Military Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Railway Accident St Michel, Modane 4.3.1918

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Beth Report 16 Jan 2018 12:29

Hello! Would anyone have any ideas as to where to find more information about a rail accident that happened on the above date. The train was carrying troups, horses and equipment. There was fatalities and my granddad was injured. I can find information about a very serious accident in the same are in 1918 but nothing on the one I am researching. Thank you!


KathleenBell Report 16 Jan 2018 13:25

Are you certain of the date? This is the nearest I can find (from Wikipedia):-

December 12, 1917 – France – Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne derailment, (Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne near Modane on the Culoz–Modane railway): Carrying French troops from Italy, a grossly overloaded military train derails near the entrance of the station at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, after running away down a steep gradient from the entrance of the Fréjus Tunnel; brake power was insufficient for the weight of the train. 425 killed in the derailment and subsequent fire, 423 soldiers and 2 train employees. The military had forced the driver to run the overloaded train. This accident was the worst ever in France.[115]

This is a link to the list of accidents:-

Kath. x


Beth Report 16 Jan 2018 14:23

Thanks Kath. I've seen this (one of the worst in history) but it's not the one I'm looking for. Same area I think though. The one I am researching definitely happened 4.3.1918. I have a report (taken from Find my Past) in which it lists the 2 killed and 10 injured along with horses and mules killed and injured. The two soldiers who lost their lives are L/Cpl F C Love and Pte J Keary. 123rd Coy M.G.C. Still can't find anything listed though. Beth


Rambling Report 20 Jan 2018 13:59

Military Career

While his Army Service Records may not have survived, Alfreds’ name does occur in connection with a report on a Railway Accident at Modane 4.3.1918 which has survived.

List of Casualties

45485…L/Cpl. F.C. Love……….123rd Company M.G.C.
4752…..Pte J. Keary……………..23rd Bn Middlesex Regt, attd 123rd Coy, M.G.C.

19383…A/Cpl W.D. Peake………15th Bn Hants. Regt attd 238th Employment Coy
……………………………………attd No.3 Coy, 41st Divl Train
T1/1345.Dvr H. Fry………………A.S.C.
35651….Dvr H. Applebie………..A.S.C.
3707…..Pte A.V. Mercer………...123rd Company M.G.C.
104026..Pte J. Keighley…………..123rd Company M.G.C.
70902…Pte J. Armstrong.………..123rd Company M.G.C.
87829…Pte A.W.J. Evans………..123rd Company M.G.C.
9112…..Pte H.E. Fenton………….123rd Company M.G.C.
8269…..Pte F.S. Willie……………23rd Bn Middlesex Regt, attd 123rd Coy, M.G.C.
44892…Pte A. Buckle…………….20th Bn D.L.I. attd 123rd Coy, M.G.C.
10313…Pte F. Arnold…………….10th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment

To A.D.G.T. L. of C. Area

Accident at St. Michel, March 4th

Troop train No.21 (marche A.M. serial numbers 4120, 4125, 4126, 4177) was partly derailed at St. Michel this morning at 01.00 hours. The engine and break van broke away from the train the first five wagons were derailed and smashed.

2 men were killed.

10 injured, two of these seriously. The remainder according to the French doctors at the Modane Military Hospital, are not serious cases.

3 horses and four mules were killed. About a dozen other horses cut and bruised.

Three staff serjeants and a serjeant major who were awake at the time of the accident, state that the train was going at a slow speed.

Most of the injured men say that the train was going fast – they admit however that they were half asleep. All the officers were apparently asleep at the time

The French say that the train was going very slow as the driver had slowed down to almost stopping point on account of work on the line some way before the scene of the accident and was just moving forward again.

The train consisted of 40 vehicles (originally 41) one having been deferred at Medane owing to a broken connecting rod. The

(The subsequent page(s) of the report have been lost \ become detached).

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 20 Jan 2018 14:44

What name are you looking for? (have I missed it!)

Chris :)


Beth Report 20 Jan 2018 17:08

Thank you. This is the person I am researching:
9112…..Pte H.E. Fenton………….123rd Company M.G.C
I do have the report above, but nothing else. If anyone can shed any further light that would be good. Beth

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 20 Jan 2018 18:25

(oh right!, I have a 'Tick' coming up as Viewed Before on FMP for below, was there another query before?...

Fenton H E British Army Service Records

(same Document as posted above)

Chris :)

(above from google search could perhaps help)