Train Crash at St Bedes Junction
#1
St Bedes Junction was where Bede Metro station is now.The line descended on a 1 in 100 gradient into Tyne Dock bottom.The line was used for mineral trains.
Early one dark December morning a goods train came up the line and ran out onto the South Shields Newcastle line past St Bedes signal box.It had been banked in the rear up the incline by a six coupled tank engine which,as was usual on this line,carried red headlights and a green light at the rear to avoid changing the lamps round at St Bedes.As the train ran past his box,Hodgson the St Bedes signalman failed to see the banking engine.He said afterwards that he thought the red lights were on the brakevan and that he missed the green tail light.After passing his box,the banker dropped away from the train and came to a standon the main up line just south of a trailing crossoverwhich would enable it to to return to Tyne Dock on the down line.A few minutes later Hodgson accepted the 7-5am passenger train from South Shields to Newcastle on the up line and the6-58 empty stock train from Hebburn to South Shields in the opposite direction with fearful results.The 7-5 train which consisted of seven eightwheeled carriages pulled by an0-4-4tank engine ran into the rear of the stationary banking engine at thirty miles an hour.Both engines toppled down the embankment and the two leading coaches were telescoped telescoped.Almost Immediatley the down stock train collided with the wreckage and this engine also plunged down the embankment,killing the fireman annd seriously injuring the driver The passenger train was gas lit and there wasthe all to familiarand terrible sequal.Fire instantley broke out in the two telescoped coaches.The coaches behind them had fortunatley escaped deraiment so it was possible to uncouple them and pull them out of reach of the flames.But the two leading coaches together with the bodies of eighteen passengers were totally consumed.In addition eightyone passengers were injured.

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#2
Horrendous Ted.
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#3
They managed to identify the passenger with dental records etc.

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#4
From the Shields Gazette - 18th December 1915

JARROW DISASTER
Death Roll stated to be 14
HOW THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED
Official Statement
MORE INTERVIEWS WITH
PASSENGERS

Particulars of nine of the still indefinite death roll of yesterday's terrible disaster had been obtained up to 11 o' clock this morning. The difficulty of identification is very pronounced owing to the charred and mangled nature of the bodies, but it seems fair to presume that all those whose names are supplied have perished. The facts obtained have chiefly resulted from the identification of personal belongings found by the rescuers among the debris, and now in the possession of the police.

CAUSE OF THE DISASTER
Remains of Fourteen Bodies Discovered

The following statement on behalf of the company was made by Mr J. B. Harper, Assistant General Superintendent, on his return to York, yesterday:-
"A heavy goods train was coming up from Tyne Dock, assisted by an engine in the rear. In the ordinary course of working this engine leaves the train at St. Bede's Junction, where the Tyne Dock line joins the passenger line that runs from South Shields to Newcastle. The pilot engine waited on the opposite main line to go back to the docks, and stood there some time, when the 7.2 passenger rain from South Shields to Newcastle was signalled, and accepted by the signalman at St. Bede's Junction, who pulled off his signals, and the passenger train ran into the light engine.
The derailment threw the leading coaches of the South Shields train over to the down line, just at the moment that an empty passenger train that had been conveying workmen to Hebburn was returning to Tyne Dock, and this train ran into the debris.
We do not know what the result of the first collision was, so far as injury is concerned, as the second collision occurred quickly after it, but whatever injury there was in the first was made much worse by the second.
The train immediately took fire, and before the passengers could be got out the flames were so fierce that they were burnt to death if they had not been killed before.
Doctors have examined the remains, and they seem to be satisfied that they are the remains of fourteen bodies, but not one of them is recognisable, they are so badly charred.
The Tyne Dock Fire Brigade got to work, and our own ambulance men from Palmer's Yard at Jarrow, and doctors from all quarters were summoned. Everything was done to assist those in a state to be assisted, and, of course, the charred bodies were got out as the clearance proceeded.
Only three coaches were involved, but the three engines were badly wrecked. The leading carriage of the empty train is burnt out, only the ironwork being left. The leading carriage of the passenger train is burned, but not so badly, and half the next coach was also burned. The remaining portions of the two trains were undamaged.
Mr Harper added that the road was clear for the empty train, and there was no chance for anyone to get back to stop it, as all the enginemen of the other two trains were more or less injured, and the whole affair happened in a moment.
Undoubtedly the light engine should have been got out of the way before the passenger train was accepted, but at present they are unable to say why this was not done.

List of Missing

The Chief Constable (Mr Wm. Scott) supplied the following particulars of nine persons who had been reported missing and who, it seems pretty certain, have perished:-
Albert Edward Burnett (24), a timekeeper employed at the Locomotive Sheds, Central Station, Newcastle, who resided with his parents at 60 Railway Cottages, Tyne Dock. He was a single man, and a cigarette case and watch and albert belonging to him was picked up. It is regrettable to state that he had the ill-luck to sleep in on the fatal morning, and missing an earlier train, was obliged to travel by the ill-fated 7.12.
Robert Waite Hall, a joiner emploted at Messrs. Armstrong's is reported missing. He lived at 174 Ashley Road, South Shields, and joined the train at Tyne Dock. A knife picked up has been identified as belonging to him by his brother.
Andrew Davison Chipchase, 54, tripe preparer, in business at Cookson's Lane, Newcastle, is missing. He resided at 81 Broughton Road, South Shields.
Frederick Burrell, of Longholm Road, East Boldon, employed by Messrs. Lumsden, contractors, Jarrow, is missing. He left home to catch the train at Tyne Dock. He was a married man with three children.
Councillor John Wright Johnson, 55, of 6 Beech Wood Street, Sunderland, together with his son, who was about 23 years of age, is missing. They left Sunderland at 6.55 a.m.to meet the Newcastle train at Tyne Dock,to go on a journey to Morpeth and Brinkburn. The son was in khaki. Nothing has been heard of either father or son. Councillor Johnson had in his possession a considerable sum of money with which to pay wages and it is a significant fact that the rescuers came across several shillings worth of copper lying in one particular place.
Kate Daisy Hughes, a stocking knitter employed in Newcastle. She resided at 6 Leam Lane, Tyne Dock, and joined the train there. She is missing. It is known that Miss Hughes wore false teeth, and police are in possession of the burnt palate of an upper set, which probably belonged to her.
Alban Sweeney (15), an apprentice draughtsman, employed at Messrs. Reyroll's engineering works, Hebburn, is missing. He resided at 23, Osborne Avenue, South Shields, and his father, Mr John Sweeney has identified a tea and coffee tin together with a small box containing workman's tickets, as his boy's property.

List of Injured

The full list of injured, so far as can be ascertained, is as follows:-
F. Elliott (42), 21 Henry Street, Sunderland, caulker - spinal injury and shock.
John Hanney (40), 40 Railway Cottages, Green Lane, Tyne Dock, platelayer - scalp wound and amputation of the lower right forearm.
Wm. Stewart (56), 3 Thomas Street, South Shields, electrician - compound fracture of the left leg and injury to the right hand.
Wm. Softley (30), 494 John Williamson Street, coppersmith - fracture to the right leg.
Wm. Watt (14), 110 Catherine Street, South Shields, office boy - bruising of the lower limbs and lower parts of the body.
Albert h. Thompson (40), 2 Vine Street, Sunderland, platelayer - fracture to the left leg and bruising.
Wm. Angus (41), 75 Morton Street, South Shields, labourer - fracture to both bones of the left leg.
Keith White (24), 16 Newbury Street, South Shields, engineer - compund fracture of the left leg and extensive burns to both legs.
Thomas Winter (24), 487 Stanhope Road, South Shields, fireman - extensive burns to the arms and face and back.
James Ramsey, 22 Redhead Avenue, South Shields - injury to the right hand and depressed fracture of the skull.
William Quaintill (33), 91 Alice Street, South Shields, boilermaker - scalp wound, extensive burns to the back, and bruising to the left foot.
John Robley (53), 36 Crofton Street, Tyne Dock, fireman - fractured leg.
Edmund Morris (49), 33 Agnes Street, South Shields, hopperman - slight injuries.
Thomas Glannade (29), 43 Clevdon (S) Street, South Shields, hopperman - slight injuries.
R. Smith, 1 Stockbridge, Newcastle - shock and rather serious bruises.
J. Eales, ASC, of Sunderland - shock and bruises.
Other injured cases are:-
Wm. Hunter, Ashley Road, Tyne Dock.
H. Lee, 13 Alice Street, South Shields.
P. Welsh, 56 Mill Street, North Shields.
A. Morrell, 25 Eldon Street, South Shields.
Dennis Halloran, 43, of 15 Vane Terrace, Hendon - injuries to nose and hips.
William Close, 39, of 16 Atkinson Road, Fulwell, employed by Messrs. Wigham Richardson and Co.; right shoulder injured.
Austin Haines, 32, of 51 Wilson Street, Millfield, employed at the Walker Naval Yard; injuries to legs and face.
William Watson, 29, of 6 Cleft Street; injury to wrist, and shock.
Alfred Wyatt, 36, of 29 Napier Street, injuries to back and shock.
The three engine drivers and firemen escaped, but with injuries. Driver William Jas. Smith, 51 Spencer Street, Heaton, was in charge of the train from South Shields. His fireman was Francis McArdle of 52 Monk Street, Sunderland. Both were badly injured. The driver of the pilot engine was George Taylor and the fireman was W. Winter. The driver was slightly injured and the fireman scalded.
W. J. Smith, driver of the passenger train, 51 Spencer Street, Heaton - head injuries.
Lance-Corporal Cafferty, 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers, of Regent Street, South Shields - fractured leg.
F. McArdle (22), fireman, Monk Street, Gateshead.

TEN KILLED AND TWENTY INJURED

The District Superintendent for the N.E.R. (Mr. Carrick) on being seen yesterday stated that he would rather not make any official statement as to the cause of the disaster at this present juncture.
To the query as to whether he would give any idea of the probable death roll, Mr. Carrick said he thought that about ten persons had been killed in the accident, but it was impossible to say anything definite, and he had absolutely no idea as to the identity of those who had, unfortunately, lost their lives. Owing to the conditions of the remains of those found it was doubtful if they would ever be identified. He estimated that the injured would number about twenty.
The remains of the victims, charred and mangled, lie at the mortuary at South Shields, unidentified.
Interviewed last evening the Chief Constable of South Shields (Mr. Wm. Scott), who spent a very strenuous day at the scene of the accident, said he believe the death roll to be twelve, amongst the victims being three or four females. He also commented on the difficulty of establishing identification, owing to the condition in which the bodies were discovered.
Enquiries at different quarters fail to elicit any definite information as to the names of the victims. Our representative was informed at Tyne Dock that two permanent way men, named McGee and Guy, who were known to have travelled by the illfated train, were missing. The truth or otherwise of this report, however, could not be established.
The police are in possession of several articles, such as watches, tobacco boxes, pipes, &c., picked up from amongst the debris. It is hoped that some of the articles will lead to the identification of the victims.

(this is about 30% of the full article, which I have been transcribing when I have a few spare moments)

Patrick
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#5
I popped in to South Shield's Library last week to see If I could find any information regarding Train Crash,I knew there was only one memorial to the people that died and that memorial stone is at Harton Cemetery,I've attached a couple of photo's of The Headstone, The enraving on the bottom was hard to see so I've put a seperate photo on of this.also a list of the people who lost their live's in this tragic accident.The number 4481 is the beginning of the deceased,2 other people who lost their live's were buried in a family grave.If Birdman can do anything so the list so is more visible would be a help.


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#6
Still haven't found the article yet.Thanks to Patrick and Fisherman for the further information.

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#7
Birdman kindly tidied the list of the people who lost their live's in Jarrow Train Crash,the first of the deceased begin's at no.4481, as I've said on a previous post, 2 of the people were buried in a family grave.


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#8
Thank you to everyone who's provided research on this disaster. Albert Edgar Burnett who was one of those killed was my Ma's uncle. She was born in 1914, so didn't remember him, but we do have a couple of photos of him and his family taken outside Railway Cottages. I'll look them out. The irony of him being at a Timekeeper at Newcastle Central Station but being on the wrong train because he'd slept in must have been heartbreaking. His father, Darley Burnett, was a signalman, so presumably would have known a lot of the people involved.
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#9
1911 Census Record


Personal Information Name Albert Edward Burnett Relationship to Head of Household Son Condition Single Gender M Age18 Estimated Year of Birth1893 Occupation Railway Messenger Employed Y Working at Home N IndustryN E Railway Co Place of BirthTyne Dock Co Durham Nationality Yes Enumerator Information Address 60 Railway Cottages Tyne Dock South Shields Parish South Shields Town Tyne Dock South Shields Type of BuildingPrivate House Number of Rooms Four InhabitedY ReferenceRG14PN30331 RG78PN1745B RD556 SD1 ED72 SN138 Administrative CountyDurham Registration DistrictSouth Shields Registration Sub DistrictSouth Shields Enumeration District72
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#10
Had a bit of a problem logging back in - but have sorted the problem out now.

Thanks for that - it's him alright. My Grandma, Violet, was his older sister. She had left home by the time of the 1911 census - they've started to list her, then crossed her out. Their Ma, Amelia (nee Holder), was visiting her sister and parents in London and so is listed on their census return. Until I saw this recently, I didn't know that the youngest child, Stan, had been adopted from someone on that side of the family. Must follow that up. The Burnett's were 'incomers', Darley from Hull (a former hairdresser!) and Amelia from Scarborough. Obviously came chasing work on the railway.

I've attached a photo showing Albert with some of his younger brothers and with Violet.


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