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Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941

 
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject: Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941 Reply with quote

Ten civilians died due to the detonation of a sea mine at Buckhaven, Fife on 2nd June 1941. They are not commemorated by CWGC, since it appears they were never informed of the casualty details.

I am now gathering evidence to present cases to CWGC.

Will update later.
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk


Last edited by kinnethmont on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim

Good news that these cases will now be put forward.

Do you think it is the case that after the war those responsible for submitting the deaths in Fife to the then IWGC were mistaken in which names should be forwarded? It seems those with a connection to the armed services and emergency services were commemorated, but civilians who died in the same incident were left off any submitted paperwork.

If that is the case then potentially there may be other civilians from Fife who died during the war (and meet the criteria for inclusion in the CWGC database) who have not been commemorated by the CWGC.

In my mind it also raises the possibility that other counties which did not suffer large numbers of civilian casualties may have been similarly unaware of the process to follow and that other Scottish civilians are uncommemorated.

The recent case of Jane Haining also highlights that even a well known civilian death abroad went uncommemorated by the CWGC until recently.

I'm sure it has been covered before but perhaps it may be worth clarifying for us again here what are the CWGC criteria for a civilian to be commemorated.

Kind regards

Adam
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: CWGC Civilians Reply with quote

Adam

Following the Great War there was considerable confusion / ignorance as to who qualifed for war death status. This explains why quite a few post discharge cases are being found by members here. The military lost track of them and the family buried them in the usual way.

IWGC had no involvement, nor interest, in Home deaths until given this responsibilty in 1920 and had to rely on military sources ( as detailed earlier these were incomplete) and being informed by relatives, etc. Remember IWGC only recorded the details they were given. As today, they have no authority or obligation under their Royal Charter to search out ommissions, etc. UK civilian deaths were not recorded at all.

Lessons had been learnt from the WW1 experience and when the second conflict began it was decided that the names of the Civilian dead should be recorded. The IWGC Charter did not allow for this, since they were not War dead under the Charter's conditions. However, change was made which allowed their names to be included in the Civilian Debt of Honour Roll only. Theirs are not war graves and IWGC have no interest in them.
The details they included were brief and are those gathered / forwarded by the relevant Reporting Authority, in this case Fife Council. Accuracy of the information was the supplier’s responsibility. Clearly it appears Fife Council were remiss in the two sea mine cases. They actually informed details of the civilian Police Constable, but not the others at Wemyss. He qualifies as a Civilian, not because he was a reserve PC.

Some civilians, in certain circumstances, can have war grave status but they must have been a member of certain recognised organisations involved with the military eg. Merchant Navy, Air Training Corps, Army Cadet Force, British Army Aid Group, etc, but that does not apply at Buckhaven.
The Home Guard man at Wemyss is so commemorated.The qualifying conditions for these civilians can vary.

Civilians in overseas areas also qualify provided they are still British Nationals, as in the case of Jane Haining. Again in her case, her details were not passed to IWGC by the German Reporting Authority.

The requirement is to die " due to war causes or the increased risk brought on by war". Qualifying dates are as for war graves – 03.09.39 to 31.12.47.

As for others missing in Fife. There might well be, since it does seem they were not reporting all the casualties they should have.
The same could be true elswhere in the UK. Generally reporting was well understood and pretty accurate during WW2. Of course, we are all human.
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk


Last edited by kinnethmont on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941 Reply with quote

Cases for the ten civilian casualties have been sent to CWGC and are now in the system.

Note - There are two sets of brothers Kinnear and Jensen. Also a father and son - Wilkie.


Robert Birrell
Husband of Agnes Henderson Birrell ms Stenhouse, 53 East High Street, Buckhaven
Carting Contractor / Coal Merchant aged 31

George Smith Irvine
Schoolboy aged 13 years
Son of David John Louden and Isabella Irvine ms Beattie, 30 East Shore Street, Buckhaven

George Christopher Jensen
Schoolboy aged 14 years
Son of Robert Jensen and Margaret Jensen ms Houze, 33 Factory Road, Buckhaven

Robert Jensen
Carter aged 15 years
Son of Robert Jensen and Margaret Jensen ms Houze, 33 Factory Road, Buckhaven

Joseph Leitch Kinnear
Schoolboy aged 12 years
Son of Alexander Kinnear and Margaret Kinnear ms Hennen, 10 Alison Street, Buckhaven

William Hennen Kinnear
Aged 10 years
Son of Alexander Kinnear and Margaret Kinnear ms Hennen, 10 Alison Street, Buckhaven

John Thomson
Aged 12 years
Son of John Thomson and Elizabeth Thomson ms Nelson, 167 Wellesley Road, Buckhaven

Henry Walton
Labourer aged 14 years
Son of Arthur Walton and Janet Thomson Walton ms Knight, 39 Rannoch Road, Methil

Henry Wilkie
Coal Miner, aged 36 years,
Husband of Agnes Fisher , 6 Stark Street, Buckhaven

James Wilkie
Schoolboy aged 12 years
Son of Henry Wilkie ( Deceased) and Agnes Wilkie ms Fisher, 6 Stark Street, Buckhaven
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941 Reply with quote

The names of the ten who lost their lives due to the Buckhaven sea mine expolsion were added to the CWGC WW2 Civilian Roll of Honour today.

I am particularly pleased by the level of NOK detail CWGC have taken from the details supplied in these cases. Remember, CWGC are only required to record the names of civilian casualties.


Name: BIRRELL, ROBERT
Initials: R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 31
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of James and Isabella Birrell; husband of Agnes Henderson Birrell, of Buckhaven. Died in Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: IRVINE, GEORGE SMITH
Initials: G S
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 13
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of David John Louden and Isabella Irvine, of Buckhaven. Died at East High Street, Buckhaven.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: JENSEN, GEORGE CHRISTOPHER
Initials: G C
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 14
Date of Death: 04/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Robert and Margaret Jensen, of Buckhaven. Died in Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: JENSEN, ROBERT
Initials: R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 15
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Robert and Margaret Jensen, of Buckhaven. Died at Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: KINNEAR, JOSEPH LEITCH
Initials: J L
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 12
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Alexander and Margaret Kinnear, of Buckhaven. Died at Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: KINNEAR, WILLIAM HENNEN
Initials: W H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 10
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Alexander and Margaret Kinnear, of Buckhaven. Died in Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: THOMSON, JOHN
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 12
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Thomson, of Buckhaven. Died at East High Street, Buckhaven.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: WALTON, HENRY
Initials: H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 14
Date of Death: 04/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Arthur and Janet Thomson Walton, of Methil. Died at Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: WILKIE, HENRY
Initials: H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 36
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of James and Janet Wilkie; husband of Agnes Wilkie, of Buckhaven. Died at Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


Name: WILKIE, JAMES
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 12
Date of Death: 02/06/1941
Additional information: Son of Henry and Agnes Wilkie of Buckhaven. Died at Cameron Hospital, Windygates.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: BUCKHAVEN AND METHIL, BURGH OF, SCOTLAND


MISSING NO MORE
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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David McNay
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work, well done.
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7311
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another excellent result, thanks for the update Jim. It's good to see if CWGC are provided with so much information they will include it.

Kind regards

Adam
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941 Reply with quote

Quote:
It's good to see if CWGC are provided with so much information they will include it.

Adam

This is far from all that was provided. CWGC are only required to record the name. At the time they recorded only brief details from info supplied by the reporting authority. There was no verification of these details and it's accuracy was the responsibility of the supplier.
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Buckhaven Mine Disaster - 2nd June 1941 Reply with quote

It may interest some that details of the Buckhaven and West Wemyss mine explsions are featured in the latest CWGC Annual Report


https://www.cwgc.org/admin/files/new%20complete%20AR%202011.pdf
_________________
Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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