Deaths on the Railway

There were three railway crossings within the wider Rosemarket area, three of which had to be crossed to gain access to the village. Despite each crossing having crossing keepers who controlled the gates and maintained the safety of the  crossing points, tragic accidents did happen. Health & safety was not thought of to be as important as it is today. 
In some case, it seems people thought it to be a lot easier to ignore the railway crossings completely, and just walk across (or along) the track to save time rather than having to walk around the roads, and sadly, from time-to-time, accidents on railway lines happened around Rosemarket, with tragic results. 
The clippings below were reported in the local papers. 


March 1st 1916

On Monday afternoon in Haverfordwest people were shocked to hear of another sad accident on the line, and one again attended with fatal consequences.  
The victim this time was Mrs Griffiths, an old lady of 73, who, with her husband, also an old age pensioner, occupied a cottage on the Jordanston land.  
It seems that Mrs Griffiths was going on an errand to her daughter, who lives nearby, and when crossing the Rosemarket railway crossing she was knocked down by the 11-15 train from Haverfordwest and received extensive injuries.  
She was conveyed to Haverfordwest during the afternoon and taken to the Infirmary, where it was seen that a broken leg, a broken arm, and scalp wounds would make recovery improbable, and the poor lady passed away about four o'clock.  
The deceased leaves a family of grown-up children. Mr Griffiths worked for many years as a labourer on the pontoon at Neyland.  


Mr H. J. E. Price, district coroner, conducted the inquest at the Haverfordwest Infirmary on Tuesday, the foreman of the jury being Mr W. Nicholas. The proceedings were watched on behalf of the G.W.R. Company by Chief Inspector Thomas Dalton.  
Addressing the jury, the Coroner said the unfortunate woman was crossing the line, at an authorised crossing, between 1 and 2 o'clock on Monday afternoon, just as the down train from Johnston to Neyland was due.  
The engine driver sounded the whistle, but it was evident that, as she had a shawl over her head, she did not hear the whistle. The driver was not able to pull the train up in time, with the result that the woman was knocked down and was badly injured.  
She was conveyed to Haverfordwest Infirmary, where she died. The first witness was Benjamin Griffiths, labourer, Jordanston Cottage, Llanstadwell, who said deceased, Ann Griffiths, was his wife. He believed she was 75 years of age. She was not hard of hearing.  
He left the house about 11 o'clock on Monday morning to go to Neyland. She asked him how long he would be, and he told her that he did not know. She told him that she wanted to go to Rosemarket for some lamp oil. That was the last time he saw her.  
The first he heard of the accident was upon his return from Neyland about 3 o'clock. He was met by someone on the road and told of what had happened. He and his wife lived by themselves about a quarter of a mile from the crossing.  
James Smith, Carmarthen, said he was an engine- driver on the G.W.R. He was in charge of the train known as the "Bristol goods,' on Monday. The train left Johnston at 1-20 p.m., and he came in sight of Rosemarket Crossing about 1-25 p.m.  
The Coroner: How far off could you see before you would get to the crossing ? = About 100 yards. There is a curve there ?-Yes, a very nasty one.  
Proceeding, witness said that shortly after he had got round the curve he saw a woman in the act of crossing from one side to the other. As soon as he saw her he sounded the whistle repeatedly. The woman did not take any notice of the whistle and he applied the brakes, but before he could pull up, the engine was right on the woman. The engine did not go over her, but knocked her on one side. 
The woman had crossed one set of metals, and had she remained where she was instead of trying to cross the other set, the train would have gone past her. He could only account for her not having heard the whistle because she had her head muffled up.  
The train was pulled up in about 30 yards, at the furthest after the woman had been knocked down. He Jumped off his engine and ran back to the woman. The crossing keeper, a woman, came on the scene just as he got to the deceased.  
With the assistance of the guard he carried the woman to the keeper's house. She was not unconscious at the time. She complained to him about her arm and leg, and also groaned. He left the guard to look after the woman as the gate keeper was bad, and he took the train on to Neyland where he reported what had. happened.  
Chief Inspector Dalton informed the Coroner that the gate-keeper was not supposed to allow any vehicles or animals to cross the line after a train had left Johnston or Neyland, but the wicket-gate  would be left open for pedestrians, who might not care to wait six or seven minutes.  
At night time the large gates were chained, but the wicket-gate would not be locked. Dr. M. Denison Tonks, Neyland, said he was summoned to the deceased, and saw her at Rosemarket crossing about 2.15. She was conscious at the time. She was suffering from collapse due to the shock and loss of blood. She bad a jagged wound on the left side of the skull, a compound fracture of the left arm and a compound fracture of the left thigh, as well as other injuries.  
He accompanied her to the infirmary at Haverfordwest, where she died at 1.25 the same afternoon. Death was due directly to the injuries caused.  
In the course of his summing up the Coroner said it was apparent that the old lady did not bear the whistle, Probably due to the fact that she bad a shawl over her head. He did not think that the driver was guilty of any neglect. as he had not only whistled but had pulled up the train as soon as possible.  
The only other point was whether the gatewoman should have allowed the woman to get on the line when a train was nearly due. The instructions to the gatewoman was that care should be taken that no one should be allowed to get on if a train was due.  
It might be that the old lady slipped through the gate without being seen. He did not think that there would be any necessity to adjourn the inquest for the attendance of the gatewoman.  
The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental death, no blame being attached to anyone. 


December 11th 1908  

A fatal railway accident occurred near the Rosemarket Crossing on the Johnston and Neyland track of the Great Western Railway, early on Wednesday morning.  
A young man named Thomas Henderson was found killed on the railway a little above the Rosemarket Upper Crossing. He had a terrible gash on the side of the head, and death must have been instantaneous.  
It is supposed that the unfortunate young man was crossing the line to some fields on the southern side of the track when he was knocked down by the train which is timed to reach Neyland about 6.40 a.m. 
 Henderson, it is understood, was hard of hearing and possibly owing to the darkness and his unfortunate affliction, he neither saw nor heard the train. The deceased was well-known in Neyland and Johnston, and much sympathy is felt with his relatives.  
11th October 1902; The clipping below, the poor man that found the body must have been traumatised having being taken to hospital. 
A young man named Thomas White, 21, of 26, Wolseley-street, Newport, was taken to the hospital on Saturday night on a railway ambulance after having seen a body badly crushed at the station by a truck parking over it. 
The body of a man was discovered on the Great Western Railway at Rosemarket, near Johnston, Pembrokeshire, on Tuesday. It had apparently been knocked down by a passing train. The deceased was well-known in Neyland and Johnston, and much sympathy is felt with his relatives. The body was removed to Johnston to await an inquest and identification.  


December 6th 1907

A young cleaner named Lemuel Davies, 16, was engaged in cleaning the driving parts of an engine from the pit underneath it at the locomotive sheds, Whitland, early on Sunday morning, when he is believed to have trodden on some burning waste, which must have blazed up and set fire to his clothing. Being frightened he stepped to the bank, where Mr. Parker, the chargeman, and others, who were on duty, rendered every possible assistance, and the water hose was turned on, but the flames were not extinguished until the young fellow had been terribly burned about the upper parts of the body and head.  

Dr. J. T. Creswick Williams, Whitland, the G.W.R. Co, medical attendant for the district, was soon in attendance, and did all he could to alleviate the sufferings of the young lad, who was removed to his lodgings, at Mr. Thomas Racking Gear, Market-street, where lie died in the course of the afternoon, there having been no hope from the first.  

The deceased, who commenced cleaning at Whitland about a month ago, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Davies, Rosemarket, near Neyland. The parents had been summoned, and were present with their son some hours before his death. At Whitland on Monday Mr. T. Walters, in- quired into the circumstance attending the death of Lemuel Davies (16), an engine cleaner on the Great Western Railway, and the son of Mr. James Davies, Rosemarket. 

He was shockingly burnt whilst cleaning a locomotive in the engine shed at Whitland on the previous day. Herbert Sharp, a fellow cleaner, described the accident, by which it appeared that deceased's clothing was set on fire by treading on a piece of waste, which he had evidently lit for the purpose of giving them more light to clean the engine in the pit. His greasy clothes caught fire, and he was immediately one mass of flames and ran about quite out of his mind.  

Dr. J. F. Creswell Williams said he found the ¡ deceased burnt from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. A verdict of "Accidental death" was re- turned.