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Two accidents at Brentford Dock, 1913 and 1914

Peter Stuart found the following two items on the Railway Work, Life and Death website at

The website is "a joint initiative between the University of Portsmouth and the National Railway Museum (NRM), also working with other institutions including The National Archives of the UK and the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick. We’re making it easier to find out about railway worker accidents in Britain and Ireland in the later 19th and early 20th century – who was involved, what they were doing on the railways, what happened to them and why. Although today most people don’t realise it, working on the railways 100 years ago was incredibly dangerous, with hundreds killed and tens of thousands injured each year.

Peter used Ancestry to find out more details of Thomas Henry COSHILL.

24 May 1913 1:30 am

George William LEWIS (28) Casual Tonnage Porter. Employed by Great Western Railway.

Left arm crushed whilst working between wagons being shunted and caught between the buffers. The inquiry found that Mr G THOMAS (Shunter) should have checked all were clear before shunting, in contravention of the safety rules.

27 Feb 1914 3:00 pm Fatality

Thomas Henry COSHILL (24) Shunter. Employed by Great Western Railway on 22 Sep 1906 as a Crane Boy and ending up as a Shunter.

COSHILL was using his shunting stick as a brake stick. The pole slipped off the brake lever causing him to fall between the wagons and wheel ran over both legs. The inquiry found that he had disregarded instructions and that his death was his own fault.

Sadly, it appears that this was not the first time Thomas had disregarded safety rules.
He had previously been reprimanded

  • 13 Jan 1913 - For not using the brakes and damaging a truck
  • 17 Feb 1913 - For not seeing that the road was clear before shunting
  • 2 Jun 1913 - For not giving warning of intended shunt to platelayers and failure to see all was right before shunting into No 22, resulting in train being shunted into No 21 and damaging four wagons.

Thomas married Charlotte Clara JUDD on the 11 May 1913 at St George's Church giving his address as 1 Distillery Road, Brentford and his son, Thomas Charles William COSHILL was born in Jun 1914, Brentford.

Published November 2018