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A Prayer for those who have lost loved ones in the explosion at Burngrange Shale Pit, West Calder

by W. Jones of Bathgate - written in January 1947

This simple yet touching poem was written in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish shale oil industry's worst mining disaster at Burngrange No. 1 & 2 Pits in West Calder. On 10th of January 1947, an underground explosion and fire led to the death of 15 men which was by far the greatest loss of life in any accident during the history of the industry. The 15 men tragically killed in the disaster were: John McGarty, Thomas Heggie, Henry Cowie, John Lightbody, David Carroll, William Carroll, William Greenock, James McAuley, David Muir, Anthony Gaughan, William Ritchie, John Fairley, Samuel Pake, William Findlay and George Easton.

Comfort, Lord thy stricken people from the hours of sadness now.

May they look to thee for comfort, still their loving friend art thou.


Give them strength to bear their sorrow,

For their loved ones' tragic doom,

Suddenly it came upon them

Those that still were in life's bloom.


Bless each widow, parent, orphan

Give them courage, everyone

May they look to thee for comfort,

For their loved ones now are gone.

© W. Jones

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