A single boot was her reminder

old bootMany people reading this page will now be aware of the fateful disaster on 22nd October 1877 where 216 men and boys lost their lives at Dixons Pits 2 and 3 , High Blantyre. This sad tale remembers the grief one of the mothers endured.

Mr & Mrs George McLachlan lived at No 1 Jackson Place, DIxons Rows. Sadly on that day, they lost THREE of their sons in that disaster, something I can’t imagine how they ever recovered from. The youngest boy, William, was only 13 years old and was a pony driver in No2 pit. His young body was so badly burned that the only means of identifying the boy was by one of his socks and a boot.

His mother took the boot home, cleaned and polished it, then wrapped it in brown paper and kept it in a drawer of her sideboard, forever treating it with great care. Time and time again she would take the boot out, clean it and return it to its hallowed place. Some 30 years later (around 1917), the woman was dying and said to her daughter, “William’s boot means so much to me, bury it with me, when the time comes“. Her daughter did as she was told. Mrs McLachlan is buried in High Blantyre Cemetery and beside her in the coffin, is the boot her young son wore that terrible day.

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