Gravestone, erected 1906.
Reasons for Designation
The gravestone of Edward Booth of 1906 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Design: the lancet gravestone incorporates a well-executed bespoke intaglio carving of the locomotive involved in the crash, and a poignant inscription, emphasizing the tragic nature of fireman Booth’s death;
* Impact of the 1906 crash: railway fireman Edward Booth was killed when his train crashed at Ulleskelf station on 24 November 1906 after passing a signal set at danger in fog; the accident led to the introduction of automatic safety equipment to prevent all trains passing signals at danger.
On the evening of 24 November 1906, 25 year-old fireman Edward Booth, and driver John Dunham, (both from Hull), were on the footplate of a North Eastern Railway (NER) Company locomotive, No 85. The locomotive was hauling an express passenger train consisting of four carriages from York to Leeds. The train left York at 7.09 pm, nine minutes late, and fog was then encountered on the up Leeds line, between Copmanthorpe and Ulleskelf. An empty NER coal train from York to Gascoigne Wood had been halted at Ulleskelf, to allow the Leeds express to stop at Bolton Percy, to be diverted onto the up Normanton line, once a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&Y Rly) express to Manchester had passed on that line. Unfortunately, in the foggy conditions visibility was further reduced by the smoke left by the L&Y Rly train and a passing down Midland Railway train: as a consequence, both driver Dunham and fireman Booth appear to have failed to observe and stop at the signals set at ‘danger’. The signalman at Bolton Percy telephoned the signalman at Ulleskelf, to warn him that the express had failed to stop. The guard from the coal train then went up the line with a red lamp to try and stop the express; upon seeing the red lamp, driver Dunham applied the brakes, the train had slowed down from 60 to 30 miles per hour, but still ran into the rear of the coal train, killing both the driver and the fireman in the collision. The bodies of both men were returned to Hull by train for burial and the funeral of Edward Booth took place on the afternoon of 29 November 1906. His plain oak coffin with black fittings, supplied by the NER, was carried in an open glass hearse, and the burial service was conducted by Reverend B.W. Jackson, of Hessle Road Congregational Church.
At the subsequent Board of Enquiry, it was ruled that although the visibility had been affected by the fog and smoke, the driver, who was familiar with the line, should have known where he was, and had allowed his train to pass the signals set at ‘danger’ causing the collision. As a consequence of the accident, the Board of Trade inspector recommended the further development of the warning device invented by Vincent Raven of the NER in 1895 (patent number 23384) which provided an audible warning to the driver when he passed a signal. Raven's device not only gave warning of passing a signal, it was also able to indicate to the driver when points ahead were set for a diverging route. The device was still under development at the time of the collision, however, by 1909, the company had installed it on about 100 miles of its tracks. Driver John Dunham and fireman Edward Booth both died tragically in the Ulleskelf railway accident, but their deaths proved a spur to new safety measures that benefit us all, whenever we travel by train.
Gravestone, erected 1906.
A lancet shaped gravestone inserted into a stone plinth, with a chamfered upper surface. The lancet is lugged and the gravestone has chamfered and stopped sides with nailhead motifs. Intaglio sculpted ivy is carved along the arch of the lancet, and a NER Worsdell Class ‘D22’ 4-4-0 locomotive No 85 is carved in relief, within a recessed panel. An inscription reads, IN / LOVING MEMORY OF / MY DEAR SON / EDWARD BOOTH, / WHO WAS ACCIDENTALLY KILLED / ON THE N.E.RY AT ULLESKELF, / NOV. 24TH 1906, / AGED 25 YEARS. / I KNOW NOT WHAT AWAITS ME, / GOD KINDLY VEILS MINE EYES. / ALSO ANN, / THE BELOVED MOTHER OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED JULY 29TH 1912, / AGED 72 YEARS. / PEACE PERFECT PEACE. The reverse face is unadorned.