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William Taylor / coroners report 1871

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Karen Report 20 May 2013 20:50

Just received 3 x grt grandfathers death cert showing accidental death, him being hit by a train on Midland Railway at Westoning, Bedfordshire.
Where do I go to find either newspaper and or coroners report for this. Inquest 20 March 1871, death registered 22nd.
Hope i have posted this in the right place.
Thanks :-)


Amanda, Report 20 May 2013 21:28

Hi Karen,

Do you want to post his name on here so that someone might be able to have a look for him?

Kind regards
Edit sorry, just noticed it!
Nothing on another website that has newspapers on it,but not sure what this site holds


JoyDean Report 20 May 2013 21:44

If I were you, I would contact the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service whose email address is in

And you could post in,2.0.html

Happy hunting.


SylviaInCanada Report 21 May 2013 07:13

The coroner's report probably no longer exists ................. they did not (and possibly still do not) HAVE to be kept.

I had a similar case where my gt grandfather died in 1877 after falling out a train in Oldham, Lancashire .............. someone forgot to lock the door on the track side of the carriage, and gt grandfather leant against it.

I contacted the local Archives Study Centre to see if they could find any newspaper report ................ I gave them a period of approximately 3 weeks following the death and coroner's report, the name of gt grandfather, name of coroner, where the accident and death occurred, exact date of death and of the coroner's report ..........

................ in other words, all the information I could glean from the death certificate that might help them.

I sent the email at about 9 pm UK time on a Sunday evening, got a response back to say they had found it by about 10 am UK time next morning ................... with the offer to copy the 2 pages and airmail to me, free of charge :-D

I don't guarantee that every Local Study Archives Centre will do all that .............. but it is still well worth contacting them

I found the address by searching via Google.

Interestingly enough, the report was found not in the long-lived local paper which was in existence in 1877 and is still printed today ................... but in a little paper that was only published for about 18 months!

My first approach had actually been to that still-existing paper, and they had looked at their microfiches, but failed to find anything.

Good luck



CupCakes Report 21 May 2013 08:29

There is a website that is posting stories about train accidents. People are sending in documents to keep the memory of their rellies alive.

My step uncle a lorry driver, broke down and was killed by a train - death cert very graphic.

I sent his death cert to the site - family worldwide thought it a great idea after finding out the truth of what happened to him - it is like marking his death for posterity.

Thought others might be interested in doing the same.

Send a message with your story via their online Contact us form - offer the docs and they will reply with an email


Karen Report 21 May 2013 11:26

Okay thanks everyone, have made contact with all of the suggestions and will await responses. No luck with railway archives but will add information to that site if I get any.


Karen Report 21 May 2013 19:07

I have found the information I was looking for. By all accounts it was a horrific accident. Full details are on the way to me. Thanks again to everyone. :-)


SylviaInCanada Report 21 May 2013 19:21


Was it a newspaper account or the actual Coroner's Report?

Be warned ................ the newspaper report will be in far more gory detail than we are now used to!

I am so glad that you have found it.



Karen Report 21 May 2013 20:09

The newspaper. I've had a summary and have been pre-warned of the upsetting details. As for the coroners report it probably won't offer more information the we have anyway. Happy to share this info when it comes. It's the most I ever found on anyone!! :-D


Karen Report 11 Jun 2013 07:45

An update: Received the newspaper report. Poor William was mowed down by the Manchester express train between Harlington and Westoning in Bedfordshire. The driver saw him and tried to warn him but speculates that he just didn't hear it as a goods train was also on the line at the same time. It was a sad and gory tale.
My daughter passed a summary of the story to WDYTYA and they are featuring it in their magazine in, I think the July Issue.


SylviaInCanada Report 11 Jun 2013 08:01

Thank you for coming back to tell us, Karen

Those old newspaper reports gave far more gory details than the papers do these days!


Karen Report 9 Aug 2013 18:31

Hi there, final update on this.
Who Do You Think You Are have featured the whole story in Septembers issue, a double page spread on page 72. Quite amazing really, never expected that.
So a big thanks to all who helped with this.
:-D :-D :-D

Woops I suppose I should have put this on Success storys really! ;-)


SylviaInCanada Report 9 Aug 2013 20:10


Thank you

It's always good to find out what happened.

In my case, it was reported in the paper that the coroner had stated very clearly that the family would have a case for (what we would now call) negligence, and they could take it further ........

I doubt they did ................... farm labourers didn't have that kind of money.

But it was the reason that his widow and her 4 or 5 youngest children ended up in Oldham, and so my grandfather met my grandmother! :-D


Sally Report 9 Aug 2013 22:40

marking for future use

sally w <3