Patrick Brothers Accident


Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 22.11.28American lady Norma Marr contacted me in May 2016 writing, “Hi Paul, Recently you had a number of posts of train accidents. Here’s another sad one that you may not know about. James and Robert Patrick were my great uncles. 

SAD FATALITY AT BLANTYRE — Yesterday morning the bodies of James and Robert Patrick, aged 21 and 29 respectively, were found about 200 yards above the Caledonian Railway Station at High Blantyre. The deceased had been going home along the railway, when they were run down by a passing train. The bodies were mutilated terribly. FROM THE GLASGOW HERALD DATED APRIL 3, 1899 — PAGE 6

I tried to view the Hamilton Advertiser to see if there was another report of this horrific accident but do not have access to that paper.
The ages reported in the Glasgow Herald are incorrect — James was 28 years and Robert was 24 (from the death register.) Both were coal miners. Date of death: April 1, 1899
Cause of death: Run over and instantaneously killed by a locomotive engine
When and where died: About 11h 15m pm on the Strathaven branch of the Caledonian Railway about 50 yards on the north side of the Red Burn (usual residence Dykehead Hamilton) There is a notation of the side of the document that indicates that something official was filed on April 12, 1899 but I can’t make it out.

We were always told that they were returning from a wedding when they were killed and that does make sense because April 1, 1899 was a Saturday. We think they must have been having a little to much of a good time if you get my drift. Their parents, John Patrick and Georgina (Day) Patrick lived in Blantyre.”

I was able to reply with the following: ” I was fascinated to learn of this train accident and hadn’t heard of it before. The Redburn stream is the actual boundary between Blantyre and Hamilton and the description of the accident meant at 50 yards beyond Redburn, it happened slightly into Hamilton Parish, rather than Blantyre. However, back then, just as it is today, the area around Redburn in general is often regarded as Blantyre. I have attached a map from 1898, which would be an excellent record of how the landscape looked at the time of the accident.

I would think they were coming back from a wedding in High Blantyre, for the railway line was often used as a shortcut in those days when roads were of such scarcity and poor quality. Dykehead is not far from Redburn, so it looks like they had almost made it back home. There was a small track that went under the railway and led to Dykehead. The accident must have happened very close to Little Udston Farm. I have attached a map showing the railway line, the scene of the accident and proximity to that farm. Dykehead is slightly outwith the map to the bottom, you’ll see the track leading out the map….. The Redburn is shown in blue.
One note for your research, they died on 1st April which was  Saturday. However, they died in the early hours of the morning, so the wedding they were coming from must have taken place the night before on 31st March 1899.
In 1891, James had been living at Smellie’s Land, in Auchinraith , Blantyre. Employed as a coal miner in this district, meant that he worked at Auchinraith Colliery and was employed by Merry & Cunninghame (coalmasters). This probably hasn’t added much to your research, but hope you find it interesting.
On social media:
Janet Cochrane Paul you are closer to these deaths than you might think they are Joyce’s great uncles. The only record I have seen of their deaths is in the booklet we were given at the memorial device at High Blantyre cross in 2000. Below are the inscriptions from two graves at High Blantyre. Erected by friends and fellow workers in memory of James and Robert Patrick who were killed on the Strathaven branch line 1st April 1899 aged 27 and 24 yrs James Patrick snr died 28th January 1899 aged 53 yrs Georgian Day Patrick wife of James Patrick snr who died at Calderside High Blantyre 3rd March 1914 aged 71yrs. In loving memory of our dear father Francis McFarlane who died 27th May 1945 aged 75yrs also our dear mother Francis Patrick who died 15th April 1961 aged 82yrs also their son Francis who died 17th September 1977 aged 77yrs both died at Calderside. The photo of the M cfarlanes of Calderside on the Blantyre Project is Francis Patrick and her daughter.

The Blantyre Project Thanks Janet. Very detailed and very helpful as always.

Janet Cochrane Their address in the booklet is given as Runs Land Udston

Janet Cochrane Sorry should be Duns Land

Jim Cochrane Paul Veverka there sisters picture is already posted

Jim Cochrane Mentioned. This accident a while ago.

George Park The register of “Corrected Entries” altered the ages stated on the death certificates, and gives the time of death as 11.15pm, 45 mins. before midnight on Saturday 1st April. It was reported that the bodies were found on the Sunday. Not sure what time pubs and the like closed at, in 1899, but it would certainly have been before 10.00pm, allowing ample time to reach the Red Burn. The burial place was High Blantyre Cemetery, and the undertaker was noted as J & A Smith.

The Blantyre Project Thanks George. That really helps and I’ll add the note to the article.

Norma Lawrence Marr This information is more than I ever expected to receive — this helps to fill in so many blanks in our family history. Even though an ocean separates us, we as a family have longed to know more about our Blantyre history. It touches us to know that there are marked graves and inscriptions for them and our great grandmother and great grandfather. On a side note, Jim and Janet, would you consider corresponding with me?

Anne Mackie sad but very interesting

The Blantyre Project Amazing. Love how people all come together to form the complete picture and help. Well done all.

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