Survivors of The Blantyre Pit Disaster

1877 Blantyre Pit Head

1877 Blantyre Pit Head

Much has been written about the men and boys who died in the Blantyre Pit Disaster, but what about those who survived?

Those people who were working at the top of the shaft or manage to walk to safety awaiting rescue. Those who generally managed to escape the fireball and fire damp gasses.

The following list of men were noted by the Hamilton Advertiser as having escaped from No 2 Pit. I’ve also added in names of survivors noted from various Scotsman reports, to form for the first time online, a more complete picture.

Now, 233 officially went down the mine according to records from officials at the pithead, it’s known about 215 certain deaths (listed in alphabetical order on this website) and I have found 32 survivors. The arithmetic doesn’t add up, but it points towards the likely understated or incorrect numbers for the number of men who went down that day, perhaps 247 of them, rather than 233. We will never know.

Have a look through the surnames. Perhaps some of these people are YOUR ancestors, which would make you lucky to be here today!

The following people survived:

Owen Brannigan (died later from his burns on 30/10/77)
Thomas Black (back bruised)
Hugh Brown
Edward Docherty
William Duncan
Tom Ferguson (Driver)
Andrew Forrest
Tom Gallagher
Robert Heron
John Hill
William Hill
John Jeffrey
William Kirkland (burned face and hands)
John Little (Foreman)
Thomas Martin (burned face and hands)
Alex McCall
McCallum (burned face and hands)
Michael McCousker
Patrick McCousker
Tom McDonald
Duncan McMillan (slightly injured on face)
Donald Morrison (back bruised)
Sam Neilson
John Neilson
John Pickering
John Sharp (back bruised)
James Steven (back bruised)
George Watson
George Watt
William Welsh (Snr) (burned)
William Welsh (Jnr) (burned)
Alexander Woods (back bruised and burned)

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