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Author Topic: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944  (Read 39528 times)

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Offline LJS22

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #43 on: July 06, 2018, 19:13:14 »
My mum was on this train with her father who was home on leave from the army on the way to Faversham to see his mother. They were in the front carriage. Mum remembers a soldier in the corner seat killed, and being taken to a building afterwards, she was almost 6 years old.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2015, 10:11:48 »
Thought I would mention, Bygone Kent Magazine are to use a feature on the Upchurch Train Crash of August 1944.  The piece over five pages will be in the May edition, volume 36, number 3 pages 12-17.

I wanted to say a big thank you to all members here, especially Grandarog and Scoop for their help.  I did a great deal of research but nothing beats assistance from forum members, so I am very grateful.  Someone, I guess, will say something is wrong but I believe, to the best of my knowledge, everything is as near correct as I can make it with the information I have to hand, now!

There are plans to erect some sort of memorial or plaque close to the Oak Lane railway bridge in Upchurch to remember the victims.  Upchurch Parish Council are very keen but permissions need to be sought from Network Rail. Something that we thought had been started, sometime ago.  I will write to Network Rail once the feature is published and make them aware that at least four different family relations of the 1944 victims, are keen on the idea.

Thank you again.

Mike


www.upchurch-village.co.uk
Mike Gunnill

Upchurch in old picture postcards.
Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2015, 14:11:41 »
Dear Grandarog

I can't find where George Skinner came from now.  So you may be correct.  Don't worry about " chucking another spanner in" I would much rather it be correct than not.  So thank you.  Bygone Kent are to feature this shortly but it doesn't have a publication date yet.

Dear Scoop

Yes I knew about Arthur Naylor.  I spoke to a relation of his. He wasn't working that day and was picking blackberries trackside.

Plus:

I now have pictures of Naylor, Martin, Eley and Snazell.  Local folk again talking about a memorial at the Oak Lane bridge.  Five sets of relations I have spoken to are also very keen.

Regards Eley, he was from the Queen of Kent at Chatham Naval Base.  Some records say SS and some HMS.  Not sure which is correct.

Thank you to all

Mike

www.upchurch-village.co.uk

Mike Gunnill

Upchurch in old picture postcards.
Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2015, 20:13:46 »

Mike,
          Sorry to chuck another spanner in.!

Is this a possible error in your list??
I can find no record of George Skinner being killed on or near the date of the Train Crash.
If CWGC is correct, George Skinner couldn't have been dead when the newspaper report was written in August.
Kent Fallen has him as being killed by a Doodlebug which exploded in Aldburgh Street.

According to CWGC
George Skinner
Rank: Civilian Date of Death:23/11/1944
Age: 60
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: GREENWICH, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH
Additional Information:
Son of William  A. Skinner of 22 Upper Brents, Faversham, Kent. Husband of Louisa Alice Skinner of 24 Aldeburgh Street.
Died at 24 Aldeburgh Street.

Offline scoop

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2015, 18:54:04 »
May have already been noted, but according to The Times 18-Aug-1944, Arthur Naylor 61, a subganger for Southern Railway was working on the line at the time and not a passenger.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2015, 14:01:33 »
Mike, Mrs Beadle appears a definite positive.
CWCG has her death as 16/8/1944.  Died at Railway Bridge, Oak Lane, Upchurch.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2015, 11:45:33 »
Thank you Nemo.  It isn't easy this research lark!  I think I am sure of Mrs Beadle if that isn't a positive-negative.  I also saw the reference to SS Queen of Kent. On the naval reports of his death the ship/vessel is listed as HMS Queen of Kent.

These details will be used in a feature for Bygone Kent in the near future.  The story will be used, not sure about an exact date yet.  I will continue the research until it is too late to change anything.  I have images also of Snazell, Naylor and Martin who was the youngest aged 19.  Several folk have recently started talking again about some sort of memorial at the crash site.  Upchurch Parish Council are keen but the train company don't seem to reply to letters, I understand.
Mike Gunnill

Upchurch in old picture postcards.
Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

Offline Nemo

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2015, 13:00:54 »
Mike - prudent I think to exclude Mrs Daniels even though the Dover Express (which I've just got back from checking) lists her and does not print a retraction the following week.  The DE (2 days after the event) gives the toll as 9, including the 'unidentified woman' and excluding Mrs Beadle who is mentioned in other sources.  No mention of the V1; the train simply left the rails after rounding a curve (as they do!) and the engine overturned bringing the train to a stop.  Keep calm and carry on, then!  Final point: AB Eley's gravestone gives his ship as SS Queen of Kent.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2015, 11:17:15 »
This is my  current) final list of the dead in the Oak Lane Train Crash, August 1944.  Thanks to grandarog I have looked again at "victim" Blanche and decided to remove her from the train listing.  She was born in Whitstable, staying with her son in Chatham but better known in High Wickham where the body was returned to for burial.  In a small write up about her death, the local newspaper referred to a " blast " while in Frindsbury.  I accept she is listed elsewhere but for my research I have removed the lady.  She appears to have died on the same day and that appears to be the only connection.

1: George Skinner aged 44: of Upper Brents, Faversham Kent

2: Ethel Emily Beadle aged 51: of Pemdevon Road, Croydon.

3: Ivy Maud Smith aged 37: of Herne Bay Road, Swalecliffe Kent.

4: Arthur Edward Naylor aged 61: of Tufton Road, Rainham Kent.

5: Frank Albert Snazell aged 56: of Lennard Road, Beckenham.

6: Able Seaman - Charles William Cummins aged 35: Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham Kent. Park View Road, Welling.

7: Able Seaman - Albert Edward Eley aged 42:  HMS Queen of Kent, Faversham Kent.

8: Private Geoffrey Herbert Gallop aged 20: Queens Royal Regm. Whitstable Road, Faversham Kent.

9: Private Vera Barbara Martin aged 19 from Bowers Road Shoreham, Kent.

There is some mention of an unidentified female body in some newspaper reports after the event.  That would make the total ten.

As always I would welcome comments.  Very grateful for members assistance.  Please let me know, if I can return favours anytime.

regards
Mike

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
Mike Gunnill

Upchurch in old picture postcards.
Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

Online Dave Smith

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2015, 13:25:17 »
conan,  Many thanks for that link. It reminds me of the action photo' of a fighter shooting down a Doodlebug & hurtling thro' the explosion - it was a wonder that the fighter survived. Re the Rainham "tipping", I remember we heard about it in Gillingham, it was said at the time to be a Mustang(the RAF had the early version for low level operations). It was quite logical to try & "down" them before reaching conurbations & that area of Kent is pretty open ( or was then) with miles of agricultural open space. The fact that it fell on the railway just as the Coastal express was approaching- FATE!

Offline Nemo

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2015, 11:17:18 »
Oops - apologies for that! Wouldn't be the first time the Dover Express got something round their ear - I must go and read the paper itself.

Offline conan

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2015, 08:48:48 »
With regard to art of wing tipping a doodle bug, the attached link will be of interest

https://www.facebook.com/sikorskimuseum/posts/765542893496531
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline grandarog

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2015, 18:25:47 »
I wonder if Blanche was actually a train casualty .
.Quote from her CWCG pag.
"of 46 Westmount Avenue, Chatham. Daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. Belson, of 15 Winifred Road, Erith; widow of Percy Nicholls Daniels. Injured at Frindsbury; died same day at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.".
 
There was also a Mr Arthur McCallum injured same place and time, died later on 12 Dec., 1944 from his injuries.

Mr Albert Gibling and Mrs Mary Gibling are recorded as killed at Wyvenhoe, Banks Road, Frindsbury on 16 Aug., 1944. (presumeably a bomb or doodlebug hit).  Blanche was probably nearby.
.

GIBLING, ALBERT ROBERT. Constable.
Police War Reserve.
Died 16 August, 1944. Aged 63.
Born Ipswich, Suffolk.
Husband of Mary Chapman Ormes Gibling (nee Bragg) of Wyvenhoe, Banks Road, Frindsbury,
Rochester, Kent.
Albert died at his home; Wyvenhoe, Banks Road, Frindsbury, Rochester, Kent.

The other civilian deaths on your list say happened at train crash, etc                   
Definitely requires more checking .....

Offline Nemo

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2015, 18:15:12 »
Mike - you're welcome.  Photographs of the graves of both those individuals appear on Findagrave.  I can't get the civilian war dead section of CWGC to work but another site (why do I always think I'll remember and then don't?), which recorded Blanche Daniels as a married lady, listed not many more civilians for that date in Kent, and of those the CGWC (when asked via Google) then responded to, none cited Upchurch.  My mother was in the ATS (protecting Exmoor from a sneak attack by the Axis) and I can't help but think that Pte Martin's death was particularly senseless.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Train Disaster near Rainham,1944
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2015, 18:05:44 »
Reference earlier posts, I now have ten people who died in the Upchurch, Oak Lane train crash August 1944.  The official toll was 8 people. The Kent Messenger reported 12 dead.

I think this is the most up to date list but as always, I would be grateful if someone could correct me, if I am wrong.

Thank you again for your help

Mike



Those recorded as dead were:

1: George Skinner of Upper Brents, Faversham Kent

2: Ethel Emily Beadle of Pemdevon Road, Croydon.

3: Ivy Maud Smith of Herne Bay Road, Swalecliffe Kent.

4: Arthur Edward Naylor of Tufton Road, Rainham Kent.

5: Frank Albert Snazell of Lennard Road, Beckenham.

6: Charles William Cummins, Royal Naval Barracks Chatham Kent.

7: Blanche May Daniels, Chatham Kent.

8: Albert Edward Eley, SS Queen of Kent, Faversham Kent.

9: Private Geoffrey Herbert Gallop, Queens Royal Regm. Faversham Kent.

10:  Vera Barbara Martin from Shoreham, Kent.

More details here: http://mikegunnill.tumblr.com/post/110889400024/upchurch-train-crash-1944-update-list-updated






www.upchurch-village.co.uk


Mike Gunnill

Upchurch in old picture postcards.
Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

 

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