The mass of flame following the explosion having set fire to the pit-head gearing, the cages which were working in three of the shafts were jammed. In one three men were engaged in examining the shaft, and when they were got at it was found that one of the, James McGorky, was killed, the others being slightly injured. The descent was ultimately made by this cage, and when midway down the shaft a man was found who had climbed up the sides. Further down other three men were found who had also climbed up. After repairing the slides the bottom of the Ell seam was reached, 130 fathoms down. Towards 1 o'clock the feeling of gloom was intensified when it became definitely known that the exploring party had come on four men lying dead in a heap in the Main seam. The first of these was James McTavish, a man about 30 years of age who lived at Burnbank. He was unmarried, and resided with his father, to whose support he contributed. The body was covered with a blanket, placed in the cage, and slowly raised to the surface, and on being brought thence it was conveyed to a building adjoining the pit-head, occupied as a joiners shop, which has been improvised as a dead house. The features were quite calm and death had evidently been the result of after damp. Ten minutes afterwards the cage was again raised, this time bearing the body of James Richmond, who lived at the station at High Blantyre. He was a widower, 58 years of age, and, along with his sons, was working in the pit at the time of the explosion.

One son, John Richmond, is a young man 25 years of age. He was bleeding at the mouth and was terribly shaken. After resting and partaking of a little brandy he told a touching story. He had just sat down to eat his "piece" when the explosion occurred. He tried to get hold of his father and the boy, but the damp stupefied him, and when he was rescued, he said, "I heard the auld man was bye with it". This man, however, though unable to help his father, managed to save a younger brother. James Allen, a young lad of 17, had a very narrow escape. He was brought to the pit mouth in an unconscious state, but after time he recovered, and was carried home in half an hour or so. All the men in the Ell seam, 46 in number, were rescued suffering from after damp and shock. They were attended to by Dr Robertson, and removed to their homes in the neighbourhood. The men in the main seam were afterwards reached and all were got out alive. Of these, however, four afterwards died.

Meanwhile, efforts were being made to reach the men in the Splint coal working. The conductors having been broken, what the men call a "kettle" was attached to the bottom of the cage, and by this mean the exploring party obtained access to the Splint seam. This was reached about 5 o'clock. Here it was found that the bottom stoop had been blown away, and that the roof had fallen in. A man named Alexander McLean was found in a dazed condition in the cabin where the lamps are trimmed, and where he had been sitting at the time the explosion occurred, and although a good deal upset, he was able to answer when spoken to. He was sent up to the pit-bank and afterwards conveyed to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. Another man, named Long, was also found alive. This poor fellow was under the impression that the explosion had occurred the day before, and that during the night he had been wandering about the pit. He said he heard the explosion and saw the flame, but he was under the impression the blast came down the shaft. The explorers penetrated the levels for about 30 yards on either side of the pit bottom, and were able to realise the tremendous force of the explosion. The levels were about 6 1/2 ft in depth, and it was found they were filled with debris. On the strength of certain indications, the explorers came to the conclusion that no explosion had occurred in this working. Passing over and around the obstruction which blocked the way, they succeeded, as has been said in getting 30 yards from the bottom of the shaft, but at this point they were compelled to beat a hasty retreat. The bodies of two men were found at the side of the roadway in the neighbourhood of the stable. They had been dead for some time, and there was no longer any hope that the miners imprisoned in the Splint seam could be rescued. The explorers therefore came to the surface at about 8 o'clock. A gang of men afterwards went down to remove the obstruction in the roadway with a view to the recovery of the bodies. During the day the wives and other relatives of the miners surrounded the pit-head and when it transpired that all hope of rescuing the men in the splint seam had been abandoned, many scenes of the most distressing nature were witnesses. Of the hapless sufferers, many had lost relatives in former explosions, and in several instances entire families were found to be among the entombed. The miners lived in small villages in the immediate neighbourhood, and in some streets there is scarcely a single house that does not mourn a victim.

Subjoined is a list of the dead so far as has been ascertained:- James Richmond, a man about 55 years of age, who resided with his son at High Blantyre. James McTavish, about 20 years of age, who resided with his father, to whose support he contributed, in Ann St, Burnbank, unmarried. William Hughieson, 36 years of age, residing in Udston Rows, unmarried, belonging to Durham. Robert McNiven, about 27 or 28, residing at Udston Rows, married, leaves a widow and one child. William Brown, Auchintiber [sic], married, from 50 to 60 years of age, leaves a grown up family. William Harrison, 23, Auchintiber, leaves a wife and three children. William Babes, married, East Kilbride. John Smith, High Blantyre. Thomas Berry, Auchintiber, about 25 years of age, married with one child. William Berry, brother of former, 22 years of age, unmarried, resided with his mother, a widow, at Auchintiber. John McDade, unmarried, lived with his mother, a widow, at Auchintiber. Hugh Auchterlonie, High Blantyre, about 44 years of age, married and had a small family. Two sons of the above aged 14 and 15 respectively. James Crichton, 31 years of age, married and had 5 children. David Crichton, his brother, 20 years of age, unmarried, resided at Auchintiber. Christopher Boyce, 21 years of age, unmarried, resided at Auchintiber. Joseph Boyce, brother, 19 years of age, unmarried. William Malcolm, over 50 years of age, resided at Auchintiber. Govan Malcolm, 15 years of age. George davies, 40 years of age, resided at Udston Rows; he was married and had one child about a year old. John Wilson, about 22 years of age, unmarried and resided at Udston Rows. Joseph Neilson, not married, resided at Udston Rows. John Noble, 27 years of age, unmarried, resided at High Blantyre. George Parker, about 30, Burnbank, he was married and had a young family. John McGuiness, unmarried and resident at Udston Rows. McGuiness, brother of the above. Frank McGirty, an old man, married and resided at Udston Rows. Richard Cook, about 40, Greenfield Foundry. Thomas Cook, 20 years of age, unmarried, son of above. James Cook, 17 years of age, unmarried, brother of above. Joseph Cummings, Auchintiber, married. William Lawson, about 40 years of age, resident at Udston Farm; he was married and had a small family. Andrew Lawson, his eldest son, 18 years of age, son of above. Isaac cameron, 30 years of age, Udston Rows. Terence Rooney, about 40 years of age, Auchintiber, married. Richard Tooley, a young man, unmarried and resident in Blantyre. Michael Mcdade, about 43 years of age, Auchintiber, married and had a small family. George Dunsdale, 28 years of age, resdient at Udston Rows, married, one child. James McCulloch, East Kilbride. W Tage. James Wilson, an old man, Udston Rows. Wilson, son of above. David Shanks, an old man, Auchintiber, married. David Shanks, jun., son of above. William Denniston, Blantyre. Denniston, brother of above. Alex McLean, about 50 years of age, Auchintiber, he was married and had a small family. McLean, son of above. Washington Crewe, about 25, not married, resided at Udston Rows. Michael Queen, married, Blantyre. William Drain, 19 years of age, married and has one child, resided at Udston Rows. Jack Crewe, on coast [sic] man, 24 years of age, unmarried and resided at Udston Rows. David Fleming, about 26 years of age, unmarried and resided at Udston Rows. George Harkness, married, Burnbank. Allan Stirling, about 26 years of age, unmarried,resides at Udston Rows; he belongs to Earnock. David Cooper, married, Udston Rows. Andrew Watson, bottomer, about 50 years of age, he was married, had a grown up family and lived at Udston Rows. James McGrorty, 19 years of age, son of Frank McGrorty already named. Walter Winters, 25 years of age; he was not married and resided at Udston Rows. Andrew Bodey, fireman, about 32 years of age, married and had four of a family, he resided at Burnbank. Alex Tovley, fireman, about 28 years of age, Udston Rows; he was married and had one child. James Allison on coast [sic] man, 40 years of age, Udston Rows; he was married and had a small family. James Leadbetter, the groom who took charge of the horses; he was about 40 years of age, was married and resided at Hamilton. Edward Tooley, overman, 46 years of age, Udston Rows; he was married and had a daughter at home and two sons married. Walter Penman, 20 years of age, unmarried and resided at his fathers at Auchintiber. Thomas Penman, 18, brother of above. William Boyce, 23, unmarried, Auchintiber. William John Boyce, 24, cousin of above, married and leaves two children. McCulloch, son of former deceased of that name.

A later account says:-
The obstruction to which reference has already been made to the entrance of the exploring party into the workings of the Splint seam was removed at about 9 o'clock yesterday morning, but the atmosphere was so impregnated with after damp that it was impossible to enter. In these circumstances a bratticing was erected, and air gradually introduced into the mine. In this way, after several hours work, the relief party reached the level, where they found the bodies of two men and two horses, but instead of sending these to the surface, the explorers preferred to carry on bratticing a little further in the hope of reaching more bodies. They were successful in their efforts , and by 2 o'clock the first body was sent up the shaft. On reaching the pit-bank it was identified by a man as his brother Andrew Buddy, and it was sent to that mans house, but Mrs Buddy said it was not her husband and refused to receive it, and it was at once taken back, and later in the day it was recognised as that of John Reid. The bodies were then sent up in twos and threes at intervals, but they were badly mutilated and burnt. In some cases the clothing was torn to rags and the limbs almost separated from the body. As soon as they reached the bank, the bodies were removed to the joiner's shop, placed in shells, and taken to the smithy for identification. Up to 6 o'clock last night 34 bodies had been recovered. Search operations were then suspended, and the relief party proceeded to erect bratticing to carry air in to the "rise" workings, where it is expected the bulk of the bodies still missing will be found. There is still no clue as to the cause of the explosion, but it was remarked that on three of the bodies brought up some articles were found which might be used for opening the lamps. All hope of finding alive any of the men entombed in the Splint seam has now been abandoned. [Times 30 May 1887]

After nearly six hours arduous labour in clearing the fallen masses of coal from the rise, the recovery party, at twenty minutes past seven, came upon several additional bodies, all of which were frightfully scorched, and one or two terribly mangled, the clothes of nearly the whole of them being burned into little more than charred patches. The first of the six bodies to be brought up was that of David Shanks, very badly burned, but had evidently been suffocated. Five minutes later his son's body was brought up the shaft. It presented a frightful appearance. The thirty-seventh body recovered was that of James M'Culloch, jun., who had met with a terrible death. His head was almost cut in two, his stomach was lacerated, and both his arms were fractured. James M'Culloch, sen,, was found lying beside his son, but his injuries were of a much less violent nature, and death had been the result of suffocation. The next body brought to the surface was that of William Dennistoun, a Stonefield miner, and the body of his neighbour, William Murdoch. The last of the six was carried out at twenty-five minutes past eight. From the position of the latter two, it is supposed that they had been alarmed by the sound of the explosion, Dennistoun having been found with his head in a hole in the propping, as if trying to hide, while Murdoch had fallen on his face. After a further interval of about an hour and a half, and just a few minutes before ten o'clock, the forty-first body was brought up from the rise workings. When carried into the dead-house it was identified as that of David Fleming, a native of Strathaven. The left side of his face was dreadfully cut, and the head was covered with blood. From his appearance it was evident he had been dashed or had fallen heavily against the side of the cutting. Suffocation was the cause of death. In his pocket there was found a brass Geneva watch, which had stopped at ten minutes to nine o'clock. Curiously enough, when opened it started again. From the time of the stopping of the watch, it would appear that it had been affected by the atmosphere of the pit, as ten minutes to nine was about the time of the explosion. During the interval between half-past eight and nine, one of the exploring party named White, from Motherwell, was overcome with fire-damp. When brought up and conveyed to the open air, however, he quickly revived. Exactly at eleven o'clock the search party reported that another batch of bodies had been recovered, and the first hoisted up was that of George Davis, who was burned but slightly all over, death having ensued from suffocation [Scotsman 30 May 1887]

So far as the recovery of the bodies of the miners entombed in Udston Colliery is concerned, operations practically terminated yesterday morning, and for some days to come the work of repairing the shaft and improving the ventilation of the seam where the explosion occurred will engage the attention of the officials. When this work has been completed the search for bodies will be renewed. From midnight until about nine o'clock yesterday morning the search for remains was carried on with much success. At one o'clock exactly, fifty bodies had been recovered, and shortly after this hour the signal was given that another batch of bodies was about to be raised to the surface. This lot included William Brown, Auchentibber; Thomas Penman, High Dykehead; Robert Jarvis, East Kilbride; John Smith, Blantyre; William Bates, East Kilbride; and Daniel Robertson, Auchentibber. The medical examination showed that suffocation had been the cause of death in each case, the appearance of the bodies betokening only slight burning injuries. The operations of the explorers for the succeeding two hours were carried on under the disadvantage of an increasingly vitiated atmosphere the further they penetrated into the workings, and not long after two o'clock one of the searchers named. Peter Gibson, residing in Burnbank, was carried up from the pit in an unconscious condition. When taken into the open air, he quickly revived, and afterwards descended the shaft again. Towards six o'clock the last series of bodies was come upon. Altogether there were six, and of these two brothers, William and Thomas Dennistoun, Blantyre, were the most severely injured. Thomas had evidently been violently dashed against the siding of the pit, as his clothes were much torn and his back dreadfully mutilated. The names of the others in this batch were Wm. Harrison, Auchentibber; David Crichton, Auchentibber; Joseph Boyce, also of Auchentibber; and Walter Winter, Udston Row. Joseph Boyce is one of three sons lost by parents who have likewise been deprived of three sons-in-law and a nephew. This completed the bodies to be found in the "rise." Operations were next commenced at the workings where the roofs had fallen in, but the impure state of the atmosphere resulted in the decision being come to, to suspend the search for remains until the roadways had been cleared, the pit ventilated, and the shaft thoroughly repaired. This course was approved by several of the engineers present, under whose superintendence the operations for clearing the miner were conducted. Up to this point there had been recovered altogether 52 bodies—57 out of the splint seam, and 4 from the main seam. [Scotsman 31 May 1887]

The Udston Catastrophe- Other two bodies recovered - Hamilton Tuesday - Mr Gavin and his staff have worked very hard all night restoring the pit. About eleven last evening they came on the body of Andrew Watson (55), Udston Rows. It was found in what is known as the "sumph," a covered recess at the bottom of the shaft. About 2.20 the body of Alexander Forely, fireman, was found lying to the rear of the pit bottom. It was buried under debris, was much burned and had the left leg fractured. Forley, who was 26 years of age, and resided at Udston Rows, was married, and leaves a widow and one child. His father was underground manager, and was in No. 2 shaft when the explosion occurred, receiving a slight injury, from which he has nearly recovered. Alexander was much respected, and was studying to qualify as a colliery manager. Rubbish is being lifted from the bottom of the shaft, there being the belief that the body of Buddy, the fireman, may be buried under it. There are now none but the relatives of those whom bodies are unrecovered remaining about the pithead. A number of funerals took place yesterday. [Scotsman 1 June 1887]

Up to the last reports from the pit no further recoveries had been made, but the work still goes on. During yesterday Mr Ralph Moore, accompanied by Procurator-Fiscal Dykes, visited the colliery. The latter is expected to commence his official investigation into the disaster today. This will not exclude a public inquiry should one be ordered by the Home Secretary. On the occasion of the second Blantyre explosion Mr Dykes' precognitions were read in preference to leading evidence, a course that appeared to meet with approval.[Scotsman 2 June 1887]

Yesterday no fewer than 42 interments of victims of the explosion took place, 16 being buried in Blantyre Cemetery, 3 or 4 at Dalbeth, and the remainder in the cemeteries of Hamilton, Cambuslang, Stonehouse, East Kilbride, and Baillieston. Appropriate religious services were conducted by various ministers at the homes of the deceased and at the graves. In one or two cases where the deceased belonged to the Salvation Army, their comrades, male and female, followed the funeral corteges, with flags flying and singing of hymns. [Scotsman 2 June 1887]

Mr Cunninghame Graham MP, and Mr J. K. Hardie, secretary of the Scottish Miners National Federation, were the speakers at a miners' demonstration held yesterday at Broxburn. Referring to the Udston Colliery disaster, Mr Hardie declared that the 80 men who lost their lives there had been murdered, every one of them. [Scotsman 2 June 1887]

The sixty-sixth dead body was taken from workings of Udston Colliery yesterday morning. It was that of James Allison (45), residing at Udston Rows. He was chainman in the main coal dook, married, and leaves a widow and five children. He only started work about a fortnight ago after being off eleven weeks with a broken arm. He was found 900 feet from the bottom, much burned and buried under broken hutches, the bent ironwork of which was almost twisted round him. The body was coffined below ground by orders of Dr Robertson, and buried in Dalbeth Cemetery later in the day. A number of matches, unignited as well as ignited, were, it is said, found in the vest pocket of deceased. [Scotsman 4 June 1887]

Yesterday afternoon a large and influential meeting of the citizens of Glasgow was held under the presidency of the Hon. The Lord Provost for the purpose of considering the condition of the dependents on the miners deprived of life at Udston Colliery on Saturday last, and to organise a fund for their relief. The Lord Provost stated that the dependents to be provided for numbered 135, consisting of 132 widows and three parents. At the close of the meeting a sum of £1,861 was subscribed, including £250 from the Udston Coal Company, who, in addition, have defrayed all the expenses in connexion with the funerals of the miners. Yesterday a letter was received by Mr Small, the miners agent at Blantyre, from the Home Secretary, stating that a public enquiry would be held into the circumstances attending the explosion, but that the date had not yet been fixed. [Times 4 June 1887]

Operations were continued yesterday at Udston as before. Nothing worthy of note occurred until ten minutes past one o'clock, when another body was reached, bringing the dead list up to 71. It proved to be that of John McDade (18), single, who resided with his mother at Auchintibber, High Blantyre. There are still three bodies in the mine. [Scotsman 7 June 1887]

The Udston Disaster - Yesterday the body of Thomas Berry (21), miner, Auchintibber, Blantyre, was found in Udston Colliery buried under 14 feet of debris. He leaves a widow and one child. [Scotsman 8 June 1887]

The Udston Disaster - The Udston Colliery officials are now convinced that but one body remains unrecovered from the workings—viz., that of Noble, and all yesterday their efforts were directed towards its extrication from the rubbish under which it lies buried. Up to time of writing they had not been successful, but operations were still being pushed uninterruptedly on. Yesterday the remains of Thomas Berry were interred with military honours in High Blantyre Cemetery, the firing and funeral party being furnished by the Blantyre Company, 2d L.R.V., of which deceased was a member. [Scotsman 9 June 1887]

The Udston Disaster – Recovery of the Last Body - On Monday morning, arrangements were made to resume the ordinary work at Udston Colliery, an advance of 6d per day being offered on the usual rates. Some eighty men turned up but refused to begin so long as a single dead body is in the pit. The efforts to recover the remaining dead body – that of John Noble – had been proceeding without cessation. Finding access by the ordinary roadway impossible, owing to the severity of the falls, on Sunday night the operators were set to cut their way through the solid coal, and at midnight by this means, they succeeded in reaching the deceased's working place. They recovered his shovel and pick, but a heavy fall from the roof again drove them back, and they had to begin the work of mining anew. It was Tuesday morning before success crowned their efforts. Noble resided in Cemetery Row, High Blantyre, and leaves a widow and five children. He was buried in High Blantyre Cemetery the same day. With the recovery of his body the remains of the last of the ill-fated victims of the disaster, 73 in number, was brought to the surface. On Monday, the Lanarkshire Constabulary, who had been on duty in shifts since the explosion, were withdrawn. [Hamilton Advertiser June 18 1887]

Colliery Accident Funds - Mines Department Survey - The Mines Department has issued a return relating to the Colliery Accident funds in Great Britain, raised before December 31 1924, by public subscription for the relief of sufferers and their dependants……..The information in the return includes particulars relating to the administration of the different funds, the numbers of persons receiving relief, and the amounts in hand………

The next in order of seniority in active operation is the Blantyre Colliery Accident Fund, the date of foundation of which was November 1877. Fifteen persons are now in receipt of relief from it. At October 22, 1924, the value of the fund was £2,721. Two widows, it is stated, have been in receipt of relief from the date of foundation of this fund. Also in the Scotland division is the Udston Fund, founded in June 1887, and upon which two widows are still dependant. The present value of the fund is £6,176. The largest number of persons receiving relief from any fund in the Scotland division is 113, on the Redding Mining Disaster Trust Fund, which was established in April of last year, and which amounted at December 1924, to £57,115. [Times 19 August 1925]