Abergele Rail Disaster 1868

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to 20 Sep 1868
Location: Abergele, Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdommap
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Wales Disasters Team

  • The Abergele rail disaster, which took place near the town of Abergele, on the north coast of Wales on the 20th August 1868, was, at the time, the worst railway disaster in Great Britain, and also the most alarming. The Irish Mail Express from Chester through to Holyhead was met by three runaway freight trucks containing petroleum coming down the gradient from Llanddulas. These exploded and the ensuing fire consumed the front of the train. Most of the bodies of the victims were so badly burnt that formal identification proved impossible. One person was identified by the finding of a Chubb key, the number of which was identified by Chubb as belonging to a safe owned by Mr William T Lund. Wikipedia

  • The Victims
  1. Frances Sophia Thornburgh Askin (1846-1868) “Fanny”, 21 years old
  2. Kate Sophia (Thornburgh) Askin (1821-1868)(mother of #1)
  3. Arthur Fitzgerald Harrison Aylmer (1850-1868) son of #4 and #5
  4. John Harrison Aylmer (abt.1812-1868)
  5. Rosanna Louisa Aylmer (abt.1821-1868), wife of #4
  6. Elizabeth Mary Berwick (abt.1798-1868), sister of Walter #7
  7. Walter Berwick (1800-1868), Judge Walter NOT George[1]. FindAGrave alerted to error[2]
  8. Lord Henry Farnham (1799-1868)
  9. The Lady Farnham (abt.1805-1868) wife of #8
  10. Sir Nicholas Chinnery (1804-1868)
  11. Lady Anna Chinnery (abt.1820-1868) wife of #10
  12. Charles Cripps, Footman of Lord Farnham
  13. Capt. Joseph Priestley Edwards (abt.1818-1868)
  14. Priestley Augustus Edwards (1845-1868) son of #13
  15. Lovatt Ferral b. abt 1801 Ireland
  16. Rosalie Franks, cousin to the Aylmer family #4
  17. Joseph Holmes, stoker on the train
  18. Jane Ingram, unknown
  19. Mary Ann Kellett, Lady's Maid to Lady Farnham
  20. Augusta Simcox Lea (1841-1868), with her elder sister #21
  21. Caroline Simcox Lea (1839-1868), with her younger sister #20
  22. William Townend Lund (1829-1868), widower, brother-in-law of the Parkinson brothers #25 & #26
  23. Edward Outen - nothing known
  24. William Henry Owen (1845-1868) returning to his job as organist in Dublin
  25. Christopher Slater Parkinson (1844-1868) with his brother #25 and brother-in-law #22
  26. William Bradley Parkinson (1827-1868) with his brother #24 and brother-in-law #22
  27. Mary Anne Roe, unknown
  28. Kathleen Scovell (-1868), spinster, sister of Whitmore (#29). Estate administered by her brother Rowland Hill Scovell of County Wicklow
  29. Whitmore Scovell (1822-1868) brother of #28
  30. William Smith, the guard on the train
  31. Caroline Stearn, maid to Lady Anna Chinnery #11
  32. Elizabeth Strafford, Housekeeper to Lord and Lady Farnham #8 & #9
  33. Louisa Symes, unknown


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Berwick
  2. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/187756085/george-berwick


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