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Commemorative bench unveiled at Holmes Chapel Railway Station

Cheshire volunteers and Friends of Holmes Chapel Railway Station & Viaduct were delighted to unveil a commemorative bench at the railway station in honour of the men, women and children who lost their lives in a tragic 1941 rail accident. Train operator, Northern kindly funded the bench and plaque in honour of the 80th Anniversary of the crash.

The commemoration ceremony was led by Tony Wright, Cllr Mike Street and lay preacher Mr Fryer on 14 September 2021, 80 years to the date of the tragedy. Cllr Street outlined the history of the event, and Mr Fryer led a prayer. 

The accident occurred at 1.23am in the blackout on 14 September 1941 at Holmes Chapel Railway Station.  The 12.35am express passenger train (Crewe to Leeds) was just starting away from the platform when the Crewe to Manchester train, travelling at 30-35mph ran into the back of the first train. Six passengers were killed in the collision and three more died later. Twenty-one passengers required medical treatment in hospital. 

The names of those who tragically died are written on the plaque. They were, Aircraftman J Williams, Private JH Lennox, George Christelow, Private Claude Sowden, Reginald Gregory, Pilot-Officer William Evans, RAF Sergeant John McCrae, a baby girl about two years of age (believed to be the daughter of a Mrs Prichard) and Stoker Joseph Foster of Grimsby.