Archive | Blog

Where are we now?

The spreadsheet has been available from the site for around 2 months now, so we thought it might be a good chance to give a brief update, thank you for your interest – and ask you for your feedback on what we’re doing. The website has had well over 3,000 views, and the spreadsheet has […]

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An unrepentant casualty maker

Although the vast majority of people documented by the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project as being injured or killed were employees of the various companies operating the railways, not all were. Some were contractors, doing specific jobs for the companies – the subject of a future post. And some were ‘persons on business’, who […]

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Hidden traumas

Around 20% of the accidents that were investigated by the railway inspectors and featured in this project were, tragically, fatalities. No question, then, that work was stopped for that individual. The remaining 80% of investigated accidents were, then, injuries; many of them were serious, involving amputations or other life-changing wounds, and no doubt stopping work […]

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Mrs Jane Horner and the illicit lift

It may perhaps surprise us to find women amongst the list of casualties the project has catalogued – but it shouldn’t. Plenty of women worked, including on the railways, where even before the First World War they numbered in their thousands. Though precise figures are difficult to come by, around 13,000 has been suggested, out […]

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Why break the rules?

  A guest post, by Arthur Moore, one of the project’s volunteers   Having spent some time inputting Board of Trade accident reports on to the project spreadsheets as a volunteer, it was interesting to find a photo which showed the disparity between the rules and actual working practices. ​The reports said that on 5th […]

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Accidents at all grades -1

Undoubtedly the majority of railway worker accidents were incurred by those exposed to danger on a day-to-day basis – the manual grades, like the platelayers, shunters, guards, porters, workshop staff and engine crews. But sometimes you find cases where those higher up the ranks were involved. One such case occurred at Kilmeaden, near Waterford, in […]

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The accident data is now available!

We’re delighted to say that the accident data is now available for you to use! You can find it on ‘The Accidents’ page, as a spreadsheet for you to download and search at your leisure. This represents the culmination of the work so far, including several months of hard effort from our superb team of […]

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1911-15: 3,911 individuals involved in accidents

Our superb volunteers have excelled themselves and have just finished cataloguing all the railway worker accidents investigated by the Railway Inspectors between 1 January 1911 and 30 June 1915, when investigations were halted due to the war. We were expecting a figure of around 3,000 – but the actual figure was 3,911 individual workers either […]

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They started – and died – young

Volunteers working on the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project have uncovered the stories of nearly 4,000 individuals who were either injured or killed whilst working on Britain’s railways between January 1911 and June 1915. Amongst the casualties was 16-year old James Beck, a ‘wagon greaser’ (someone responsible for ensuring the axle boxes of freight […]

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