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From: "Becky Horne" <>
Subject: [ZA-EC] Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape - Glencoe Collierydisaster - Part I
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 00:58:05 +0200


72 lives lost in Glencoe Colliery disaster
The week ending February 22, 1908.
by Ivor Markman.

At the ordinary weekly meeting of the Port Elizabeth Town Council, held in
the Council Chamber yesterday, the Town Clerk read the following telegram
which had been received by the Mayor from the Glencoe Relief Committee.

"The Press has made public full details of the Glencoe Colliery catastrophe,
in which 12 white men and 60 natives lost their lives. The former leave
eight widows, two widowed mothers, and 31 children, the great majority of
whom are of tender age. The first meeting of the local committee Glencoe
Relief Fund was held today and it was decided that in view of the large sum
required to meet the urgent necessities of so many sufferers, appeals should
be made throughout this Colony and to other centres in South Africa. It is
estimated to provide the sum of one pound per week to each of these widows
and five shillings for each child with necessities the sum of about £15000,
irrespective of insurance monies. You are earnestly required to help in
raising the money required."

The Mayor said it went without saying that the Glencoe community had their
deep sympathy and in this connection he had allowed the editors of the "EP
Herald" and "CD Telegraph" to see the telegram. They had decided to open
lists in their papers, and he (the Mayor), was also prepared to open a list
at the Town Office. He moved that the matter be referred to the Finance
Committee. This was agreed to. (February 17, 1908)

Details of the disaster:
>From Maritzburg reports it appears as though the first explosion occurred at
9 o'clock on Thursday morning, when new work was being done at the dead end.
It is believed a blasted charge ignited, fire-damp resulting in the
explosion, injuring one white and six natives, all of whom were brought to
the top. Work in that particular locality was suspended. Slight explosions
followed at one and three o'clock, causing no injury. Later, five Europeans
and forty natives went down to block up the fire and extinguish it when a
heavy explosion occurred. It is believed all the whites and 36 natives
perished. After an interval of several hours, when it was hoped the fire was
safe, a rescue party, headed by Mr. MUIR, comprising six whites and 20
natives, descended. They came on numerous bodies of natives but found no
trace of the Europeans. The rescuers were driven out by fire - damp and
returned to the surface, no further explosions occurring until 8am
yesterday.

The following telegram has been received from the Commissioner of Mines: "I
reached the colliery with Mr. HEDGES at 1.15am, and found the managers of
St. George's, Mr. HESLOP, Natal Navigation, Mr. DEWAR, Durban Navigation,
Mr. COLQUHOUN, under-manager, St. George's, Mr. PEASDALE, and the
under-manager of Natal Navigation, Mr. CAMPBELL, with the manager of
Glencoe.

More to follow.

Best wishes
Becky


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