Scottish Mining Website

Fatal Accidents in Mines in Scotland - 1903
- compiled from appendices to the reports of the Inspector of Mines and Collieries. Additional details from the main body of the report are given where available. Many accidents are not listed in these reports and additional names have been added from newspaper reports and other sources - information not sourced from the mine inspectors reports is indicated by a shaded gray background
We welcome information on deaths not listed on this page - please complete a submission form

Date of AccidentMineCountyOwner or CompanyNameAgeOccupationCategoryCause of accident & remarksExtra Information
1903January7SouthriggLanarkUnited Collieries LtdJames Wallis23DrawerFalls of roofDeceased was proceeding outbye with a loaded tub, when the roof collapsed, burying him beneath the fall. It was thought the tub struck a prop supporting a crown, and caused it to be thrown. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1903January14Earnock No 3LanarkJohn Watson LtdJames White31MinerFalls of sideFall of head coal while sitting waiting for the fireman to come and fire a shot. The coal was not secured by props as it ought to have been.  
1903January15ArthurFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdJames Haxton75Pitwood sawerOn surface – by machineryDeceased was ripping a piece of wood at a circular saw, when the saw caught it in some way and threw it violently forward, and it struck him in the abdomen.  
1903January15DenbeathFifeBowman & CoPatrick Healy21Loco. ShunterOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysThe locomotive engine pushed part of a train of waggons into a siding off the main line, giving the waggons sufficient impetus to enable them to clear the crossing, and as soon as the waggons had passed into siding deceased who had held the points jumped on to the engine. The locomotive then returned on the main line, pushing the remaining part of the train in front, and on reaching the crossing the engine caught part of a waggon just where deceased stood on the footplate, fatally crushing him. The waggons in the siding had gradually moved back until the leading one fouled the crossing.  
1903January16DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal Co LtdAndrew Drummond46MinerFalls of sideDeceased and his three sons were taking a 13 ft. cut off the lower side of a stoop, in a 5 ft. 6 in. seam, holed near the centre. The cut had been holed to a depth of from 2 to 3 ft. across its whole width, and deceased was completing the holing at the nose while his son was drilling a shot hole near the fast side, when a piece of coal 6ft. 0in. by 1ft. 6 in. by 2ft. 0in. suddenly burst off and fell on deceased, killing him almost instantly. No rances or holing props appeared to have been set. Newspaper report
1903January21PoltonFifeLothian Coal CoMechelo Riso (Italian)30Waggon trimmerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was standing between two waggons - probably taking shelter from a storm - which stood five feet apart, when two other waggons came down and striking the nearest sent it close up to the other, and fatally crushed him. A workman who saw deceased's danger shouted to him, but although he appeared to hear he stood still until the waggons collided. He could neither speak nor understand the English language.  
1903January22KinnairdKinrossFife Coal Co LtdWilliam Martin48MinerFalls of sideDeceased was stamping a hole in the pavement to set a machine tree to bore a shot hole, when a small stone fell off the side and injured the thumb of his left hand ; blood poisoning supervened and he died on 5th February.  
1903January23Glenboig (Fireclay)LanarkGlenboig Union Fireclay Co LtdPeter Mitchell (Pole)21MinerFalls of sideDeceased was filling a tub with clay when a part of the overhanging face fell and killed him on the spot.  
1903 January25      Adam Gilmour      See 13 March 1902 
1903January30MotherwellLanarkJohn Watson LtdWilliam Wilson24BottomerFalling from part way downDeceased was bottomer at the upper of two mid landings. He had signalled away a cage containing a man who was descending to pit bottom, and as the same cage was re ascending he erroneously assumed that it was being brought back to him, prematurely raised the gate which fenced the shaft and pushed forward a loaded tub, falling with it to pit bottom, a distance of 40 fathoms.  
1903February2Busbiehead No 2AyrJ & R HowieLaughlan Connolly46MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at roadhead. Due to want of timbering.  
1903February2LochheadFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdJames Anderson18MinerFalls of sideDeceased was taking down some coal at a ''nose " in a longwall working. A rance had just been drawn from it. but as the coal did not come away readily, he sat down and began to relieve it by deepening the holing. While so engaged the coal came away suddenly, causing injuries which terminated fatally.  
1903February3Whistleberry No 1LanarkArchd. RussellJohn Russell35MinerHaulage – run over by tubsHe is said to have gone in front of loaded hutch at the top of a "cuddie brae" to put it on the rails. He did not hook it to the rope, and when put on the rails it overcame and ran over him.  
1903February5CarberryEdinburghEdinburgh Collieries LtdPhillip Laing33SinkerShaft accidents -things falling from part way downDeceased was a foreman sinker, and at the time of the accident was engaged removing a scaffold 7 fathoms below the Great seam, and the planks were raised to said seam by a rope and drawn up by two workmen. A plank was fixed to the rope in the usual way, and while being hauled up it slipped from the rope and fell, striking deceased on the head. The rope had not been properly fastened by deceased.  
1903February6PrestongrangeHaddingtonSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoJames Ritchie14Haulage assistantOther haulage accidentsDeceased was attempting to prevent some tubs, which had been struck by a horse-rake, from fouling a crossing, when the leading tub left the rails and crushed him against a brick wall.  
1903February9StanriggLanarkUnited Collieries LtdJohn Kelly29MinerExplosions of fire damp or coal dustSee report

From Main body of report: This accident occurred in the Upper Drumgray coal. The seam is worked longwall and has a moderate dip. The deceased and his brother worked on the back shift, and were alone in the section digging coal. During the shift deceased left his working place and proceeded to the road above to get some tools, and gas was ignited at his naked light.
There had evidently been a large accumulation, as it took a search party several hours to get deceased's body owing to the large amount of after-damp. The explosion was very violent, the hurdles, screens, &c., being thrown down and damaged. The fireman made an inspection of the place in which deceased worked, but admitted he did not go to the place where gas was ignited. It was said that the speed of the fan had been reduced during the night, lessening the air current and allowing the gas to accumulate, but on inquiry this statement was not borne out.

Newspaper Report

1903February10Earnock No 1LanarkJohn Watson LtdWilliam Paterson38FiremanFalls of roofPost to which pulley at top of incline was fixed gave way and let off two full hutches. The chain attached to hutches knocked out a prop, and this let the roof fall on him. Newspaper Report - Hamilton pages
1903February12Dumbreck No 1StirlingWm Baird & Co LtdRobert Weir40BrusherFalls of sideFall from side of road while enlarging it. Newspaper report
Archd. Goodwin29Brusher
1903February18BailliesmuirLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdWilliam Allison36MinerFalls of sideDeceased was holing when a piece of face stone fell upon him.  
1903February19PoltonEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJohn Davie39shaftsmanFalls of sideDeceased was engaged in the shaft, with two other workmen, repairing a float wire in connection with a pump, when a stone fell from the side, and striking him, he was precipitated to a scaffold 26 fathoms below.  
1903February20Dalzell & BroomsideLanarkWishaw Coal Co LtdRobert Dunlop25MinerFalls of roofDeceased and another were taking a narrow cut off the back of a stoop, and had bared an upthrow hitch of 2 ft. 6 ins. It was not intended to continue the cut across the hitch, but the men were allowed to work there for the day, until another place was prepared for them. Deceased was holing on the bench formed by the hitch, when a stone 7 ft. 6 ins, by 5 ft. 6 ins. at extremes, and 1 ft. 4 ins. in thickness, suddenly fell upon him from the roof, causing injuries to which he succumbed five hours afterwards. The "specified distance" for propping, under Additional Special Rule 6 did not appear to have been adhered to. Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1903February21DurieFifeFife Coal Co LtdRichard Fullerton42Pit joinerFalling from part way downDeceased, with three other workmen, was engaged removing the pipes &c., from an abandoned shaft. During the operations it was necessary to remove a batten of wood which was in the way of the cage, and to do so deceased stood on a scaffold which was being supported by the batten. When the batten was freed, it and the scaffold on which he stood fell down the shaft carrying him with them. He fell into 8 fathoms of water, and some days elapsed before his body was recovered.  
1903February21ReddingStirlingJames Nimmo & Co LtdDavid Robertson49Waggon shifterOn surface – miscellaneousDeceased was attempting to move a loaded waggon with his brake stick placed at the back end of the wheel and resting on the rail, when the stick slipped and he fell forward on his face. It is supposed his face struck the axle box of the waggon. Newspaper reports - Stirlingshire accidents
1903February27NorthriggLinlithgowUnited Collieries LtdWilliam McAlpine42OversmanShaft accidents – whilst ascending or descending by machineryThe shaft is 61 fathoms deep to the Colinburn coal seam, and 12 fathoms above is the Main coal seam. Deceased came from the adjoining shaft, and at the mid-working he stepped on to the top deck of the rise cage to be raised to the surface, and when the cage was within 10 ft. of the top it fell away and he with it was precipitated to the bottom. The hose pin had by some means worked itself free from the muzzle, and the cage was thus released from the winding rope. Newspaper report
1903March3BlairenbathieKinrossFife Coal Co LtdJames King48MinerFalls of roofDeceased was stripping the coal off a lype at a longwall face, when a stone 8 ft. 0 in. in length by 3 ft. 6 ins. in width, and about 3 ft. 0 in. in thickness at centre, suddenly fell upon him, killing him instantly. The stone was triangular in section, and fell from between two parallel lypes, converging upwards. The outer lype had not been seen prior to the accident. The place was well propped.  
1903March5Bent No 6LanarkBent Colliery CoAndrew Weir32MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face. It is not known what he was doing at the time of the accident. Newspaper Report - Hamilton pages
1903March6Govan No 6LanarkWm Dixon LtdEdward Vint15Stone pickerOn surface – by machineryWhile oiling machinery in motion he was caught by the driving wheels  
1903March8BanktonHaddingtonForth Collieries LtdJohn O'Hare jun27shaftsmanShaft accidents – miscellaneousOwing to a large increase of water, chests had to be requisitioned to raise it from the shaft bottom and were to be emptied on arriving at the top automatically by lever arrangements. When the first chest arrived deceased and the oversman got into it in order to fix the position at which the lever was to come into operation to empty the chest, and while thus engaged the chest was suddenly raised and he was crushed against the fence at the top. The emptying of the chest had taken the weight off, and the brake not being on the engine moved.  
1903March10Pumpherston (Oil Shale)EdinburghPumpherston Oil Co LtdJames Brunton35MinerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesDeceased and another were driving an upset in a seam 8 ft. 9ins. in thickness and having an inclination of 24°. Two shots, each containing 1 ½ lbs. of gunpowder, and about 4 ft. 0 ins. apart, were being lighted. The gutta-percha covered fuse of deceased's shot did not appear to ignite readily, and as that of the other shot was burning freely, the men retired. On hearing one shot explode deceased at once returned to light the other, under the impression that he had formerly failed to do so. He appeared to have been close to it when it exploded, causing injuries to which he succumbed two hours afterwards. Newspaper report
1903March10Kenmuirhill No 2LanarkGlasgow Coal CoMatthew Clark28Waggon shifterOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysHe stood in front of a full waggon holding a prop against it to let other waggons move it, but the prop was knocked out and he was crushed between the waggons.  
1903March11ClydesideLanarkUnited Collieries LtdJohn Lundie37Waggon trimmerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysWhile pinching back a waggon to take out a trig the pinch slipped. He fell, and the waggon ran over his leg.  
1903March14Ferniegare No 1LanarkArchd. RussellJohn Miller31BottomerFalling from part way downHe pushed an empty hutch into the open shaft at a mid-working and fell after it to the bottom.

From Main body of report: Three of the fatal accidents happened at mid-workings to bottomers who fell down the shaft. The first of these occurred at Ferniegare, No. 1 Pit. The miners being idle, the bottomer disconnected the gates fencing the entrance to the shaft from the wire connecting the gates with the indicator in the engine-house, in order to get some repairs done. Apparently, while he was away from the shaft, the engineman, without giving a signal as he ought to have done, raised the cage from the mid-working. The bottomer seems to have opened the gate, and, thinking that the cage was still there, pushed an empty hutch into the open shaft and fell after it. ………. Probably none of these three accidents would have happened if the regulations had been observed.
1903March18Easter JawStirlingCarron CoEdward Craig26Engine keeperOn surface – by machineryDeceased was apparently about to proceed to the pithead scaffold by means of a steam hoist, and put on the steam just as he stepped on to the cage, when the cage was raised suddenly and he was caught between it and the frame and fatally crushed. Newspaper reports - Stirlingshire accidents
1903March19Carfin No 1LanarkWm Dixon LtdSimon Cristolitus29DrawerFalls of sideFall of clay from working face while passing along it.  
1903March21GlencraigFifeWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdDavid Carver24MinerFalls of roofDeceased was about to brake a loaded tub down a dipping road, when the roof suddenly fell upon him. Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1903March23Gilbertfield No2LanarkUnited Collieries LtdWm Coyle44MinerFalls of sideFall of coal. Newspaper report
1903March25MossbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdGeorge Lindsay16MinerShaft accidents – whilst ascending or descending by machineryDeceased and some others were descending to a mid-working. 33fathoms above pit bottom, on the lower deck of a double-decked cage, while eight men were ascending on the opposite cage, which was also double-decked. Owing to momentary forgetfulness, the engineman ran the descending cage past the mid-landing, and then considered it safer to bring the ascending cage to pit bank and let the men off before reversing. When the men left its upper deck the pithead man signalled to have the lower deck brought up to the landing ; and, simultaneously, the bottomer, recognising that the men on the cage at pit bottom were mid-working men, signalled for the cage to be raised. Unfortunately, at the same moment deceased attempted to jump off the cage at pit bottom, and was caught and crushed against the landing.  
1903March27Auchenharvie No 5AyrGlengarnock Iron & Steel Co LtdMichael Duffin25Shot firerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesHe failed to take proper shelter while firing a shot of saxonite and carbonite by electricity, and was struck by a projected stone.  
1903March30Gilbertfield No2LanarkUnited Collieries LtdJames Biggans15CouplerHaulage – run over by tubsWhile uncoupling hutches a "race" of hutches coming up crushed his head between them. He resumed work on 7th April but took suddenly ill and died.  
1903April3ShieldmainsAyrA G Moore & CoSamuel Paterson49Picking table foremanOn surface – miscellaneousWhen lifting a derailed hutch on a gangway with his hands on the railing, the railing gave way and he fell over the gangway.  
1903April8Rosehall No 3LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdWm Stevenson51FiremanFalls of roofFall of roof on road while passing along it. Newspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1903April13GrangemouthStirlingGrangemouth Coal Co LtdJohn Padkin52Waggon driverOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was hauling a rake of four small waggons, by means of a horse towards the loading jetty, and when nearing the weighing house he stumbled as he stepped off the leading waggon and one wheel of the waggon passed over him.  
1903April14Carfin No 1LanarkWilliam Dixon LtdFrank Svohl23DrawerFalls of roofFall of roof on road while redding a fall.  
1903April15Lochwood No 3LanarkLochwood Coal Co LtdCharles Downie44MinerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesTwo shots of compressed gunpowder were being fired. His neighbour lit the fuse of one and he attempted to light the other and thought that he failed to do so. The first lit shot went off, and on returning to relight the other it went off, killing Downie and injuring his neighbour.  
1903April20MossideLinlithgowGavin Paul & sonsWilliam Marshall37RoadsmanFalls of roofDeceased and another were repairing a heading, 12 ft. in width, and shifting some props which had been set too close to the rails. They had renewed four props, and deceased was preparing to set a fifth, when a stone 12 ft. 0 in. long by 4 ft. 6 ins. broad and 1 ft. 3 in. in thickness, triangular in section, suddenly fell upon him, causing his death before he could be extricated. Newspaper reports - Stirlingshire accidents
1903April21Little RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdWilliam Bowman22MinerFalls of roofDeceased was engaged withdrawing props from a lift, where the coal had been extracted, when a large stone suddenly fell from the roof and completely buried him.  
1903April22BirkenshawLanarkLarkhall Fireclay Co LtdWm Mair38MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at roadhead while setting a crown to secure it.  
1903April23LochheadFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdThomas Nicol52MinerFalls of sideDeceased was about to commence holing, when a large piece of coal fell away from an unseen lype.  
1903April24BogsideAyrWm Baird & Co LtdWilliam Rae15Pony driverFalling into shaft from surfaceHe opened the gate at the top of a blind pit, pushed a full hutch into the open shaft and fell after it.

From Main body of report: A pony driver also got killed by opening the gate at the top of a blind pit while the cage was at the bottom, pushing a full hutch into the shaft, and falling after it. An accident of this kind could not happen if, instead of a gate opened by hand, a fence actuated by the cage and therefore automatic in its action were used.
1903April27WallyfordEdinburghEdinburgh Collieries LtdRobert McEwan14Stone pickerOn surface – by machineryDeceased was walking on the picking table in the opposite direction to that in which it was travelling, when he stumbled and fell among the driving wheels and was fatally crushed between the spur wheel and a beam.

From Main body of report: A boy was walking on a travelling table in the opposite direction in which it moved, and stumbling fell on the top of the driving wheels, which were fenced around but not boxed in. This is a bad habit indulged in by many of the young persons employed at the tables in cleaning the coal, and although warned, and in some cases examples made by dismissal, the thing continues, and the wonder is that accidents from this cause are not more frequent.
1903April28Holytown No 12LanarkJames Nimmo & Co LtdAlexander McGibbon28FiremanMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesExplosion of bellite when preparing to charge a shot-hole. Another man was injured. The particulars of the accident are not known.  
1903April30Carfin No7LanarkWm Dixon LtdDavid Hostler27MinerFalls of sideFall of coal.  
1903May2Hill of BeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdCharles Izatt26MinerFalls of roofDeceased apparently was taking off coal at the face, when a stone fell from the roof, killing him instantaneously. The stone fell away from an unseen lype.  
1903May4Cowdenbeath No 10FifeFife Coal Co LtdJohn Woods21DrawerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was riding on a train of empty waggons, and either fell off or was knocked off and run over. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1903May6Common No 16AyrWm Baird & Co LtdRichard Corrie29MinerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesWhile firing a shot of fracturite it went off in some unexplained manner. Apparently he thought it had missed fire and he returned to it.  
1903May6Stonelaw No 1LanarkFarme Coal Co LtdJohn Rincavich22MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903May7Woodhall No 1LanarkBarr & HigginsDavid McGugan19DrawerFalls of roofFall of roof on engine dook. Newspaper Report - New Monkland pages
1903May9Carfin No 6LanarkWm Dixon LtdJohn McKey27JoinerOn surface – miscellaneousWhen pinching a plank from off a scree the pinch slipped and struck him behind the ear. He worked till 18th May when erysipelas set in and he died on the 20th.  
1903May11HowmuirLanarkAuchinlea Coal CoJoseph Smith40SinkerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesThree shots were about to be fired at the bottom of a sinking pit, and deceased was sent to warn some men who were driving a lodgment, and to prevent them from coming outbye. Two shots were fired, but owing to a damp fuse some delay took place with the other, and a second messenger was sent to warn the men in the lodgment. Owing to a misunderstanding as to his message, deceased left the lodgment prematurely and was struck by a piece of rock thrown by the shot.  
1903May12Auchinraith No 2LanarkMerry & Cunninghame LtdFrank Regan45Road repairerFalls of roofFall of roof on haulage road while repairing it.  
1903May12Neilsland No 1LanarkJohn Watson LtdJas Mathie56MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903May20Kirkwood No 1LanarkUnited Collieries LtdRobert Halliday40BrusherFalls of roofFall of roof at brushing face. Died in September, and the accident was not reported till then.  
1903May22BroomhouseLanarkHaughhead Coal CoDavid Thomson39FiremanShaft accidents – whilst ascending or descending by machineryWhen ascending the shaft alone in the cage he fell out.  
1903May22CampsLanarkCamp Coal Co LtdJohn Jarvie37MinerFalls of roofWhile engaged withdrawing props after stoop was extracted, the roof fell and caught him. An attempt was made to rescue him, but a second fall taking place, he was completely buried.  
1903May22Drumgrange No 10AyrDalmellington Iron Co LtdConstantine Morgan60BrusherFalls of roofFall of roof at working face, apparently when knocking out props.  
1903May25GreenhillLanarkGreenhill Colliery Co LtdRobert McAlpine33MinerFalls of roofDeceased had apparently been holing when the roof fell upon him. His drawer missed him on coming to the face with an empty tub, and on search being made he was found under the fall. Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1903May26ArnistonEdinburghArniston Coal Co LtdJames Potts27DrawerFalls of roofDeceased and his neighbour were engaged taking a piece of coal off the side of a stoop to form a new roadway, when the roof suddenly fell. Newspaper report
1903May26Glengarnock No 6 (Ironstone)AyrGlengarnock Iron & Steel Co LtdJas Findlay55RoadsmanFalls of roofFall of roof on road while enlarging it.  
1903May27ClimpyLanarkClimpy Coal Co (Geo L Watson)William Baird49BrusherFalls of roofWhile deceased was putting a building in the wall with the debris made while brushing the roadway, the roof fell and injured him, causing his death seven days later.  
1903May28Bothwell Park No 2LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdDaniel Lynch30BrusherMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesWhile pulling out the wires and detonator from a charge of saxonite it exploded.

From Main body of report: Occurred at Bothwell Park Colliery, and occurred in unusual circumstances. The deceased brusher charged a shot-hole with saxonite, using an electrical fuse and detonator. When the shot-firer came round he informed him that he had no shots to be fired, and shortly after sent after the latter to bring him back, but he had disappeared and could not be found. The deceased then was in the act of attempting to pull out the wires and detonator, when the charge exploded and killed him. The other men who were present professed entire ignorance of how the accident occurred, and it was some time after ere the real facts of the case were divulged.
1903June4Bothwell Castle No 4LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdEdward Love46EngineerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysWhile riding in an empty waggon beneath the screes he put up his head and got crushed against a girder. Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1903June6BalgonieFifeCharles B BalfourJames Bell29MinerFalls of roofDeceased was engaged in the top division of the Dysart Main Coal, working off the coal coming back, and at the time of the accident was "backening" coal toward the roadhead, when the roof suddenly fell upon him.  
1903June9Hamilton PalaceLanarkBent Colliery CoPeter Simm jun22Pony driverFalls of roofFall of roof on road while taking an empty hutch to a working place. Newspaper report - Bothwellhaugh pages
1903June10SkellytonLanarkUnited Collieries LtdJas Magee19BottomerFalling from part way downHe pushed an empty hutch into the open shaft at a mid-working and fell after it to the bottom.

From Main body of report: Three of the fatal accidents happened at mid-workings to bottomers who fell down the shaft……… The second of these accidents occurred at Skellyton Colliery. In this case the bottomer, apparently without looking to see if the cage was at the mid-working, brought forward a full hutch, opened the gate, pushed the full hutch into the open shaft, and fell after it. The engineman stated that he did not observe the indicator show the gate open, but even if he had he would not have had time to signal to the deceased before the accident happened. ………. Probably none of these three accidents would have happened if the regulations had been observed.
1903June10BiggarfordLanarkUnited Collieries LtdThomas Grant24MinerExplosions of fire damp or coal dustSee report

From Main body of report: The most serious explosion occurred at Biggarford Colliery, whereby four men were seriously injured, one of whom subsequently died. The No. 1 shaft, which was originally sunk to the Kiltongue coal at a depth of 58 fathoms, was re-sunk to the Lower Drumgray coal 18 fathoms below [see diagram]. The bottom stoop had been turned, and the working was being laid out on the longwall method at A and B. The air current to ventilate the seam was forced down the No. I shaft by a fan at the top, and was said to be about 9,000 cubic feet per minute ; this current was split at the bottom in about equal proportions, and after traversing the stoop returned by a blind shaft to the Kiltongue workings and thence by the outlet shaft to the surface. At the time of the accident there were nine persons in the seam-four at A, three at B, and two at C. At A a " branch " road had been formed to the rise off the level. Shortly before the accident the men working in the " branch " heard the roof " working," and fearing that it was about to fall were preparing to leave the place when suddenly gas ignited at one of the naked lights and an explosion resulted. The lights carried by all the men in the seam were extinguished, but, notwithstanding, they managed to reach the shaft and were raised to the surface. An examination of the workings afterwards showed that at A the roof of the newly opened longwall place had taken the "first break," and a considerable quantity of gas had been liberated. The explosion was very violent, as was evidenced by the tubs being derailed and thrown toward the stoop side, rails lifted from their, position, props along the level road thrown out, and doors and stoppings destroyed. The force was from A toward the shaft. At the Inquiry held under the Fatal Accident Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1895, it transpired that shortly after starting to cut the bottom stoop gas was seen on the opposite side of the shaft from A, and safety lamps were used, but these were subsequently withdrawn when the gas disappeared. The jury added a rider to their formal verdict to the effect that the management had acted imprudently in withdrawing the safety lamps. Had safety lamps been in use no explosion would have occurred, and I quite agree with their rider.
1903June18Orbiston No 1LanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoMichael McCafferty42BrusherMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesWhile charging a shot-hole with gunpowder a spark from his lamp ignited 4 lbs. of the explosive.  
1903June18 William Walker - see entry under 22 September 1902
1903June19Bothwell Park No 2LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdWm Shiverall24FiremanFalls of roofFall of roof at brushing face when about to fire a shot just after firing another close to it.  
1903June19Hamilton PalaceLanarkBent Colliery CoPeter Wilson29MinerFalls of roofFall of roof while drawing props at stooping operations. Newspaper report - Bothwellhaugh pages
1903June26NiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdGeorge Brown jun15Incline brakesmanSundriesDeceased was employed as brakesman at the top of a brake incline 40 fathoms in length and having an inclination of 73°. The brake lever was situated at the uppermost bench, the formation of which had not been completed. It was not part of deceased's duty to place the tubs on the carriage, but it appeared that he had attempted to do so, probably to assist the miner, who was a relative. He forgot that the carriage was not at the bench, pushed the loaded tub into the incline, and fell with it to the bottom.  
1903June30Dumbreck No 2StirlingWm Baird & Co LtdWm Barrie69MinerShaft accidents – miscellaneousWhen stepping off the cage he slipped and fell into the cage seat. The accident was not reported until after his death on 13th September.  
1903July2LochoreFifeFife Coal Co LtdDavid Rennie30EngineerOn surface – by machineryDeceased and three other workmen were engaged getting a steam pump forward, to lower it into a sinking pit, when it tilted over and crushed him against an iron beam. Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1903July6Rosehall No 3LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdJoseph Patrick Hannah21DrawerHaulage – run over by tubsCrushed by a full hutch when going up a self-acting incline, the prop to which the pulley was fixed having broken.  
1903July8MuirbeathFifeHenry Ness & Co LtdJohn Whyte19DrawerHaulage – ropes or chains breakingDeceased was sitting at the foot of a cut chain brae dipping 1 in 3 ¾, while a loaded tub was being run down. The chain broke, owing to the rivet of a splicing link giving way, and the full tub struck deceased killing him instantly.  
1903July9LevenFifeFife Coal Co LtdJames Halley14Pithead runnerOn surface – by machineryAfter the signal was given to the engine-keeper that all was ready, deceased thinking the guard to keep the tubs in position on the cage was not properly up put his right foot to the guard, and just then the cage left the surface and his leg was caught between the cage cover and side of shaft and completely severed at the thigh. He died four hours afterwards.  
1903July13Bellfield No 4LanarkWm Barr & SonsRobert Lockhart18BencherHaulage – run over or crushed by tubsWhile riding on a bogie on a low part of a haulage road along with other men he got crushed against the roof. He died from his injuries on 25th February 1904.  
1903July14WellsgreenFifeFife Coal Co LtdWilliam McCabe26DrawerOther haulage accidentsDeceased was hanging on a tub at the foot of a short wheel brae, and before it had been completely hooked on shouted to the drawer at brae head to shove over. This was done more promptly than he expected; the end of the chain was jerked away and the full tub ran down, struck the corner of the empty one and drove it against deceased, causing injuries which resulted fatally two days afterwards.  
1903July16Cadzow No 2LanarkCadzow Coal CoJames Docherty35MinerFalls of sideFall of coal, owing to sprag giving way.  
1903July17LochoreFifeFife Coal Co LtdJames Ogilvie34Pump attendantShaft accidents – whilst ascending or descending by machineryDeceased was employed to attend a pump situated 25 fathoms from the surface and 16 fathoms from the then bottom of a sinking shaft. Several sinkers descended the shaft in the kettle, and at the pump a halt was made to set down deceased's neighbour, and to pick him up, and the kettle then proceeded to the bottom, and on arriving there all left the kettle, except deceased, who remained on to be raised to the surface. At the ''steadying" mark the kettle was pushed to one side to allow another pump attendant to board it, and he missed it and thus caused it to oscillate, and he having hold of the signal pulled it down as he fell, and the kettle was raised, and when about 5 fathoms up it caught on a "bunton" and deceased was thrown out. Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1903July17Bogleshole No 4LanarkJames Dunlop & Co LtdJohn Boyd sen40MinerExplosions of fire damp or coal dustUpon entering their working place to commence work after it was reported all clear by the foreman their naked lights ignited fire-damp and they were fatally injured by the explosion. Another man was injured.

From Main body of report: The first fatal explosion took place in Bogleshole No. 4 Pit, Lanarkshire and resulted in the loss of two lives and the injury of another man. The fireman reported the miners' working place all clear, and on entering it to commence their day's work their naked lights ignited an accumulation of fire-damp. It seems that during the previous night an explosion had occurred in the same section of workings and it ignited some timbering and screens, and, in consequence, the air current had been diverted and shut off from the working places for some time. If the fireman made his inspection thoroughly it is difficult to understand how he failed to detect the presence of gas. Safety lamps have since the explosion been used in these workings.
Joseph Hunter32Miner
1903July20Ayr-Drumley No 1AyrGeorge Taylor & CoRobert Davidson17MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903July23CastlehillLanarkShotts Iron Co LtdJames Mitchell37MinerFalls of sideDeceased was holing, when a part of the coal fell away from an unseen lype.  
1903July23Holytown No 8LanarkJames Nimmo & Co LtdWm Cunningham29Coal cutterMiscellaneous underground – by machineryWhile a Hurd bar cutting machine, with bar in motion and exposed, was traversing the coal face the cutters caught his clothing and drew him in.

From Main body of report: One man lost his life in Holytown Colliery, Lanarkshire, by a Hurd's bar coal-cutting machine driven by electricity. At the time of the accident the machine was travelling along the coal face and not cutting coal, and during this operation the cutter-bar was revolving and quite exposed. The deceased was lifting the rails at the rear of the machine close to the cutter-bar, and while stooping down his loose vest was caught by the revolving cutters. The consequence was that he was drawn in and so severely lacerated that he succumbed to his injuries. The cutter-bar ought to have had a covering to securely fence it as required by General Rule 31 when the machine was in operation and not cutting coal, or the machine should have been so constructed that the cutter-bar would be out of gear when it was exposed.
1903July24GarriongillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdJohn Louden69OversmanExplosions of fire damp or coal dustSee report

From Main body of report: A close place was driven to a "want" in the Kiltongue coal seam and stopped. It was proposed to re-start the heading part and extend it for a haulage way to a section at work to the rise, and it is probable that deceased was examining the roadway to see what repairs were necessary, when his naked light ignited some gas, causing an explosion and injuring him so seriously that he succumbed two days afterwards.
A part of the heading was the main return airway, and beyond this part the brattice, which had been in use when the road was being driven, stood, to allow a current of air to circulate to keep it clear, but this brattice had got damaged and air had short circuited and gas accumulated. The quantity of gas appeared to be small, as no damage was done to the roadway. The roadway was part of the ventilating district, and as such should have been inspected in terms of Section 5 (1) of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1896. This had not been done by the fireman, and evidently deceased had not insisted on it. At no time previous to the accident had gas been seen in the seam, and deceased thought he was quite safe in going into the roadway with an open light, a mistake which cost him his life.
1903July27Quarter No 7LanarkUnited Collieries LtdGeorge Crossley32MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903July29AftonAyrLanemark Coal Co LtdCharles Hammond24MinerFalls of roofFall of roof in working place. It is doubtful that the propping regulations were observed. Another man was injured. Newspaper report
Jas Glendinning38Miner
1903July30DumbreckStirlingNKArchibald MacphieNKMinerNot listed Death not listed in Inspectors reportNewspaper report NB We cannot locate a death certificate for Archibald Macphie
1903August4Carfin No 3LanarkUnited Collieries LtdPeter Brannan24BrusherFalls of roofWhile knocking out props at road head to facilitate his work the roof fell on him  
1903August7BlairadamFifeFife Coal Co LtdWilliam Scott16MinerFalls of roofDeceased and his father were about to fill a tub with coal, when the roof suddenly collapsed. The roof was composed of a strong thick post of sandstone, and took periodical breaks across the faces ; it was one of such breaks which caused the accident. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1903August7DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal Co LtdAdam Dunsmore23MinerFalls of roofDeceased was holing at the face, when the fireclay roof above suddenly fell on him, causing instant death. The fall came away from a keen lype.  
1903August10Blackhill No 9 (Ironstone)LanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoPatrick McLaughlan35BrusherFalls of roofFall of roof on road while enlarging it for an airway. Newspaper report
1903August10Carfin No 1LanarkWm Dixon LtdJoseph Beelavicke21MinerFalls of sideFall of clay from working face.  
1903August17BowhillFifeBowhill Coal Co LtdDavid Nairn40FiremanHaulage – run over by trams & tubsDeceased had just finished repairing a guide rail at the foot of a slope, when two loaded tubs, which had become detached from the rope, ran down and struck him. The rope drew out of the hose while the tubs were in motion. Newspaper report - Auchterderran pages
1903August18Banknock-BroomriggStirlingBanknock Colliery Co LtdJohn Crawford49MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face. Newspaper reports - Stirlingshire accidents
1903August19Glenbuck – GalawhistleAyrCairntable Gas Coal Co LtdRobert Overand32MinerFalls of roofFall of roof in working place which was not propped as required by the regulations.  
1903August20HighhouseAyrWm Baird & Co LtdTerence McPortland65Gate keeperOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysWhen attempting to open crossing gates he was run over by a Railway Co.'s runaway van.  
1903August20Blackhill No 9 (Ironstone)LanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoEdward O'Neil35Assistant bottomerShaft accidents – miscellaneousWhen stepping forward to put down guards of lower deck of cage he fell  
1903August20Leadhills (Lead ore)LanarkLeadhills Co LtdAndrew Harkness17TrammerMetalliferous minesDeceased's duties were to tram the ore in tubs from the working places and empty the contents down a hopper or staple to a level below, where it was again re-filled into tubs and conveyed to the winding shaft. The hopper opening was in the centre of roadway and tub was usually couped end up. Over part of the opening were two pieces of wood laid across loosely, and it appears while deceased was standing on the covering to put his tub on the rails after it was emptied the wood slipped out of position and fell away and he was precipitated to the level below. For some reason deceased had turned his tub on its mouth to empty it. Newspaper report - Lead Mining pages
1903August21GarriongillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdSamuel Graham33BottomerShaft accidents – miscellaneousDeceased was crossing the cage seat while cage was running in the shaft, when it came down and crushed him.  
1903August24Lightshaw No 4AyrWm Baird & Co LtdJohn Ferguson25MinerFalls of sideFall of head coal beneath which he went after the props were withdrawn.  
1903August26Busbiehead No 2AyrJ & R HowieSamuel Howie15LabourerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysCrushed between two waggons while attempting to couple them.

From Main body of report: A boy 15 years of age was evidently assisting to move railway waggons illegally, and while attempting to couple them got crushed between two of them. The pitheadman who was moving the waggons alleged that he did not know that the boy was there, but it is doubtful if this statement can be accepted as correct.
1903August27Craighead No 1LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdGavin Cook20RepairerFalls of roofWhile knocking out a prop to allow a brick wall to be built the roof and side gave way.  
1903August28Ellismuir No 2LanarkUnited Collieries LtdGeorge Reynolds24Haulage manHaulage – run over by tubsCrushed in some unexplained manner by his bogie when bringing a "race" of hutches out to the pit bottom.  
1903August31Gilbertfield No2LanarkUnited Collieries LtdJas Goudie24MinerFalls of sideFall of coal. Caused by failure to set sprags in terms of the regulations.  
1903September4DechmontLanarkArchd. RussellDaniel Marrs74Stone pickerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysWhen crossing the rails at the screen he was run into by the Railway Co.'s locomotive.  
1903September10Olive BankEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdWilliam Johnstone37SinkerShaft accidents -things falling from part way downWhile the kettle was descending empty and when about 20 fathoms down it left the rope, and falling straight down, struck deceased in the bottom of a sinking shaft. There were eight sinkers in the bottom, and all ran to the pipe side, except deceased, who ran right in the way of the descending kettle. The pin which connected muzzle on kettle to winding rope came out apparently by vibration while kettle was running in the shaft.  
1903September10CarronhallStirlingCarron CoCornelius Hotchkiss38MinerFalls of roofDeceased had fired a cut shot close to one side of his place, and, immediately after, was picking some dirt from amongst the fallen coal, when a mass of sandstone, relieved by the shot, fell upon him, killing him almost instantaneously.  
1903September11Rosehall No 5LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdRobert Bell45MinerSundriesComing in contact with signal wires which had accidentally been charged with electricity from the power cables.

From Main body of report: In Rosehall, No. 5 Pit, Lanarkshire, an accident occurred by which two men lost their lives by an electric shock. Near the pit mouth there is a steam engine driving an electric generator which is used to supply power to underground pumps. The dynamo was made by the British Thomson-Houston Company, Limited, and is a three-phase alternating current generator of 550 volts and 52 1/2 amperes at a speed of 1,000 revolutions per minute. Three cables are taken down one end of the shaft from the dynamo, and from the shaft bottom shown on the accompanying plan they are conveyed along a haulage road to the point D where a motor is placed [see diagram]. This motor drives a pump, but it also actuates a dynamo of the continuous current type with a voltage of 237. From this latter dynamo two power cables are taken by E past F to the point G where there is a motor driving another pump. A second pair of power cables goes from the same dynamo down the road H to a motor for driving a third pump at J. Another motor placed near the bottom of the shaft drives a pump which raises water to the Ironstone mid-working. In the haulage engine-house near the pit head there is placed an electric battery of 16 Leclanche cells and a signal bell. From the battery two galvanized iron signal wires are taken down the end of the shaft alongside the electric power cables, but separated from them by a space of about 18 inches. The signal wires are carried on porcelain insulators to the point E, and from that point, a pair of wires goes to the point G and another pair goes to the point H.
The shaft is 173 fathoms deep, and both the power cables and the signal wires were fixed in the shaft at some 30 different points to porcelain insulators placed at irregular distances apart. Each power cable between the generator and the pit bottom consisted of a single copper wire covered with a thin woven material which, however, did not insulate the wire, and at several points the covering was stripped from the wire. From the pit bottom to the motor at the point D each power cable consisted of a strand of 19 copper wires of No. 16 gauge, and was properly insulated. For the greater part of the distance between the pit bottom and the point D the signal wires and the power cables were fixed on the same side of the road, and at several points the signal wires touched the insulating covering of the cables.
From the shaft to the point F the haulage road is level. From F to G it dips at an inclination of 1 in 6. The coal is drawn to the shaft by the "main and tail rope" system of haulage, and the haulage rope is taken down the pumping end of the shaft in a wooden rhone. Signals to the engineman are made by the haulage man making contact between the two signal wires which are about 2 1/2 inches apart.
It appears that about 3.30 p.m. on the day of the accident the haulage man was about to take a "race" of full hutches out to the shaft from the Kiltongue Coal level at the point L, and he gave the usual signal to the engineman. When the race started it was stopped after it had proceeded only a few yards. Thereupon he took hold of the signal wires with his hand to repeat the signal, and on doing so got so severe a shock that he could not let go. Two miners happened to be present, and seeing that something was wrong, one of them took hold of the haulage man by the wrist, and he too got a shock. Thereupon the other miner struck the signal wires with a hammer and the haulageman fell down insensible, and remained so for some 10 minutes. The engineman stated that after he started the ''race" in obedience to the signal he had only drawn it forward a few yards when the signal bell began to ring, and he at once stopped his engine, but the bell continued ringing. About a minute after stopping the engine, while standing on the dry wooden floor, he took hold of the wire attached to the zinc rod of one of the battery cells and got a distinct shock. He thereupon lifted out the zinc rod with two pieces of wood, and on putting it back in its place shortly after, the bell was silent. The bottomer at the Ironstone mid-working, 43 fathoms above the bottom of the shaft, stated that about 3.30 p.m. he had occasion to make a signal to the pit bottom, and the moment his hand touched the signal lever K (see Section of Pit) he got a severe shock. About the same time that these occurrences took place three miners were proceeding from their working places to the pit bottom, and were walking in Indian file up the haulage road at the point M when, apparently about the same instant, the first and the last man suddenly fell dead.
At the point M the top of the rails are covered to a depth of 1 1/2 inches with hard caked dirt which is dry, but not electrically so, and a person walking past is not able to touch the rails with his foot. The signal wires are at a height of 3 1/2 feet above the rails and only 6 inches beyond the perpendicular of the rail. While walking towards the shaft a man's right arm or hand could therefore readily come in contact with the signal wires at this point. The doctor who examined the bodies of the deceased as soon as they were taken to the surface reported that the body of one of the men was soiled all over with coal dust, and that on the upper part of the right arm the dust was in the form of streaks radiating from a centre, which indicated that he had received an electrical shock there. He found on the back of a finger of the right hand of the other man's body an abrasion, but said that he could not infer from that that the man had come in contact with a live electric wire.
In investigating this accident I was much indebted to Mr. Gilbert Scott Ram, Electrical Inspector of Factories, who made a careful examination of the electrical installation at the colliery and also gave evidence at the Fatal Accident Inquiry as an electrical expert. We were unable to find any signs of burning on the signal wires or any point of leakage in the insulated portion of the power cables at which the signal wires could have been abnormally charged with electricity. The shaft is damp, and at one point both the power cables and the signal wires were touching the wet wood lining of the shaft, and all were embedded in wet coal dust or dirt. Thereafter Mr. Ram, as an experiment, reproduced at the Board of Trade a similar state of matters, and found that there was sufficient leakage of current through the wet coal dust to charge the signal wires to an extent that would give a fatal shock if touched. But as the signal wires were abnormally charged for only a short period, any leakage at the point just described could not have anything to do with the accident. At various points in the shaft I found that by exerting a pressure of not more than 3 or 4 lbs. the power cables could be made to touch the signal wires, and as one of the cages runs up and down within a foot of the cables, in the absence of definite information I came to the conclusion that the most probable cause of the accident was a piece of coal falling from a hutch in the cage and resting on a bunton where it pressed a power cable against the signal wires which became charged. When the cage again passed the piece of coal may have been dislodged, leaving no evidence of what had occurred. I could, however, get no evidence that at this time anything had fallen down the shaft. Mr. Ram is of opinion that either in this manner or by some metal tool falling across the wires and forming contact the signal wires got charged from the power cables in the shaft, and I think that there can be no doubt that the non-insulated condition of the power cables in the shaft was the cause of the signal wires being abnormally charged. The man who was walking between the men who were killed was unable to tell whether or not either of them touched the signal wires, but it is evident that either inadvertently or otherwise both, of them came in contact with them when highly charged and got the shock which killed them.
Jas Scullion24Miner
1903September12Portland No 5AyrPortland Colliery Co LtdRobert Hay25MinerFalls of roofFall of roof (coal and stone) in working place.  
1903September14StaneLanarkTurners LtdGeorge Whitefield55BottomerShaft accidents – miscellaneousDeceased was on the cage pulling a loaded tub towards him, when it was suddenly raised and he was crushed at the door heads. The engine-keeper had apparently raised the cage without receiving a signal to do so.  
1903September15GatesideLanarkFlemington Coal CoWm Ryan19MinerFalls of sideFall of coal and " fallen''  
1903September15AitkenFifeFife Coal Co LtdJames McCabe45MinerFalls of roofDeceased was taking down coal at a longwall face, when a large stone fell from between two keen lypes, converging upwards, and killed him almost instantly. Newspaper report - Beath pages
1903September16WallyfordEdinburghEdinburgh Collieries LtdJohn Brown McNeil39MinerFalls of sideDeceased had withdrawn a prop to "drop" the head coal, when the coal suddenly fell upon him.  
1903September16Upper Darnley Mine (fireclay)RenfrewAllan KirkwoodJas Wilson35DrawerFalls of roofFall of roof on road.  
1903September17DalbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdThomas Stewart42MinerFalls of sideDeceased had taken a sprag out to enable him to out down his coal, but as he failed to bring it down he began to ''mend" the holing, when the coal fell over and crushed him. He died on 30th May, 1904..  
1903September21Greenfield, Threestonehill No 8 PitLanarkGreenfield Coal & Brick Co LtdWalter Neilson58MinerFalls of sideFall of coal and " fallen."  
1903September28Rosehall No 13LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdThos Cunningham39MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903September29KnownoblehillLanarkUnited Collieries LtdJames Wilson57SinkerFalls of sideDeceased was working at the bottom of a sinking pit 53 fathoms in depth, only three-fifths of which depth was barred. A wedge-shaped piece of stone fell from an unascertained place in the shaft, and struck him, causing injuries which terminated fatally an hour afterwards.  
1903October1KenmuirhillLanarkGlasgow Coal CoJas McGeachan30DrawerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesStruck by the flame, &c, from a shot of 2 ½ lbs. of compressed gunpowder which blew through another shot-hole.  
1903October5Westburn No 2LanarkWestburn Colliery CoWm Finlayson26RoadsmanExplosions of fire damp or coal dustAn outburst of water filled up some dip workings from which the water was being pumped. The lowering of the water restored the ventilation and brought out gas which evidently ignited at his naked light although he had been instructed to use a safety lump.

From Main body of report: The second fatal explosion took place in Westburn Colliery, Lanarkshire. An outburst of water had filled up some dip workings and the water was being pumped out. The air current having been cut off and the pumps being in the return airway, the deceased, who was attending to the pump, was instructed to use a safety lamp alone. It seems, however, that he had a naked light as well as a safety lamp, and the consequence was that, when the level of the water was lowered and the ventilation restored, an accumulation of gas forced out by the current ignited at his naked light and his rashness cost him his life.
1903October7MichaelFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdForbes Moodie42RoadsmanOther haulage accidentsDeceased had visited a section to the rise and was proceeding down the incline when a loaded tub ran away from the top, and before it had gone very far it left the rails and the contents were showered down the roadway, and a piece of coal struck him on the head ; when found he was 24 feet below the tub. The injury was thought to be slight, but he subsequently died from the effect on 26th January, 1904. A good set of blocks was provided at the top, but it appears the wheeler had either neglected to put it in or had insufficiently fixed it, and on bringing the tub forward it ran over the brae.  
1903 October 8 Monkland No 11 Lanark James Dunlop & Co LtdJohn McDonald jun25Miner Falls of roof Full of roof at working place. Newspaper Report - New Monkland pages
John McDonald sen45Miner
Philip Jarvie43 Miner
1903October8SunnybraesFifeWest of Fife Coal Co LtdSamuel Ramage45MinerFalls of sideDeceased was holing his coal, when a part of the top coal fell away, and killed him instantaneously. A sprag which was up to the face was thrown out when the coal fell. Newspaper Report - Fife pages
1903October9Hill of BeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdDavid Hunter16Hanger-onOther haulage accidentsA rake of full tubs was pushed over at the top of an incline, before the empty rake was attached to the rope, and on hearing the tubs coming the man who assisted shouted to the deceased to get into a manhole close by while he ran outbye. Deceased evidently thought he would be safer to run outbye also, but was overtaken by the runaway tubs and was caught just as he was passing through a trap door. The wheeler at the top mistook the signal. The method of signalling was defective.  
1903October11ParkheadLanarkGlasgow Iron & Steel Co LtdRobert Ramsay41Engine keeperOn surface – miscellaneousDeceased was blowing off a boiler under a steam pressure of 100 lbs. He prematurely opened an auxiliary valve which was only used for washing-out purposes, became enveloped in steam and was so severely scalded that he succumbed nine hours afterwards.  
1903October15AllantonLanarkWm Barr & SonsDavid Hughes37MinerFalls of roofFall of roof on haulage road while repairing it.  
1903October16CastlehillFifeShotts Iron Co LtdWilliam Aitken64LabourerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was bringing forward two empty waggons for dross at cart screen when he was fatally crushed between an upright post and second waggon. The space between the post and side of waggon was 4 ½inches.  
1903October17Auchincruive- Mossblown No 1AyrAuchincruive Coal CoJohn McDonald35overmanMiscellaneous underground – suffocation by natural gasesWhen clearing out fire-damp from a heading he was overcome by the gas.

From Main body of report: An overman in Auchincruive Colliery, Ayrshire, lost his life by being suffocated in an accumulation of fire-damp which he was endeavouring to dislodge. The gas was collected in a narrow heading ventilated by a sheet iron tube. He had other two men with him, and being unable to reach the inner end of the air tube with a safety lamp on account of the gas, he took one of the men with him and foolishly attempted to go forward in the dark. The consequence was that they were both overcome. Fortunately, the third man was able to save the fireman who accompanied the overman, but several hours elapsed ere the dead body of the latter was reached.
1903October19BalbardieLinlithgowBalbardie Colliery Co LtdJames Glen30MinerMiscellaneous underground – by explosivesDeceased and his brother were firing two holing shots at the face of a stone mine. Gutta percha covered fuse was used. Deceased's fuse did not burn properly, so they decided to extinguish it by rubbing with their fingers. When the other shot exploded deceased returned almost immediately to relight his one ; but when he was still 20 yards from the face the shot exploded, and a fragment of rock struck him on the head causing injuries which terminated fatally an hour afterwards.  
1903October19CarberryEdinburghEdinburgh Collieries LtdRobert Ritchie24PitheadmanOn surface – miscellaneousDeceased ran a loaded tub of debris from the shaft to the waggon tip, and by some means was thrown over the scaffold to the railway below, a distance of 14 ft. The tub was found off the rails, and it is supposed that it had struck him as it came back after being emptied. The tip was a side one.  
1903October19Comedie No 5LanarkHugh Bain & SonsFrancis McCrory38MinerFalls of roofFall of roof on road while sitting near the pit bottom.  
1903October20LochoreFifeFife Coal Co LtdJames Brown50SinkerShaft accidents – whilst ascending or descending by machineryDeceased descended on the edge of a kettle, inside of which was a plank of wood and a muzzle, and over the side was a sling chain. At a point 80 ft. from the bottom he stopped to discharge these articles, which were to be used to fix a tank to prevent it falling on the sinkers during sinking operations ; he put off the plank and sling chain, and as he was about to descend he jumped into the kettle to lay off the muzzle, when the kettle turned over and he was precipitated to the bottom. In lifting off the sling chain it is thought he had inadvertently pulled out the pin which fixes the bow to the body of the kettle. Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1903October20RosieFifeBowman & CoAlexander Allan17MinerHaulage – run over by trams & tubsDeceased apparently had attempted to get on the rope in front of the first tub to ride up a dook and was thrown in front of the rake and dragged some distance.  
1903November3CarronhallStirlingCarron CoJames Easton31BrusherFalls of sideDeceased and another had fired a brushing shot and were forming a roadside building with the debris. To give easier access to the building, he had taken out some "breaking trees" at roadside, thereby apparently relieving a large overhanging stone, which fell upon and instantly killed him. Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages
1903November6ArnistonEdinburghArniston Coal Co LtdHenry Brotherstone32LabourerOn surface – miscellaneousDeceased was in a dross hopper clearing dross from the shoot leading into the hopper, and instead of standing on a plank provided for the purpose he stood on the dross. The man in charge of the waggons put a waggon under the hopper and opened the valve to allow the dross to fall into the waggon, when deceased's legs were seen protruding. Before he was rescued he had been suffocated.  
1903November6Dumbreck No 2StirlingWm Baird & Co LtdGilbert Anderson50MinerFalls of roofWhen standing at the foot of an incline the roof fell on him. Another man was injured. Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages
1903November7LochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdDonald Laird27MinerFalls of sideDeceased was holing, when a piece of coal fell from the face upon him. On one side of the place a lype was visible, and it was from this lype that the coal fell.  
1903November9BlairenbathieKinrossFife Coal Co LtdWilliam Black41MinerFalls of roofThe roof had fallen across the face, and deceased and his neighbour were employed to "win" it out, and while clearing the debris from the roadhead a stone fell and struck him on the head. The injury was slight, but he was unable to work much afterwards and died on 2nd August, 1904. A post-mortem examination was made, and at the fatal accident inquiry medical evidence was given that the death was due to the accident.  
1903November9Greenfield No 1LanarkArchd. RussellJames Brown16Pony driverOther haulage accidentsWhen taking out tail chain his pony started and his head was crushed between hutches. (Died on 7th February, 1904.)  
1903November11Inkermann-Douglas No 3 (ironstone)RenfrewMerry & Cunninghame LtdWm McEwan45BottomerHaulage – run over by tubsApparently he was knocked into the cage seat and crushed by a full hutch which ran forward by gravitation.  
1903November11LochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdJohn Anderson40Locomotive driverOn surface – miscellaneousThe waggons are hauled between the principal siding and two of the pits by means of a self-acting incline. Deceased for some reason unknown caught hold of one of the ropes just as the rake started, and was suddenly raised to a height of 20 ft, and letting go his hold he fell to the ground.  
1903November12Glenboig (Fireclay)LanarkGlenboig Union Fireclay Co LtdPeter Uski (Pole)48MinerFalls of roofDeceased was stamping a hole for a shot in the bottom of the seam, when a stone fell from the roof and killed him instantaneously.  
1903November13MichaelFifeWemyss Coal Co LtdJohn Welsh14DrawerOther haulage accidentsA fall took place on a cut chain brae, and while it was being cleared deceased and some other drawers were sent up the brae to be out of harm's way. At the top were two loaded tubs, one on the left-hand side near the heading face and one on the right-hand side at the top branch to which the chain was attached. To clear the fall, three miners, who worked in the section, hauled up an empty tub from the foot of the brae with the chain attached; when the tub was filled they put snibbles in the wheels, to lower it down, but it overpowered them, and when it reached the bottom the sudden jerk on the chain caused the wheel tree at top to break and it struck the tub on left-hand side causing it to run away, which struck deceased as it passed him. The tub which ran away had its top wheels over the rail ends, but no snibbles were in the wheels, nor was there a rance behind. The brae was 116 yards long with an average gradient of 1 in 5.  
1903November16Banknock, CannertonStirlingYoung's Collieries LtdJas Mortimer40MinerFalls of roofFall of roof in working place.  
1903November17WemyssFifeWemyss Coal CoJohn Penman42MinerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased with several other workmen was proceeding to his work, and was riding on the waggon next the locomotive engine, when the engine left the rails and he was thrown and crushed between the waggon and engine buffer. The engine left the rails at points leading to a new road in course of construction, and on investigation it was discovered that the points had been tampered with.  
1903November19Lanemark No 2AyrLanemark Coal Co LtdWm Armstrong50BricklayerFalls of roofFall of roof while building a dam. It had not been properly inspected.  
1903November20BeggFifeWalter Herd & Son LtdAndrew Herd21DrawerOther haulage accidentsWhile a rake was being run on a short brae a coupling by some means unknown came out, and three empty tubs ran back, and deceased was crushed against the frame of the wheel for a longer brae. Newspaper Report - Fife pages
1903November26Cowdenbeath No 10FifeFife Coal Co LtdJames Syme36FiremanOther haulage accidentsDeceased placed a 10-f t. timber bar on the empty tubs of a rake running on a wheel brae to take it to a part where roof required repairing, and while the rake moved up he walked alongside to keep the bar in position ; at a low part of the roof the bar caught and it was thrown off the tubs on top of him. He died on 4th January, 1904.  
1903November30OakleyFifeOakley Collieries LtdAlexander McDonald55BrusherFalls of roofDeceasedwas engaged withdrawing props from under the roof to be brushed, when a stone fell and killed him instantaneously. He was partly under the brushing when stone fell.  
1903November30Bothwell Castle No 4LanarkWm Baird & Co LtdPatrick McDade30MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face.  
1903December1FordellFifeCountess of BuckinghamshireJohn Heckie jun14Hanger-onFalling from part way downTo obviate the necessity of a mid-working at winding shaft a drop pit is in use to lower the coal from the Five-feet seam to the Dunfermline Splint seam. The pit is 68 feet deep, and is worked in the usual way. The top is fenced by sliding gates with back balance weights so that slight pressure has to be applied by the hand to raise or lower them. Deceased was employed as a hanger-on at a brae foot close by the drop pit, and was in the habit of putting load tubs on and taking empty tubs off the cages without let or hindrance. The lad in charge of the pit was hurriedly called away to assist to re rail some tubs, and had apparently forgotten to lower the gate of the side on which a load tub had descended, and deceased coming forward shortly thereafter pushed a loaded tub into the open side and he and it fell to the bottom.  
1903December1Kirkwood No 1LanarkUnited Collieries LtdRobert Pirrie20MinerFalls of roofFall of roof at working face. Props were not set within the specified distance.  
1903December2NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal CoJames Liddle15Pithead runnerFalling into shaft from surfaceDeceased attempted to take an empty tub off the cage at the ''laigh" scaffold before it had rested on the shuts, the result was that one end of the tub was on the cage and the other end on the ground. The engine-keeper got the order to lower, but instead he raised the cage, and the tub fell into the shaft and he with it, falling a distance of 60 fathoms.  
1903December2Rosehall No 13LanarkR Addie & Sons Collieries LtdThos Trainer26MinerFalls of roofFall of roof on road while taking his breakfast. Another man was injured.  
1903December3Poneil No 1LanarkUnited Collieries LtdJoseph Dixon22MinerFalls of sideFall of top coal and clay which were not supported as required by the regulations.  
1903December4Ross No 1LanarkThos Barr's TrusteesJohn Martin28MinerFalls of sideFall of coal. It was not spragged in terms of the regulations.  
1903December11North MotherwellLanarkMerry & Cunninghame LtdWilliam Henderson55JoinerOn surface – by machineryDeceased who was about to execute some repairs on a revolving screen, had the machinery stopped for this purpose. The engine, which was fitted with a single eccentric, came to rest at the dead point, and as it was difficult to restart it from this position, the engineman disconnected the valve-rod to alter the set. Meantime deceased had stepped upon the pinion wheel to commence operations, and as the engine reversed his foot was caught and crushed by the spur wheel. He succumbed to his injuries three months afterwards.  
1903December11BraidhurstLanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoJames Thomson15MinerExplosions of fire damp or coal dustSee report

From Main body of report: This accident occurred in the Ell coal seam. The seam is worked stoop and room. Gas had never been seen in the section, and naked lights were used. The deceased worked in an ordinary, close place, Burns being in charge, and employing the boy Thomson. The two nearest rooms on the outbye side had been stopped on a reserved area a few days prior to the accident, and had been fenced off. In the outer of the two, which was about 82 yards outbye from the working face, the fence was placed 10 yards in from the corner of the stoop, and the rails were lifted out to this point, the entrance to the place being reserved as a lye or siding. Immediately inside of the fence the place had passed over an upthrow hitch of about 2 feet, causing a rise in the road at this point. The fireman in making his daily inspections did not pass beyond the fence, but regularly tested for gas there. The deceased stated that they had left their working place shortly before the close of their shift; that on their way outbye they had turned into the outer of the two abandoned drifts for a private purpose, and at a point immediately outside of the fence they had ignited fire-damp, which burned both severely. Thomson, who was without his coat, was more severely burned, and he succumbed to his injuries three days afterwards, and Burns on 18th January, 1904. The tubs of coal were usually drawn from their working place in sets of three, and on the night of the accident it appears they were three tubs short of their usual output. On examination, it was found that loose coal sufficient to fill about two tubs had been left lying at their working face ; that no additional coal was holed, or ready to be taken down, and that all the picks and the shovel used for filling the coal, had been removed from the place. These were found at the entrance to the drift in which the explosion took place ; the shaft of one pick was broken off close to the head, and that of the other had been spilt to an extent sufficient to render it useless for holing purposes. A lamp and cap were found respectively 3 feet and 9 feet outbye from where the fence had stood, and another lamp was found 26 feet in beyond the position of the fence. About three hours after the explosion, the drift was found to be clear of fire-damp, but partially fouled with after-damp. A pony driver subsequently admitted that, since the adjacent abandoned drift, between the working place and the locus of the accident, had been stopped and fenced off, he had lifted a tub of coal from its entrance, and the officials agree that some coal appeared to have been filled off the stoop side just outside of the fence.
Michael Burns28Miner
1903December16Gilbertfield No2LanarkUnited Collieries LtdJas McMenemy46RepairerFalls of sideFall from side of road while enlarging it.  
1903December17QuarterStirlingWm Baird & Co LtdThos McPake32MinerFalls of roofFall of roof in working place. Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages
1903December18Dechmont No 1LanarkArchd. RussellBrone Sawries25MinerFalls of roofFall of roof from "brushing" face.  
1903December19LevenFifeFife Coal Co LtdAlexander Petrie65Gate keeperOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased had opened a level crossing gate to permit a locomotive to push a train of 21 empty trucks through. As the train approached the gate three trucks near the centre became derailed, were jerked outwards, and struck deceased, killing him instantly.  
1903December22KinneilLinlithgowKinneil Cannel & Coking Coal Co LtdJanet Maxwell14Stone pickerOn surface – by machineryDeceased was employed to pick dirt from amongst the coal on a travelling band 30 ft. by 4 ft., which conveyed it from the screen to the truck, and which was driven by a horizontal shaft, parallel to and 3 ft. 9 ins. distant from it. She was standing with her back towards the shaft when her clothing was apparently caught by the head of a pinching pin in a thrust collar on the shaft, and she was carried round several times with it, receiving injuries which terminated fatally on the following day.  
1903December25Udston No 2LanarkUdston Colliery Co LtdGeorge Boyd16MinerFalls of roofFall of roof on road while passing with a hutch.  
1903December26Pumpherston (Oil Shale)EdinburghPumpherston Oil Co LtdJohn Murdoch27MinerFalls of sideA mass of shale fell away from a vertical joint at the corner of a stoop, in a working 8 ft. 6 ins. in height and dipping 1 in 5. Part of it fell upon deceased, killing him instantly.  
1903December26Gateside No 1LanarkFlemington Coal CoMalcolm Paterson48MinerFalls of sideFall of coal and fireclay from working face  
1903December28DundonaldFifeDundonald Coal CoMichael Brien33LabourerOn surface – railways, sidings or tramwaysDeceased was engaged about the sidings, and was discovered dead between two waggons. No one saw the accident, but it appears that a loaded waggon was run out from the screen and had moved down and collided with another, and evidently deceased had been crushed between them.  
1903December29Sitehill No 13LanarkUnited Collieries LtdWilliam Law24BottomerFalling from part way downIn some way unexplained he fell down the shaft from a mid-working which was not fenced.

From Main body of report: Three of the fatal accidents happened at mid-workings to bottomers who fell down the shaft……….. The third of these accidents happened at Sitehill Colliery. The deceased bottomer was alone at the time, and it is not known how he fell down the shaft from the mid-working. One side of the shaft was not fenced as required by General Rule 19, while the gate fencing the other side was not connected to an indicator in the engine-house in terms of the Special Rules. Proceedings are being taken against the manager for his neglect of the regulations………. Probably none of these three accidents would have happened if the regulations had been observed.
1903December31Portland No 4AyrPortland Colliery Co LtdRobert Bowman21MinerFalls of roofFall of roof in working place.  

 Unnamed men who died in 1903:

Another miner was injured in Hamilton Palace Colliery on 17th April, 1903, by a fall of coal and died on 21st October, 1903.

A beam of wood, while being unloaded at a railway station by a carter employed at Little Mill Colliery, Ayrshire, fell upon him and inflicted fatal injuries.

A miner got his finger scratched on 15th April in Bent Colliery, and he died on 5th May from blood poisoning.

Last Updated 4th February 2012