Bartlett, George

Bartlett, George           1917 December 28th        Amesbury

Killed on the Line

A fatal accident occurred at Amesbury on Wednesday, in which a sergeant in the Royal Engineers named George Bartlett was killed on the military railway which runs from Amesbury to Larkhill. He was 56 years of age.

The full facts were related at an inquest held on Friday at Fargo Military Hospital by the Coroner for South Wilts (MR F H Trethowan).

Sapper J H Ellis, Royal Engineers, stationed at Countess Railway crossing, Amesbury, said he was on duty about 5.20pm, on Wednesday, December 19th, on an engine, which was proceeding towards the loco sheds at Countess. The engine was travelling about 5 or 6 miles an hour, and was going backwards. When about nine yards over the viaduct, which was about half a mile from Countess Crossing, and a distance of about 15 yards from another engine which they were going to assist, witness suddenly noticed someone come from the right hand side of the rails as if about to cross them. Witness shouted “Stop” to the driver, who pulled up as soon as he could, but he felt certain some one was knocked down. He thought th eman might have bee noticing the other engine which was in motion, and so did not see the one which struck him. The engine had its proper lights.

Sapper W Corthorn, RE, stationed at Countess Crossing, Amesbury, said he saw the sergeant walking towards the Countess Crossing at about 5.20pm. He had finished work and was on his way home. He stood still while one train passed him, and soon afterwards he stepped across the rails, apparently not noticing that another engine was behind. This engine struck him. Witness ran back to pick him up, and found that the engine had dragged him for a distance of 80 yards, and he was dead. He did not blame the driver of the engine for what occurred.

Sapper F Angel, RE, stationed at Countess Railway Crossing, said he was driving the engine which knocked Bartlett down. He heard Ellis shout and pulled up the engine as soon as he could. He did not see the man before he had stopped the engine.

Sapper J Kelly, RE, stationed at Countess Railway Crossing, said he was standing on the footstep of the engine that knocked the man down, and was acting as shunter. He did not see the man, for he crossed from the opposite side of the engine.

Lieut J H Mason, RE (T), stationed at Larkhill, explained that the Countess Crossing Railway was a military camp railway running from Ratfyn Junction at Amesbury to the Larkhill Camps. The railway was not open for public traffic, but Bartlett was not a trespasser.

Lieut W Michel, USAMC, stationed at Fargo Military Hospital, said the man’s legs were severed, one completely and the other partially, and there was also an injury to the head. The fracture of the legs would could death by shock, without the head injury.

A verdict was returned to the effect that Bartlett met his death accidentally from injuries received in the course of his duties.

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