I recently told the story the other day of seventeen year old Hugh McNeil who drowned in the Clyde in Summer 1915.
That Summer was hot and it may surprise you to know that another person drowned only the week before. Little Robert Shearer was only 9 years old in July 1915. His father was away on active service and he lived with his mother at Hall Street, Blantyre.
Along with some other boys, he had been amusing himself playing at boats in the middle of the Clyde, near an island at the Criaghead Viaduct. However, when he fell ‘overboard’ off the log, he was swept along by a strong current away from the boys and disappeared.
The other boys scrambled to get to the riverside and ran off for help. The body of Robert Shearer was retrieved some hours later.
The former pillars of the Craighead Viaduct are pictured below in 2007 and we can only presume that is the grassy island where the tragedy played out.