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Author Topic: Charabanc Tragedy 1898  (Read 2360 times)

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Charabanc Tragedy 1898
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 11:02:40 »
Charabanc tragedy at St Margaret?s at Cliffe, September 1898.

Report in Dover Observer newspaper, of 17th September 1898, with inquest report on pages 4-5  (5-column report!)
     There was a fatal accident in the ?dip? on the road from the Martin Mill junction on the Deal to Dover road, down the bottom of the hill up to the junction with Sea Street and the Westcliffe Road, when a double-decker charabanc hauled by a team of four horses, and known as ?The Defiance,? overturned.  One of the horses had stumbled on the adverse camber outside a row of cottages and this was enough to cause the bus to overturn
 because it was thought to be top-heavy, inspite of the fact that the other three horses remained standing.  The bus ended up leaning against one of the houses, but all the passengers appear to have been thrown out of  their seats and one, a woman called Mrs Sarah Ann Surmon, wife of Henry Joseph Surmon (broken arm) received an internal (spine?) and other injuries from which she died in Dover hospital the Monday following the accident.
     There were a number of injuries, including several fractures and it was fortunate that medical aid and other help, with offers of transport, was quickly forthcoming.  One of those quickly on the scene was a man who had witnessed the accident from Westcliffe and hurried to the spot.
     It was a Saturday and charabanc driver Mr J.W. Brooks, owner of the ?bus? was heading for the village when the accident occurred.  There was a suggestion there had been an altercation between him and the driver of a ?rival? bus whi
ch put him in a bad mood but, from the evidence it was concluded this was a misunderstanding of an overheard remark and the jury exonerated him from all blame.


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