Remembering The Explosion

Children as young as 12 worked in Blantyres mines

Children as young as 12 worked in Blantyres mines

On 22nd October 2014, it will have been 137 years since the Blantyre Pit Explosion that killed 215 men and boys.

Robert Stewart approached me recently with an idea for an article that remembered not only the men that died, but also so many children of such a young age. It’s easy to forget when we read about the pit explosion that children died too. I’ve posted a few times about the pit explosion, so this article, takes Robert’s idea and indeed his words and stops for a second as a mark of respect to remember those who died. Robert told me….

“At the time and over the years since, many articles, poems and songs have been written and composed about Scotland’s worst ever mining accident. When I read that 230 men descended into the mine that fateful morning, I automatically imagined strong, tough, powerfully built men, what I’d expect a coal miner to be like. Recently, I have been looking more closely at the ages of the men who died that day. I was shocked to learn that 36 of them were 15 years old and under, including three boys who were only 12 years old. The table below shows all age groups, and the teenagers who died,

All Age Groups
Pre teenager 3
13-19 years 73
20-29 years 73
30-39 years 33
40-49 years 19
50 -59 years 9
60 and unknown 5
Total 215

Teenage Age Groups
12 years old 3 *
13 years old 1014 years old 12
15 years old 11
16 years old 12
17 years old 11
18 years old 4
19 years old 13
Total 76

* Some sources record an 11 year old died, but nobody of that age is recorded on the Scottish Mining Website.

So, at 8.45 on 22nd October, stop for a minute with Robert and I, just to reflect what Blantyre lost at Dixon’s Colliery. Lives were truly shattered and you can BET that many of us were related to them.

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