Scottish Mining Website

Fatal Accidents 1927
This list contains some information from the Inspectors of Mines report for this year. This report does not detail all accidents during the year and does not give any names. We have attempted to identify the names of those killed but most as as yet unidentified. We welcome information on deaths not listed on this page - please complete a submission form   If the name of the pit is not stated in records, we have recorded this as NK with the miner's usual residence added as an approximate indicator of area

Statistics from the Report of the HM Inspector of Mines for 1927 - Scottish Division
Total 151 accidents resulting in 158 deaths
Explosions of firedamp or coal dust – 5 accidents/8 deaths
Falls of side – 17 accidents/ 17 deaths
Falls of roof – 63 accidents/ 64 deaths
Shaft accidents – 6 accidents/ 6 deaths
Underground haulage accidents – 24 accidents/ 24 deaths
Misc. Underground accident – 23 accidents/ 26 deaths
On surface: on railways, sidings, or tramways – 5 accidents/ 5 deaths
On surface: elsewhere – 8 accidents/ 8 deaths

Currently this page lists 129 fatalities 

This page contains fatalities sourced from the Registers/Indexes of Fatal Accident Inquiries.  These records do not list the date of death, only the date of the FAI records.  Dates of death will be added when time and finances permit, meantime undated records from this source are highlighted with a blue background at the foot of the main table

Year MonthDayCollieryForenameSurname Extra Information/Sources (Including information from Inspectors report where available)
1927January6WindyedgeJohnGilmour Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927January15Westwood Shale MineJohnMcBurnie Newspaper report - Lothians pages
NAS: Fatal Accident Inquiry: John McBurnie, shale miner, Main Street, Mid Calder, died on 14 January 1927 at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, from injuries sustained on the same day in Westwood Shale Pit, Livingston, when a large piece of shale fell upon him

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of side

At Westwood (Oil Shale) Pits, Linlithgowshire, 15th January, an overhanging slab of oil shale in a working place 9 ft. high had been seen by the night fireman to require to be taken down : he marked it and instructed the miner to do this. The night shift miner was unsuccessful with his pinch bar and set a prop to it. The day fireman at his inspection saw the slab required to be taken down and told the day shift miner, who said he would see to it. This miner did nothing to it, except that when firing two shots three hours later he knocked out the prop which was set to the shale, but he re-set it when the slab did not fall at the firing of his shots. The under-manager and fireman an hour later visited the place during their general inspection and, after examining the slab, said it would be better down : they advised him to put a shot in it. They had not been gone long from the place when the shale fell and killed the man. If the officials had exercised their authority and definitely instructed the man to take down at once the shale which he had left, in spite of repeated advice, the accident should not have happened.
1927January 18NK Leslie area John BennetCulbert Fall of stone from roof of working place
1927January25Carberry CollieryJamesKingNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Underground Haulage Accident
At Carberry Colliery, Edinburgh, on 25th January, a bencher at the bottom of a short single tub self-acting incline of inclination 1 in 4 was killed by an empty tub which ran away. The cause of the runaway was the crude fastening of the wheel or pulley at the top of this incline. This pulley, 11 in. diameter, lay in a half bow or muzzle with a 4 in. opening, the bow being anchored to a prop. The axle pin of the pulley was a bolt 12 in. long without cotter pin or nut: the pin was formerly used with the square head on the floor so that it could neither work up nor drop out, the wheel being anchored a short distance clear of the floor. For some reason the roadsman who looked after these pulleys turned the axle pin to be head up four days before the accident, and he was known to have been working about it a few minutes prior to what happened. The pin worked out and a loaded tub and an empty tub ran away. If a pulley of the Oldham type had been used, or if a complete bow instead of a half bow had been used with the existing pulley, or if there had been a cotter pin in the existing axle pin, or if there had been a safety prop in front of the existing pulley, the accident could not have occurred.
1927January29ThornhillRobertBoydNewspaper report - Cambusnethan pages
1927January29DeansAlexanderScoularFAI record – NAS "Alexander Scoular, shale miner's drawer, Weir's Building, Main Street, Uphall, died on 29 January 1927 while being conveyed in an ambulance waggon from No. 7 Shale Mine Deans, Bathgate Parish, West Lothian, to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, after a stone fell upon him"
1927February4AuchinreochGavinHairNewspaper Report - Dunbartonshire accidents
1927February4ReddingAlexanderGibbNewspaper report - Stirlingshire pages
1927 February 5 Aitken Colliery John Christopher Kelly Fall of material from roof
1927February 7NK Salsburgh area AlexanderHill FAI NAS & death cert.
1927February8Carriden CollieryJamesHendersonNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Carriden Colliery, Linlithgowshire, on 8th February, when a ripping shot was fired an explosion of gas followed and four men were badly burned, two of them dying within a few days. The explosion happened in the Six Feet Seam, a Navigation Coal, 5 ft. 4 in. thick. The district consisted of a level road off which were five branch roads going uphill (the inclination being 1 in 10), serving a line of face 70 yards long. The output of the Colliery has always been small, as the ground opened out—entirely undersea—is so much faulted. The district in which the explosion occurred was the principal coal producer. The coal was under cut by a chain coal cutting machine on the night shift and there were two machinemen driving it. On the same shift there were three brushers who did the necessary ripping in the five branch roads and in the level. There was also a shotfirer, who fired such shots as the brushers required and did pillaring and general tidying up of the face, and there was a fireman who had the Six Feet Seam and some other small areas under his charges, but was not burdened with work. These seven men were all in the district when the explosion occurred. The ripping of No. 4 branch road was 1 ft. 3 in. thick, and in this a shot hole 3 ft. deep was bored. The hole reached to about 3 in. from a break. A charge of 6 ozs. Samsonite No. 3 and an electric detonator were placed in the hole, which was then stemmed to the mouth with clay. The fireman had passed along the face a short time before the shot was ready. He said he did not find any gas : he admitted he did not warn the shotfirer that the fireman on the previous shift had found gas in a short branch road newly formed off No. 4. I am satisfied the fireman did not himself test for gas, and that when shotfirer made his tests they were quite useless. Before he fired the shot the shotfirer sent one brusher along the face line from No. 4 to No. 1 to warn the machinemen he was about to fire, that brusher did as he was told and retired a short distance out either No. 2 or No. 3. The shotfirer also sent another brusher along to No. 5 branch to prevent any person approaching from that side. He himself retired down No. 4 road almost to the level, and from that point fired the shot electrically. Immediately the shot exploded a gas explosion occurred which burned the two brushers mentioned and the two machinemen. There can be no doubt at all that gas was ignited by the explosive and that the flame spread to gas which filled cavities in the waste close behind. There was some dust on the face also and it was caught up and coked, and there was evidence on the face props of flame having travelled to the left from No. 4 roadhead to No. 1, and to the right to beyond No. 5 road. There was gross carelessness on the part of the fireman and the other shotfirer for which they deserved punishment, but, unfortunately, the evidence as would satisfy a Sheriff was not obtainable.
1927February14Rosehall CollieryWilliamMcDadeNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1927February15BlantyreBenjaminFrewNewspaper report - Blantyre pages
1927February17QueenslieJohnMcFadyenFAI record – NAS
1927 February 22No 1 Tannochside Patrick McDonnell FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927February25Hassockrigg CollieryMatthewSwanNewspaper report - Shotts pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Hassockrigg Colliery, Lanarkshire, on 25th February, a coal cutting machine which ought to have finished cutting the line of face four hours earlier had cut across the main road end and preparations were being made to have it cut into the corner at the end of the machine run. Brushers had ripped the main road close up during the night, but had left a small overhanging part of stone next the roof. This stone fell and killed one of the machinemen. The assistant agent, the manager, the under-manager and the fireman had been or were all in at the place and there was no evidence that any one of them did more than look at this stone, though they were all anxious about the machine not having finished cutting. Had any one of the officials tested the stone, or had the miner, who was waiting to begin work on the coal, done this, its weakness, which must have been apparent from the look of it would have been revealed, and it would either have been taken down or supported.
1927February26Douglas CastleJohnClellandNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927February27Fleets CollieryGeorgeRussellNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Shaft Accident
At Fleets Colliery, Haddington, on Sunday, 27th February, three shaftsmen were removing a defective water pipe from a circular shaft 15 ft. diameter: the shaft was fitted with wooden buntons for pipe collars and cage guides. The pipe was 19 ft . Long by 6 in. diameter, and to help to get it into the cage space a set of worm driven chain pulley blocks was used. While one of the shaftsmen was standing on a bunton adjusting the position of the pipe after it had been lowered by the pulley blocks, the pipe suddenly fell away and he fell down the shaft and was killed. The cause of the accident was apparent after examination of the pulley blocks. One end only of the chain was fastened to the frame and the other, which was free instead of being also fixed to the frame, had run clear. The pulley blocks were used for generalcolliery purposes both by engineers above ground and by others underground, and it had not been the duty of anybody definitely to see that the blocks were maintained in good order. The fall of the shaftsman would have been prevented had he used one of the safety belts which were available. The excuse offered by the other shaftsmen was that the safety belt attachments restrict their movements among the buntons.
1927 March 8NK Douglas area Andrew Kelly FAI NAS & death cert Crushed between roof and hutch while hutch riding
1927 March 11Mary Pit Robert Neilson Fall of stone from roof
1927March14FurnaceyardThomasDuncanNewspaper report - Lothians pages
1927March21LochheadJohnGillespieNewspaper report - Beath pages
1927 March 21 NK West Calder areaThomas Queen FAI NAS & death cert
1927March21Carberry CollieryJamesMcWattNewspaper report - Lothians pages
1927 March 23Wester Gartshore Hugh McInnes FAI NAS & death cert Injuries sustained by slipping while stowing a hutch
1927March30Oldhall, IrvineRobertSneddon Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927 March 31 NK Lochore area John Duffin Fall of material from roof
1927April6Bardykes CollieryRobertCallanNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Bardykes Colliery, Lanark, on 6th April, a coal cutting machineman was crawling along a coal face to get from one machine to another in order to obtain sharp picks. A brushing shot was fired just as he reached one of the roads and he was buried under the resulting fall of material and was killed. The fireman, who fired the shot, had shouted a warning, which he presumed the machineman and his mate, who were then at their machine, heard, but he did not wait for a reply. Other men beyond heard the warning shout and say it was loud and plain. This, however, is not the point in this accident, and likewise in some of the others of the non-fatal ones. The important point to note for all firemen and shotfirers, and for all persons who in naked light pits fire their own shots, is that a clear and definite duty is laid on them to see before firing the shot that all persons in the vicinity have taken proper shelter. They must also take suitable steps to prevent any person approaching the shot, i.e., all approaches to the shot must be guarded until the shot has exploded.
1927April7FauldhouseRobertAllanFAI record – NAS "Robert Allan, miner's brusher, 38 Hawthorn Drive, Torbothie, Shotts, died on 7 April 1927 in No. 1 Pit, Fauldhouse Colliery, Fauldhouse, West Lothian, when he fell into the sump"
1927April14Newcraighall CollieryJamesLindsay 
1927 April 15Pennyvenie ThomasMcCutcheon Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927April17DeansJohnProvanFAI record – NAS " John Provan, shale mining contractor, 6 North Street, Livingston Station, died on 17 April 1927 at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, from injuries sustained on 16 April 1927 in No. 5 Shale Mine, Deans, Livingston Parish, West Lothian, when a piece of shale fell upon him"
1927April19TulligarthAdam HedleyColeFAI record – NAS
1927April19Bardykes CollieryOwenHartyNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927April19Kinglassie CollieryMatthewButler Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Kinglassie Colliery, Fife, on 19th April, in a seam 3ft. thick with a strong sandstone roof, a miner was shovelling coal cut by a machine into a conveyor when a fall of roof, 16 ft. long by 1 ft. 6 in. wide and 1 ft. 6 in. high, took place from between the last row of props and the face and killed him. No timber was displaced by the fall. The roof was closely propped because the sandstone was of a lypey nature. Had straps been used with the props this accident would have been prevented, and this is the lesson from the accident.
1927April19Ladyha' CollieryAlexanderDuncan Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Ladyha' Colliery, Ayrshire, on 19th April, when several miners were clearing a fall, on which they had been engaged for three weeks, a further fall took place and one man was killed. The road had been supported by fresh timber as the clearing proceeded, but about 15 ft. still remained without any support or covering, and the height to which the roof had fallen was 25 ft, at that point: the man who was killed and another had to work 8 ft. in advance of any timber. The men ought not to have been allowed to work in advance of protection as they were. In any case, only experienced repairers should have been engaged instead of miners, who were well enough used to face work but not experienced in such road repairing work.
1927 April 21Burghlee Colliery James Sked FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927April23PrioryJamesJacksonNewspaper report - Blantyre pages
1927April 26Carberry William PatersonBaxter FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927April 26Smeaton Donald Thomson FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927 May 2NK Lochgelly area James Kinnell Fall of coal from roof
1927May2Law 6/7 CollieryJamesKellyNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Underground Haulage Accident
At Law 6/7 Colliery, Lanarkshire, on 2nd May, on a short steep road dipping 1 in 2 1/4, the man in charge at the top was about to have lowered by direct haulage a rake of two tubs, one empty and the other full, of timber. There was the usual stop block on the flat landing, and he opened this and pushed the tubs over the brow. Whether he forgot to couple the one tub to the other was not discovered; the coupling may have fallen out. In any event, the tub ran away and caught and killed the bencher about 70 yards down the dip. There was no runaway switch or other similar contrivance provided. Even if one or other of the simply made double stop blocks had been fitted this accident would have been prevented.
1927May5CarridenRichardBellNewspaper report - Lothians pages
1927 May 6Cadzow Daniel Airnes NAS FAI & death cert.
1927May13BlantyrefermeJamesMcPhillipsNewspaper report - Bothwell pages
1927May16NellieJohnBainNewspaper report - Auchterderran pages
1927May17Robroyston CollieryThomasBoyleNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927May18BellshillWilliamMortonNewspaper report - Bothwell pages
1927May 19Broomhouse Lachlan Roy FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927May24KippsbyreCharlesSweeney Newspaper report - New Monkland pages
1927 May 24 Newcraighall AndrewKinnaird FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927May25FarmeDanielO'BrienFAI record – NAS
1927June1Newbattle Colliery (Lingerwood Pit)HarryMelroseNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Newbattle Colliery (Lingerwood Pit), Edinburgh, on 1st June, a brusher was, along with another man, withdrawing steel props and straps from the waste behind a conveyor on a coal cutting and conveyor longwall face in a seam 7 ft. thick. He apparently had difficulty in getting one of the last props out and went in to the waste side of the prop and was loosening it when a fall of roof occurred which killed him. There was a Sylvester prop withdrawer some 40 yards away and this ought to have been used : the man and his mate were using pick and hammer.
1927June2Devon CollieryJohnMitchell Newspaper report - Clackmannan pages
1927June3Gauchalland 4/7 CollieryAlexanderWalker Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
One of the fatal accidents occurred at Gauchalland 4/7 Colliery, Ayrshire, which is one of a group owned by Messrs. The Burnbank & Grougar Coal Co., Ltd. In this accident two persons were killed by an inrush of clay, mud, sand and gravel. The circumstances were as follows:—On the night shift of 2nd - 3rd June, five men (including the fireman), who were the only persons underground on that shift, were at work near the extreme top end of steeply inclined pillar and stall workings in a seam 5 ft. 6 in. thick, building what was described as a barricade diagonally across the junction of a heading road and an abandoned level road.
A fall of roof had occurred on this level road on the previous; day and these five men were continuing and were to complete what two day men had been put to immediately the fall was brought to the knowledge of the officials of the mine, although that part of the workings was finished.
It is unusual to find notice taken of an ordinary fall of roof in a disused place and to find a "barricade " erected.
While the men were fixing the timber there was a sudden crash and from the direction of the former fall of roof there came a rush of mud, sand and gravel. It was but a few yards from the place where the men were to the top of a steep haulage incline which led down to a main level on the way to the shaft, and they naturally made this way and ran down the incline, though, as it turned out, they would have been in perfect safety if they had crossed the top of the incline and waited in the level beyond.
One man in front of the rush escaped into the first level to the left, another (the fireman) was pushed by a swirl of the rush of material into the same level on the opposite side of the incline. The remaining three, minus lights, were overwhelmed and carried with the mud, sand, gravel, props, rails and sleepers right down to the main level some 200 ft. below. One of them was deposited alive and well—how, I know not—at the inbye end of the rush where it spent itself on the main level, the second was found dead afterwards near the same spot, while the body of the third man was dug out from among the sludge on the main level, outbye of the incline, three days later.
The two men who had escaped had one naked light between them, and after a search found the man who had been carried down the incline, but was alive : they tried also for some time to find the others but failed, and as they were exhausted and could do no more they went to the surface.
Several peculiar features connected with this accident came to light during our investigation into the circumstances.
Gauchalland 4/7 Colliery is a short distance south of Galston town in the valley of the River Irvine, the valley being on the average one mile broad.
All of the surface consists of boulder clay lying over and covering the countryside, but a geological section of the strata across the valley shows the coal seams to be lying in true basin fashion, the strata and seams rising more steeply to the North and to the South than the hill sides. To the South, the coal measures near their outcrop end against a large fault beyond which the rocks are of old Red Sandstone age. It was near the southern outcrop the inrush took place.
The shafts of the colliery are not far from the point where the seams begin to rise steeply to the South against the large fault already mentioned.
No. 4 is the winding shaft, and No. 7 the escape shaft 250 ft. to the South of the former.
The lower workings, including much Main Coal, are water-logged and the water level is up to a shallower seam called the Stone Coal at 48 1/2 fathoms. The part of the Main Coal Seam above water level is won by a level cross measure drift from the Stone Coal.
The accident occurred in the Main Coal, and this seam, as stated earlier, is worked pillar and stall. Those pillars at and near the site of the inrush were not to be extracted, for reasons which will become apparent. The workings in which the accident occurred are approximately 3,000 ft. East South Easterly from No. 4 shaft, but the way to them is circuitous and becomes steeper all the way to the last incline (Rankin's Brae), which goes 200 ft. direct to the rise at 1 in 2.2 on the average.
It was from the roof of a level at the top of this incline (Kane's level) that the material came which swept down Rankin's Brae and an adjoining old parallel road, not used for haulage, to the level in which the bodies of the men were found.
The depth from surface to the Main Coal as near as possible to the site of inrush is calculated from levellings above and underground to be 133 ft., i.e., from the grass in the field to the roof of the seam, and this surface is ordinary farm land on the slope of a hill with nothing there to indicate that between the field and the roof of the seam there is anything fluid enough to flow. A man with no local but with a general geological knowledge would look somewhere in the flat of the valley for a pre-glacial gully filled with sands and gravels, but hardly on the hillside above the point of inrush. Mr Finney, Junior Inspector, and Mr. Frazer, Senior Inspector, who was acting for me in my absence on duty at the Mines Department, made inspection on hearing of the accident, and the sum of their reports was that the body of the missing man, after several thorough searches had been made by them and by the Manager and others right to the point of the inrush, was believed to be in the sludge on the level somewhere near the bottom of Rankin's incline, that there was real danger of another inrush, and that there was no doubt of the inrush having come from the roof of Kane's level off the top of Rankin's incline, for they saw the hole in the roof.
There was a further and most important thing noticed by both and commented on by both in the pit, viz., that on another incline, four pillar lengths outbye of Rankin's incline and parallel to it, in stalls which they crossed when making their examinations, there was clear and distinct evidence of a former inrush.
I made inspection on Sunday, 5th, and can confirm what other Inspectors found.
It was also apparent that a new aspect of the application of General Regulation 29 of July 30th, 1920, had arisen.
Statements were taken from the officials and from the men who had been involved in the accident, from the persons who had previous knowledge of the site of this inrush, and from persons who had knowledge of previous inrushes, of which there had been not one but two, on the same day, in March, 1926.
What is said in these statements amounts to this, that for some years ordinary pillar and stall workings had been going on as far to the rise as coal was found, and after the pillars were formed they were extracted downhill; that in March, 1926, up Hodge's Incline, which is the next haulage incline outbye from Rankin's, one of the levels had reached a point where, instead of the coal being the usual height, it had thinned down to 4 ft. and the usual roof was replaced by materials of another kind like sand and clay; that this roof had to be supported by timbers set as close together as skin to skin ; that the roof in a heading close by collapsed during one night and a rush of clay, sand, etc., came in and got down to the main level, and that some hours later when the day shift was at work another inrush took place from the same neighbourhood and scared the men out of the district.
Notwithstanding all this, some extraction of the nearby pillars was persisted in, and clay and sand were seen in the waste after the timber had been withdrawn. That some measures were necessary seems to have been decided upon by the Owners of the mine, for the pillars furthest up in Rankin's Incline and off it, which had been formed, were not to be extracted. Some boring ahead was also done in places going to the rise. Beyond this no steps were taken to do anything to prevent an inrush similar to that which occurred in March, 1926.
The Fatal Accident Inquiry was held on 29th July, when the Procurator Fiscal went very fully into the details of the occurrence. As the Inquiry proceeded it became evident the narrowest interpretation possible was being put on General Regulation 29 of the Regulations dated July 30th, 1920, " where coal . . . is being worked " . . . etc., bringing out as often as possible that coal was not actually being won at the exact spot where the inrush of June 1927, took place.
It is clear that material, some of which was quicksand and some of which was mud (together with lumps of boulder clay) and gravel, came in on 3rd June, just such material as the Regulations are intended to provide against.
It is also clear that, although the point where the June, 1927 inrush occurred was only 80 ft. in a direct line from where the March, 1926, inrushes took place, the near proximity of such material being known to the Owners, they took none of the steps set forth in General Regulation 29.
It is true that two old surface bore holes (the nearest of which is 900 ft. distant) showed the glacial deposit or boulder clay to be of normal thickness at these bore holes and to contain no dangerous material, and it is equally true that the same seam and other seams had been extracted along the same line from the West for about three miles without any former mishap or indication that the boulder clay was dangerous.
But against this is the unalterable fact of the extraordinary deepening of the glacial deposit as revealed in two working places before the inrushes of March, 1926, and also very plainly by these inrushes, all pointing directly to a hidden pre-glacial channel. It is well known that where such deposits thicken at the bottom, as this did, sand and gravel are to be expected.
H.M. Geological Survey's Memoir of on the Ayrshire Coalfield, Kilmarnock basin, and, in particular, Pages 101 and 102 - Galston District - mentions specially the prevalence of sands and gravels in the boulder clay, and one bore hole noted shows 106 ft. of mud, clay, sand, running sand, etc.
No intimation had been sent to my office of the previous inrushes, which were certainly dangerous occurrences, and nothing was known of them by me until the accident following this last inrush. Had notification of the first been sent to me, investigation would have followed, and I feel quite sure work at that same level would have been prohibited.
This accident was most regrettable, and risks in working the coal were taken which ought not to have been incurred.
Down to March, 1926, shortly before the first inrush took place, there was nothing unusual, so far as I can learn, either above or underground, to indicate the working would not be as safe as any other underground working. The working places were over 130 ft. below the surface, the same seam and other seams had been worked up to and above the same level for several miles behind them, the boulder clay was of normal thickness over the working so far as it had been proved, and some distance ahead were the abandoned workings of another mine to which Gauchalland 4/7 workings had connected, and in that mine coal had been worked at a still shallower depth than had been reached in this mine.
But the inrushes of March, 1926, changed the whole outlook, though even before then, when the roof of the seam and the upper part of the seam itself were found to have been replaced by sandy and clayey material of such soft nature that only skin to skin timbering was of any service, the Owners and officials ought to have seen there was some great change overhead and that the conditions had altered.
Whether any Regulations or Rules covered the proceedings or not had little bearing on the case, the exercise of common sense and a proper regard for the safety of the men employed should have pointed the right course to be taken.
This accident raises two points :-
(1) The inclusion of such occurrences as that of March, 1926, among Dangerous Occurrences to be notified to the Inspector of the Division, and, incidentally, the making of all Dangerous Occurrences notifiable forthwith.
(2) The changing of the wording of General Regulation 29 of the Regulations dated July 30th, 1920, to cover places where coal has been worked in the mine as well as places where coal “is being worked." Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927June5LauchopePatrickTaylorNewspaper report - Bothwell pages
1927June13ThankertonAlexanderGilchristNewspaper report - Bothwell pages
1927 June 16 Afton No. 1 Pit William Barbour Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927 June 28Lady Victoria David Inglis FAI record – NAS & death cert (natural causes)
1927June29FurnaceyardJohn FindlaySteelFAI record – NAS "John Findlay Steel, coal miner, 32 Deanfield Road, Bo'ness, died on 29 June 1927 at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, from injuries sustained on 28 June 1927 in Furnaceyard Pit, Kinneil Colliery, Bo'ness, West Lothian, when a stone fell upon him"
1927June30DaillyThomasGarrett Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927July1Newbattle Colliery (Lady Victoria Pit)William WaddellDochertyNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Underground Haulage Accident
At Newbattle Colliery (Lady Victoria Pit), Edinburgh, on 1st July, an accident occurred which shows that even when safeguards are provided they may be rendered useless through carelessness and thoughtlessness. A loaded tub was being drawn up an incline by a main rope haulage when the capel caught under a "monkey," or self-acting safety catch, and the rope was stopped suddenly. The tub ran forward a little, causing the coupling pin to fall out, the safety cotter provided and chained to it not having been used. The tub then ran back and killed the bencher lad. If the "jock" or back-stay provided had been attached to the tub before it was sent away it could not have run back; moreover, the lad who was killed had a refuge in which to stand while rakes were running, but he left this and was standing on the haulage road talking to a ventilation door boy eight yards distant.
1927July5Donibristle (James & Marion Colliery)DavidSpowartNewspaper report - Beath pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
By machinery
At Donibristle (James and Marion Colliery), Fife, on 5th July, a haulage motorman who was in charge of a 50 h.p. electrically driven direct rope haulage left his controls whilst a rake of loaded tubs was being hauled. No one was present and nobody knew exactly what he meant to do, but he probably intended to adjust a lubricator beside a pair of gear wheels. He was caught by these gear wheels and killed. There was no need for him to do as he did while the rake was in running, and, in fact, he ought to have stood by his controls all the time the machinery was in motion. There was no fence between him and the gear wheels, but otherwise the machinery was well fenced. I judged Section 55 of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, was not complied with and asked sanction for prosecution, but on the case being taken to Court the Sheriff held there was no contravention.
1927July6Dundonald CollieryJamesDevineNewspaper report - Auchterderran pages
1927July6BroomhouseGardnerHannahNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927July8Prestonlinks CollieryThomas J.MackieNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
On surface
The fifth man was killed by working where he was directed close to an unfenced revolving shaft and sprocket wheel. This accident occurred at Prestonlinks Colliery, on 8th July :- A horizontal dross conveyor at the screening plant, consisting of a scraper chain travelling in a trough, had been broken. After having been repaired the trough was in process of being put together again and the conveyor chain was bring refitted by a squad of engineers and labourers. Normally no person worked about this conveyor, which was 9 ft. above ground level. A driving shaft, which was fitted with sprocket wheels, crossed the conveyor at right angles 4 ft. 3 in. above the trough. One of the sprockets was immediately above the centre of the trough, and as it was 14 1/2 in. diameter the height from the trough to the sprocket teeth was approximately 3 ft. 8 in. While the repair work was going on the shafting was sometimes in use and was running at 100 revs, per minute. The repair squad had, of necessity, to work close below the sprocket, and the clothing of one of the men was caught and he was whirled round the shaft and killed. The accident need not have happened and the shafting ought not to have been set in motion at all while men were at the conveyor repair work: if it was absolutely necessary to run the shafting, temporary fencing or guards should have been fitted so that the men could work in safety. This appeared to me to constitute a contravention of Section 55 of the Coal Mines Act, and I asked sanction for prosecution of the Colliery Manager, the Engineer, and the Surface Foreman. The Sheriff found that Section 55 had not been contravened by the Manager and Engineer, and he found the Surface Foreman had no responsibility and dismissed the charge against him. An Appeal is pending in the case.
1927July8Westwood Shale MineGeorgeFerme Newspaper report - Lothians pages
NAS: Fatal Accident Inquiry: George Ferme, shale miner, 10 Front Street, Mossend, West Calder, died on 8 July 1927 in Westwood Pit, Parish of Livingston, West Lothian, when a charge of gunpowder exploded
1927 July 9 Gartshore Thomas McAteer FAI record – NAS & death cert Crushed between 2 hutches
1927July10Unknown Chryston areaWilliamHumeFAI record – NAS
1927July25Valleyfield CollieryWilliam HunterCousinNewspaper report - Fife pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Suffocation by natural gases
At Valleyfield Colliery, Fife, on the 25th July, an oversman and a fireman, who knew there was a large accumulation of gas in a heading, deliberately rushed up the road, which rose 1 in 4, to see whether or not a brattice screen was blocking the air passage. They left their flame safety lamps down in the good air and went amongst the gas by the light of the electric cap lamp, which the oversman carried, in spite of the warning of an elderly bratticeman of long experience who pled with them not to risk going. They were both overcome, and before they could be got out, were dead. Many attempts, at the risk of other lives, were made to get at the men, and the Carnegie Hero Fund recognised these brave attempts which were made.
1927 July29 Hagshaw Mine Robert Ross Clyde Meikle FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927August1Cardowan Colliery (sinking shaft)JohnKilpatrickNewspaper report - Cardown 1927 page
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927: Explosion Cardown 1927 page
1927August3Newcraighall CollieryJamesLindsayNewspaper report - Lothians pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of side
At Newcraighall Colliery, Edinburgh, on 14th April, a miner was undercutting a part of a longwall face which was projecting. The working was 4 ft. 9 in. high and the roof was known to be lipey, one lype being visible and running into the head of the coal. The man had two sprags set to the coal, and he apparently was so uncertain about holing further that he called a neighbouring workman to put his hand against the coal and tell him if it moved. His mate did so and gave the warning, but the miner, being on his knees was unable to get clear in time when the coal over-rode the sprags and pushed him violently against the pack behind and so injured him that he died four months later. The accident would have been avoided had he used a pinch bar when standing to the side, or had he fired a shot in the coal before he holed it so far. This is a case where the risk taken by the man was foolish and needless.
1927August5WhitehillBlairDunsmuir Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927August8Newbattle Colliery (Lady Victoria Pit)NicolPeacockNewspaper report - Lothians pages
1927August14Loch's Virtuewell MineHughM'CollNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
The Electrical fatality occurred on August 14th, at midnight, at Loch's Virtuewell Mine, Lanarkshire, an engineer being electrocuted. The Colliery surface is lit electrically from power got from Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co., at 440 volts A.C., the lighting being between one phase and neutral. What the man was doing when he received the fatal shock is not known, but, on a wet night, he had been up the standard at a 250 C.P. lamp, the fitting of which was swaying in the wind. Mr Horsley, reporting on the accident, says :- “I find no evidence to suggest that there had been any defect of insulation whereby deceased could have obtained an electric shock, either from the metal pole or from the stay wire attached thereto. I think it is possible that he took hold of the cap of the lamp, from which he could have received a shock at the full pressure to earth of the circuit, namely, 250 volts a.c., because the live conductor was connected to the screwed (outer) contact in the lamp holder. The screwed part of the lamp cap constitutes one terminal of the circuit, and when the lamp is screwed into the holder, part of this live contact can be touched. I was informed that it was a windy night, and it appeared possible that deceased swarmed up the lamp post in order to lash the lamp fitting, which may have been swaying in the wind, in order to make the illumination more effective for the men who were working in the vicinity.” The lamp should have been so fitted that no live part could be inadvertently touched.
1927August16Oldhall CollieryWilliamMuir Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1927August18Bardykes CollieryPatrickM'DonaldNewspaper report - Blantyre pages
1927August19LindsayGeorge GalbraithHamiltonReport in Dunfermline Journal 24 September 1927 - not yet transcribed
1927 August 19 Lady Blanche Pit Henry Page Fall of stone at working place
1927August19Valleyfield CollieryHughMcMillanNewspaper report - Fife pages
1927 August 21Rosehall William Jackson FAI record – NAS & death cert
1927August22Marion Pit, DonibristleThomasForsythReport in Dunfermline Journal 24 September 1927 - not yet transcribed
1927 August30FauldheadAndrewBurnsNewspaper report - Dumfriesshire pages
1927August31Rosehall 5/10 CollieryRobertConnorNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Rosehall 5/10 Colliery, Lanark, on 31st August, a brusher and a haulageman were moving a conveyor pan. A coal cutting machine was at work during the same shift but was not cutting when the accident occurred, although the electric current was still on to the machine and the live trailing cable lay along the floor. The men were dragging the pan over the trailing cable when a sharp edge penetrated the cab tyre sheathing and made contact with one of the live cores. The two men received electric shocks which killed them. A little forethought on the part of the men should have shown them the danger, but intelligent supervision of the work by a competent person was what was needed.
1927 September 7 Balgonie Colliery Peter Burns Mackie Crushed between descending cage and pit shaft. Death notice in Dundee Courier 8 September 1927
1927September23Glencraig CollieryEdwardDochertyNewspaper report - Auchterderran pages
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Glencraig Colliery, Fife, in a double unit longwall face in a seam 3 ft. 6 in. thick worked by coal cutting machine and conveyors feeding to a central gate conveyor, the roof was supported by steel props and steel straps. Each half or "unit" of the face was 90 yards long, and in each the waste was cleared of the props and straps nightly. On the night of 23rd September, two squads of men were withdrawing props and straps in the left-hand unit by means of Sylvester prop withdrawers. They had begun at each end of the face, and had only five props and straps to withdraw near the centre of the face when the roof in the waste collapsed over an area 40 ft. by 10 ft. and to a thickness of 18 in. to 2 ft. It rode forward, displacing 15 steel straps and 30 props, and killed one of the workmen by crushing him against the conveyor pans. The roof in this case was hard and the floor soft, which told against the efficiency of the steel propping where it was without bottom caps or lids, and it also made withdrawal difficult, but the method of beginning at each end of the face and working towards the centre was wrong : it should have been the other way about. The lesson here is that officials where these new methods are in operation should have the smallest details thoroughly worked out and should not leave it to the man, without experience or knowledge of what such changed systems mean, to decide how the props should be withdrawn.
1927 September 29Lady Victoria Pit GeorgeHood Fall of stone
1927September30Auchincruive 4/5 CollieryJohnPaton Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages (Many thanks to Michael Hilston for supplying the identity of this miner)
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Suffocation by natural gases
At Auchincruive 4/5 Colliery, Ayrshire, on 30th September, a fall had broken down the air tubes by which a temporarily disused rising drift was ventilated. The fireman sent two repairers to clear the fall so that the tubes could be repaired, and instructed them not to go beyond the fall because of the presence of gas. About 2 1/2 hours later the fireman found them overcome about 35 yards beyond the fall. They had electric safety lamps and one flame safety lamp. Before they were got out one of the men was dead. If they had obeyed their instructions the accident would not happened.
1927October2Viewpark CollieryPatrickHalloranNewspaper report - Bothwell pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Viewpark Colliery, Lanark, on 2nd October, a conveyor shifter was drawing the conveyor motor forward by means of a Sylvester prop withdrawer. A coal cutting machine was working on the face and the cab tyre trailing cable lay along the floor. The man inadvertently got the trailing cable jammed between the notched bar and the short end of the lever of the Sylvester and punctured the cable sheathing and the insulation. The shock he received killed him. In both of the cases described [see Rosehall 31 August], if the trailing cable had been hung up to the props the accident would not have happened.
1927 October12Dykehead areaThomasCurranNewspaper report - Shotts pages
1927October13Shettleston 3/4 CollieryThomasThomsonNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Shettleston 3/4 Colliery, on 13th October, an explosion of gas occurred through which five men were burned, one of them so severely that he died four days later. The seam was being worked under Special Regulations, whereby no naked light was permitted within 20 yards of the working face. The miners worked with electric hand lamps and the drawers with electric cap lamps, the only flame safety lamp being that in possession of the fireman, so that the miners had no means of knowing when gas was present except through the fireman. They had been informed their working places were in order in the morning and worked till 9.25 a.m., when an explosion occurred which traversed three working faces, and burned the facemen there. There was little damage done underground, but 15 hours elapsed before the places could be entered, and in one of them a box of matches was found near the roadhead. Next day Mr. Roberts, Junior Inspector, found a spent match near the same place. As the men had very good light from their electric lamps, which were all found in order afterwards at the Mines Department Testing Station, the only reason a man could have for lighting a match would be to smoke. The whole circumstances go to show the uselessness of half measures. The whole seam should have been worked with safety lamps, and no matches or other smoking material allowed in the Colliery.
1927 October 13 Lochhead Colliery Henry Ramsay Register of FAI - instantaneously killed by being crushed by a tub of coal against the roadside
1927October19Cults Lime WorksJohnPetrieNewspaper report - Fife pages
1927 November 1 Wallyford Colliery James Morgan Stevenson Register of FAI - landing gave way and he fell 23 feet
1927November6DeansThomas BrownMcVicar Newspaper report - Lothians pages
NAS: Fatal Accident Inquiry: Thomas Brown McVicar, oncost-worker, 26 North Street, Livingston Station, died on 6 November 1927 in No 4 Shale Pit, Deans, Bathgate Parish, West Lothian, when a large quantity of material fell upon him
1927 November 7 NK  - Prestonpans area John Conquer Watson Fall of stone
1927November8Lady Victoria Pit, NewtongrangeJohn HunterAikmanRegister of FAI - probable heart disease
1927November16EarnockFrancisMartinNewspaper report - Hamilton pages
1927November17GatesideJamesMcArthurNewspaper report - Dumfriesshire pages
1927 November 21 Kenmuirhill Colliery John Laird Walker Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927 November 21 Pennyvenie Mine, Dalmellington John Boyle Register of FAI - fall of coal from the roof
1927 November 21 Lady Ha' Mine, Kilwinning George Burns Register of FAI - fall of stone from the roof
1927 November 28 No 1 Colliery, Twechar James Morrison Register of FAI - fall of roof
1927 November 29 Highhouse Mine, Auchinleck Antanas Urbaitis (AKA Anthony Greenshields) Register of FAI - fall of stone from the roof
1927December3Roslin CollieryThomasLimerickRegister of FAI - crushed by a bogey in the woodyard
1927December5DuddingstonThomasHanlonFAI record – NAS "Thomas Hanlon, shale miner, 14 Abercorn Place, Winchburgh, died on 5 December 1927 in No. 3 Shale Mine, Duddingston, Abercorn Parish, West Lothian, when a large piece of shale fell upon him"
1927December6Riddochhill CollieryCharlesSavageNewspaper report - Lothians pages [NAS record gives name as Kasimieras Paskukewiche]
1927 December 7 Viewpark Colliery John Nimmo Register of FAI - injury to knee by kneeling on a sharp piece of coal
1927December10FauldheadPeterEarleNewspaper report - Dumfriesshire pages
1927December12Dumbreck CollieryWilliamMairRegister of FAI - instantaneously killed by fall of stone

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of roof
At Dumbreck Colliery, Stirling, on 12th December, when a coal cutting machine was being restarted after a short stop, and when one of the attendants was just in front of the machine, a part of the sandstone roof fell and killed him. A timberman had adjusted the supports ahead of the machine and had possibly disturbed the roof. The timber supports were a mixture of round props with or without lids, and round crown trees. Such supports are bad on any working with a continual movement, and on such a face half round crowns systematically and properly set with a prop at each end, or with the face end needled into the coal and a prop at the waste end, are what should be used.
1927December12Mary PitWilliamCowie Newspaper report - Auchterderran pages FAI reported in Dunfermline Journal 14 January 1928 (not yet transcribed)
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
By machinery
At Lochgelly Colliery, Fife, on 12th December, a miner was filing into the top end pan of a Blackett Conveyor in a seam 2 ft. 4 in.. thick and inclined at 1 in 4. Between the end of the pan and the return drum of the scraper was a gap of 5 1/2 in., and his arm was caught in this and severed just below the elbow. He also received other injuries to the chest and he died a few hours later. He may have been resting for a moment and inadvertently put his arm in a position to be caught, or he may have slipped while working. This type of conveyor had been in use for at least 15 years and, while I find the Company is alive to doing the right thing, it had not occurred to any of their officials that there was danger from this part of the machinery. A guard was immediately devised and fitted, and the Makers were communicated with by the Owners so that all other customers might be warned. Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1927 December 13Lady Victoria Pit, Newbattle Colliery JohnMacdonald Register of FAI - fall of stone
1927 December 14Burghlee Colliery, Loanhead Robert BarbourHood Register of FAI - fall of coal
1927 December 17Thankerton Colliery AdamPaterson Register of FAI - falling in front of and being crushed by moving railway wagons
1927December19Michael CollieryDavid MartinBellWith thanks to Janette Bernard for this identification 
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Michael Colliery, Fife, on 19th December, a miner was charging a shot hole with gunpowder in a working which at the time and place was 2 ft. high. The pit is one in which naked lights are used and, by some means, he ignited all the gunpowder - over 4 lbs - in his canister and was so badly burned that he died seven days later.
1927 December 19 No 26 Mine, Polbeth Andrew Adamson Beattie Hamilton Register of FAI - quantity of shale falling on him from the side of his working place
1927December21Birkhill Fireclay MineAlexanderFowlerNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Falls of side
At Birkhill Fireclay Mine, Linlithgowshire, a fatal accident occurred which shows that however long a road may have been in use and however safe it may appear there always may be a hidden danger if the sides be unsupported. On 21st December, a miner was taking his last tub for the day out a level day drift by hand when a fall from the side some 30 yards from the mine entrance caught and killed him. The road was 12 ft. wide by 18 ft. high, and had stood in the same condition for many years. Weathering action, including that of a hard frost which prevailed at the time, may have, by ice expansion in cracks in the road side, caused the part of the side to burst off.
1927December21Robroyston CollieryJamesGardinerNewspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1927 December 21 No 1 Pit Glencraig Colliery James Harrower Injuries sustained 27 Sept 1926 by fall of coal. FAI reported in Dunfermline Journal 14 January 1928 (not yet transcribed) Newspaper report - Ballingry pages
1927 December 27Woodilee Colliery Thomas GrahamRegister of FAI - fall of roof
1927 December 28Law Colliery WilliamCraig Register of FAI - Almost instantaneously killed while operating a coal cutting machine by being accidentally caught or struck by the bar of the machine
1927 December 28No 4 Pennyvennie Mine JohnRiggans Register of FAI - explosion of fire damp

Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
At Pennyvenie No. 4 Mine, Ayrshire, on 5th December, a small section in a safety lamp area in a naked light mine was being worked with electric cap lamps when an explosion occurred and three miners were burned. Ten per cent, of the miners were searched daily but, even with this, the man who was burned so badly that he died told the Manager he had lit a match to light a naked light lamp when the explosion occurred. What tempted him to do so was not revealed till the Fatal Accident Inquiry, when it came out in evidence that the electric cap lamps were so badly kept that failures in light were not uncommon.
1927December29Maddiston CollieryJamesDickNewspaper report - Stirlingshire pages
1927NKNKKingshill CollieryNKNK Information from the Inspectors of Mines - 1927:
Suffocation by natural gases
At Kingshill Colliery, Lanark, a fireman who had been making inspection on a Sunday evening was found asphyxiated by fire-damp on one side of the brattice in a narrow steep place which had been driven up the vees of a fault for exploration purposes. His electric lamp was alight, but his flame safety lamp was extinguished and hanging on his belt. Presumably he did not expect gas in quantity in the place, as none had been found previously, and he apparently was in the midst of an accumulation before he thought of testing for it. There had been a long stoppage of the fan for repair during the day, and if he had been alive to the possible results of this the accident should not have happened.
Last Updated 1st January 2014