Davis, Thomas

Davis, Thomas    1899 June 30th

Salisbury Railway Guard Killed

An inquest was held at Warminster GWR station on Saturday afternoon by Mr Percy Sylvester, deputy coroner, to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of Thomas Davis, guard, of Churchfields, Salisbury, and a native of Taunton, whose body was found cut to pieces on the railway just outside the station a few minutes before midnight on Friday.

The evidence showed that deceased was guard on the Aberdare coal train, and that between Westbury and Warminster there were three engines on the train – two in front and one at the rear. The train stopped at Warminster and the two engines were taken off, it being the duty of the deceased to uncouple the engine at the rear of the train. It is supposed that instead of waiting for the train to stop he uncoupled the rear engine by means of the coupling pole as the train slowed up as it came into the station. Deceased was not (seen) at Warminster alive, and the “bank” engine returned to Trowbridge without anything unusual having been noticed, but as another goods train came into the station 20 minutes later it carried a portion of deceased’s body in front of it. The remains of deceased were then found scattered about the line. It is supposed that deceased overbalanced himself as he uncoupled the engine at the rear of the coal train, and being dark was not noticed. The marks on the engine confirm this, and the marks on the side of the line prove that he fell out of his van some distance outside the station. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. Deceased was unmarried.

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