Village Children Missing, 1910

On Tuesday 17th May 1910, considerable fear and panic swept through Blantyre when it became known that two young children had gone missing from the Village.

A boy and girl, aged 10 and 12 years respectively created considerable commotion with large search parties sent out to look for them. As the day unfolded into Wednesday, then Thursday, concern escalated and there was not a person alive in Blantyre who hadnt heard of the plight of this family.

Thomas and Elizabeth Machline were the children of a miner residing in Middle Row, in the Village. The alarm intensified in subsequent days by growing rumours of foul play. Instead of going to school, the children it was said had perhaps been playing truant on Blantyre Braes and this became the focus area of the search. By the end of the week, the police had made every investigation and news had spread to nearby villages and towns.

However, all proved fine in due course by the weekend when the children turned up at an Aunt’s house in Eddlewood. It transpired, they had bunked off school for so many days, that they each knew the teachers would have contacted their father. So, rather than go home, fearing a belting, they went to the home of their aunt, who let them lay low for a few days, and had subsequently no idea of the scale of the search in Blantyre.

I have to wonder what happened when those young children eventually walked back through their father’s door.

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