March 1901


   The melancholy intimation was received in Aberdeen yesterday from the Colonial Office that Mr James Paterson, an engine-driver on the Uganda Railway had been accidentally killed. No details have yet been furnished; indeed, the fatal accident took place only on Thursday, and the announcement by cable is of the briefest. Mr Paterson went out to Uganda fully two years ago, and in the course of his employment he sustained two serious accidents prior to that which has proved fatal. As the result of one of these accidents several of his ribs were broken. Before proceeding to Uganda, Mr Paterson was employed as an engine-driver on the Caledonian Railway, and he then resided in Perth, where he became well-known and made many friends. A native of Stonehaven, Mr Paterson came to Aberdeen as a mere lad. In the railway service he began as a cleaner, afterwards becoming a fireman, and ultimately an engine-driver. When first he went to Uganda he was stationed in an exceedingly unhealthy district; but, on the recommendation of a doctor, he was speedily transferred to a place where the climate conditions were much more favourable, and since then he had enjoyed perfect health. His intention was to return to Aberdeen in October, in order to rejoin his young wife, who resides in Hosefield Road. The unfortunate man was only 28 years of age, and the most sincere sympathy will be felt for Mrs Paterson in her sudden bereavement. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 2nd March, 1901, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – A somewhat alarming accident took place to the passenger train leaving this on Monday night at six o’clock. Somehow the points were missed, and the train went crashing into the engine shed, driving in the gable. A large breakdown squad from Kittybrewster worked all night to clear the wreckage. Fortunately beyond a slight shaking none of the passengers were hurt. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 2nd March, 1901, p.8.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT CAMELON. – On Wednesday about 4 p.m., near the swing bridge at Camelon, John Brown, employed by the Carron Company as a railway guard, was crossing the line at the back of the van of a team of empty waggons, when the 3.45 passenger express from Larbert to Edinburgh came dashing along. Brown stepped in front of it, and was killed. Deceased was a married man, and resided at 11 Dawson Street, Bainsford. 

   ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. – A lunatic patient, named James Campbell, aged twenty-five, while working in the grounds at Hartwood Asylum, jumped on to the parapet of the bridge which crosses the Caledonian Railway there, and, ere the keeper could prevent him, threw himself on to the rails beneath from a height of thirty feet. He was seriously injured, and is in a dangerous condition. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 2nd March, 1901, p.6.




   A shunting accident, attended with somewhat serious results, occurred at Dundee East Station about half-past seven on Saturday night. At that time a train composed of four empty passenger carriages was being shunted from the up to the down line. As the vehicles were approaching the platform a goods train coming from the goods yards dashed into it. the goods train consisted of an engine, guard’s van, and a number of mineral waggons, and was being shunted from the yard, the guard’s van being the first vehicle to collide with the moving carriages. Both trains were going at a fair speed. The carriages suffered great damage, the first three being smashed. Parts of the sides were cracked and broken, the handles and fastenings damaged, and several of the windows cracked, while the bodies generally were damaged. The vehicles could not possibly be utilised for passenger traffic, and were accordingly removed to a siding prior to being sent to the Company’s workshops for repairs. The goods train ran a narrow escape, but did not sustain any serious injury. The accident, although rather alarming, was unattended with injury to any of the railway officials. Traffic at the East Station is always very heavy on Saturday nights, but fortunately the lines were quickly cleared of the damaged vehicles, and the service was not disorganised to any great extent. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 4th March, 1901, p.5.





   Yesterday the body of a man was found in the tunnel on the Forth Bridge Railway near North Queensferry. His head was badly smashed, and it was evident he had been struck by a passing train or had fallen from a carriage. two letters were found on the man addressed John Denholm, c/o Mr Dennis Duffy, Nursery Place, East Wemyss. The body lies at Inverkeithing for identification. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 6th March, 1901, p.5.


   On Thursday afternoon, a surfaceman, named Patrick Maclean, residing at 7 Bright Street, was killed on the railway line a little distance beyond Garngad Road Station. He had been engaged repairing the permanent way when an approaching train made him shift his position to the other track, where he was run down by a train coming in the opposite direction. 

– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 6th March, 1901, p.2.




   A body, since identified as that of John Denholm, 32 years of age, miner, East Wemyss, was found on Tuesday afternoon on the railway near Inverkeithing Station. The head was almost severed from the trunk. Denholm was a passenger in an Edinburgh train, and he is supposed to have fallen out of the railway carriage, and then been run over. No one saw the accident occurring. 

– Dundee Courier, Thursday 7th March, 1901, p.5.


   Runaway Carriages. – An awkward accident occurred on Sunday afternoon at the Fauldhouse Station of the Caledonian Railway. The flying squad had been there repairing a bridge. While engaged coupling preparatory to leaving, the coupling slipped, with the result that two carriages ran down the line for a distance of five miles, where the run-off points half a mile east from Addiewell Station put them off the road. Fortunately, a quantity of new sleepers were lying there, which prevented the carriages from going over the embankment. Three men were in the carriages – one leaped off at Breich Station, the other two remained in the carriage – all escaping unhurt. The permanent way was twisted for about 20 or 30 yards at the catch points, but it was soon repaired, and traffic resumed again early next morning. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 8th March, 1901, p.6.


   WOMAN KILLED. – On Monday afternoon, Mary H. Cunningham, 48 years of age, wife of Dennis Cunningham, Newlands Rows, was over-run by an engine and train of seven waggons on the Bredisholm branch line of the Caledonian Railway, and killed instantaneously, her body being frightfully mangled. Accompanied by a girl, Mrs Cunningham was walking along the line, the train coming up behind, but repeated warning from the engine-driver failed to attract her attention. Martin Hanson, brakesman, residing at Aitkenhead, was sitting on the buffer of the leading waggon – the waggons preceded the engine – and attempted to get hold of her as she was struck. The effort almost cost him his life, as clutching the woman with one hand, her weight was more than he could lift considering his position, and he almost lost his hold on the waggon. He was very much shaken after the occurrence. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 9th March, 1901, p.6.


   Accident to Dundee railway Porter. – While John Soutar, porter, Lamb’s Lane, was engaged loading a waggon on Saturday between seven and eight o’clock in the goods yard at Dundee East Station, he fell between two waggons, which were fortunately standing stationary. He was rather severely crushed in the side, and sustained injuries to one of his legs and his head. Dr D. Steele Moon was called, and ordered Soutar’s removal to the Infirmary. On examination there it was found that the injuries were no so serious as to necessitate his being detained in the Infirmary, and he was taken to his own house. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 11th March, 1901, p.6.


   SUICIDE. – A man named Matthew Tucker, brassmoulder, 21 Belville Street, committed suicide yesterday morning by lying across the rails of the Wemyss Bay Railway, west of the Cartsburn tunnel, and allowing himself to be run over by a passing engine. he left his residence early in the morning, and stated that he was going for a walk to the railway to see some men who were employed there. He was seen at the railway about seven o’clock, but was not again noticed till the driver of the engine on emerging from the tunnel saw him on his hands and knees, with his neck across the rails. The engine could not be pulled up in time to save the man, whose head was completely severed from his body. His identification was learned from a note found in his pocket, which also bore the words, “Good night to all.” 

– North British Daily Mail, Tuesday 12th March, 1901, p.3.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT KIRTLEBRIDGE. – At Kirtlebridge Station, on the Caledonian main line a foreman platelayer, named Theodore McMaster, was run over by a goods waggon, necessitating the amputation of his left foot above the ankle. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 13th March, 1901, p.4.



   THE man Fotheringham, plate-layer, residing at Barrack Street, who was seriously injured by being knocked down some weeks ago by several waggons at the Goods Station, Perth North, died at the Infirmary this morning. 

Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 13th March, 1901, p.5.


   FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Saturday last a little boy named Leckie, whose parents reside in Avonbridge, was run over by a goods train at Avonbridge Station and fatally injured. He was taken to the infirmary in Glasgow, but died shortly after he was admitted. Much sympathy is expressed towards the parents in their sad bereavement. 

– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 13th March, 1901, p.8.


   A DANGEROUS LEVEL CROSSING. – At a meeting of the Eastern District Committee of Stirling County Council at Falkirk yesterday, there was submitted a letter from the general manager of the North British Railway Company, stating that the company had agreed to erect a footbridge over the railway crossing at Avonbridge, and that the work would be carried out as soon as possible. In the course of some discussion, it was stated that an accident had occurred at the crossing on Saturday, a little boy having been killed, but the decision of the railway company could not be due to that accident, as their letter was dated the 7th, and the fatality took place on the 9th March. the crossing, it was pointed out, would still be dangerous, even although they had a footbridge, because of shunting that frequently took place. Another boy on Saturday morning was nearly run down and killed in the same way as the other, and on the Friday before, an engine knocked a man across the road. The condition of matters at the crossing was such that it seemed as if it was a public road through a railway goods yard. In conducting shunting operations, the gates were often left open, and a temptation was put in the way of people to pass through between a train, whilst the shunting over the crossing interrupted vehicular traffic for a considerable period. A committee was appointed to wait on the general manager of the railway company, and emphasise the fact that the shunting operations must be removed from the public road. the clerk was also instructed to communicate with the Board of trade on the matter, and he was also authorised to represent the Council at the inquiry into the accident. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 15th March, 1901, p.8.




   On Saturday afternoon a shocking accident occurred on the Highland Railway whereby a man lost his life. It appeared that a working man named Michael Macaulay had been walking on the line near Garry Bridge, when he was knocked down by the engine of a passenger train, and instantly killed. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 18th March, 1901, p.5.



    A shocking fatality occurred at Newton Station about nine o’clock this morning, when a young man names John Alexander, a son of Mr Alexander, contractor, 29 Apsley Street, Glasgow, was knocked down and cut to pieces by the 8.45 a.m. express from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It is supposed that the unfortunate young man thought himself safe, as he paid no heed to a whistle from the engine. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 18th March, 1901, p.2.



   While working in the depot of the Caledonian Railway in Regent Street on Saturday afternoon, a craneman named Daniel McCready met with an accident by which his right leg was fractured. At the time of the occurrence he was engaged along with some other workmen in lifting part of a crane into a truck when the shears of the crane used for the purpose slipped, and caused the load to fall on him. McCready, who lives at 17 Shaw Street, was removed to the Infirmary. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Monday 18th March, 1901, p.2.



   James Henry, labourer, was killed on the Caledonian Railway near Kennyhill Goods Station, Glasgow, this morning, under shocking circumstances. 

   Taking a short cut along the railway from Provan Gasworks, deceased was struck by a passing milk train, the buffer of the engine fracturing his skull, hurling him to the foot of the embankment, where he was picked up dead. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Wednesday 20th March, 1901, p.2.


   NARROW ESCAPE. – On Wednesday, when the Dalkeith train was leaving Portobello Station, a young lad, named Frank Macguire, residing at the Links Club, Musselburgh, fell down between the footboard and the platform. He was walking along the platform speaking to some friends who were in a carriage while the train was moving away, when he missed his footing and fell. It happened, however, that he fell close to the end of the carriage, and grasping the upper footboard with his hands he threw both his legs along the lower one. The train was quickly stopped, and he was rescued from his precarious position. Beyond a few bruises he was uninjured. 

– Mid-Lothian Journal, Friday 22nd March, 1901, p.5.


   Accident. – Shortly after five o’clock yesterday evening, William Hume, a goods guard, residing in Dunfermline, while engaged in shunting operations at Loch Leven Goods Station, had his left foot caught by one of the wheels of a waggon, and was severely injured. After the wound was dressed by Dr Oswald, he was conveyed by special train to Dunfermline Hospital. 

– Dundee Courier, Saturday 23rd March, 1901, p.4.



   While amusing himself on the Wemyss Bay railway near Bridgend yesterday evening, a boy named Alexander Milligan, who resides at 37 Lynedoch Street, got jammed between two bogies, whereby he was severely injured about the body. He was removed home in the carriage ambulance. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Monday 25th March, 1901, p.2.


   The body of Tom Elder, labourer, West Inchcoonans, Errol, was found on the railway between Dundee and Perth yesterday morning. It is not known how he met his death. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 25th March, 1901, p.2.







   A scaffold collapsed to-day at the railway operations in connection with the extension of St Enoch Station, Glasgow, and five men were carried down with it. 

   Falling from a height of eighteen feet, all of them were injured, but none of them, it is thought seriously. The cause of the accident was the breaking of a pole from which the scaffold was suspended. 

Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 26th March, 1901, p.3.





   A surfaceman named William Macpherson, 22 years of age, residing in Merry Street, Motherwell, met with a shocking accident on the Caledonian Railway siding near North Motherwell. Macpherson was one of a gang of men who were at work, and while walking along the line he inadvertently stepped in front of a light engine, which was slowly proceeding to a water column to take water. The unfortunate man received frightful injuries. Both legs were torn off, and he was severely injured about the head. He was conveyed by a special engine to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. 

   A shocking accident happened on the North British Railway at Bowling Station last night. A labourer named John Finn was crossing from a siding on the north side to the south, behind the West Highland goods train, which was shunting just at the level crossing, when the train which leaves Queen Street at 5.10 p.m., and runs express to Craigendoran, knocked him down. His left foot was severed from the body, and he sustained a bad cut on the face. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 28th March, 1901, p.2.







   The Caledonian train from Rutherglen to Maryhill ran into another passenger train standing at Garrioch Road Station, near Glasgow, late last night, with the result that seven persons were more or less injured. 

   It would appear that the signalman permitted the Rutherglen train to enter the station, forgetting at the moment that another train was standing at the platform. Fortunately, the Rutherglen train approached at a slow pace, otherwise the accident would have been serious. 

   James McManus, aged 20, sustained concussion of the brain, and was removed to the Infirmary. the others who were injured, and received slight cuts or suffered from shock, proceeded home after having been medically examined. Their names are:- Alex. Parton (37), Maryhill; James Adamson (24), Glasgow; Lottie Watson (20), Glasgow; Florrie Hughes (20), Glasgow; Daniel Irving, driver of Rutherglen train, Motherwell; Nicol Porteous, guard of the stationary train, Motherwell; and the above mentioned James McManus. 

   The rolling stock was not much damaged. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 28th March, 1901, p.2.


   ATTEMPT TO ENTER A MOVING TRAIN. – A serious accident occurred at Kinneil Station on Saturday night as the 8.22 p.m. passenger train was moving off. Alex. Hutton or Sorley, a labourer, residing at Causewayend, rushed into the station as the train was leaving. He caught the handle of a first-class carriage, was swung round, and fell between the footboard and the platform. The accident was observed by the guard, who signalled to the engine-driver, and the train was speedily drawn up. Sorley was badly crushed, and sustained a compound fracture of the left knee joint. After being attended by Dr Graham, the unfortunate man was conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 29th March, 1901, p.8.


  FATAL JUMP. – On Monday forenoon a middle-aged man, named Michael McParlane, residing at Coatbridge, met with a very serious mishap at Holytown Station, which, unfortunately, had a fatal termination. The unfortunate man was employed in the shears department of the Clydesdale Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., and on the day in question had been, it appears, coming from Coatbridge to Holytown per railway train. The train he travelled by, it would seem, was a fast one going south, and its first stoppage after leaving Coatbridge was Law Junction. The train when it reached Holytown was travelling at a pretty fast rate. McParlane, seeing that the train was not stopping at the Junction, opened the carriage door, and leaped from the carriage, falling heavily to mother earth. The rash act was observed, and at once the poor man was picked up, when it was seen that his injuries were very severe. No time was lost in having him sent on to the infirmary in Glasgow, but the poor man succumbed to his injuries betwixt Newton and Cambuslang on his way thither. He leaves, we learn, a widow and a young family to mourn his loss. What tempted the poor fellow to make such a leap will likely never be truly known, but some are inclined to think that, fearing the railway authorities might press their claim for the extra ride between Holytown and Law Junction, and not having, we understand, the wherewithal to pay, may in a measure have accounted for his death. Of course various reasons are flitting about, but these may all be put down as mere surmisings to which truth may be an entire stranger. We sympathise with the widow and her family in their hour of trial. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Friday 29th March, 1901, p.6.

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