Douglas Semple of Gate Cottage

The two Gate Cottages shown in 1903

The two Gate Cottages shown in 1903

Two blood transfusions were given in one week by a Blantyre labourer in an effort to save the life of a 13-year-old boy, the son of fellow-worker, but were sadly unsuccessful.

The boy, Douglas Semple was thirteen years old, the son of Mr and Mr Semple of  Gate Cottage, Low Blantyre. He died at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Sunday 6th September 1936, after a week’s illness. Douglas had been removed to the infirmary suffering from blood poisoning caused bv scratching one of his fingers with wire. On 31st August 1936, it became evident that the only hope of saving the boys life was amputating his arm, but his condition was too feeble that the operation could not performed without blood transfusion.

His father, who was employed as a turbine attendant at Priory Colliery suggested the name of a young labourer Michael Finnon, also employed the colliery.  On arrival, Finnon’s blood was tested and found to be suitable, and transfusion operation was carried out. The boys arm was afterwards amputated. Last it was found that the boy needed more blood, and again gave a transfusion.

The Semple’s lived at Gate Cottage, one of the Blantyre Works Toll houses, that was erected created the gated entry to “The Village”. Each cottage sat on the corner of Rosebank Avenue and Knightswood Terrace. The Semples were known to be still living there during the 1950s.

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  1. Hello Douglas,
    I never knew this story, and am so sad, as I went to school with Sandy Semple who lived at the gate house also, I’m assuming he was a brother?? Such a tragic story and waste of life. sending prayers and blessings, Linda Mackie (Marieskind)

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