In November 2016, Bill Erskine emailed me saying, “Fantastic site – many congratulations on producing such comprehensive research. Currently researching my gt grandfather, Thomas Erskine who was killed at No 1 Pitt, Dixon Collieries on 22 Dec 1913 when crushed by an engine. Was wondering if there would be any other reports or information on his death. Both he and his wife were born in Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland. Any help much appreciated. Regards. Billy.”
I was able to reply:
Hi Billy. I’ve not managed to find anything in the newspapers about your great grandfather, but have managed to piece some details together from his death certificate.
Thomas Erskine was 59 years old when he died on 22nd December 1913 that afternoon around 1.30pm. He died on the railway siding at Dixons Pit 1, not far from his home at 8 Priestfield Street (the location of that former house, is not far from my own driveway!) He was married to Mary Hughes and worked at the pit as a Colliery Labourer.
Unfortunately, the crush incident itself sounded quite horrific, with not just scalp wounds, but Thomas sustained fractured ribs and a broken neck, most probably the cause of his death. His son Thomas Erskine junior lived near to his father at 47 Hunthill Road, High Blantyre.
An inquiry was held as was the case in almost all pit accidents. However, the outcome was also as it usually was, in favour of the pit owners, noting that Thomas had been accidentally killed by an engine on the siding. On 31st January 1914, the register of corrected entries does however, offer part comfort to this story in noting that Thomas was instantly killed and therefore did not suffer.