Driver Rennie Beechey
TS/025252 Army Service Corps 149th Coy
Died 13th February 1917, in a train crash
Born in Burnley
Lived at 69 Storebridge, Colne
Buried in Bois Guillaume Cemetery, France

This is what I have found re the death of my Great Grandad who was due to come home on leave when he was killed.
Train Crash at Epinay 13th February 1917 – all casualties buried in the cemetery.

(Courtesy of Lynda Atkinson)

Major G.Thornton was in command of the leave train that left Havre at 6.30am on 13th Feb 1917. The train was at the level crossing at Epinay when it was hit by trucks from supply train W25, a coupling broke and 36 trucks crashed into the leave train behind it, two first class carriages and one third class were completely destroyed.
One Officer [2/Lt E.F Greenfield] and 26 men were killed, 54 men were badly injured, most of the injured were put aboard a hospital train that had been standing nearby.
Personel from the 7th+15th hospital trains that arrived shortly after helped in the rescue of men trapped in the wreckage, three men pinned under the debris were released after 5hrs. Major E.S Smith the railway transport officer at nearby Serqueux took command of the scene. Billeting arrangements for most of the 23 officers and 1151 men on board were found in the nearby villages.

The bodies of the dead were taken by road at 1800hrs to the 8th General Hospital at Rouen. 38 injured men were admitted to the 8th gen hospital at Rouen on 13th Feb, 3 others were admitted to the 10th gen hospital Rouen on the same day. The following day the bodies of 27 men who died in the accident were admitted to the 8th gen hospital. The bodies of these men were not removed from the wreckage until the morning of 14th Feb,16 injured men were taken to one of the casualty clearing stations at Rouen. The hospital would not have known the exact time of their death so it was probably recorded for official purposes as 14th February for some of the Soldiers.
These are all buried in the cemetery in Plot II






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