Singular Drowning Accident, 1899

Monday 19th June 1899 was a warm day in Blantyre. As afternoon gave way to evening, miner Thomas McGuire (61) left his home at Craighead Rows and walked the short distance to the nearby River Clyde.

His intention was to cool down that Monday evening. Some boys nearby giggled as they observed Thomas removing his clothes and walking boldly to the river edge, taking a dive straight in headfirst. The boys watched him come back up for air, then dive straight down again. However, he didn’t rise and the young audience on the riverbank very quickly became alarmed running off for help.

They brought back miner Andrew Gibson of Low Blantyre. Andrew bravely dived in at the spot and almost immediately found the drowned body of Thomas, trapped underwater 6 feet deep, just 3 or 4 foot from the riverbank. It is unknown how Thomas got entangled but the story reverberated around Blantyre once again of the dangers of taking an innocent dip in the River Clyde.

The story was cause for much discussion in Blantyre in the following days. Rest in Peace Thomas McGuire.

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