It is a story of remarkable escapes and a tribute to fine organisation of A.R.P. services and the L.N.E.R. staff, who cleared debris from the railway lines quickly to restore freight traffic and passenger services.
The railway station was struck by bombs. A few minutes earlier the station had been crowded with people. A heavily-laden train had left, and an empty train had followed it on to the south platform when the bombs fell.
One dropped directly in front of the engine, another on to the buildings lining the north platform. Part of the station roof was torn away and one large girderfell across the waiting train.
Fortunately there were few people in this train, which was not due to leave for a further ten minutes, and only one or two people on the platform. Three coaches were completely wrecked, and one of the buffers of the locomotive was btasted a distance of 250 yards. It fell on a house, but caused no injury.
A number people who were trapped in the train and in waiting rooms were quickly rescued. Among the casualties was the driver of the train, William Buck (43), of Gateshead, who was taken to hospital, but has recovered.
The fireman. D. K. Cowfield (18), also of Gateshead, died from injuries, as did John William Bowe (63), a lavatory attendant, and George William Barrett (46), a seaman, and Timothy Carroll (35).
A refreshment-room boy, Charles Taylor (17 and a half), whose body was recovered from the basement of the wrecked refreshment-room was the sixth member of a Middlesbrough family to have died in raids this year. A guard, James Frederick Binks (53) was found dead in the debris of the guards’ waiting-room, but Mark Mothersdale (50). a ticket collector. was rescued alive and has since been discharged from hospital.
Bombs near the station killed Solomon Peter Niman (34) and William Henry Thornelowe (74). The L.N.E.R. Company immediately put emergency plans into operation. Freight traffic was sent by another route, and buses from surrounding stations provided a link to by-pass the station. The restoration of services was quickly carried out, a fine tribute to the L.N.E R. organisation.
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