Conditions in the mining towns of Lanarkshire in the immediate post WW1 years were about as bad as it could get.
Infant mortality in Lanarkshire was astonishingly high with 22,000 children out of 188,000 born in 1918, dying before they even reached their first birthday!
In Blantyre on average 143 babies out of every 1,000, died before they were 1 year old, a figure on par with Bothwell and Bellshill, all mining districts. Imagine that for a moment, over 14% of all babies born, were dying!
It was significantly higher in these towns , than the rural areas nearby without mining activity. Indeed, Blantyre’s statistic compared to densely populated areas of London, rife with disease and poor housing.
The statistics were an eye opener to Parish Councils, who agreed that poor housing and inadequate medical care was the most probable cause.[Source: Western Times 15 April 1919]
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