Scotlands History

Lithuanian immigration

In the early 1890s many Lithuanians faced poverty at home. Around a quarter left Lithuania in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some Lithuanian immigrants were persuaded to settle in Scotland to work in Scots coal mines. A community of around 5000-6000 Lithuanian immigrants settled in Coatbridge.

The Catholic Lithuanians were accused of undercutting wages and faced sectarian bigotry and hostility from local miners. In time they were accepted and worked with Scottish miners to improve conditions in the pits.

During World War I many Lithuanians fought for the Allies, others set sail for Russia. In 1920 hundreds of Lithuanians were repatriated and the community in Scotland collapsed.

  • Old image of Lithuanian miners, Bellshill
  • Image of Lithianian women mine workers, Carfin, Lanarkshire, 1919

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