DEATH – MURRAY Alexander 31yrs. Fatal Accident on Railway at Warrenby

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 20/04/1877


            An inquest was held at the Warrenby Hotel, near Redcar, on Wednesday afternoon (18/04), before Mr. William Robinson, deputy coroner, on view of the body of Alexander Murray, who was killed on the railway the previous day (17/04), about fifty yards from Suggett’s crossing, by the passenger train from Darlington to at Redcar at 2:40 p.m.. Deceased only returned from India six weeks ago, where he had served in the Army for although eleven years, and resided with his father at Brotton. This being the second fatal occurrence on the railway at Warrenby within three weeks, considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings at the inquest. Mr. Thomas Armstrong, attended on being half of the North-Eastern Railway Company. The following evidence was given:-

Archibald Murray deposed: I live at Brotton, and am a miner. Deceased is my brother, and was thirty-one years and nine months of age. He resided at Brotton, and was agent for the Pearl Life Insurance Company. I last saw him alive on Monday night (16/04). He was not hard of hearing.

Frank Shaw sworn: I live at Brotton, and am a barman. Yesterday morning, I left Brotton in company with Mr. Christopher Told and deceased by the 10.40 train, for Redcar, for a day’s outing. On arriving at Redcar we came along to Warrenby, and then crossed on the sands to gather some couples. We were returning about three o’clock in the afternoon, and got on to the railway near the furnaces at Warrenby. We all came down the side of the railway, and intended getting over at the crossing, but a mineral train was passing when we got to it, and deceased walked on down the line in between the rails. I was about twenty yards behind him, at the side of the line, and Mr. Todd was standing at the crossing. Mr. Todd was the first to see the passenger train coming from Middlesbrough, and I heard him shout “Hi! hi!” On partly turning I saw the train class behind me, and had just time to get out of the way by jumping over the side. The strong wind that was blowing, and the fact that a mineral train was just passing, would no doubt prevent deceased hearing, Mr. Todd shout. I also shouted, but the train was on him in an instant. I think the engine driver had shut off the steam, as the train soon afterwards came to a standstill. When the train stopped I was the first to get to deceased. He was laid right in the middle of the rails, on his back, with his head towards the front of the engine. He was quite dead. His head was much bruised, and his right arm was broken. The body was immediately taken to the Warrenby Hotel. We thought there was a footpath along the side of the line, being strangers, and this was the reason we were on the railway. We did not see any railway officials, and were not cautioned.

By Mr. Armstrong: I never saw a notice board needs the crossing, cautioning trespassers. We did not get over the fence, but through the gates.

Christopher Todd, innkeeper, of Brotton, corroborated Shaw’s evidence.

John Mitchell deposed: I live at Stanhope, and am an engine driver on the Darlington section of the North-Eastern railway. I was in charge of the passenger train from Darlington due at Redcar at ten minutes to three o’clock yesterday afternoon. When we got near Warrenby I saw a man in the middle of the line in front of the engine. We should then be about fifty yards of him. I blew the whistle two or three times very sharp, and shook off the steam and reversed the engine, but was unable to bring up the train before we got to the man, and he was knocked down. It was the front part of the engine that caught him. The train was after wards stopped, but I did not see the man picked up.

Thos. Armstrong said: I live at Darlington, and am a superintendent of police on the North-Eastern Railway. Today I examined the place which was pointed out to me, where deceased was first struck by the engine. The distance is thirty yards east of what is known as Suggett’s crossing. He then appears to have been driven fifteen yards further before the engine passed over him. There is no footpath along the line.

By the Foreman of the Jury quotes (Mr. Hikeley): it is not a public crossing, and in my opinion does not require a man to be placed at eight. There is a notice board warning persons not to trespass on the line.

The Coroner then went over the evidence, and remarked that no one appeared to be to blame for the death of the deceased, and he was evidently where he had no business to be.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally killed while walking on the railway.” This


Lol Hansom November 8, 2014 Doctors & Health, Railway, Warrenby