Eight men killed in one of Fife’s worst mining disasters were remembered at a poignant ceremony to mark the 120th anniversary of their deaths.
Descendants of those who died at Donibristle Colliery in 1901 gathered to commemorate the tragedy on Thursday.
Miners George Hutchison, William Forsyth, David Campbell and Alexander Smith died after they were trapped in a seam flooded with tonnes of moss and water.
James McDonald, William Hynd, Thomas Rattray and Andrew Paterson also perished in a vain bid to rescue the trapped men.
Mr McDonald’s great-grandson Donald McArthur erected a stone memorial in their honour 25 years ago.
He built the cairn on the outskirts of Cowdenbeath, a mile south of the colliery at Mossmorran Moor.
However, a plaque bearing their names became damaged over the years and much of the wording was no longer legible.
But it was regilded in time for Thursday’s ceremony after the Co-op Funeralcare stepped in to pay for the repairs.
Dunfermline area manager Gavin McLeod offered to help after reading an appeal for funds in The Courier.
Remembering the Donibristle disaster
And Mr McArthur was delighted to see it refurbished in time for the anniversary of the Donibrisle disaster.
“Although more than a century has passed since the tragedy, the passage of time has not erased the memory from four generations of families,” he said.
“We stand here today to remember these eight men and what they and their families went through.
“I can think of no better honour that we still hold them close in our hearts and minds, securing a love for people we never knew.”
Some of the stricken rescue party managed to write their final words as they waited for death.
Records show they lived underground for four days before they finally succumbed.
Mr McArthur added: “This cairn is a solitary reminder of five of the men who still lie to this day in unmarked graves.
“This was always the purpose of having it built 25 years ago.”
He revealed he has also ordered a headstone for his great-grandfather.
“I felt it necessary that, as well as this cairn, James finally has his own memorial. He has waited long enough,” he said.
Floral tributes were laid and those gathered marked the occasion with two minutes of silence for the lost men.
The Co-op’s Gavin McLeod was also in attendance.
He said he had been delighted to provide funds after reading Mr McArthur’s appeal.
“The Co-op is always keen to give back to the communities we serve and this was a perfect example of where we can help,” he said.