Canadian Mine Fatal Mishap

1930s Reserves Mines, Canada

1930s Reserves Mines, Canada

On Saturday 27th July 1935, Mrs Johnstone of 25 Station Road, Blantyre, received a letter that brought some very unwelcome and tragic news. The postman delivered an international intimation that her son-in-law, Mr John Collison Martin, had been killed in an accident when at work as a miner in the Reserve Mines at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Reserve Mines is known for coal mining from 1860 to mid-1950. Taken in the same decade of this accident, is this rare photo of the Reserve Mines.

John Martin left a widow and three of a family. Mr Martin went out to Canada during the late 1920’s under the Government Aid Scheme for Miners, and out of the large number who left from the Blantyre and Burnbank districts, with the exception of another, he was the only man who did not come back to this this local area. This entry was interesting to me. There was indeed quite an exodus from Blantyre in the late 1920’s out across the Atlantic to America and Canada and I know of several families today who reside in North America as a result of this Blantyre migration.

The Nova Scotia Mine Archives were kind enough to help me with some more information , informing me that John had died a full month before his family in Scotland were notified (perhaps a reflection of the distance). He did in Dominion Mine 10, on 26th June 1935.

In this specific case, Mr Martin was a highly-respected man in Burnbank, where three brothers and a sister still resided at the time of his death. As well as his wife’s family in Station Road, he had two other brothers in Canada.

On social media:

Margaret Nimmo Lehmann My Great Grandfather Charles Muircroft went to Ohio, US in 1900 with two of his sons (my Grampa Andrew being one of them), 4 days after Charles arrived there he was killed in a mine accident, I have a copy of the Shipping Record of their trip over and just a couple of years ago I tracked down his gravestone in the USA and have a photo of it.

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  1. Paul – could my Grandpa Tom Dolan have come to New York under the 1920’s Government Aid Scheme For Miners? Would the government have paid the ship passage for him and his son Charles? I noticed this aid plan in your ‘Canadian Mine Disaster’ article?

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