Plaque to Burton Agnes rail crash dead

NDTP Burton Agnes ps1352-3b'Memorial Plaque Burton Agnes Driffield Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1352-3b
NDTP Burton Agnes ps1352-3b'Memorial Plaque Burton Agnes Driffield Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1352-3b

The memory of 12 people killed in a train crash at Burton Agnes in 1947 has been marked with a plaque at the scene of the disaster.

The memorial is the culmination of extensive research by local historian Richard Jones, 33, of Bridlington.

On September 17 1947 a truck carrying 10 German Prisoners of War and two British soldiers crashed into the level crossing barriers in the village.

A further 16 German PoWs, all thought to be from the Billingham camp in County Durham were injured in the crash.

“Over the years this has been completely forgotten about,” said Mr Jones, who has made contact with the families of one of German and one British man killed in the collision.

He said: “These people have died and nobody has remembered them.

“Each and every person would have a story to tell and families have been traumatised by what happened.

“Disasters such as these should be remembered.

“After the war there were so many massive things happening so a little rail crash like this didn’t even make the papers.

“I think it is nice I’m the first person to read those names out in public for 66 years.”

Mr Jones explained he stumbled across the tragic tale when he was researching the Lockington rail disaster.

“I knew something had happened but I didn’t know there were 12 dead,” he said.

“How can something so big not be known about?”

The plaque is sited on the signal box at Burton Agnes, which is a listed building.

It was unveiled at a ceremony attended by around 20 people, including representatives of the Royal British Legion, on Monday 23 December.

Mr Jones is in the process of completing a small book about the crash, including photographs of those who were involved.

He has previously written books about the Great Gale and the 1975 Moorgate tube crash in London, has visited the graves either side of London where the British soldiers killed in the Burton Agnes crash were buried.

The plaque at Burton Agnes is the fourth in a series of memorials he has established: one to the Great Gale, one for the Lockington disaster and one for the Moorgate crash.

He said he has plans to put in place further plaques in the future.