Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fenny Stratford Charabanc Disaster 1925


One-Placer Paul Cox, whose one-place study is of Woburn Sands in Buckinghamshire, has kindly shared information about the tragedy which befell a group of Woburn “Sandites” on their way back from a lecture at the Wesleyan Chapel in Bletchley on 7 December 1925.

The tragic accident claimed nine lives in total and injured six others. These are a few extracts from the Bedfordhsire Times:


In pitch black darkness on Monday night tragedy, swift and sudden, descended upon a happy party of Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise people on their way home by motor coach from Bletchley, after a religious meeting.


It was one of the most terrible accidents that have occurred in this County for many years, and probably one of the worst motor accidents on record. The motor coach ran through the gates of the level crossing at Fenny Stratford Station at the very moment that a train was approaching. The train crashed into it and the engine overturned, smashing the coach to pieces, and causing personal injuries which have resulted in the death of eight people, very serious injuries to four, and less serious hurts to three others. No one in the train was hurt.


A list of those killed is as follows:

  • The Revd. William and Mrs Nightingale, Woburn Sands, late of Nova Scotia.
  • Miss Kathleen Davison., Stevington, a school teacher at Woburn Sands
  • Mr Robert Ash, Aspley Guise.
  • Mrs Tom Garrett, Woburn Sands.
  • Mr Reginald Bowler, Woburn Sands.
  • Mr William Woods, Aspley Guise.
  • Miss Mary Stone, Woburn Sands; [died in hospital]

The following are in Bedford Hospital, in a critical condition:

  • Mr Frederick Griffin, Woburn Sands [he died later].
  • Mrs Tansley, Woburn Sands, and her daughters, Phyllis (17) and Daphne (6).
  • Mr Nelson Payne, Cross End, Wavendon (not serious).

Slightly injured and at home are, Miss Annie Parrott and Miss Florence Pursell. The only occupant who escaped uninjured was Mr A. J. Porter, Woburn Sands.

Read the full story here.