Saturday, November 24, 2007

The world's first railway fatality

William Huskisson, who died after falling under a train at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway in September 1830, is generally held to be the world's first rail casualty. Simon Garfield has written a book about the incident.

But a note buried in today's Guardian Corrections and Clarifications column suggests Huskisson may not deserve this sad accolade:
The Egglescliffe parish register records the death, in 1827, of "a female, name unknown", thought to be a blind beggar woman, and notes she was "killed by the steam machine on the railway".


Joe Otten said...

Pah, how can a member of parliament, killed by George Stephenson, driving the Rocket, be less worthy of this accolade than some blind woman who just happened to get there first?

Radders said...

Is Huskisson's claim that he was killed by the first passenger killed by a regular passenger service? (as others had died on rails, in pits etc).