From the Redhill Express Newspaper (thanks to Mary)
FATAL ACCIDENT TO A RAILWAY GOODS GUARD" - A fatal accident occurred on Saturday evening last, at Gomshall station, to a well-known goods guard of Redhill, named John Whitmore, one of the oldest servants in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company. It appears from the evidence of the signalman, Terry, at Gomshall station, that the deceased was in the act of uncoupling two trucks, when, finding they were tight, and that he could not loose them, he signalled to the driver to back engine, so that the couplings might become looser. The driver did so, and Whitmore got under whilst the trucks were in motion and was knocked down, the wheels passing over his right arm and leg, and crushing him very severely. He was taken to the Cottage Hospital, at Redhill, where his leg was amputated, but he did not survive the shock, and died about four o'clock on Sunday morning.
The inquest was held at the Warwick Hotel, Station-road Redhill, on Tuesday last, before W. Cattar, esq., and a jury, Mr. G.F. Tissier being foreman, when the following evidence was given : -
John Terry deposed - I am a signal man in the employ of South Eastern Railway Company, and am at present stationed at Gomshall. I knew the deceased, who was a guard in the said service; I think his age was about 49 years. About 7:15 on the evening of the 19th inst., I was on duty at Gomshall station, and the deceased was there at that time. He had arrived at Gomshall from Reading with the 'pick up' train arriving at Gomshall at 7:10. The train was stopped and some of the carriages unhooked. I was at the points. After the train stopped, 7 or 8 trucks were detached from the engine for the purpose of putting them back into a siding, where two trucks were standing to be taken away. There were still some trucks left standing on the main line. The two trucks in the siding were attached to those on the engine and drawn out into the main line, the deceased superintending the operation. The driver of the engine was William Trumble. The trucks drawn from the siding were to be released and attached to those standing in the main line. I saw Whitmore get in between the trucks for the purpose of uncoupling them. The train was then at a standstill. The deceased found the couplings so tight that he could not unfasten them, and got out and gave the signal to the driver, with his hand-lamp, to back the train in order to loosen them. The engine was accordingly put in motion for that purpose, and deceased placed his hand-lamp on the ground, and, while the trucks were in motion got under the buffers to uncouple. I saw him get underneath and them heard him cry out 'Stop them ! stop them! !' and the engine was immediately stopped. I was about 32 yards from the deceased at the time. I went up and found him under the third truck from the end of the train, laid on his side, with his head facing the end of the train, and in the four-foot way. He was quite sensible. I asked him how he was hurt, and he said he was run over the leg and arm; I could not see that he was hurt anywhere else. We lifted him out into the six-foot, and found that his right leg was crushed and his arm broken. We then took him to the platform and put him into his break at the front of the train, and he was then taken away. He made no accusation the other driver or anyone. There was a slight decline on the spot, and the truck which ran over him was loaded with bricks.
William Nash, station-master, deposed - On Saturday night last I was on duty at the station, Redhill, when I received a telegram from Goshall. I waited until a train came in from the Reading branch. I there found the deceased in his break-van. He had been under me for 24 years, and I knew him well. I put him in a light van, and, after sending for Dr. Kelsey, we took him to the Cottage Hospital, as he declined to go into a London one, and then telegraphed for Drs. Walters and Holman. I remained with him until the operation in his leg had been performed. He talked to me, but did not reflect on anyone; on the contrary, he said no blame whatever could be attached to anyone. I quite believe what the last witness has stated, and that it was quite accidental.
Eliza Allingham deposed that she was nurse at the Cottage Hospital. On Saturday night last, the deceased was brought in suffering from a broken arm and leg, and injuries to other parts of his body. Medical aid was obtained. He was brought in about 8:45, and lived till 4:30 the following morning. He died in her presence. He did not charge anyone with negligence or anything of the kind.
Mr. A. Kelsey, surgeon, said, - I am a surgeon, in practice in Redhill. On Saturday night last I was requested to go to the Cottage Hospital, and there I found the deceased. I examined him, and found he was suffering from a comminuted fracture of the right forearm, also bruised about the shoulder and side. Drs. Walters and Hill arrived two hours after, and on consultation, it was considered necessary to amputate the leg below the knee, and the operation was performed under chloroform. Every care was taken, and I was with him about four and a half hours. He was very low at this time through the shock received from the general injuries, to which injuries he at last succumbed.
A verdict was unanimously returned of 'Accidental Death'.
The funeral of the deceased took place yesterday at St. John's Redhill, when about 200 persons, friends of the deceased and employees of the S. E. Railway, testified their respect by their presence on the mournful occasion. A most suitable and impressive address was delivered by the Rev. H. Braes, who, we are informed, intends to deliver a discourse to-morrow (Sunday) evening, at St. Matthew's, having a special reference to this sad occurrence. "