Skip to content

Details of the Accident

Place Norwich (Thorpe)
Date 10th September 1874,
Railway Company Great Eastern Railway
No. of Fatalities 27
Cause of Accident Head-on collision on single line
Description Misunderstanding between station inspector and telegraph clerk allowed the London Liverpool Street express to enter the single line section at the same time as the mail train approached from the opposite direction on the same single line.

Sources/Further Reading

  • Birmingham Daily Post, Saturday 12th September 1874
  • Bradford Observer, Saturday 12th September 1874
  • Illustrated London News, 19th September 1874
  • Red for Danger, L.T.C. Rolt (Sutton Publishing)
  • The Great Thorpe Railway Accident 1874 - Heroes, Victims, Survivors (Phyllida Scrivens, 2021)
  • The Ipswich Journal, Saturday 19th September 1874
  • The Times, 12th September 1874
  • The Times, 14th - 19th September 1874 (multiple editions)
  • The Times, 21st - 30th September 1874 (multiple editions)
  • https://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/blog/2014/09/the-thorpe-railway-disaster-1874/

List of Fatalities

23 of the 27 fatalities that have been identifed so far are listed in the table below together with brief notes on any other information found

The last column shows the General Register Office (England and Wales) or Statutory Register (Scotland) reference where this has been identified.

Surname First Names Age Occupation Residence Notes GRO/SR Reference
CLARKE Thomas 40 Railway driver , Driver of the express train
PRIOR John 49 Railway driver , Driver of the mail train
BETTS John William 24 Railway fireman (GER) , Wife and unnamed son were also killed. Died of injuries 1874/Dec Norwich 4b 101
BETTS Elizabeth 29 , Wife of John BETTS 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
BETTS Unamed 6 weeks , Son of John BETTS and wife 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
CASSELL Frederick 46 Sgt. Major , West Norfolk Militia Staff 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 141
WARD Robert 50 Sergeant (military) , West Norfolk Militia Staff 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 139
STACEY Henry 56 Minister of religion 12 Upper Street, Giles Street, Norwich, NFK Husband of Ann STACEY. Formerly of Beccles SFK. Independent Minister. 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 139
STACEY Mary Ann 52 12 Upper Street, Giles Street, Norwich, NFK Wife of Rev. Henry STACEY 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
WOMACK George Robert 38 Clothier Dove Street, Norwich, NFK 1874/Sep Norwich 4b 83
GILDING Sarah 38 Grafton Street, Mile End Road, London, MDX Mother of Laura Harriet Curetine GILDING 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
GILDING Laura Harriet Curetine 4 Grafton Street, Mile End Road, London, MDX 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
SLADE Standley Richard 40 Auctioneer London, MDX 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
LINCOLN Susan 35 Housekeeper to Mr. COYTE Thorpe Hamlet, NFK 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 139
HUPTON Job John 45 Harness maker Great Yarmouth, NFK 1874/Sep Norwich 4b 99
SKINNER Russell William 40 Gentleman Newmarket Road, Norwich, NFK 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 139
SEWELL Frederick William 35 Railway fireman New Nelson St, Lowestoft, SFK Fireman of the express train. Husband of Emily with four children. 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
LIGHT James Railway fireman , Fireman of the mail train 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 141
PAGE George 47 Leather seller Western Street, Norwich, NFK 1874/Sep Norwich 4b 83
TURNER H.S. Confectioner Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, NFK
MURRAY Marianne Elizabeth 27 Mariander Lane, Norwich, NFK 1874/Dec Blofield 4b 140
TAYLOR Mary Ann 46 Forewoman to Mr Caley, haberdasher Norwich ,
BROWN Susan 33 , Died of injuries 1874/Dec Norwich 4b 101