Walker, William – Farmer Killed on the Railway – 1914

Friday November 27th 1914 – Sad Fatality at Goytrey

A Farmer Killed on the Railway.

A sad fatality occurred near Nantyderry Station on Saturday night. Mr Wm Walker, of Penwern Farm Goytre being killed on the railway line. An engine driver reported at Pontypool Road that something unusual had occurred, and a search by a brakesman and porter from Nantyderry resulted in the deceased being found near the Mill Bridge, on the Pontypool Road side of the Nantyderry Station. The late Mr Walker was a member of the parish council and a well known and highly respected in the neighbourhood.

The inquest was held on Wednesday, at Nantyderry School, by Mr J B Walford, coroner.

Afan Lyndon Hugo Hawkins, son in law of the deceased, gave evidence of identification. Deceased had been a member of the Rural Council, and was, at the time of his death, a member of the Parish Council.

He took tea with witness about 8.30 on Saturday night, having come from the station about 7 o’clock. After tea deceased attended to the horses. He then said he was going down to the station to fetch a brace of pheasants, which he had forgotten to bring with him. The deceased was an abstemious man and very active. His sight and hearing were good. Witness did not know whether or not his father-in-law made it a practice to walk to and fro along the railway line; as on the occasion he (witness) had accompanied him they travelled along the road.

Tracey Frederick Leworthy, signalman, said he last saw the deceased on the station on Saturday night between 9.30 and 10 o’clock. He was carrying the pheasants and conversed with witness. Witness did not know whether deceased possessed a walking pass, and he did not detect any trace in his demeanour that he was lacking in sobriety.

Wm Powell, breaksman, who found the body, said he was off duty at the time. He received a notification from Pontypool Road that something or somebody had been knocked down. He made a search with a lamp, and about a quarter of mile down the line he found a brace of pheasants in the four-foot way, and the body about four or five yards further on. The deceased was lying on his back, with his legs bent at the knees, and his arms mangled. Witness immediately returned to the signal box for assistance.

John Morgan, driver of the 9.15 train of empty coaches from Abergavenny, which passed Nantyderry about 10.28 pm., said he recollected having heard some noise where the accident occurred, but he could not at the time distinguish it. He asked his mate if he could think what it was, and he looked round the engine and found that the back damper had gone down and he presumed that was the noise he had heard, and did not up. Just outside Pontypool Road station he examined the engine as usual before taking it into the sheds, and found blood and matter on the back damper. He reported the discovery at once and steps were taken to find the body, which, however, was found by the previous witness before they got back to Nantyderry.

The jury, in reply to the Coroner, said they were of opinion there was every reason to believe that deceased was perfectly sober.

In summing up, the Coroner mentioned that it was illegal for any person to trespass on the railway, and therefore in this case that was the legal position. Returning a verdict of “Accidental Death” would hardly be fair to the railway company, inasmuch as the deceased had been a trespasser; although the company did not desire to blame the deceased at all.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death by misadventure” and the Foreman of the jury expressed the sympathy of the jury with the relatives.

Mr Lidster, on behalf of G.W.Railway Company, associated himself with the sentiments expressed by the jury


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