John Kendall (1829-1869)

The Railway Accident at Maesycwmmer

On Monday morning at seven o clock, Mr. Simpson, the locomotive superintendent of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway Company, died from the effects of the injuries he received on the previous Thursday. It will be remembered that Mr. Simpson was one of the three who were on the tender at the time the engine fell over the bridge. His leg was fractured, and he was also severely scalded. Mr Simpson had been in the service of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway since the work commenced, and was highly esteemed by the men and his employers. He was a native of Scotland. Mr. Crane, the traffic inspector, is progressing rapidly, and will be able to resume his duties shortly. Mr Crane's escape was almost miraculous. He was standing on the step, watching the engine as it approached the bridge on the side on which it fell. It appears from Mr. Crane's statement, that the driver, Stokes Thomas, stuck to the lever until they rolled over. Not one of them attempted to jump off. In fact they had no time. Thomas, the driver, was buried on Saturday, at Bedwas.

On Sunday the remains of the late Mr. John Kendall who was killed on the occasion were conveyed to the New Cemetery, at Cardiff. A long procession was formed of the working men connected with the Rhymney Railway Company, and they walked in front of the hearse four deep. The deceased held a responsible position in that company's locomotive department, and he was highly respected by the men. We hear that the men are about to subscribe a day's pay each for the benefit of the widow and five children.

The inquest on the bodies of Mr. J. Kendall and Mr. Stokes Thomas, was opened on Friday, at the Angel Inn, Maesycwmmer, by Mr. W. H. Brewer, the coroner. After the jury had viewed the bodies, the inquest was adjourned until the 26th inst.

SOURCE: Monmouthshire Merlin 19 June 1869

The Late Fatal Railway Accident

Edward Davies deposed : l am a surgeon, residing at Bargoed; I was called to attend the injured persons on the 10th of June; I saw the bodies of Thomas Stokes Thomas and John Kendall 5 Thomas died from a fractured skull; Mr. KendaII was smashed to atoms; Mr. Simpson had been actually boiled, not only on the exterior part of his body, but he had inhaled a quantity of steam, and his inside was also severely injured; he was progressing favourably up to seven o'clock on Sunday evening, when he became insensible, and died at seven o'clock on Monday morning, June 14th. I believe he died from drinking whiskey.

The Coroner repudiated the idea. He, as a surgeon, saw Simpson after the accident, and knew that he would certainly die.

Witness said the other two who were killed on the spot were literally smashed; Thomas's skull was split in two, and Kendall's was smashed perfectly flat.

After about half an hour's consultation the jury returned the following verdict:-" We, the jury, have come to the conclusion that John Kendall, Thomas Stokes Thomas, and John Simpson came to their death by the running off and upsetting of the engine near Maesycwmmer viaduct, on June the 10th, which we consider to be accidental. The jury consider it necessary that the views of Colonel Yolland, the Government Inspector, should be carried out by the railway companies."

The Coroner remarked that it was a very proper verdict, and the companies were now bound to carry out Colonel Yolland's views, as otherwise, in the event of a similar accident, a criminal verdict would be recorded against them.

SOURCE: The Brecon County Times 10 July 1869

Fatal Accident on the Brecon & Merthyr Railway


On Thursday an accident, attended with fatal consequences, occurred on the Brecon and Merthyr Railway. A goods train was proceeding from Bassaleg to Rhymney. There were fire persons on the engine, viz, Mr. Kendall, superintendent of locomotives on the Rhymney line; Mr. Simpson, who holds the same position on the Brecon and Merthyr line; Mr. Crane, employed on the same railway ; Thomas Stokes, the driver and a fitter. The stoker was in the break van. At about one o'clock the train was near Maesycymmer station, and while turning a sharp curve over a viaduct the engine left the rails, carried away the girder of the bridge, and fell into the road, a distance of from fifteen to twenty feet. Four or five of the waggons followed the engine. Mr. Kendall and the driver were killed on the spot, and Mr. Simpson, Mr. Crane, and the fitter were very seriously scalded and otherwise injured. The driver, whose head was literally smashed, is a young man who had lived with his parents at Bed was. He had been for two months in the Bristol infirmary, and this was his first trip since he had been discharged. It was fully an hour before the body of Mr. Kendall could be extricated from the debris, and it was five hours before the driver's body was recovered. The men who were wounded received medical aid as soon as possible.

SOURCE: The Brecon County Times 12 June 1869

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