Bootle Station Memorial Plaque

All CcRUG members are invited to attend the presentation of this plaque which is to take place on Sunday 15th August 2021 at Bootle Station at 13:00.

The plaque is to commemorate the four rail workers who, on 22nd March 1945, saved Bootle village from a huge potential loss of life by their actions when a wagonload of depth charges that they were transporting caught fire and exploded.

The four being:
the train driver 
the fireman               

the train guard  
the signalman    

H Goodall who sadly lost his life during the event
HN Stubbs   whose actions won him the George Medal

T  Wilkinson
J Southward

Here is an extract from the Ministry of Transport Report into the accident:
“The 7.10 pm through freight train from Workington to Benkfield (Liverpool) of which the leading 7 wagons were loaded with depth charges, was passing through Bootle station on the Up line at about 20-25 m.p.h. when the enginemen noticed that one of the leading wagons was on fire. The driver, H. Goodall, stopped the train and the fireman, H.N. Stubbs, who had alighted before it stopped, uncoupled behind the burning wagon, which was one of the high-sided open type, marshalled 6th from the engine. Stubbs then rejoined the engine and the 6 wagons were drawn forward for about 80 yards; he alighted again while the engine was still in motion, and after he had uncoupled in front of the burning wagon, the leading 5 wagons were taken forward for a further 80 yards.

Two or three minutes later, the load of 52 depth charges exploded with great violence. I regret to report that Driver Goodall was killed; his body was found by the lineside about 70 yards in rear of the crater, which suggests that he had gone back, either to see what he could do himself, or to seek assistance to extinguish the fire there is little doubt that the prompt action of the enginemen in isolating the burning wagon, without regard to personal risk, prevented a far more serious explosion.”

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