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A Collision between the locomotive ‘Dennis’ and a Berse motor lorry.


`James Roberts` formally of Trevor Row, Chirk one of 15 siblings . 1872 - 1932.

Employer: - Glyn Valley Tramway Company.

1889 - 1932.  43 years service.

Home address, 3 Pontfaen, Chirk,

Wife Madeline Roberts and 6 children.


James Roberts was the driver of the `Dennis` until his serious accident on 4th June 1932 at the British granite quarry, Glyn Ceiriog. His fireman on that day was James Ernest Purslow. The following is a sworn statement made by James Purslow at the inquisition following the death of James Roberts of what took place on the day of the accident.


James Ernest Purslow’s sworn statement says:

I live at the Wern, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, and am an engine driver employed by Glyn Valley Tramway Co Ltd. I was working on the engine with the deceased on Saturday 4th  June 1932. About 11.15am we were proceeding back from the point on top side of the crushers at the British granite quarry, Glyn Ceiriog, and travelling cabin first, the engine being in back gear, at the rate of 4 miles per hour. When we passed under the crushers I bent down to attend to the fire and to lower the damper. I did not see anything of an approaching motor lorry. I felt an impact and when I came to myself I was lying under Mr. J. Robert’s legs on the footplate. I managed to get out jump on to the side and call for help. I found J. Roberts fastened between the reversing lever and the cabin of the engine. He was unconscious for about 3 minutes. The first man to come to my assistance was David Jones, the ambulance man. We carried the deceased off the engine. There was a motor lorry standing with its tail end towards the cabin of our engine. The motor lorry was standing square alongside the rail between the rail and the mound. On examining the engine I found that the deceased had applied the steam brake. The lever was in back gear. The reversing lever had been bent and the cabin knocked in on the footplate. We were both on the look out until we came up to the crusher and so far as we could see there, the road was clear. Guard Price Davies gave the signal “line clear" 40 yards on the top side of the crusher. The engine whistle sounded before we passed the crusher. It is the first time I have ever seen a motor lorry there. There is a clear view. It was 20/25 yards from the crushers to the lorry. The deceased said he was turning his head to see what we were likely to have for Chirk. I do not know whether the lorry was moving at the time of the accident. I always make it a practice to blow the whistle. I blew the whistle on this occasion. I blew the whistle before coming to the crusher, 10 yards to the top side of the crusher.

James Roberts was moved to Dr Eeam`s, Glyn Ceiriog who examined him and ordered his removal to Chirk hospital. Dr.T. Hampson of Chirk attended James on admission and said he was suffering from a crushed lower part of abdomen, scrotum, lower part of back and buttocks.

James Roberts my grandfather died of his injuries on 27th day of June 1932 at the cottage hospital Chirk cause of his death was “pulmonary embolism consequent upon injuries accidentally sustained in a collision between a locomotive and a motor lorry"

Picture of granddad at front of `Dennis` taken 30th May 1932, 1 month before he was injured and subsequently died on 27th June 1932


A Glyn Ceiriog Fatality  - 4th June 1932.

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