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Details of the Accident

Place Soham
Date 2nd June 1944, 1.43 a.m.
Railway Company London & North Western Railway
No. of Fatalities 2
Cause of Accident Explosion
Description Fire on a freight train loaded with high explosives. Crew split train to haul burning wagon into open countryside. They had stopped to inform signalman, when the wagon exploded. The sound of the explosion was heard 20 miles away.

Sources/Further Reading

  • Brave Railwaymen, Alan Stanistreet (1988)
  • London Gazette, 25th July 1944
  • Steam World magazine, February 1997

List of Fatalities

The 2 fatalities are listed in the table below together with brief notes of any other information found so far.

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
BRIDGES Frank Charles Copeland 47 Railway signalman , Died of injuries 3rd June. 1944/Jun Newmarket 4a 974
NIGHTALL James William 22 Railway fireman Hythe, Littleport, CAM Awarded posthumous George Cross. Only son of Walter and Alice NIGHTALL. Nephew of Charles BARBER. 1944/Jun Cambridge 3b 557 (listed as KNIGHTALL)