Fatality at Benfleet Railway Station. August 1901.

Death of Henry William Vine.


‘The Newsman’  Saturday 10 August 1901.

Shocking Fatality to a Benfleet Man.

Awful Scene at a Railway Station.

On Saturday evening a shocking accident which terminated fatally, happened to Harry Vine, of South Benfleet, who worked on Canvey Island, but who, at the time, was on the railway station platform at South Benfleet.

Vine was about to shut the door of a carriage as the train was leaving the station, when he was thrown down and fell between the platform and the footboard of the carriage.  The train passed out of the station and the poor man was picked up by a porter, terribly injured. His left leg was almost severed and his arm was broken.  Mr. Powers, a student at the London Hospital, rendered first aid to the injured man, after which he was conveyed to the Victoria Hospital at Southend and placed under the care of Dr. B. Hilton Leigh.  An operation was performed by Drs. Forsyth, Leigh, Hicks and Aldridge; but shortly after ten o’clock the same night Vine succumbed to the injuries and shock.

An inquest was held on Tuesday by Mr. Edgar Lewis. – Charles Beckwith, landlord of the Lobster Smack Inn, Canvey Island, said the deceased was his godson, 44 years of age, and a barman at the inn.  William Mott said he was on the platform at the time of the accident.  The train drew in, and when it was moving out of the station one of the doors of the carriage was not closed.  Deceased stepped forward to try and close it.  He missed the handle, and then ran up by the side of the train for ten or twelve yards, when he stumbled on the platform and fell, and rolled between the platform and train. – Frederick J. Knight, station master, said deceased attended the station daily and witness had seen him close a carriage door before. – Was he conscious when he was picked up? – Yes.  He told us how it happened.  He said, “It was my own fault.” – Dr. B. Hilton Leigh said that the bone of the left thigh was shattered, and the lower part was missing.  At nine o’clock the operation of an amputation was carried out, but the deceased did not recover, and died on the operating table. – The Coroner: I take it that was the only course to adopt? – There was none other. – And death was due to shock? – Shock and blood loss.  The marvel was that he arrived at all. – The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” and the Railway Company was exonerated from blame.

Henry William Vine was buried on Canvey Island.


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