Wakley, Frank

Wakley, Frank         1882 June 24th             Trowbridge

On Monday, an inquest was held at the New George Inn, Trowbridge, before Mr F T Sylvester, on the body of Frank Wakley, 19, a night watchman on the railway, who was killed on the Great Western Railway on Saturday. The deceased was employed as night watchman at Staverton Bridge. It was not part of his duty to signal trains, but from the evidence adduced it seems that at 1.48 he must have stepped out of the hut close to the down line to signal with his lamp an up goods train. The down goods was a special potato train from Didcot to Weymouth, and it passed at the moment.

As deceased was unaware of its approach, the luggage lamp iron caught him in his right side, driving his ribs into his lungs, fracturing his arm, and scalping his head. He lay there for nearly two hours before he was discovered, when a night workman came along and found him, carried him into his cabin and sent for aid. His parents lived a mile and a half distant, and so did the doctor, who had him conveyed to the Trowbridge Cottage Hospital, where he died five minutes after being admitted.

Inspector Wheeler, of Chippenham; Samuel Martin, engine driver, of Bristol; John Wakley, foreman packer; Henry Tracker, labourer; and Dr Wise, Trowbridge, having given evidence, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.” The driver and the fireman handed their fees to the deceased’s mother, who has seven other children.


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