Author Topic: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s  (Read 2188 times)

Offline Martin Briscoe

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Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« on: Tuesday 21 February 17 13:38 GMT (UK) »
I have been trying to identify names of workers killed on Lochaber Water Power Scheme in the 1920s and 1930s.  Many of these were Irish with County Donegal being famous for tunnel workers

Only two seem to have known graves, one of those was from Newbliss, County Monaghan and the other was from Coatbridge but is described as Irish.  Both surnames are shown in different places with different spellings.

I have wondered whether the families have ever seen the two named  graves or even know where they were buried?

Cille Choirill Burial Ground - Graves of Lochaber Power Works dam and tunnel construction workers -
-
Approximately 60 people appear to be killed in accidents during the construction of the dams and tunnels of the Lochaber Water Power Scheme for the British Aluminium smelter in Fort William.
No list has been found but I have been compiling a list of the fatalities.
The plan of Cille Choirill burial ground has a note that 35 tunnel workers were buried there, probably around this area. Only two graves are identified though one headstone is damaged.
---
(IN)
LOVING MEMORY
OF
LOUIS MCIL'HONEY
DIED JANY. 8TH 1927
RIP
PRESENTED
AS A TOKEN OF RESPECT
BY HIS FELLOW WORKERS
-
This is located at NN 30800 81271
He appears to have been Irish but living in Coatbridge
---
IN
LOVING MEMORY
OF
PATRICK CAIRNS
ACCIDENTALLY KILLED
8TH JUNE 1928
AGED 30 YEARS
A TOKEN OF RESPECT FROM
HIS FELLOW WORKERS
AT ADIT 5
-
This is located at NN 30803 81267
From Newbliss in County Monaghan
The Police record of the accident has his name as Patrick Kieran but ScotlandsPeople has Partick Kierans. Northern Whig has Patrick Kiernan
-
ID:MHG29780
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cille Choirill
Grid Reference:NN 30747 81260
Map Sheet:NN38SW
Civil Parish:KILMONIVAIG
Geographical Area:LOCHABER

Alternative Names St. Cyrils; Church Of Cille Choirill
Site Type CEMETERY, CHURCH
Canmore ID 23907
Site Number NN38SW 1
NGR NN 30695 81213
Council HIGHLAND
Parish KILMONIVAIG
Former Region HIGHLAND
Former District LOCHABER
Former County INVERNESS-SHIRE

https://www.flickr.com/photos/doffcocker/albums/72157680581164805
BRISCOE - Bolton, Heaton Norris, Rochdale, Oldham, Chadderton, Blackburn
POUNDER - Middleton Tyas, Kirkbymoorside, Stokesley, Lambeth, Bolton, Newcastle on Tyne, Leeds
HAMMOND - Quebec, Laverton, Masham, Grantley
SWALES - Laverton, Masham
O'Shea - Quebec
PARRY - Caerhun, Deiniolen, ClwtyBont, Brynrefail, TalySarn, Brynrefail, Bethesda
EVANS - Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Maesmynis, Dowlais, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool, Trealaw
HARVEY - Trentham, Sheriffhales, Llanfyllin, Llanferres, Minera

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Online BallyaltikilliganG

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 05 March 17 20:21 GMT (UK) »
To encourage you onwards heres some quickly extracted index entries for british newspapers
Dundee Courier Angus, Scotland
28 Jun 1928
ANOTHER FATALITY AT LOCHABER POWER WORKS. Another fatality occurred on the Lochaber water power works yesterday, the victim being Patrick Carabin, a native of County Fermanagh, Ireland. He had been engaged in erecting gauntry at an adit, when the structure

Dundee Courier Angus, Scotland
14 Jun 1929
LOCHABER WORKS FATALITY MAN CRUSHED IN TUNNEL. A fatality occurred yesterday at the Lochaber water power works. A labourer named Patrick Haughian, belonging to Ballymartin, County Down, Ireland, was, with others, engaged in pushing a waggon

Derby Daily Telegraph Derbyshire, England
26 Dec 1931
Two Killed: Five Injured In Scottish Explosion Two men were killed and five injured • ™ .Tolosion on the Lochaber (Inver«t« power scheme on Christmas Day. THRILLING Drilling operations were in progress in the tunnel winch .

The Scotsman Midlothian, Scotland
22 Jan 1932
EXPLOSION IN LOCHABER
.Man Killed : Four Injured TUNNELLING ACCIDENT The new tunnel being driven through a mountain-spur for tho purposo of diverting tho waters of Locli Laggan into Loch Trcig ~ in connection with' the Lochaber hy

Edinburgh Evening News, Midlothian, Scotland
Monday 22 February 1932
... ANOTHER LOCHABER FATALITY Another fatality was reported to-day from the water power works. Where dam is being constructed across the Hirer Spesn at Roughburn, the jib of crane collapsed, and, striking a workman named Coll Gallacher, inflicted severe injuries ...

The Scotsman Midlothian, Scotland
Tuesday 12 April 1932,
... TWO MEN KILLED ' — * — - Explosion at Lochaber Works NEAR RIVER SPEAN Two nien were killed yesterday as tlio result 0 ; another explosion at tlio works in connection with tlio Loelmber hydro-electric scheme . ' Their names are : — . Donald Campugix ( ...
Gracey Gracie Gracy Grassy Greacy
worldwide

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Offline Martin Briscoe

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 05 March 17 21:24 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, I have a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive so have spent many hours going through the newspapers!   I seem to have missed the February 1932 one though, will check that shortly.

The local archive has a police ledger, something like "Unexpected Deaths, Bodies Found and Accidents" but it ends in 1932 and there does not seem to be a later volume.  I started transcribing everything but there are pages full of accidents so had to stick to the fatalities.

As I wrote, there seem to be only two marked graves.  One was Irish but lived in Scotland though he had an unusual name.  The other was from County Monaghan, I tried an EMail to a contact name for family history at the council but not had a reply.  I have wondered if the families ever saw the graves or even knew where they were buried.

One of those injured in the 25 Dec 1931 accident died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1934.

BRISCOE - Bolton, Heaton Norris, Rochdale, Oldham, Chadderton, Blackburn
POUNDER - Middleton Tyas, Kirkbymoorside, Stokesley, Lambeth, Bolton, Newcastle on Tyne, Leeds
HAMMOND - Quebec, Laverton, Masham, Grantley
SWALES - Laverton, Masham
O'Shea - Quebec
PARRY - Caerhun, Deiniolen, ClwtyBont, Brynrefail, TalySarn, Brynrefail, Bethesda
EVANS - Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Maesmynis, Dowlais, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool, Trealaw
HARVEY - Trentham, Sheriffhales, Llanfyllin, Llanferres, Minera

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 05 March 17 22:31 GMT (UK) »
Here's the wee cemetery at the Blackwater Dam which powered the British Aluminium smelter at Kinlochleven, the headstones are made of concrete like the dam. A very sad & remote spot,

https://stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/in-the-steps-of-the-kinlochleven-navvies

Skoosh.

Offline Martin Briscoe

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 05 March 17 22:45 GMT (UK) »
Here's the wee cemetery at the Blackwater Dam which powered the British Aluminium smelter at Kinlochleven, the headstones are made of concrete like the dam. A very sad & remote spot,

https://stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/in-the-steps-of-the-kinlochleven-navvies

Skoosh.

I keep meaning to have a walk up to there but never got around to it!

It's strange that the men working on the Lochaber scheme did not start a small burial ground like that though I suppose there are complications of getting it consecrated.  Kinlochleven did not have the tunnels that Lochaber has so perhaps not as many of the Irish workers.

It is common to find headstones "erected by fellow workers" but there seem to be just the two headstones at Cille Choirill, there is a memorial at Kilmallie but no name on it and I have not found anyone else who was aware that it is there.  I have had a walk around other local burial grounds and not noticed any that look like one from the scheme.  Perhaps there are more unmarked graves somewhere.


BRISCOE - Bolton, Heaton Norris, Rochdale, Oldham, Chadderton, Blackburn
POUNDER - Middleton Tyas, Kirkbymoorside, Stokesley, Lambeth, Bolton, Newcastle on Tyne, Leeds
HAMMOND - Quebec, Laverton, Masham, Grantley
SWALES - Laverton, Masham
O'Shea - Quebec
PARRY - Caerhun, Deiniolen, ClwtyBont, Brynrefail, TalySarn, Brynrefail, Bethesda
EVANS - Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Maesmynis, Dowlais, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool, Trealaw
HARVEY - Trentham, Sheriffhales, Llanfyllin, Llanferres, Minera

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 05 March 17 23:13 GMT (UK) »
There was an explosion in the tunnel which takes the water from the Spey Dam via Loch Crunachdan & to Loch Laggan, this was in the 30's or 40's. At least one death I think. Nearest burial places are Laggan parish kirk-yard & St Kenneth's, Aberarder.

Skoosh.

Offline Martin Briscoe

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 05 March 17 23:53 GMT (UK) »
There was an explosion in the tunnel which takes the water from the Spey Dam via Loch Crunachdan & to Loch Laggan, this was in the 30's or 40's. At least one death I think. Nearest burial places are Laggan parish kirk-yard & St Kenneth's, Aberarder.

Skoosh.

I haven't picked any up from Spey Dam except Corporal Hendry and Sapper Stewart but starting to go over the later period more carefully so I expect to find others.

BRISCOE - Bolton, Heaton Norris, Rochdale, Oldham, Chadderton, Blackburn
POUNDER - Middleton Tyas, Kirkbymoorside, Stokesley, Lambeth, Bolton, Newcastle on Tyne, Leeds
HAMMOND - Quebec, Laverton, Masham, Grantley
SWALES - Laverton, Masham
O'Shea - Quebec
PARRY - Caerhun, Deiniolen, ClwtyBont, Brynrefail, TalySarn, Brynrefail, Bethesda
EVANS - Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Maesmynis, Dowlais, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool, Trealaw
HARVEY - Trentham, Sheriffhales, Llanfyllin, Llanferres, Minera

Offline Plunkett

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #7 on: Friday 30 June 17 16:22 BST (UK) »
Hi, I am trying to trace information about the explosion that killed my husband's grandfather in Lochaber tunnels in 1929. His name was James Patrick Alexander Mackin and he lived in Fort William, where he is buried at the Ben Nevis cemetry

Offline Martin Briscoe

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Re: Tunnel workers killed on the Lochaber Water Power Scheme 1920s/1930s
« Reply #8 on: Friday 30 June 17 17:41 BST (UK) »
Hi, I am trying to trace information about the explosion that killed my husband's grandfather in Lochaber tunnels in 1929. His name was James Patrick Alexander Mackin and he lived in Fort William, where he is buried at the Ben Nevis cemetry

That names rings a bell, I think it is one I have come across.  I will check later when my desktop is switched on.

Do you mean Glen Nevis cemetery?  I had a walk around to see if I recognised any names there, sure there are some but I did not spot any.

I must tidy up my file and send latest version to the various archives.  I went on to collecting names of servicemen who died in the area in WWII, mainly because it is often said that no one knew how many died at Achnacarry.

BRISCOE - Bolton, Heaton Norris, Rochdale, Oldham, Chadderton, Blackburn
POUNDER - Middleton Tyas, Kirkbymoorside, Stokesley, Lambeth, Bolton, Newcastle on Tyne, Leeds
HAMMOND - Quebec, Laverton, Masham, Grantley
SWALES - Laverton, Masham
O'Shea - Quebec
PARRY - Caerhun, Deiniolen, ClwtyBont, Brynrefail, TalySarn, Brynrefail, Bethesda
EVANS - Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Maesmynis, Dowlais, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool, Trealaw
HARVEY - Trentham, Sheriffhales, Llanfyllin, Llanferres, Minera